COVID-19 has drastically changed our way of living and, unfortunately, the activities we can engage in. That has left many families with children looking for something to do with very little options. The good news is that there is always a silver lining, and if you keep your head up, with a little creativity, turning social distancing into family fun time is totally doable. Luckily, Summerville, SC offers a ton of fun adventures. So, pack up the kids, the car, and head out on these eight excellent safe day trips!
Pre-Revolutionary War Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site
For the history buff, the Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site is a must. The site is located along the Ashley River, a few miles from Charleston. Dorchester is a small town, which is no longer inhabited, but most of the buildings have been perfectly preserved. Your family can get a glimpse of what it was like to live in the 17th and 18th centuries, far removed from screen time and modern conveniences. It is a fantastic way to get outdoors, keep your distance, and learn about South Carolina’s history interactively and engagingly. Lastly, if you like to take photos you won’t want to miss this place.
Summerville Farmers Market
The Summerville Farmers Market is an open-aired shopping extravaganza located in the heart of Summerville. Local produce growers bring their best goods and crops to sell to the community. Make a day of it getting the freshest produce, meats, and seafood to plan a summer night’s dinner. The market is open on Saturdays from April until December from 8am to 1pm. It is a community affair where you can commune with others while still maintaining social distance. On any given Saturday, there is usually live music from ten to one. It’s a great way to get outdoors and have some fun in the sun for the entire family.
Quite arguably, the worst part of the COVID-19 era is being stuck at home. The good news is that contagion outside is highly unlikely, especially if you maintain social distancing. Kayaking and tubing are a great way to get some fresh air and exercise without a mask! Take the kids for a long trip in the longest flowing black river in the nation. You can try your hand at either kayaking or paddleboarding, or take a guided tour to make sure to see every hidden treasure possible. And what can be more fun than taking your time to tube down the river – slow and steady is the way to go. Cool off from the hot Southern heat with a refreshing day of floating free!
Named in honor of James Preston Appleby, the Appleby Church is a four-acre historical site where a perfectly preserved Greek Revival built in 1840-1850 church stands. The church is all original both inside and out. In 1978, it was added to the National Register, and it is located just outside of Summerville. The Methodist church also has adjacent cemetery grounds where you can see tombstones that date back to when the church was in service. It is an excellent way to honor the religious history of the Old South and to take a step back in time. Pack a lunch and spend the day underneath the old live oaks. It is definitely a part of history that shouldn’t be missed.
Francis Beidler Forest
For the nature-lover, there is no greater adventure than the Francis Beidler Forest. Take the entire family for a nature walk on the Forest Boardwalk where you can see South Carolinian habitat at its finest. It is open from 9:00 to 5:00 Tuesday through Sunday and closed on Mondays. The boardwalk is a 1.75-mile hike, but you have to leave man’s best friend at home – no pets are allowed. To make it easy to navigate, there is a free boardwalk app that gives you all the information you need to make it from start to finish. Download the app before you head to have a good heads up of what is to come. You can also partake in kayak and canoe trips, bird watching, and other seasonal activities as allowed during COVID-19.
Take a Walking Trail
One of the best things that Summerville has to offer is a rich history that has been well-preserved and cherished. You don’t need to pay for a tour to see it all, map it on your own, and hit the road. You can cover the entire walking trail area in just one day with some good walking shoes and a mobile phone to get all the backstories associated with the sites. Put all the great houses in your list and bike or get ready for a long walk full of exercise. The walking trail begins at the Cuthbert Community Center and all you have to do is turn right and walk along Main Street. Sites to put on your list include:
- Middleton-Minott Cottage – c. 1886
- Kracke House – c. 1886
- Carrington House – c. 1871
- Oliver House – c. 1888
- Blake Washing House – c. 1862
- Brailsford-Browning House – c.1884
- Gelzer Brothers House – c. 1819
- Buckheit House – c. 1896
- Disher House – c. 1862
- Brownfield House – c. 1875
- Kinloch House – c. 1861
Charleston Tea Plantation
The Lowcountry isn’t just well-known for its rich Southern history, it is also the birthplace of Southern Sweet Tea. The Charleston Tea Plantation is where the magic begins. Tea lovers can get a glimpse of the plantations where there are hundreds of thousands of tea bushes that cover acres of land for miles. The trail is completely free, and outdoors. So there is no need for masking as you make your way through the lush and lovely scenery. After you are finished, get some tea to take home at the gift store and try your own Sweet Tea concoctions afterward. And don’t forget to see the World’s Largest Sweet Tea mason jar in downtown Summerville that holds over 2500 gallons of tea and is over 15 feet tall. After heading home, sip the evening away recounting all the fun you had.
A Day of Antiquing Downtown Summerville
Although COVID-19 is still a reality in our everyday lives, businesses have opened up. And as long as you are safe and maintain social distancing and wear masks, antiquing can be just as fun as ever. Summerville has a vast number of antique shops to peruse with fantastic gift items and one of a kind Southern gems. After a day of shopping, stop in to eat at one of Summerville’s finest dining establishments like the Ice House Restaurant, Five Loaves Cafe, Palmetto Flats Restaurant, Time Well Spent and Tavern or Five Loaves Cafe. After a long day of shopping a good meal with friends is welcomed!
There is always a silver lining if you look hard enough. And just because COVID-19 might limit the things that we can do, it is giving us more time to spend with family. Don’t get stuck indoors when there are so many safe activities to engage in and around the Summerville area. Even if you live here, there are probably things you haven’t taken the time to see.
Or, if you are looking to get away and visit, Summerville is the best little Southern exposure there is.