Fondly referred to as “Flower Town in the Pines” for its blossoming azaleas and many gardens (both public and private), Summerville was named one of the 50 best small towns in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. In the late 19th century, the area was said to be one of the best areas in the country to treat lung disease because of its high pine population, and an influx of travelers sought the healing powers of the trees. In fact, the area still attracts 250,000 visitors for one weekend each spring with its “Flowertown Festival.” The festival celebrates the blooming azaleas in 12-acre Azalea Park with artisanal booths, crafts, and fun for the whole family.
With more than 700 local buildings on the National Historic Register, Summerville is known for its stately Victorian houses but offers the full spectrum of housing options for every real estate need. The area has seen tremendous growth in recent years; in 2012, the total population was at 44,000 people, a 42 percent increase since the year 2000. Such growth, combined with the area’s historical roots, has made Summerville an attractive and vibrant place to live.
Nexton, one of Summerville’s newest and most progressive developments, incorporates a series of villages and neighborhoods, each with its own distinct personality to suit a variety of needs. The neighborhood melds green living with technological advancements and merges modernity with a small town feel. Live, work, and play in Nexton; this tight-knit community features all the conveniences of daily life—houses, offices, hotels, shops, restaurants, parks, and playgrounds—within easy walking or biking distance. Buildings are LEED certified in accordance with Nexton’s Innovation Station, a center that promotes sustainability and technology.
Other neighborhood highlights include White Gables, located ten minutes from the downtown historic area of Summerville. This development offers two- to five-bedroom homes situated close to one another in order to encourage neighborly interaction. A five-mile neighborhood trail runs past brightly colored houses and gleaming lakes. Suited to nearly any lifestyle, this neighborhood’s amenities include a community clubhouse, pool, basketball court, tennis court, playground, and several common areas.
The Ponds, nestled amid 2,000 acres of thriving wildlife, encompasses 1,950 custom single-family homes, townhomes, and custom homesites. Builders offer a variety of classic Lowcountry architectural options, including Cottage, Southern Colonial, Victorian, Cape Cod, and Bungalow styles. A waterfront ampitheatre and village center brings neighbors together while the wooded landscape provides an escape into nature via a number of recreational activities.
Situated on land that was once a rice plantation, Legend Oaks Plantation boasts an award-winning golf and tennis club. This community has a small-town feel and offers a multitude of opportunities to meet the neighbors and become involved in the community. Family-friendly programs span from swim team to instructional programs to Friday night team trivia, making this more than just a neighborhood but a lifestyle for the whole family to enjoy.
For those with children, Summerville’s Dorchester II school district is among the best in the state.
Good schools, low crime, a high rate of home ownership, and a small-town feel draw a variety of people to Summerville, an idyllic southern town with big charm.