One of the U.S. Army’s largest training areas, Fort Jackson is the focal point of enormous economic, professional, and social activity in [node:78898 link Columbia, though it’s of little interest (or even noticeable) to the civilian visitor.
There is, however, the Fort Jackson Museum (4442 Jackson Blvd., 803/751-7419, Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–4 p.m., free) across from post headquarters, which contains thousands of artifacts of Army history from roughly World War I to the present. Get a visitors pass at the front gate.
As with any U.S. military facility, make sure you have your auto registration or rental car contract in hand along with proof of insurance, and always obey the speed limit.
Fort Jackson also hosts several smaller, more focused museums that might be of great interest to the hardcore military buff. The U.S. Army Adjutant General’s Corps Museum (Bldg. 4392, Strom Thurmond Blvd., 803/751-1747, Tues.–Fri. noon–4 p.m., free) details the history of the Army’s “human resource” component, including bands, postal service, and morale.
The U.S. Army Chaplain Museum (10100 Lee Rd., 803/751-8079, Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–4 p.m., free) chronicles the history of Army chaplains of all faiths from the Revolution to the present day.
And the U.S. Army Finance Corps Museum (803/751-3771, www.finance.army.mil/finmus.htm , Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–4 p.m., free), honors the unit of the Army responsible for meeting its huge payroll.