The Ultimate Guide to Retirement in Lexington, SC

Just west of South Carolina’s Capital City of Columbia, on the shores of Lake Murray is Lexington. Seated in Lexington County, the Town of Lexington itself is steeped in history that predates the Revolutionary War. In 1735, the colonial government of King George II established 11 townships in backcountry South Carolina to encourage settlement. The townships included one named Saxe Gotha, which flourished with major crops of corn, wheat, tobacco, hemp, and flax as well as beeswax and livestock. In 1785, the name Saxe Gotha was replaced with Lexington County, in commemoration of the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts.

The community was incorporated as the Town of Lexington in 1861 and during Sherman’s March to the Sea in the American Civil War, much of the town of Lexington was destroyed by Union forces. Like much of the South after the Civil War, Lexington struggled economically, but local farms and the lumber industry helped stabilize the economy after Reconstruction. The introduction of the automobile in the 1920s and its mass production in the 1940s and 1950s prompted Lexington to grow as a suburb of Columbia. Additionally, the creation of Lake Murray in 1930 encouraged many to move to Lexington. Today it’s a thriving suburb of Columbia and continues to welcome new residents each year as the population and desirability of living in South Carolina continue to flourish.

Tax Benefits

One of the many reasons that Lexington is a popular retirement destination is the tax friendliness for seniors. In fact, South Carolina is one of the most tax-friendly states in the entire country. Here are a few reasons why:

Zero Social Security Tax

South Carolina is one of the many states that imposes no tax on social security benefits. This is important because social security is relied on by millions of older Americans. No social security tax means more disposable income for retirees in Lexington.

Deduct Up to $15,000 from Income Taxes

A $15,000 income tax deduction is available to South Carolina residents over the age of 65. It is applicable to all forms of retirement income, including that from 401(k) plans, IRAs and pension plans. This tax deduction is a great way for Lexington residents to save money during retirement.

Low Property Taxes

South Carolina has one of the lowest effective property tax rates in the country, at just 0.57%. In addition to paying this low rate, South Carolina seniors who’ve lived in the state over a year can benefit from a “homestead exemption,” which exempts them from property taxes on the first $50,000 of their home’s value.


Great weather is one of the many reasons people enjoy retiring in Lexington. On average, temperatures range from 34°F to 56°F in January (the coldest month) and from 72°F to 93°F in July (the warmest month). Snowfall is rare in this region, with an average of just 1 inch of snow per year, compared to a US average of 28 inches per year. What winters may lack snow is made up for in rainfall, making the area agreeable for growing your favorite vegetables and flowers such as petunias and roses. On average, the city receives 47 inches of rainfall per year, which is slightly higher than the US average of 38 inches.

Health & Wellness

When relocating to a new area, familiarizing yourself with local healthcare options is an important task. One of the most appealing features of Lexington, South Carolina is the close proximity to top-rated healthcare services for area residents.

The area’s premier healthcare systems are Prisma Health Alliance and Providence Health. Their convenient locations and comprehensive operating hours offer a peace of mind for the city’s residents.

Healthcare Systems / Hospitals

Prisma Health Alliance

Prisma Health is inspired to help people live their healthiest lives. As the most comprehensive integrated healthcare system in South Carolina, they’re on a journey to transform the healthcare experience for patients and their families. Prisma Health is a product of the merger of two of the largest healthcare systems in the area – Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health. These two groups merged together to bring high quality care with lower costs to patients.

Providence Health

Providence Health was founded as Providence Hospitals in 1938 by the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine. In 2016, they became a part of the LifePoint Health network and changed their name to Providence Health. The company’s mission is to make communities healthier by Extending Christ’s Healing Ministry, combining the mission of LifePoint Health with their Catholic commitment.

  • Provide Health – Northeast

    Providence Health-Northeast is a bright and spacious full-service hospital in the Northeast suburbs of Columbia, South Carolina. This community hospital campus is large enough to provide nationally-recognized care, yet small enough to feel its connected, faith-based compassion. They have an excellent outpatient facility, emergency room, and orthopedic surgery program.
  • Providence Health – Fairfield

    Providence Health-Fairfield is a brand new Emergency Room in Winnsboro, South Carolina, providing quick and easy access to high quality emergency care for the community of Fairfield County.

