It’s more than the strong grocery store game that makes Forest Acres great — though being home to both the Midlands’ only Trader Joe’s and a shiny new Lowes Foods is pretty nice. Really, the best part is the ability to live in a laidback, tree-strewn suburban environment so close to downtown and everything else that the Columbia area has to offer.
Honorable mentions: Earlewood, Rosewood
Best New Home Community
Saluda River Club
Runner-up: Cobblestone Park
What’s that? You’re looking for somewhere fancy to live in Lexington County? Well, look no further. The Saluda River Club is loaded with spacious, soaring homes and plenty of amenities. It’s got community gardens, a dog park, an outdoor center, playgrounds, walking trails and a fitness center. The community also, obviously, features access to the Saluda River.
Honorable mention: Concord Park
Best Apartment Community
Runner-up: 700 Woodrow
Need a place to live? Want to live by the river? Then live here, in this riverfront apartment community, which offers luxurious amenities like soaring ceilings, huge walk-in closets, hardwood and concrete floors, prime access to the Three Rivers Greenway Esplanade, and, of course, scenic views of the Congaree.
Honorable mentions: Granby Crossing, Vista Towers Apartments
Best Retirement Community
Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community
Runner-up: Wildewood Downs Retirement
Still Hopes wins points with our readers for its varied offerings, from independent retirement lodgings to facilities for those with advanced nursing needs. There’s even a special neighborhood for those with memory care needs. It’s close to the heart of Columbia, too.
Honorable mentions: The Heritage at Lowman, Laurel Crest Retirement Center
Best Off-Campus Student Housing
Olympia & Granby Mills
Runner-up: Hub At Columbia
Forget those cookie-cutter student-housing developments that are covering the city quicker than kudzu. These former textile mills offer all the amenities a college kid could want — a gym, a pool, a fully booked social calendar — plus heaps of industrial charm.
Honorable mention: The Retreat at Columbia