A modest but colorful sign featuring a swan and an iris welcome you to Sumter, South Carolina. This would be an odd choice for any other town in America, but Sumter is famous for its Swan Lake-Iris Gardens.
Swan Lake-Iris Gardens features all eight swan species, and is also home to some of the nation's most concentrated plantings of Japanese iris. The Bland Gardens area offers visitors the unique opportunity of meandering through a cypress swamp.
Sumter has put a great deal of effort into revitalizing its downtown... and it shows. Along the tree covered, brick walkways you'll find small shops and eateries that feature brightly colored awnings. Here and there shops are off-set by beautiful fountains and colorful plantings. This inviting area begs you to stroll around a while.
The Sumter Opera House is located on North Main Street in Downtown Sumter. It's nearly impossible to find the words to describe this grandiose stone building which features red pointed roofs and a stately clock tower. Built in the 1890s, it still serves as a center for the performing arts. Sumter also offers a nice mix of music with its yearly outdoor concert series. No doubt, entertainment is truly alive and well in Sumter!
If art is your passion, be sure to visit the Artists Colony of Sumter, where you'll find a diverse community of local artists perfecting their craft.
Sumter is the 8th largest city in South Carolina, home to about 45,000 people.
The City of Sumter is 44 miles east of Columbia, and 100 miles north of Charleston, just off of Interstate 95.