Lexington Medical Center

A standalone nonprofit hospital in West Columbia, Lexington Medical Center anchors a health care network that includes five community medical centers. Lexington Medical Center operates one of the busiest Emergency departments in South Carolina, treating nearly 100,000 patients each year. The hospital delivers more than 4,000 babies each year and performs more than 25,000 surgeries. Lexington Medical Center has a reputation for the highest quality care and has been named Columbia’s “Best Hospital”.

Fitness Centers and Nutritionists

A vital part of maintaining and improving your overall health is through exercise and diet. When researching gyms in a local area, you may find that you have too many options, and it can be overwhelming. Identifying age-friendly fitness centers can improve the quality of workout you’re doing. The International Council on Active Aging offers a fantastic resource to help you find the perfect fitness center for you. Nutrition is another aspect of wellness that is crucial to reaching that goal weight or optimal fitness you’re looking for. You can use this tool from HealthGrades to help you identify someone who specializes in dietetics.

Senior Living Communities

Retirement communities are an excellent choice for seniors in Lexington. Eliminate the burdens of home maintenance while indulging in culinary programs, unique social events, activities, daily wellness programs and access to industry-best care services. The top-rated community in this area is Wellmore of Lexington which offers Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing, and Rehabilitation. Wellmore is committed to helping seniors live longer, healthier, happier lives in their community. To learn more about Wellmore of Lexington, visit their website.

Food & Drink

A melting pot of unique fare and libations, Lexington’s food and drink offers a wide range of cuisine options for residents. From authentic southern BBQ and classic Italian to authentic chinese and Sunday brunch, there’s a lot to choose from. Here are the top-rated restaurants and drinks in Lexington:

Top-Rated Restaurants in Lexington:

Alodia’s Cucina Italiana

101 W Main St, Lexington, SC 29072

Named after his Great-Grandmother, Alodia, Proprietor Adam Huneau’s first restaurant has been wowing taste buds with his authentic Italian cuisine. The dishes are recipes that have been pulled from the pages of his family’s cookbook. Alodia’s fare and ambiance resounds with the smells and tastes of Old Italy. Fresh sauces and homemade pastas are the foundation of the menu that brought generations together.

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Libby’s of Lexington

116 W Main St, Lexington, SC 29072-2632

Libby’s Of Lexington is a quaint dining establishment that was opened in 2010 by Clint LaCoe. Libby’s offers a wide variety of food choices in a family-friendly atmosphere with an expansive menu with everything from Shanghai shrimp and bruschetta to smothered chicken, Folly Beach shrimp, Philly cheese steaks and Greek salads.

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Momma Rabbit’s Nibbles and Sips

5082 Sunset Blvd Ste A, Lexington, SC 29072-7052

Momma Rabbit’s was conceptualized by eight siblings who grew up as an agrarian homeschooling family learning to grow crops organically, along with raising sheep, goats, and free-range chickens. They always wanted to expand their family business together to combine their love of whole foods with a desire to serve with family-friendly Southern hospitality.

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Flight Deck Restaurant and Bakery

109 Old Chapin Rd Ste A, Lexington, SC 29072-2065

Flight Deck Restaurant is an aviation themed restaurant and a local Lexington favorite. Whether you choose a traditional American Entrée, Authentic Greek dish, or the Blue Plate Special, your order will always be Top Gun!

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Hudson Smokehouse Barbeque

4952 Sunset Blvd, Lexington, SC 29072-9254

Hudson Smokehouse is the brainchild of brothers, Clint and Clay Hudson. When they were younger their father would wake up early and man the grill all day to create impeccable barbeque ribs. The fellowship of family and friends who joined for these occasions created a larger than life tale of these excellent meals. The brothers decided to pursue their hobby full time and began offering Dad’s barbeque to the world. The food was a hit and the Smokehouse has since been featured on Turner South’s “Blue Ribbon Award Show” as one of the top BBQ joints in the south.

