Welcome to the Ashley River Historic District / East Edisto
A scenic and historic community showing Summerville’s natural beauty
Located in Summerville, South Carolina, the Ashley River Historic District and East Edisto neighborhoods are a true callback to the outdoor splendor of the South Carolina Lowcountry. As a historic district, Ashley River and East Edisto are split between Charleston and Dorchester counties, giving residents and visitors alike options to venture out into the nearby cities. However, the neighborhood has quaint shops, restaurants, and amenities all on its own. It has even earned recognition on the National Register of Historic Places.
Due to its rich history, yearly outdoor events, and river outlets for hiking and camping, the Ashley River Historic District and East Edisto neighborhood of Summerville has something wonderful to offer visitors of all ages and interests. As scenic communities that offer both the conveniences of larger cities, as well as their own rustic charm, Ashley River and East Edisto are great locations for quiet living and eventful weekends.
What to Love
- Beautiful rivers and outlets
- Easy access to Charleston and Dorchester regions
- Historic sites and museums
- Quaint village areas with shopping, cafes, and fine dining
Known for its significance during America’s Colonial Period and throughout the country’s history, the modern Ashley River Historic District and East Edisto communities are unique in reflecting a rich past while emphasizing their natural beauty. Although there’s something fun for all ages, nature-lovers often venture off onto the many local trails or the smaller rivers and outlets. There is so much to see at the nature preserves where wildflowers are abundant that traveling in any direction can seem like an adventure.
The Ashley River Historic District and East Edisto areas have their share of nightlife, although numerous outdoor activities and events are often what draw new residents to the area. With the lights of Charleston nearby, residents have the unique option to enjoy the metro area, as well as the rejuvenating and relaxing atmosphere of the gardens and natural beauty right at home.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Within the Ashley River Historic District and East Edisto area, there are as many fun restaurants and shops to explore as there are nature walks. For those who enjoy Mediterranean cuisine, the Opa Cafe is a family-owned restaurant known for having some of the best traditional Greek fares in Summerville. During the summer months, the patrons can enjoy the atmospheric patio and sundeck and, year-round, the Opa Cafe has its own specialty food market for hard-to-find international items.
Likewise, the Sessyks Food Hub is one of the most unique eateries in the Lowcountry, with traditional African cuisine, as well as some familiar favorites. While adventurous foodies can dine on pepper soup and African fried rice, the beans and plantains are a staple made authentically. Both in-house dining and catering are available for a memorable event.
For a good helping of traditional Southern cuisine in Summerville’s Lowcountry, the locals head to Swig & Swine, known for its traditional Southern barbeque and a large menu of local and exotic craft beers. Patrons can relax and enjoy true Southern cuisine made up of savory, smokey barbeque cooked long and slow. Swig & Swine has in-house dining and a taste of South Carolina.
Things to Do
As a perfect hub within both Charleston and Dorchester counties, the Ashley River Historic District and East Edisto area take part in many of the Summerville area’s most anticipated yearly events. For nearly half a century, the Flowertown Festival has been hosted by the Summerville YMCA to raise funds for local community wellness programs. The popular event takes place every spring, welcoming visitors to the three-day weekend arts and crafts festival and some of the region’s most beautiful flora and nature preserves.
If you can’t make it to Summerville in time for the Flowertown Festival, however, birdwatching is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Ashley River and East Edisto and it can be done during any season. On the Ashley River Blue Trail you are likely to see some of the most beautiful birds in the region.
The plantation at Drayton Hall is a National Trust Historic Site. The Middleton Plantation and Magnolia Plantation provide tours and learning activities. At the Middleton Plantation, a museum provides the full history of the land, while the upscale inn and flower gardens welcome visitors to stay for a while and explore the property. Likewise, the lush grounds at the Magnolia Plantation have been honored with recognition as having one of the country’s most beautiful gardens, which visitors can enjoy with a guided tour.