Lexington County has a lot going on these days.

For one thing, its population has soared. Lexington County had a population of about 169,000 per the 1990 U.S. Census; now, the bureau estimates more than 290,000 people live in the county.

The area also has an identity of its own, distinct from nearby Columbia, with events and restaurants giving county residents more reasons to stay on the west side of the river for their entertainment and dining.

But each section of the county retains its own identity, too.


Cayce has put time and money into its gorgeous riverwalks, and its quaint Avenues neighborhood is an a affordable and close-to-Columbia alternative to Rosewood and Shandon.


This prosperous town north of Lake Murray can feel like a world apart. The nearby lake is ringed by marinas and upscale homes.

Gaston and Swansea

In the south part of Lexington County you’ll find the State Farmers Market and industries like Zeus and Eastman. Rolling sandy hills make for some wide-open vistas.

Gilbert, Batesburg-Leesville and Pelion

The western part of the county is home to some serious farmland — and, in Batesburg-Leesville, some serious barbecue.

Irmo and Harbison

The town of Irmo features suburban living, good schools and convenient access to Lake Murray. The Harbison shopping area just off of I-26, with Columbiana Centre mall at its heart, is the Midlands’ main shopping draw when it comes to national retailers.

Town of Lexington

Lexington’s Main Street is buzzing, with craft beer, a coffee shop, restaurants and clothing boutiques. The Icehouse Amphitheater hosts concerts and events.

Central Lexington County

Things are booming in communities like Red Bank, Pine Ridge, South Congaree and Springdale. The Columbia Metropolitan Airport and two major freeways are nearby.

West Columbia

With the Brookland development going up near the Riverwalk Amphitheater, West Columbia is beating Columbia at the riverfront development game. The city is also home to some decent taquerias.

Use our Guide to Lexington County to help you plan a family weekend or a night out. And keep an eye out for Free Times, which hits racks every Wednesday and is available at free-times.com. We cover events, culture and news throughout the Midlands.

Events & Festivals
Outdoors & Recreation
Bars & Nightlife

We're improving out commenting experience.

We’ve temporarily removed comments from articles while we work on a new and better commenting experience. In the meantime, subscribers are encouraged to join the conversation on our Free Times Facebook page.