5 Things to Love About Being Stationed at Shaw AFB
A PCS move calls for an open heart, doesn’t it? Just when we get settled and grow attached to a duty station, the military hands us a new one. And, I don’t know about you, but the new one always seems polar opposite to the one I’ve learned to call home. But different doesn’t mean bad.
If you’re headed to Shaw AFB in South Carolina, you have reason to get excited! This area has a small town feel and could be the perfect change of pace for you.
Moving to Shaw AFB? Here Are 5 Things You'll Love About the Area
1. The great outdoors.
There’s nothing like getting one with nature to help you appreciate where you live. Lucky for you, the area is packed with state parks ready for you to get your feet dirty and explore.
- Poinsett State Park: called the “mountains of the midlands” for a reason, this park makes for some breathtaking hiking trails.
- Sesquicentennial State Park: perfect for a relaxing day outside. Bonus: there’s a splash pad!
- Santee State Park: home to Lake Marion, Santee State Park makes for the picture-perfect family day full of fishing, swimming, picnics, and more.
- Woods Bay State Park: this swampy region is great for hiking and even opportunities to set your sights on a few alligators!
- Goodale State Park: looking to get out on the water? Goodale is the ideal choice for an unforgettable paddle through the cypress trees.
- Lee State Park: perfect for fishing, hiking, camping, and horseback riding!
2. The festivals.
One thing's for sure. Sumter knows how to bring the community together. All year long, people come together to enjoy food, drink, entertainment, and fellowship in honor of a variety of cultures and holidays.
- Iris Festival. Kick off the summer with this Memorial Day weekend with one of the oldest and most popular festivals in the area. Come to Swan Lake Iris Garden for concerts, arts and crafts, car shows, and more!
- Oktoberfest on Main. Head downtown to see this charming little town take on German culture with your favorite foods and, of course, beer!
- The Fantasy of Lights. Swan Lake Iris Garden transforms into a magical wonderland with one-million twinkling lights, a floating Christmas tree, and Santa’s village.
For more events, take a look at the City of Sumter Calendar.
3. The weekend getaway trips.
Shaw AFB might be located in a small town, but take one look at the map and you’ll find incredible destinations within a two-hour drive to help you recharge and reset.
- Myrtle Beach, SC. If you need the ocean breeze in your hair, head to Myrtle Beach. Feel the sun on your face, the sand beneath your toes, and listen to the waves wash ashore. And if your schedule allows, try to plan your mini-vacay for May when you can take part in the World Famous Blue Crab Festival.
- Charleston, SC. Venture back in time with an overnight stay in Charleston. Full of beautiful bed and breakfasts, exquisite spas, and remarkable historical sites, this is the perfect destination to refuel your inner history buff.
- Charlotte, NC. Cross the state border to experience the magic in Charlotte, NC. With endless adventures, incredible shopping, and historical sites to see, this city makes for a fun weekend away from home. Be sure to sign up for a food tour to sample all kinds of delicious cuisine around town!
4. The local food scene.
If the key to your heart lies in your stomach, then you’ll be falling for Shaw AFB in no time.
Check out a few popular eateries nearby:
- Simply Southern Bistro: small but big in flavor, this bistro is best known for its shrimp and grits.
- Main Street Tavern: if you’re looking for a casual place to grab your favorite bar food staples and watch the game, this is it.
- Eggs Up Grill: from pancakes to omelets and steak and eggs, go to Eggs Up Grill to get your breakfast food fix.
- Baker’s Sweets Bistro & Bakery: way more than a small-town bakery, Baker’s Sweets is the go-to for your morning cup of coffee and yummy pastries.
5. The summer activities.
South Carolina is known to get a little toasty during the summer. Get cool at some of the favorite spots nearby!
- Sumter Aquatics Center. Keep your summer simple with visits to the pool!
- Splash Pad. If the pool is a little much for your youngest kids, have a seat at one of the local splash pads where they can run around worry-free.
- Lake Marion. Head out on the lake for some real summer fun! Cast a line, take a swim, or rent a boat where you can make a real splash in the water.
- Sparkleberry Swamp. You might opt out of a dip in the water here, but a paddle through this marvelous ecosystem is something you don’t want to miss.
Ready to take the next step toward your PCS to Shaw AFB? Take a look homes for sale and houses for rent in the area!