downtown_Columbia_SCImage via Flickr by TimothyJ

Columbia exudes fun. The downtown area is ideal for guests who want to be in the center of all the action, and best of all, Columbia’s downtown is extremely affordable. This walkable city exhibits southern charm and hospitality at every turn. Here are the best downtown hotels in Columbia, SC:

Closest to USC: Clarion Hotel Downtown

Located at the corner of Gervais and Bull Streets, this affordable hotel is close to the Columbia Museum of Art and the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. With free WiFi and parking, a sparkling pool, and in-room coffee service, the Clarion Hotel Downtown provides everything a traveler on a budget needs, and it’s located right across the street from the University of South Carolina.

Best Amenities: Hilton Columbia Center

Bring the entire family – including Fido – to this elegant hotel. The Hilton Columbia Center features a fitness center, children’s activities, free high-speed Internet, and a pool. In addition to its 222 standard rooms, it offers a variety of suite options for visitors requiring a little more space. Added plus: amazing views from the corner rooms.

Most Romantic: Inn at USC Wyndham Garden

The Inn at USC Wyndham Garden is the type of place where you’ll spend afternoons on the porch, rocking your cares away and chatting with new friends. Breakfast and WiFi are included with the rooms. The Inn is conveniently located across the street from the University of South Carolina. Added plus: balcony rooms offer beautiful views of the tree-lined streets.

Most Character: Inn at Claussen’s

A former bakery, the Inn at Claussen’s exudes character. The rooms are tastefully decorated and the property features many points of architectural interest including exposed pipes and a spiral staircase. This is not a cookie-cutter hotel. It offers free WiFi and breakfast as well as newspapers and coffee in the lobby. A small fitness center is available to guests. Added plus: free breakfast is delivered to guests’ rooms.

Best Cookies: Hampton Inn Columbia – Downtown Historic District

This Inn is within walking distance of many restaurants and bars, just blocks from the statehouse in a quaint part of downtown. Breakfast and WiFi is included with the room. Guests will love the cookies in the lobby and evening snacks after a long day of sight-seeing. Added plus: check out Ristorante Divino across the street for good Italian food.

Most Historic: Sheraton Columbia Downtown

This beautiful historic structure makes guests feel like royalty as they walk in the door. The hotel has taken great care to preserve the building’s original woodwork and marble floors. Decor is traditional southern elegance with a smack of whimsy in keeping details original to the building like the old bank vault in the lobby. Added plus: visit the rooftop bar at sunset for amazing views.

Unlike many metropolitan hot spots, Columbia’s downtown hotels are economically priced. Travelers can find affordable Columbia hotels on Hipmunk. Guests can find hotel options to meet any budget. The walkability of this capital city allows visitors to park their cars and enjoy the many wonderful restaurants and shops.

What are some of your favorite downtown Columbia hotels? Let us know in the comments below!