Column view in OS X lets you quickly see where you are in the file structure and also lets you navigate using arrow keys.  If you are an avid Terminal user, you will be familiar with ls  and cd.

If you are looking for a similar functionality at the command line, take a look at ranger , which can easily be installed via Homebrew:

brew install ranger

To use it, just type ranger  and then a directory to start in.  Press q to exit.