Did you know Sumter has a colorful history dating back more than 300 years? In the 1740s, the first English-speaking settlers established roots along the banks of the Wateree River in what was then known as “Carolina Backcountry.” Once a predominantly agricultural area, the city was originally named Sumterville in honor of American Revolutionary War general Thomas Sumter, nicknamed “The Fighting Gamecock.”
The city has come a long way since its days as a Southern plantation settlement. Today, it's known not only for its antebellum charm but its cultural and leisure offerings.
Sumter provides visitors with a variety of outdoor activities for all ages. Enjoy a bicycle ride along the Cypress Trail or a relaxing walk in Dillon Park. Play a match at the Palmetto Tennis Center, swim at a city pool, splash in the spray fountains at Crosswell Park or bike and hike at Poinsett State Park. You'll also want to check out the wildlife and natural beauty of Swan Lake Iris Gardens.
When it comes time to eat, you'll have an array of options. They include Aunt Ruth Ann’s for breakfast, Sidebar for barbecue, Demara’s Italian Restaurant for pizza or Simply Southern Bistro for delightful Southern cuisine. For fine dining, you won't go wrong with Hampton’s. If a casual dinner is more your style, try Main Street Tavern, Shuckers or Melted Whiskey.
Whether it’s a bed & breakfast or a downtown hotel, you'll rest comfortably in Sumter. Enjoy a peaceful stay at the Hyatt Place, just steps away from local restaurants, shops, century-old churches and the Sumter Opera House. Feel right at home at Sumter’s historical 1912 Bed & Breakfast or try a budget-friendly hotel like Sleep Inn, Tru by Hilton, Red Roof Inn, Holiday Inn Express & Suites or Comfort Suites.
Spend a day or two exploring Sumter’s history by visiting the Sumter Opera House and Sumter County Museum, chronicling the city's past through an exhibition of vintage objects. Arts-minded visitors will want to check out Sumter County Gallery of Art and Sumter Little Theatre.
Shopping options are just as diverse with popular spots like Wally’s Hardware, Ages Antiques, The Olive Tree and Doolallies for unique gift items, and the Sumter County Flea Market where you're bound to find something old and new.