Saturday, November 16, 2013

It Was A Sweet-ride And Tea-rific Fun-Summerville's "Good Eats On The Sweet Tea Trail Tour"

Tina Zimmerman and Fay Bell
All roads lead to Summerville--to be more exact the Summerville Visitors Center, if you have a reserved ticket for the Lowcountry Loop Trolley's "Sweet Tea Trail Tours." Two tours are offered for your consideration.

The first is a 1 1/2 hour tour of historic Summerville, the "Birthplace of Sweet Tea." The wonderfully preserved downtown district around beautiful Hutchinson Square and the historic homes of "Old Summerville" are featured on this tour with a stop at Linwood Gardens-an award winning bed and breakfast built in 1883 by Julia Drayton Hastie, heiress to the famous Magnolia Plantation on the Ashley.

The second is the "Good Eats on the Sweet Tea Trail Tour" with Summerville resident and nationally-known storyteller Tim Lowry. On this tour, you will be treated to complimentary tastes of delicacies from a number of Summerville’s restaurants and gourmet shops. As the trolley travels from one establishment to the next, Tim entertains you with the tall tales and factual stories of Summerville and its related history. This was the tour I selected.

The Summerville Visitors Center is a beautifully landscaped brick building on the west side of North Main Street next to Berlin G. Meyers Lumber Corporation(Berlin G. Meyers was mayor of Summerville for many years, something I learned on the tour). Stepping in through the doors, you are treated to colorful pictures of area landmarks with a full wall dedicated to offering a host of pamphlets, brochures and magazines containing information on things to do, area landmarks, and points of interest.

Immediately upon arrival, you are graciously greeted by Summerville's tourism coordinator Tina Zimmerman. Once everyone had arrived, the group assembled in a room lined with images of Summerville's past taken from the book Porch Rocker Recollections. Tina began the tour with an inspirational video introducing everyone to a short summation starting with Summerville's inception and concluding with Bill Collins, Summerville's present mayor, wishing all a grand visit.

With introductions completed and schedule of establishments and description of delicacies to be anticipated in hand, the group left the center and stepped onto the trolley chomping on mustache cookies served by Brad Mallett of Coastal Coffee Roasters. From that point in time, you are taken on a trip down Summerville's memory lanes immersed in the fanciful, storytelling world of Tim Lowry. We were joined by Janyce Hursey of Summerville DREAM and Barbara Hill, Linwood Gardens tour guide. I camped out all the way in the back of the trolley where I took over the whole seat with a good view of the proceedings.

From first stop to the last, the whole affair was an eclectic smorgasbord of healthy delights, delectable appetizers, and homegrown drinks hospitably served on board the trolley by each establishment(For the complete itinerary of stops for the day check out the downloaded image). In between stops, Tim entertained the predominantly senior group with informational stories of Summerville, Queen Elizabeth, and a Gullah tale all laced with his own personal brand of humor. It was a sweet-ride and tea-rific fun.

So, if you are looking for a fun, relaxing and informative tour of Summerville, I encourage to schedule a date with the Lowcountry Loop Trolley via the Summerville Visitors Center at 402 N. Main Street. I thank Tina Zimmerman for the invitation and look forward to taking the "Sweet Tea Trolley Tour of Historic Summerville and Linwood Gardens." Oh, don't forget to savor a cup of some famous Summerville sweet tea offered next to the reception desk.

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