Top 10 Things to Discover in Sumter

Nestled in the middle of the state, not too far from the mountains or ocean, is where the heart of South Carolina lives. In Sumter, you’d be hard-pressed not to find an event or festival taking place. While Sumter has countless activities to have fun-filled days, weekends and months, we narrowed the list to help you navigate your visit to Sumter.

For more information, on visiting these places and more, contact the

Sumter Convention and Visitor's Bureau
822 W. Liberty Street, Sumter SC 29150
(803) 436-2640 

Also, check out our interactive map at the bottom for more information and places to Eat, Stay and Play in Sumter, SC!



For a full list of community events, visit

1.) Go to a Festival

Sumter has festivals for every season! Here's a list of just a few, for a full list of events, visit our online calendar.

  • Festival on the Avenue (2nd Weekend in April) - a West African Bimbé festival of harvest, held every spring in the spirit of sharing, includes traditional soul food, music, art, dance, parades, and living history that showcases the creativity and vitality of South Sumter Community.
  • Bethune Legacy Festival (3rd Weekend in May) - a festival to celebrate an American History Icon, Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune. Mrs. Bethune was an advisor to four U.S. Presidents, a national champion of human rights, as well as the founder of Bethune-Cookman College and was born and raised in Sumter, SC.
  • Iris Festival (Memorial Day Weekend) - This three-day festival is one of the old continuous running festivals in the state of South Carolina. It includes concerts, arts & crafts, pageants, plants & flowers, antique & classic car shows, a number of contests, concerts and lots of children's activities. Continuously named one of the top 20 events in the Southeas
  • OktoberFest on Main (3rd Saturday in September) - downtown Sumter transforms into little Germany for a grand evening full of german food, music and heritage.
  • Porches of Sumter (1st Thursday in October) - ever wonder what sipping tea on the veranda was like? This is the event for you. Stroll the historic streets of Hampton Park area and visit as homeowners open their homes and share their stories with visitors.
  • Fantasy of Lights (December 1-31) - For the entire month of December, the Swan Lake Iris Gardens come alive with a display of twinkling holiday imagery created by more than one million lights.

2.) Visit a State Park

3.) Outdoor Markets

  • South Sumter Farmer’s and Flea on Manning Avenue, open Friday afternoons (May-November).

  • Downtown Market at corner of Main and Liberty Streets, open Saturday mornings (May-September).

  • Sumter Farmer’s Market at USC Sumter, open Friday afternoons (April-November)

  • Sumter Flea Market, open Saturdays & Sundays.

4.) Take the Museum Crawl Tour (or go on your own)

5.) For the Sports Enthusiasts

Sumter is a very active sports community.

6.) Grab some grub

Inspire your senses at any number of our unique local restaurants, each with their own flavor and story to tell. Here are just a few favorites in the community (zoom in on the map below for more locations in your area)...

7.) Explore the Water

  • Pack’s Landing on Lake Marion, offers a public access boat ramp and parking, with prized catfish and bass fishing excursions available throughout the year.
  • Poinsett State Park offers pedal boats, canoeing, kayaking, swimming and more!
  • Sparkleberry Swamp is known for its beauty, tranquility, and abundant wildlife. It's an avid kayaker's dream location and is the host location of an annual duck run and boating party each spring.
  • Find you inner child and run through anyone of our five Spray Parks.

8.) Hunt for and Hide Painted Rocks in one of our 24 Community Parks

Sumter has an extensive network of community parks and walking trails that allow visitors and residents to experience our natural beauty. Here are a few popular ones, but check out our map below for more!

9.) Take in the Arts

10.) Shopping