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Top Drinks in Lexington:

O’Hara’s Public House

131 E. Main Street, Lexington, SC 29072

This Irish Pub embodies the spirit of The Emerald Isle in the heart of Lexington. You can find Irish classics alongside the best of American comfort foods with a full selection of beer, wine, and spirits. Your clan awaits at O’Hara’s.

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The Casual Pint

217 Saluda Springs Rd, Lexington, SC 29072, USA

This bar is a fun spot with an upscale, yet casual atmosphere. They have a unique variety of popular local and domestic craft beers for customers to choose from. The in-house Beer Market allows visitors to grab and go with Growler Fills, Mix-A-Six Packs or packaged beer off the shelves.

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The DAM House

1830 N. Lake Drive, Lexington, SC

Located at The Lake Murray Dam, this waterside retreat is all about good people who enjoy having a “DAM GOOD” Time. Whether you prefer drinking a cold one while playing the disc golf course, playing corn hole by the outdoor bar, or warming up with a glass of wine by the firepit area, this spot is for you!

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The Hidden Tavern

240 Wing Hill Dr, Lexington, SC 29072

Your quintessential dive bar in Lexington that is a hidden treasure! It’s a fun spot with pool tables, dart boards, and patio seating by the pond. If you’re looking to keep it cool and casual, The Hidden Bar hosts Happy Hour daily until 7pm.

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For those who enjoy shopping, Lexington has a range of options. Whether you prefer strolling through big shopping malls, stopping at a big box retailer or browsing local boutiques, you’re sure to find somewhere that meets your shopping needs. Here’s the breakdown of the top places to shop in Lexington:

Lexington Place

US-378, Lexington, SC 29072

Located on the bustling drag of US-378, Lexington Place is home to large national retailers including Walmart, Home Depot, TJ Maxx, Kohls, PetCo, Lowes, Office Depot and more!

Lexington Pavilion

5109 Sunset Blvd, Lexington, SC 29072

A trendy shopping mall with middle sized retailers, Lexington Pavilion is perfect for everyday shopping. It’s home to a Cost Plus World Market, Target, Fab’rik, PetSmart, Best Buy, Lane Bryant, Cacique, Kay Jewelers, and more!

Columbiana Centre

100 Columbiana Circle, Columbia, SC 29212

Minutes from Lexington in Columbia, Columbia Place mall has everything that you need. Whether you’re searching for a special something or just want to spend the day exploring the hottest new items, visit Columbiana Centre and you’ll find just what you’re looking for. Stores in the mall include Coach, Aldo, Finish Line, American Eagle, Belk, JCPenney, Sephora, White House Black Market, Simply Southern, Palmetto Moon, and more!


While there aren’t any Major League sports teams in the area, residents of Columbia are rooting for Carolina based teams like the Carolina Panthers (NFL), Charlotte Hornets (NBA), and Carolina Hurricanes (NHL).

The proximity to Columbia allows residents to enjoy Minor league sports events from the Columbia Fireflies (MiLB Low-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals).

While there aren’t many professional teams, collegiate sports reign supreme in the area as locals enjoy attending University of South Carolina (USC) Gamecocks sporting events. Additionally, they’re continually cheering for Carolina-based teams like the USC Gamecocks, Clemson Tigers, UNC Chapel Hill Tarheels, Duke University Blue Devils, Wofford Terriers, and more!

Parks & Recreation

The Town of Lexington is home to a variety of parks, and recreation facilities for both residents and visitors alike to enjoy. Here are a few of the top parks, and recreation facilities in Lexington:

Gibson Pond

241 Gibson Rd, Lexington, SC 29072

An oasis in Lexington, Gibson Pond Park is the perfect spot to spend the day with family and friends. It has a large covered picnic shelter, fishing pond with dock, and miles of walking trails!

Lexington Paw Park

999 Hendrix St, Lexington, SC 29072

The Town of Lexington Paw Park is a quality of life feature and the first dedicated to our 4-legged friends. The 3-acre park provides dogs and their owners a wonderful atmosphere to play, socialize and interact.

Three Rivers Greenway

The Three Rivers Greenway is actually composed of the West Columbia Riverwalk and the Cayce Riverwalk. This beautiful series of riverfront pathways, at the confluence of the Broad, Saluda and Congaree rivers, includes lighted trails and boardwalks, an outdoor amphitheatre, restrooms, wayside exhibits, picnic areas and scenic overlooks.

