Columbia has been voted the country’s “Coolest Up-and-Coming City” by readers of Hemispheres magazine, United Airlines’ in-flight publication.
The results of the magazine’s inaugural reader’s choice awards were announced Tuesday. Columbia beat out finalists Asheville, N.C., Indianapolis, Ind., Louisville, Ky., and Boise, Idaho to claim the title.
Regional tourism organization Experience Columbia SC entered the city in as many relevant categories as possible after learning of the magazine awards in May, according to a news release. The city was nominated in the “Coolest Up-and-Coming City” category in June, and Experience Columbia SC shared voting links on its social media channels.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by such an established publication as Hemispheres, and especially in such great company with the other destinations who were nominated,” Bill Ellen, president and CEO of Experience Columbia SC, said in the release. “It’s incredible how much growth has taken place in our community. We’ve been saying for a couple years now that Columbia is experiencing such exciting momentum and this accolade certainly helps bolster that claim.”
The magazine notes Columbia’s “blend of old-school charm and urban cool,” highlighting the University of South Carolina’s history and the growing Main Street district.
Other categories include “Best City for the Arts” (New York City) and “Best City for Sports Lovers” (Boston).
The September issue of the magazine is available for free download.