Visit Summerville SC: The Ultimate Guide to “Flowertown”

Nestled in the heart of the Lowcountry, Summerville SC exudes southern charm and hospitality. Located just a short drive from Charleston, Summerville offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life while still being conveniently close to urban amenities. Its prime location allows visitors to enjoy the best of both worlds – the tranquility of small-town living and the cultural richness of nearby cities.

Azalea Park in Summerville SC

Azalea Park exemplifies the Flowertown moniker, serving as a great “in-between activities” space for families and couples. Photo credit: Paul Zoeller

Why is Summerville known as Flowertown?

Summerville earned its charming nickname, “Flowertown,” due to its picturesque landscapes adorned with vibrant blooms. The town is particularly famous for its azaleas, which blanket the area in stunning shades of pink, white, and purple during the springtime. Visitors flock to Summerville each year to witness this breathtaking display of nature's beauty, making it a must-see destination for flower enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Summerville SC is known for its vibrant festival scene. Held annually in April, the Flowertown Festival is Summerville's premier event, drawing thousands of visitors from near and far. Featuring live music, arts and crafts vendors, delicious food, and, of course, stunning displays of azaleas, this beloved festival is a highlight of the spring season. The 2024 Summerville Family YMCA Flowertown Festival takes place April 5-7 at Azalea Park, 200 S Main Street in Summerville.

Vendor serving unlimited soda refills at Flowertown Festival

One of many vendors at the Flowertown Festival in April (yes, that reads unlimited refills!) Photo credit: Summerville Family YMCA Flowertown Festival (Facebook)

When is the best time to visit Summerville SC?

Flowers aren't the only reason to have a festival in Summerville. Every September, Summerville pays homage to its southern roots with the Sweet Tea Festival, a celebration of the iconic southern beverage. This family-friendly event features sweet tea tastings, live entertainment, food trucks, and activities for all ages. You can also experience the magic of the holiday season at Christmas in Summerville, a festive celebration held throughout December. From tree lighting ceremonies and holiday parades to visits with Santa Claus and festive light displays, there's no shortage of holiday cheer in Summerville SC.

Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site in Summerville SC

Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site is one of the top-rated South Carolina attractions. Photo credit: Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site (Tripadvisor)

Flowertown fun: Things to do in Summerville SC

Summerville boasts a position of being “at the heart of it all” — and for good reason. Summerville attractions are sure to satisfy any type of traveler, from the finnicky foodie to the tree-hugging outdoor enthusiast. If you're only there for a short time, we recommend the following destinations.

  1. Explore Azalea Park: Spend a relaxing day surrounded by nature at Azalea Park, where acres of lush greenery and blooming flowers await. Pack a picnic, take a scenic stroll along the winding pathways, or simply unwind beneath the shade of a towering oak tree.
  2. Visit the Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site: Step back in time and explore the remnants of an early American settlement dating back to the late 17th century. Discover the archaeological remains of the original settlement, including the brick ruins of St. George's Anglican Church, which was constructed in the 18th century and later destroyed during the Revolutionary War. Take a leisurely stroll along the nature trails that wind through the scenic landscape surrounding Colonial Dorchester. Enjoy peaceful walks through wooded areas, marshlands, and along the Ashley River, while keeping an eye out for native wildlife and bird species.
  3. Stroll through Historic Downtown Summerville: Take a leisurely walk through Summerville SC's historic downtown area, where you'll find quaint shops, charming cafes, and beautifully preserved architecture. Don't miss the iconic Flowertown Bed and Breakfast, a Victorian-style inn that exudes old-world charm.
  4. Go on a culinary adventure: Indulge your taste buds in Summerville's diverse culinary scene, which offers everything from southern comfort food to international cuisine. Be sure to sample local specialties like shrimp and grits, barbecue, and freshly caught seafood. On Saturdays from April to December, you can pick up fresh-caught seafood, local produce, baked goodies, and more at the Summerville Farmers' Market — located at the First Citizens Bank parking lot directly behind Summerville Town Hall.
Flowertown Bed and Breakfast

Stay at the charming Flowertown Bed and Breakfast | Photo credit: Walter E (Tripadvisor)

Where to stay in Summerville

Summerville SC offers a variety of accommodations to suit every traveler's needs and budget. In addition to the previously mentioned Flowertown Bed and Breakfast, you'll find plenty of options to choose from. Some popular places to stay in Summerville include:

  1. Cambria Hotel Summerville: Take advantage of an outdoor pool, flexible meeting space, and on-site dining.
  2. Hilton Garden Inn SummervilleEach suite is quipped with plush bedding, ergonomic workstations, flat-screen TVs, and complimentary Wi-Fi. The 24-hour market is perfect for late-night snack cravings or forgotten travel essentials. Use free shuttle service to get to select businesses and attractions in Summerville.
  3. Hampton Inn SummervilleStart the day off in Summerville right with complimentary hot breakfast. The fitness center houses cardio equipment, free weights, and strength training gear to stay in shape while on vacation. Alternatively, relax at the outdoor pool.
Swig & Swine Summerville BBQ platter

Empty space is discouraged on the platters at Swig & Swine BBQ in Summerville. Photo credit: Brent K (Tripadvisor)

Where to eat in Summerville

Summerville boasts a diverse culinary scene, with restaurants serving up everything from traditional southern fare to international cuisine. Whether you're craving barbecue, seafood, or farm-to-table dishes, you'll find plenty of delicious options to satisfy your appetite. Some popular dining establishments in Summerville SC include:

  1. Swig & Swine: Known for its mouthwatering barbecue and laid-back atmosphere, Swig & Swine is a must-visit destination for barbecue enthusiasts. From tender smoked meats to savory sides and homemade sauces, every dish is packed with flavor.
  2. The Icehouse Restaurant: Housed in a historic building dating back to the 1800s, The Icehouse Restaurant serves up southern-inspired cuisine in a charming setting. From fresh seafood to hearty steaks and classic Lowcountry favorites, there's something for everyone on the menu.
  3. Matt's Burgers: Craving a juicy burger? Look no further than Matt's Burgers, where you'll find mouthwatering burgers made with premium beef and piled high with your favorite toppings. Pair your burger with a side of hand-cut fries or onion rings for the ultimate comfort food experience.

Summerville, South Carolina, offers a delightful blend of natural beauty, rich history, and southern hospitality. Whether you're exploring the town's charming downtown area, attending one of its vibrant festivals, or indulging in its diverse culinary scene, you're sure to fall in love with everything this blossoming gem has to offer. So pack your bags, hit the road, and discover the magic of Summerville SC for yourself!

Want to learn more about the best places to visit in the Lowcountry? Check out our recommendations for exploring the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.

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