Best of Columbia SC 2018


Assisted Living

Still Hopes

With the historic Guignard Plantation on the Congaree River as its center, Still Hopes is an all-inclusive continuing care retirement center with housing options from apartments and cottages to rehabilitation, skilled nursing and memory care. Amenities such as maintenance, dining plans, housekeeping, recreational and life-long learning opportunities. Opened in the 1970s, the Episcopal-sponsored, non-profit center serves 400 residents. 796.6490; stillhopes.org


First Citizens

After all, it’s your money and you’ve earned the right to have it well managed, whether you’re spending, saving or investing it. For more than 100 years, customers have trusted First Citizens Bank with their money … and their futures. As it likes to say, money isn’t everything, but much depends on what you do with it. First Citizens is dedicated to helping people live better lives. 733.2025; firstcitizens.com


Torched Barre

Torched Barre clients revel in a full-body workout that offers the best of both barre and yoga in a heated atmosphere. Founders Lacy Carbone and Marie Russ have combined their love and professional mastery of both disciplines to provide unique classes. The accomplished practitioners are dedicated to transforming the bodies of their students, leaving participants toned, refreshed and energized. 730.8225; torchedbarre.com.

Credit Union

Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union

Offering a full menu of services and resources, Palmetto Citizens is also focused on community-oriented relationships. There are personal and business objectives offered to customers, as well as help in home and car buying, money management, retirement planning, and fraud prevention. Clients can take advantage of special perks like a rewards program. There are numerous locations in and around Columbia. 732.5000; palmettocitizens.org


Sunshine House

Entrusting the care of your child to another is your most important decision as a parent. Started by                     teachers in Greenwood, Sunshine is now one of the largest and most recognized early education and childcare companies in the country. With six locations throughout the Midlands, it serves children from infants through kindergarten as well as before and after-school programs through age 12. Multiple locations. Sunshinehouse.com

Day Spa    

Body Sugaring and Wellness Spa

Pamper your body and lift your spirit at downtown Body Sugaring and Wellness Spa owned by experienced aesthetician Mabel Machabvunga Butler whose devoted clientele value her knowledge, especially the ancient Egyptian method of body sugaring for epilation, reflected in the name of the spa. In addition, a full range of services include facials, lash extensions, peels, other facial and body treatments and massages. 574.9319; sugaringspa.com


Planet Fitness

In the exercise world, Planet Fitness is a leader in affordability and accessibility, providing a workout environment where everyone feels welcomed and accepted. A friendly staff and certified trainers are ready to help. Whether you’re a first-time gym user or a fitness veteran, you’ll always have a home in its Judgement Free Zone.  Class varieties, immaculate standards, multiple locations in the Midlands area.  planetfitness.com

Funeral Home

Thompson’s Funeral Home

Thompson’s Funeral Home Thompson’s is about much more than just arranging burial and memorial services. It is about building relationships with families, celebrating active and retired servicemen and women, offering community events such as conferences and coffee/conversation opportunities, and providing counseling. For those who want to plan ahead, there are professionals to guide step-by-step through the process of arranging for end of life. 462.5531; thompsonsfuneral.com



At The Members Club at Woodcreek, world-renowned golf course designer Tom Fazio has skillfully molded the unique Midlands environment and topography into a scenic, challenging course that reveals more of its subtleties each time you play, offering a beautiful, challenging course. Woodcreek’s serenity and tranquility lets you concentrate on your game, experiencing the essence of the sport. Members only.  239-0286; wildewoodwoodcreek.com



The family owned and operated business prides itself on stellar service and ongoing multi-generational relationships. Founded in 1956, ever since the business has been keeping customers in the Midlands cool or warm, depending on the season, with full installations, maintenance, and 24-hour service. Kaminer pledges 100 percent satisfaction on professionalism, products, and services. There are even humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and air filters available to enhance a home’s air quality. 772.9140; kaminerhac.com

Home Builder

Fortress Builders

Your home is your castle and Fortress provides you with the highest possible value. Raising the bar for new home builders, the veteran-owned business has more than 25 years in the field, fortressed with quality, value and integrity.  From location and construction to sales and customer service, Fortress is a consistent innovator in the industry. 461.1525; fortressbuilders.net

