Friday, December 12, 2014

Ding, Ding, Ding, The Trolleys Are Coming To Summerville

The nostalgic green and red colored transportation vehicles Summerville residents have seen traveling the streets of the downtown area on Fridays and Saturdays this past year will be increasing their presence in 2015. The Lowcountry Loop Trolley will be offering their hop/on, hop/off service to Summerville seven days a week beginning in February. It will establish stops throughout Summerville from Nexton to the old plantations on Ashley river Road.

Rightfully declared the "Birthplace of Sweet Tea," Summerville is benefiting from a unique heritage that has been brewing since the early 1800's and quoting a phrase my dear uncle often uses, "How sweet it is." Throughout 2014, sweet tea and tours have put the town in the Lowcountry spotlight. As a beneficial result, the "Sweet Tea Trail" was formed and the "Sweet Tea Festival" was established.

The town's beautiful Visitor's Center celebrates the heritage by offering complimentary cups of sweet tea to its visitors and the Summerville Dorchester Museum celebrates it by hosting the now famous Summerville Trolley Tours. The "Good Eats on the Sweet Tea Trail" tour with story teller Tim Lowry and local historian Barbara Hill has been a huge success and has been highlighted in magazines and on news features. In partnership, The Lowcounty Loop Trolley has become a common sight in town.

The proposed schedule
The new Summerville trolley service will be called the Green Line.  Monday through Saturday the proposed service will begin at 8:00am at Azalea Park, but you can pick it up at nine other locations at varying times running every thirty minutes. You choose where you would like to pick it up and at what time. All you need to do is drive your car to the stop, arrive at least five minutes before the scheduled time, and park your car. Once on the trolley, you can hop on or hop off anywhere along the line throughout the day. Cost will be $14.

Hop/on, hop/off locations will be Hutchinson Square, Summerville Visitor Center, Azalea Square, Magnolia Plantation, and Middleton Place. For visitors, it will have planned stops at hotels like the Nexton Courtyard Marriot, the Wingate Hotel at Charleston Southern and other Summerville hotels. Sunday shuttle will run from 10:30am to 6:30pm.

Thinking about having lunch at Fast and French, walking the Old Market or shopping King Street? The Green Line will also offer a convenient service the old Southern Railroad System used to offer Summerville residents--access to downtown Charleston without having to drive your car. From the Charleston Visitor Center, you can pick up the Red Line with stops at places like the Naval and Maritime Museum, USS Yorktown, and Charleston Harbor Resort. Several tours also leave from the Visitor Center such as the Island "Sip and See," "Plantation Tour and Taste Special," and "Chop, Shop, and Dine."

Want to spend the afternoon at the beach on Sullivan's Island or Isle of Palms? The trolley has stops there too. Do you like to kayak or paddle board? How about a stroll on a boardwalk overlooking a beautiful waterway, dining by the water, or cruising on a party catamaran? Shem Creek is the perfect place with RB's, Water's Edge, Red's Ice House and the Palmetto Breeze. Other places you will have access to include the IOP Marina, Mt. Pleasant Towne Center, and historic Boone Hall.

When Summerville was declared the "Birthplace of Sweet Tea," the possibilities have become "sky's the limit." The resulting festival and trolley tours have sweetened the sweet tea cup of growth. With a huge potential sitting on the city's limits, the Lowcountry Loop Trolley service planned for the town will assist in releasing that potential and help manage the flow without increasing the traffic.

So, put out the southern welcome mat of hospitality and complimentary cup of sweet tea. Ding, ding, ding, the trolleys are coming to town.

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