Vista Greenway

930 Laurel Street, Columbia, SC, 29201

Traveling for nearly a mile in downtown Columbia, this first segment of the Vista Greenway features a 100-year-old railroad tunnel stretching 400 feet under Lincoln Street. Although short, the new rail-trail has helped transform what was once an unpleasant corridor of the city into a vibrant and critical link for pedestrians and cyclists between residential neighborhoods. Eventually, the trail is planned to be a nine-mile route serving the Greater Columbia Area.

Arts & Entertainment

Music Venues

Having the opportunity to see your favorite musician or to kick back with some great sounds is easy! Lexington provides the best of both worlds from national acts to local performers, there are a variety of small and large venues nearby to listen to the music of your choice! Some of the top locations to enjoy performers are:

  • Icehouse Amphitheater 
  • Clinton Sease Farm
  • Columbia Speedway Entertainment Center
  • Colonial Life Arena
  • The Senate
  • Township Auditorium
  • Chayz Lounge


For residents and visitors alike, there is an abundance of knowledge waiting to be learned about the area’s historic sites, museums, zoos, gardens, and more. Some of the best day trips are just minutes away and are frequented by residents and visitors alike, which include:

  • Riverbanks Zoo & Garden

    Opened in 1974, the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is a 170 acre zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden that is located along the Saluda River. The zoo is home to over 2,000 animals that represent more than 350 species.

  • Lexington County Museum

    Lexington County Museum offers a unique learning opportunity to view structures and artifacts that focus on sharing the life stories of local residents from the colonial period to the Civil War. Founded in 1970, the museum complex sprawls across seven acres in downtown Lexington and features more than 30 historic structures that have been moved to the site from locations throughout the county.

  • South Carolina State Museum

    Founded in 1988, the State Museum is the primary storyteller of the history of South Carolina. It is the state’s largest and most comprehensive museum and is located along the banks of the Congaree River in downtown Columbia. The State Museum has four disciplines that reflect the richness of South Carolina’s history. The museum’s collection contains more than 70,000 artifacts. The museum’s four disciplines represent South Carolina Art, Natural History, Science & Technology, and Cultural History.

  • ​Columbia Museum of Art

    The Columbia Museum of Art sparks powerful connections through art from around the corner and around the world in an environment that is welcoming to all. In addition to their rotating exhibitions, the CMA has a fantastically diverse permanent collection of art. In fact, they have one of the largest and most impressive international collections in the southeast, including many Renaissance and Baroque pieces.



Since Columbia is a hub within the middle of the State of South Carolina, there are major interstates that stretch in each direction. Interstates 26 takes travelers east and west while Interstate 77 takes them north and south. Interstate 20 is a direct route for travelers to Augusta and Atlanta, Georgia.

Public Transport

The new transit system in the Midlands area is called The Comet. Since this is a newer transportation system they are continually updating routes and have plans to expand. It is a great way to get from point A to point B at a minimal cost of $2.00. To learn more about routes and The Comet, visit their website.


The flexibility of closeby airport options makes it easy to host friends and family or to head out on vacation. The closest airport to Lexington is the Lexington County Airport at Pelion. The airport offers no commercial flights but welcomes private aviation. Options for commercial aviation include:

  • Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE)

    Located just 5 miles south of Columbia, this is the main commercial airport for Columbia and the Midlands region of South Carolina. Annually, the airport serves about 1 million passengers through American, Delta, Silver Airways and United. Top destinations include Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, NC, and Dallas/Fort Worth, TX.
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)

    Located in Charlotte, North Carolina, Charlotte Douglas International Airport is approximately 1.5 hours north of Lexington. This airport is ranked among the Top 10 Busiest Airports in the World, averaging 1,600 daily aircraft operations. CLT serves approximately 178 nonstop destinations around the globe and welcomes more than 50 million passengers annually.
Lexington Awaits

Lexington is a charming town just minutes outside of Columbia. Its proximity to major attractions, history, affordability, tax benefits, and weather make it an attractive choice for retirement. You’ll wonder why you didn’t move here sooner.

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Mt. Airy, North Carolina
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