Home Cleaning Service

Deserved Comfort House Cleaning

Since 1986, locally owned Deserved Comfort House Cleaning has been offering superior house cleaning services at affordable rates in the Midlands. Free phone quotes for weekly, bi-weekly or monthly appointments. Not just another maid service, staff members are fully Insured and bonded. You deserve an immaculate home so call and you’ll have a sparkling house in no time! No contractual obligation. 739.9700; deservedcomfort.com

Home Security

Sonitrol Security Systems

The security and safety of your home, family and business are among your greatest concerns. Sonitrol South Carolina is the experienced industry leader, providing state-of-the art residential and commercial security systems in South Carolina since 1978. With cutting-edge detection systems from audio to wireless, suiting nearly every budget, Sonitrol has a security solution for all. 794.4357; sonitrolsc.com


Lexington Medical Center

Lexington Medical Center, a consistent consumer favorite, has won top national recognition for patient satisfaction. With its Duke Health affiliated heart and cancer programs, the current 428-bed complex is completing a significant 10-story tower expansion, adding 545,000 square feet. With 600+ physicians and 70 medical practices, it also has six community medical and urgent care centers in its vast countywide network. 791.2000; lexmed.com


Hilton Columbia Center

Indulge your out-of-town guests or yourself with a stay at the Hilton Columbia Center.  Located within steps of the Statehouse, the Hilton Columbia Center is an elegant choice in the heart of the Vista. Boasting a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and the AAA 4-Diamond designation, it is elegant in atmosphere with a Ruth Chris restaurant, chic design and all the amenities. 744.7800;  hiltoncolumbia.com

Interior Designer

LGB Interiors

For a new home, a vacation house, an urban penthouse or a suburban enclave, LGB Interiors will create a look you'll cherish. One of the premier interior design companies in the state, the firm is also recognized for its work nationally and internationally. Knowing every project is unique, the company prides itself on catering to the needs and desires of each client. 929.5322; lgbinteriors.com

Kitchen and Bath    

Capital Kitchen & Bath

Capital Kitchen & Bath, a family-owned and operated business, is your one-stop solution for any size remodeling or new construction project with showrooms providing you with the opportunity to see the many different design options offered. Highly trained and experienced consultants stand ready to help with any project big or small with attention to detail that makes your project enjoyable and satisfying. 254.5889; capitalkb.com


Hay Hill Services

For 20 years Hay Hill Services has provided exceptional landscape design, hardscape, irrigation and outdoor lighting installation and service. Unlike many other landscape contractors or construction companies that sub-contract the project to other contractors, Hay Hill does all of their work themselves, providing the opportunity to design and build unique projects. When quality matters, call Hay Hill Services for all of your outdoor needs. 834-6655; hayhillservices.com  

Local TV station


A standard of television excellence in the Midlands, WIS has been telling the story of South Carolina for more than 60 years. Asking tough questions and sharing the power of information, it is viewed as a force for education, growth and change. As part of Raycom Media, the station is involved in the region it serves and takes leadership positions on key community issues. 799.1010; wistv.com

Mortgage Company

Ameris Bank

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or ready to refinance, Ameris Bank has mortgage products designed to meet your needs. Dedicated to keeping the process as simple as possible, Ameris is committed to timely processing and closing. In 2017, across the Southeast, Ameris Bank financed over $1 billion in businesses, over $25 million in personal financing needs, and over $4.9 billion in home loans. Multiple locations. amerisbank.com


Columbia Museum of Art

The CMA in the heart of downtown Columbia, has redefined the modern museum as the bustling social hub of the community with dynamic exhibitions and enthralling programs. Its collection is one of the most comprehensive and eclectic in the region and its arts education programs are nationally recognized. With many free programs, its outreach programs are among the best in the Southeast. 799.2810; columbiamuseum.org


Ashley Oaks

A Blythewood neighborhood off I-77 within 20 minutes of downtown, Ashley Oaks with rolling hills and serpentine roads provides a slower, relaxed life with a clubhouse, community pool, fully stocked fishing pond, walking trails and sidewalks for strolling throughout the neighborhood. Homes are primarily all brick construction with side-facing garages on over-sized lots with nice landscaping. Well-established but with more under development. Just google Ashley Oaks Blythewood.

