Are you interested in visiting Summerville, South Carolina? It’s undoubtedly one of the best places to unwind, have fun, and connect with nature. Known as Flowertown, it’s home to the picturesque Ashley River, numerous historical sites, beautiful artworks, lively festivals, and more. With all that comes plenty of fun things to do in Summerville for all to enjoy.
There are many opportunities for visitors to enjoy the great outdoors, from viewing wildlife to kayaking. Whether here for a weekend or just on a day trip from Charleston, this South Carolina town truly has something for everybody. Here are the best things to do in Summerville, South Carolina when your visit.
Best Things to Do in Summerville, South Carolina
1. Get Lost in Azalea Park’s Natural Beauty
- Address: 105 W 5th S St, Summerville (GPS)
- Hours: Daily from: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm
Azalea Park is one of the must-see places in Summerville, SC, especially on a sunny day. Its natural beauty consists of enchanting ponds and colorful flowers. The park boasts gorgeous landscapes, eye-catching sculptures, tennis courts, and picnic areas. You can also enjoy a leisurely walk through its verdant walking trails.
Several activities await you, whether you’re in the mood for a quiet walk, a relaxing picnic under the trees, or want to admire the magnificent sunset as it envelops the park in yellow, orange, and red colors.
The park offers free admission and is open to the public from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m every day.
2. Enjoy the Edisto River
- Address: 746 County Rd S-18-30, Ridgeville (GPS)
- Cost of Admission: Per adventure ticket prices, check here.
Edisto River is found 19 miles from Summerville. It offers a wide range of thrilling outdoor activities, including kayaking, paddle boarding, and tubing. You can rent kayaks, tubes, and paddleboards from Edisto River Adventures. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a newbie or a pro as there is some kind of adventure for all skill levels.
Not a thrill seeker? You can have a picnic while feasting your eyes on the magnificent views of the river and the wilderness surrounding it.
3. Relax on the Ashley River
- Address: South Carolina (GPS)
If you can’t get enough outdoor recreational activities, check out Ashley River, where all sorts of exciting activities await you. The river has picnic areas and docks. It’s also home to diverse wildlife that allows you to watch birds like herons and egrets in their natural habitat. If you’re not into hiking, you can always try fishing at the river, or just relax with a good book in tow..
4. Join the Sweet Tea Festival
In case you don’t know, Summerville is famous for being the “birthplace of sweet tea.” One of the best times to visit the town is during the Sweet Tea Festival in September.
Thousands of visitors flock to this place to witness this significant event which features dozens of food trucks, scavenger hunts and live musical performances. Of course, there are festival-themed activities for you to join, such as the sweet tea-tasting contests.
You can try Summerville’s famous sweet tea, explore art, join arts and crafts activities, and taste all palatable food. Most importantly, you’ll get first-hand experience of the rich local culture.
5. Explore the Sawmill Branch Multi-Use Trail
- Address: Summerville, SC (GPS)
Are you ready for a leisurely walk to rid your body of stress? Trekking on the Sawmill Branch Multi-Use Trail is a great way to commune with nature and recharge your energy. You can go walking, running, or bicycling.
The 6.5-mile-long path is perfect for strolling, with many side trails that lead to other parts of Summerville. Get the workout your body needs while basking in the natural wonders of the beautiful surroundings.
6. Have Fun at Summerville Flowertown Festival
- Address: 414 S Main St, Summerville (GPS)
The Flowertown Festival originated in 1972, and has since become one of the best things to do in Summerville on a spring day! The three-day annual event at the end of March/Early April is already a significant part of the local culture.
It’s the time of the year when people can enjoy amusement rides, eat mouth-watering food from food stalls and trucks, and enjoy live music and fun outdoor games. If you’re in town when the Flowertown Festival is on, you can’t miss it.
7. Support Local by Shopping at the Farmer’s Market
- Address: 200 S Main St, Summerville (GPS)
Show your support for local farmers by buying at Summerville’s farmers’ market. This is where you can buy the freshest and most organic fruits and vegetables. There are plants and flowers available, too. Further, you can try some local baked goods, dairy products, meat, seafood, spices, and more. You’ll love the live music that happens every weekend.
The farmers’ market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. from April to November and is one of the best things to do in Summerville.
