Sumter's nickname, "The Gamecock City," is a fitting one. The city's fighting persistence has paid off for almost 170 years. Long a major agricultural and textile center, modern industries like biotech make Sumter competitive business hub that it is today.
Located 45 miles east of Columbus, Sumter approximately in the middle of the state. In any direction, recreational and historical attractions are a short drive. Mild seasonal weather, beautiful scenery, central proximity and award-winning schools make it ideal for anyone wishing to rent an apartment here.
Named after General Thomas Sumter, the "Fighting Gamecock of the American Revolution," the town was a farming settlement before it was incorporated in 1845. Due to its abundant crops and railroad access, it became an important supply center for the Confederate Army. With the construction of Shaw Air Force Base in 1941, the city continued to grow and thrive economically.
Today, over 40,000 people call it home. Among the residents are famous singers, actors, politicians, writers, military figures and athletes. Its residents boast about being "right in the middle of everything" with good reason. The Atlantic Coast, including Myrtle Beach, is only 100 miles to the west, and Charleston the same distance to the south. A three-hour ride north through breathtaking scenery will land you in the Blue Ridge Mountains. However, you may have a hard time tearing yourself away from your own neighborhood.
Rent an apartment here and you'll come to love the antebellum grace of old homes and buildings; almost 20 of them are in the National Register of Historic Places. The majestic Opera House, rising above Main Street, still features live performances, concerts and classic movie nights. The Elizabeth White House is an impressive example of Greek Revival architecture. White was a prominent artist, and one of her works is on permanent display in the Library of Congress.
The city is perhaps best known for its lovely Swan Lake Iris Gardens. Having all eight known species of swans, its 150 acres are a serene and fragrant escape. There are over 120 kinds of Japanese iris and thousands of varieties of other plants. The city really decks the gardens for Christmas, using over a million lights.
The town has over 20 parks and a number of trails for hiking or cycling. Cypress Trail follows a creek around the park of the same name. It's ideal for lovers of wildlife, trees and flowers. Outdoor enthusiasts will also want to check out the Palmetto Tennis Center, a state-of-the-art facility or play a round of golf at one of the five local courses.
Something is always going on downtown. Community festivals, like the three-day Fall Feast, feature arts and crafts, dining and entertainment. Downtown Friday Nights is held weekly for music and movies. You may even learn the state's official dance, the "Shag."
The public buses and express shuttles make it easy to get from neighborhood to neighborhood. Interstate 95 and nine other highways keep Sumter connected to other cities. Most car commutes from work will have you back to your apartment in 10 to 15 minutes.
There are apartments to rent close to the three colleges in town, Central Carolina Technical College, Morris College and University of South Carolina at Sumter.
A sampling of employers in Sumter includes Pilgrim's Pride, Tuomey Healthcare System, Becton Dickinson, a medical supply manufacturer, and Santee Print, producer of textiles. Shaw Air Force Base is eight miles north.