Sumter is located in Sumter County (of which it is the county seat) east of Columbia along Highway 521 on the banks of the Pocotaligo River near Shaw Air Force Base. Lake Marion is to the south.
Sumter is part of the Sumter, South Carolina metro area.
Sumter is often referred to as The Gamecock City in homage to General Thomas Sumter, The Gamecock of the American Revolution. Sumter has many unique characteristics. Sumter is the only place in the world with all eight species of swans. Sumter's Iris Festival is listed as one of the "Top 100" Event in North America. Sumter is also home to the largest ginkgo farm in the world. Local attractions include Poinsett State Park and Woods Bay State Park and there are over 37 golf courses situated in the area.