Most people from Massachusetts have an immediate reaction when they hear someone someone say, “Summerville.” They think of Somerville, Mass. Younger people imagine the newer, desirable, trendy urban city. For old people like Mr and Mrs Ram, they recall that gritty, working class city. It was a place that, as soon as you could afford it, you moved out.
Summerville, South Carolina is not like either of those places.. This booming suburban city of Charleston can be found on several lists of best places to retire. That is how it made it onto our list of places to stop.
Our drive in from the highway exposed us to the usual suburban stores such as Walmart, Target, Lowe’s and Kohl’s. Continuing on Route Alt 17 brought us to the center of town and a great local restaurant, Eva’s on Main. We enjoyed lunch with iced tea. The sweet tea was too sweet for Mr Ram. Our waitress, Candice, suggested a half sweet, half unsweetened mix that was good.
Speaking of ice tea, we learned that Summerville, the birthplace of sweet tea, holds the record for the largest sweet iced tea ever made. The massive mason jar of tea stood 15 feet tall and held 2,524 gallons of sweet tea. They used 120 pounds of tea and 1700 pounds of sugar to make that jar of tea.
The monument to that great jar of tea is located next to the parking garage in the downtown.
Walking around the center we found many of the BIRDS – short for Birds In Residence Downtown Summerville. These bird sculptures and one mural are on buildings scattered around the downtown. We enjoyed our walk around town searching for the birds and stopping in stores.
We were told that the tree lighting was just a few days away. It sounded fun but we would be long gone by then. Other events during the year include the Third Thursday Music, the Sweet Tea Festival, Farmers Markets, Flowertown Festival and a Low Country Author event.
We drove though several new areas as we continued south seeing attractive new developments. However the many, new multi story houses made us wonder if they were really designed for retirees.