8. Get a Dose of History at Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site
- Address: 300 State Park Rd, Summerville (GPS)
- Hours: Monday -Sunday: 9:00 am -6:00 pm
The Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site is located on the banks of the Ashley River. It was a town abandoned by its residents at the start of the Revolutionary War. If you want a more historical experience, this site boasts different historic structures, such as a cemetery, an old shipping harbor, and a 1757 tabby fort.
After exploring the ruins, you can hike on the trails, enjoy a picnic, take out your fishing rods, and try catching some anglers in the river. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot some eagles, deer, hawks, and alligators.
The park opens daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission fee is $3, but children aged six and below are free.
9. Cap Off the Day at Oak Road Brewery
- Price: $
- Address: 108 E 3rd N St, Summerville (GPS)
- Hours: Wednesday & Thursday: 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Friday: 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm,
Saturday: 12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Sunday: 12:00 pm -6:00 pm, Monday and Tuesday: Closed
A visit and a few drinks at the Oak Road Brewery are one of the best ways to cap off your day at Summerville. This famous microbrewery is the first of its kind in South Carolina. This is where you can try authentic South Carolina-brewed tap beer and a selection of dishes to fill your tummy while relaxing in a laid-back environment.
10. Watch Various Ballgames at Gahagan Park
- Address: 184 W Boundary St, Summerville (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 6:00 am -10:00 pm
Crazy over ballgames? If yes, head to Gahagan Park, where you can watch various ball games, including baseball, football, and softball. There’s a playground for kids to play in as well. Remember to pack a picnic, a ball, and have a hearty snack at the park while watching or playing these fun activities.
11. Shop for Antiques at the Summerville Antique Gallery
- Address: 901 N Main St, Summerville (GPS)
- Hours: Monday- Friday: 10:00am -6:00 pm, Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm,
Sunday: 1:00 pm -4:00pm
You don’t have to be a collector to appreciate the vast array of antiques at the Summerville Antique Gallery, where more than 70 vendors display and sell their old but gold items at reasonable prices.
Find some unique vintage items, including home decorations, clothes, artwork, jewelry, toys, books, and furniture. You can spend hours checking out every treasure in this one-of-a-kind gallery.
Visit the gallery from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s also open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.p. and every Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
12. Learn About Local History at Summerville-Dorchester Museum
- Address: 100 E Doty Ave (GPS)
- Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:00pm
- Cost of Admission: Age 13 & above $5.00, Ages 4 – 12 $2.00, Age 3 & below Free
There’s no better way to learn about Summerville’s history than a trip to the Summerville-Dorchester Museum. It houses numerous historical artifacts like old weapons, artworks, rocks, furniture, and even a carriage from centuries ago. The whole museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich history and culture of Summerville and the surrounding Dorchester County area.
The exhibits offer a glimpse of the region’s Native American way of life. Educational programs are also available. This museum is situated in downtown Summerville and is a great thing to do if you are already strolling downtown.
13. Discover Middleton Place
- Address: 4300 Ashley River Rd, Charleston (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Sunday: 9:00 am -5:00 pm
- Cost of Admission: For ticket information, click here.
Another interesting to do in Summerville is discover the town’s rich history with a visit to Middleton Place. The plantation was once the residence of the Middleton family in the 18th century. Today, it’s been transformed into one of the top destinations in Summerville with its historic buildings, beautiful gardens, museum, and more. Above all, you can find the nation’s oldest landscaped gardens.
Explore that plantation’s stable yards, where you can find a blacksmith shop, pottery shop, carpentry shop, and textile shop. It also has a freedman’s home. In the 18th and 19th centuries, African and African Americans used to work in these shops.
On the other hand, the house museum still has its original furniture, paintings, decorations, and China.
Middleton Place is also an ideal venue for special occasions like weddings. Thanks to its amazingly landscaped gardens dotted with trees and adorned with colorful blooms and the Ashley River flowing by the plantation. They serve as the perfect backdrop for your special events.
14. Hunt for Sculptures
- Address: 218 S Main St B, Summerville (GPS)
Bronze sculptures are strategically located all over the town. Sculptures in the South installed these sculptures and gave them names like Follow the Leader, Dreamin’ of the Big Game, River Rapture, Flying, and more. Here’s a clue: Many of them are found in Azalea Park. Remember to take a pic of each sculpture you find.
There’s an annual show and sale conducted by Sculpture in the South in May for those who want to bring home some bronze sculptures to decorate their homes, gardens, and offices. Various sculptors participate in this event, so expect to see all kinds of sculptures by then.