Pest Control


In a subtropical environment, the Midlands has a bazillion bugs, but Terminix banishes them for good. Terminix understands the threat of cockroaches, ants, termites, bed bugs, rodents and other creepy-crawlies and they are backed by a nationwide network of expertise. The strongest residential termite guarantee available and critter removal, too. 736.4420; terminix.com

Pet Groomer  

Lucky Dog Barbershop

Meghan Markle’s Beagle dog Guy caught a break when he hitched a ride to Windsor with the Queen, but Columbia’s pooches and pussycats have their own brand of royal treatment at Lucky Dog Barbershop, a full-service grooming salon serving Northeast Columbia and surrounding areas. Caring attention and a relaxed environment for your pet pampering.  542.7221; luckydogbarbershop.com


Pilates Bodies by Victoria

Possess the power of Pilates and get a leaned, toned, stronger body at Pilates Bodies by Victoria. With top expert training, Victoria Durham brings all the proven health benefits of Pilates to devoted clients at a newly renovated convenient Main Street location. Private, semi-private and small group classes provide personal attention and service. 730.3929; pilatesbodiesbyvictoria.com


Kay Plumbing Services

No doubt, there’re days when your new best friend is the plumber and you want the best in the business. In the Midlands, it’s Kay Plumbing with the motto: “Honest Professional Work. It’s Our Reputation.”  A 24-hour/7-days-a-week plumbing company. Services cover everything from installations to repairs and inspections. They provide a written price for the work and honor that commitment. 445.3707; kayplumbing.com

Pool Company

New Wave Pools

Nothing beats the heat like a splash in your pool. Based in Columbia, New Wave Pools is on your call list with its quality craftsmanship, renovation, repair and service. Owned and operated for over 16 years by Wes Satcher, a name you can trust to provide quality value, the company has satisfied and loyal clients throughout the Carolinas. 256.7111l newwavepools.com

Private School

Ben Lippen

An accredited boarding and day school, Ben Lippen educates more than 700 pre-K through 12th grade students from a Christian perspective including a comprehensive curriculum with accelerated education programs. A wide array of opportunities in athletics, fine arts, and leadership are also offered. One hundred percent of Ben Lippen School graduates are accepted to college, consistently receiving more than $4 million in renewable scholarships. 807.4000; benlippen.com


WNOK 104.7 FM

As the longest running Top 40 radio station in America, WNOK 104.7 FM has been a leader in broadcasting for generations with a consistent standard for excellence.  It takes pride in supporting the community through local and statewide charitable events, community functions and other causes. As part of iHeartMedia, it delivers entertainment and information on air, online and through digital/social platforms. 343.1100; wnok.iheart.com

Real Estate

Exit Realty

Exit Realty has the key whether you are buying or selling, looking for your next home or finding your first one. Serving the entire Midlands, Exit Realty provides superb online resources to find the home that best fits your needs. A search engine enables you to explore the entire multiple listing service in one spot. With Exit Realty, you need not look farther when planning your next move. Multiple locations. Exitrealty.com

Salon Men

Circa Barber Shop

Circa Barber Shop wants your time in the chair to be for more than just getting a haircut. At Circa, it’s a lifestyle. As a small shop, it’s focused on the things that matter: the best haircut that you can get with well-curated grooming products made in America and a consistent experience. For convenience, service is by appointment. 730.3256; circabarbershop.com

Salon Women

Process Hair Salon

You’ll turn heads with Process Hair Salon in Forest Acres. The goal is for you to leave the salon more confident, happier and a bit lighter than when you walked in. That lift is really at the heart of what it does for men and women of all ages and walks of life. A full-service salon including waxing, makeup and extensions. Complimentary consultation. 563.5463; processhairsalon.com

Wedding Planner

Jessica Rourke

Serving brides throughout the Southeast, celebrated wedding planner and coordinator Jessica Rourke marries your vision for fresh sophistication with details that stand the test of time. Whether you want someone for the entire planning process or someone to take the reins during the final stages, Jessica Rourke and her team fulfill your dreams for a perfect day and celebrate the important things in this once-in-a-lifetime season. 767.7244; jessicarourke.com

Wedding Reception

StoneBridge Gardens and Events

As Columbia’s newest premier event venue, StoneBridge is centrally located in the St. Andrews area on a quiet piece of land away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The full-service event facilities are perfect for weddings and all other events with indoor and outdoor options on beautifully manicured grounds. A network of preferred vendors provides decorating, catering, music and clean-up services. 661.9521; stonebridgegardens.com