A typical small Southern town, Sumter, SC, runs along the banks of the Pocotaligo River and is located almost in the center of the state. The housing market boasts affordable homes of all sizes and styles, including condos and luxury estates. Subdivisions like Wintergreen and Gingko Hills offer safe neighborhoods for families, and they are also close to the Air Force base, making them ideal for those in the military. If you are interested in a quiet, established neighborhood, consider Pinedale.
Sumter is a growing city, but it maintains small-town charm, giving residents a nice balance between the two. The population of about 40,000 is made up of a diverse group of retirees, newcomers, members of the Air Force, college students and families whose history in the area dates back centuries. The local Sumter school district has received state and national recognition as one of the best in the state. The downtown area features the historic district, which is home to multiple places listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Borough House Plantation, Carnegie Public Library, Sumter Town Hall and Salem Black River Presbyterian Church. Another amazing site in the city is Swan Lake Iris Gardens, a public park that is home to all known species of swans and is the host of the oldest state festival, the Iris Festival. The thriving downtown area is a cultural hot spot with an opera house, cultural center and art gallery.
The city is home to Shaw Air Force Base, which plays a large part in defining the city. With a large percentage of the population in Sumter being military personnel or family, this is a great source of pride for the community. This helps Sumter maintain an unemployment rate below the national average, and recent positive employment growth of about 1 percent shows a new trend in more employment opportunities. The city is known for a slow-pace lifestyle and low cost of living, which is about 12 percent below the national average. Sumter has also been named one of the top places to retire in the state by Retirement Lifestyles magazine, and it came in 44th on the list of best metropolitan areas in the nation for business and career advancement by Forbes magazine. The city was also named as one of the top 200 places to live by Money magazine. With such accolades, it isn't really hard to see why people decide to call Sumter, SC, home.