Whether looking for quiet solitude or active fun with family and friends - Sumter has it all. For those Olympians-in-training, there’s the Sumter Aquatic Center, a public facility with a competition-sized pool, and the Palmetto Tennis Center, which offers, free of charge, 24 courts for those working on their serves and backhands. Whether walking the tree-lined streets of downtown or its various parks, Sumter offers the shade and tranquility perfect for a Sunday stroll. While still industrialized, Sumter has a soft side for the finer things in life. The arts are a rich part of Sumter’s identity, with the annual Arts Festival showcasing works from local artists. Sumter’s Opera House is probably one of our best-known landmarks. With its towering 100-foot clock tower, the Opera House is a legend in its own right. Sumterites know how to let their hair down too. At the Sumter@Six performances, attendees can hear nationally known bands from the area, such as The Tams or The Headliners, enjoy taste-testing local vendors and do the official state dance, the shag, all night long. You can also come downtown to catch a movie at the Sumter House of Movies. With all this to choose from, it’s no wonder Sumter is a part of the state whose slogan is “smiling faces, beautiful places.” Sumter might not be your hometown, but while you’re here, we hope you’ll feel at home.
Check out the Sumter Community Guide Here.
With almost 2,000 hotel rooms in a variety of hotels, Sumter can accommodate more than 3,000 overnight visitors. So if you are coming for a family reunion or to play some ball, you can stay right in the heart of Sumter.
There are too many dining opportunities in and around Sumter to list here, but diners can choose from nearly 40 locally-owned restaurants serving everything from down-home southern barbecue to ethnic goods from places across the world, to more sophisticated dining fare. Of course, in addition to our locally owned restaurants, visitors and residents can dine at all of their favorite fast food and chain "sit-down" restaurants. Click Here for a complete list of Chamber member restaurants
Known as the "Crown Jewel" of Sumter, Swan Lake-Iris Gardens is located in the heart of the city and hosts the world-famous Iris Festival each May. A half century ago, a local entrepreneur donated a parcel of land to the city with only one stipulation--that it always be used for public purposes. Later, another entrepreneur matched the gift with an adjoining parcel of land, and Swan lake-Iris Gardens came into being.
Today, Swan Lake-Iris Gardens features 165 acres of rolling landscape and a large picturesque lake surrounded by trails, boardwalks, and masterfully landscaped gardens which feature more than 6 million iris blooms each spring. But putting the "swan" in Swan Lake are hundreds of graceful majestic swans, with representative for every species of swan know to the world.
The Swan Lake-Iris Gardens complex is open to the public year round during daylight hours and features picnic areas, a playground, and tennis courts. While the park is always free to the public, the gazebo at the lake and other gathering areas can be rented for private or corporate events.
Poinsett State Park, located within Manchester State Forest, is a recreational gem for those who enjoy the great outdoors. The park, which encompasses 1,000 acres, offers separate trails for hiking, biking and trail riders. The wildlife center is the perfect place to become acquainted with the animals and reptiles indigenous to South Carolina. A hike through one of the numerous trails with the park offers light recreation while a trek through Sumter's 14-mile portion of the Palmetto Trail, a 425-mile long trail from the mountains to the sea, is a great way to relax and exercise, view wildlife and reflect on Sumter’s natural beauty. The lake at Poinsett is the perfect setting for a relaxing ride in a paddleboat, which can be rented at the park's office, while Lake Marion is ideal for kayaking and canoeing.
There are 22 parks in the city and two parks in the county. A few of those are:
- Dillon Park is the county's center of recreational activity with baseball fields, football/soccer fields, a running/walking track, and more.
- Memorial Park is open to the public year round and includes tennis courts.
- Riley Park features baseball, wrestling, concerts, and more.
- Crosswell Park includes baseball fields, tennis courts, and in-line skating court, picnic facilities, and a playground.
- Palmetto Park has a playground, five lighted baseball fields, tennis courts, and amphitheater, and a picnic area.
- The Palmetto Tennis Center is located inside Palmetto Park in Sumter, South Carolina. It boasts 24 state of the art tennis courts and is lit for night play. Three on-site tennis pros offer private lessons and group clinics for beginner to advanced players from ages three and up. Other amenities include two ball machines, stringing service, restrooms and pro shop.
- Patriot Park features soccer and baseball/softball fields surround a central control tower, which offers all the amenities spectators could want, from covered seating to a thermal design that seems to pull in breezes out of nowhere.
At these parks and at other places throughout the county, the Sumter community enjoys organized recreation for all age groups and is served by a full-time staff in four year-round community centers and 10 summer playgrounds.