15. Explore the Sweet Tea Trail
To know more about Summerville’s history and culture, you can explore the Sweet Tea Trail. Here, you’ll be treated to some of the must-see places in town, including museums, gardens, bars, restaurants, boutiques, and more. You’ll also get to see the world’s most extensive sweet tea!
The 15-foot-tall mason jar named Mason holds more than 2,500 gallons of iced tea. In 2016, it was awarded the Guinness World Record. The beverage, consisting of 210 pounds of tea from Summerville’s plantations, was brewed in Mason.
The Sweet Tea Trail offers a first-hand experience of the local culture. For instance, the Charleston Tea Plantation allows visitors to tour the plantation and factory with tea sampling. There’s also the Antiques & Artisans Village with various antiques and gift items you can buy, including body care products made of sweet tea.
You can try local delicacies and sumptuous meals at the cafes and restaurants while checking out the famous Birthplace of Sweet Tea Mural.
16. Bring Out the Child in You at Ultimate Esports Gaming
- Address: 975 Bacons Bridge Rd Unit 202, Summerville (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Friday: 10:00 am – 8:30pm, Saturday -Sunday: 12:00 pm -8:30 pm
- Cost of Admission: For ticket informations, click here.
Ultimate Esports Gaming gives you a reason to be a child again. This world-class gaming facility comprises foosball, ping pong machines, and video games. You can show off your skill at playing PlayStation and Xbox games or, better yet, organize a tournament with other visitors.
Ultimate Esports Gaming serves as the perfect birthday party venue as well. The esports arena has an area of 1600 sq. ft. and can accommodate 60 children.
17. Antique-Shopping at Auction Charleston Antique Mall
- Address: 592 Orangeburg Rd, Summerville (GPS)
- Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday: Closed
Are you fond of shopping for antiques? If yes, the Auction Charleston Antique Mall is a must-visit. This is the only antique mall in Lowcountry that still hosts live auctions. The mall has an area of 6,000 sq. ft. and can accommodate more than 50 vendors.
This antique shopping paradise has booths selling all kinds of antique furniture, jewelry, paintings, toys, housewares, and more. Consignment items are also available for auction.
18. Drop By the Summerville Museum and Research Center
- Address: 100 E Doty Ave, Summerville (GPS)
- Hours: Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 10: 00 am – 4: 00 pm
- Cost of Admission: For ticket information, click here.
Summerville is a historical town with a rich culture and tradition and the Summerville Museum and Research Center is where you can see this. They collect, preserve, and exhibit the town’s artifacts while providing educational initiatives on the natural and cultural heritage of the city it is famous for.
There are exhibits on the first and second floors, but you can also tour the center’s courtyard and the Saul Alexander garden house. If you visit on the weekend with your family, you can join the Kids’ History Club or the local Scavenger Hunt.
19. Golf at Legend Oaks Gold Club
- Address: 118 Legend Oaks Way, Summerville (GPS)
- Hours: Monday – Friday: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm, Saturday – Sunday: 7:30 am- 7:00 pm
The Legend Oaks Golf Club is ideal for golfers of all skill levels and it’s here you can show off your golfing skills at the club’s challenging course. However what inspires golfers to come here is the breathtaking view of live oak trees that have been around for 300 years, as well as the tall pine trees and various fauna that will keep you relaxed during a thrilling game of golf.
If you want to hang out after golfing, you can do so at the clubhouse, where lunch and dinner are readily available.
On the other hand, you can also drop by the Legend Oaks pool for swimming lessons or to have fun at pool parties.
20. Dine at Five Loaves Café
Summerville has numerous restaurants and cafes, but if you want a healthier and more environment-friendly alternative, head on to the Five Loaves Café. Unlike other food establishments, they’re geared towards a greener concept. The café works with local producers and manufacturers of fresh vegetables, pasta, bread, beer, and others.
With so many options to choose from, it’s a challenge to decide on what to eat. There are sandwiches, salads, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free choices. Make sure to try their daily specials featuring appetizers, soups, and entrees. Remember the chef’s specials, too.
Please have a try with one of their daily specials, which range from appetizers to soups to entrées to chef’s specials.
Whether you’re a local resident or visiting from out of town, there’s something for everyone in Summerville. From exploring its historic landmarks and stunning gardens, to sampling delicious local cuisine and taking part in outdoor recreational activities, there are plenty of things to do in Summerville!