Imagine this: You’re rocking on your front porch, sweet tea within arm’s reach, immersed in a book recommended by your neighborhood book club. The sun is getting lower in the sky, and your middle daughter pulls up with the next door neighbor. They’re giggling as they climb off their bikes and bound up to join you on the porch. You set your book down and listen as they share their afternoon. They’ve just been to Lego camp. Your husband and youngest hear them and also come out onto the porch. They’ve spend the day kayaking and fishing at local Schultz Lake.
You announce that for dinner tonight, the family is headed to the Farmhouse for Food Truck Friday Under the Oaks. Your neighbor asks if she can come, and you brightly answer that yes! Her parents are meeting you there, as well as your oldest daughter who has been lounging at the pool with friends.
You all clamber into the golf cart and head that way.
Too good to be true? Welcome to life at The Ponds.
The Ponds is a community of homes in Summerville that is notable because of land rich with history, beautifully constructed and decorated houses, and a community lifestyle with something for everyone. I recently had the opportunity to tour and explore The Ponds with my family. Not only was I impressed with the charm of their homes, but also with the friendly neighbors and the fun food truck event they hosted.
Rich with History
I love a property that has a story. At the heart of The Ponds is the Farmhouse, a restored building that they estimate to be built around 1860. Today it is used as the meeting place to hold various community classes and clubs. But as you enter the building, there is a series of pictures chronologizing the history of the property, starting with American Indians who lived on the land prior to 1681 when the first European settler built a home on The Ponds, and on to the Simmons family who sold and produced their own brand of charcoal in the 1930’s. Along with these fascinating tidbits are artifacts of pottery and other pieces of the past found right at The Ponds. They have been meticulously displayed and protected by the Ponds Conservancy. As a not-for-profit organization, they are another component of The Ponds community that was established to conserve and educate, giving lectures regularly.
Along with the preserved Farmhouse, The Ponds has over 1,000 acres of preserved land, and it’s home to several beautiful live oaks. The iconic oaks draped in Spanish moss just shout Carolina charm.
Beautifully Constructed and Furnished Homes
Generally, when my husband is relocated for his work, we only have a few days with a realtor. We see anywhere from 15 to 30 homes, pick a few we like, and then start the buying process. With that amount of time, we’ve never built our own home. So the idea of having finishes customized to our taste is amazing. There are several building options at The Ponds, but we were able to tour some of the model homes which are turn-key! They are even available with designer-selected furnishings.
In the second house we looked at (the Baldwin design), I immediately felt at home. I could see why it was a popular choice for families. The dark blue walls with white wainscoting was a warm welcome. The house had an aquatic theme which ran throughout the downstairs, and oh, to wake up every morning to the beautiful chandelier in the master bedroom! My son, also, felt so at home, he plopped himself down in one of the kid bedrooms and started reading the displayed books.
Although each home we toured was different, they all had beautiful master bedrooms with en suites and good-sized additional bedrooms. The kitchens were open, with lots of storage space. And I absolutely loved the natural gas lanterns outside of the homes.
Community Lifestyle and Amenities
“There is truly something for everyone at The Ponds,” said the lifestyle director as she showed us around. And it seems to be true! With an onsite YMCA, there are many Y classes and programs, including an annual Youth Triathlon that The Ponds hosts. But it doesn’t stop there. The Ponds has their own schedule programmed by their lifestyle director. The Ponds’ calendar is chock full of social events, camps, clubs, programs, and meetings. Their aim is to have something for every age group. I was especially keen to see a weekly sunset yoga session and an Enchanted Fairy Garden camp. What little girl wouldn’t love this opportunity to learn, dream, create, and celebrate all things fairies! (And what mom wouldn’t love to practice some self-care and have a wind-down from her day!)
We were fortunate to come on the day of Food Truck Friday Under the Oaks. There was live music, food to die for, and lots of people to chat with. We met two different couples with young children who were considering the area. One family because of all the activities for younger children (community story times, pool, etc.), and the other to be closer to their parents.
Although my son and daughter LOVED the food truck mac and cheese, they were the most interested in exploring The Ponds’ treehouse. Even though it had rained earlier that day, my son still took a try on the slide. Built around a majestic live oak, the treehouse has two slides and two different levels. I could have easily sat and stared up at the leaves for hours. It took me back to my childhood where my friend and I had our own tree fort. What a treasure to have a tree house available to the neighborhood, just waiting for princesses and pirates to explore.
The Summerville Community
If you’re new to the Charleston area, welcome! There’s a little information I should share about the surrounding community at The Ponds. As a recent transplant, I, too, once had the kind of questions I think these might answer. The Ponds is in one of the most sought-after school districts in the area, it’s a ten minute drive to charming downtown Summerville, just under thirty minutes to the airport, and not far from beaches and all the delights of Charleston. Summerville has plenty of local parks, churches, and great libraries.
Are your eyes glazed over?
Is it too good to be true? (I didn’t even get the chance to mention The Pond’s huge pool, coffee house, and coming soon, outdoor kitchen! Did I also tell you that they stock their two community ponds and encourage residents to fish? There is easy access for kayaking, paddle boarding, etc. at nearby Schultz Lake, and there are miles upon miles of nature trails. I love a family adventure!)
There is so much to mention when talking about The Ponds. But the greatest impression I got was the community’s commitment to preserve the past while giving opportunities to create new, including new memories of childhood that is rich in imagination, nature, and community.
The Ponds is hosting another Food Truck Friday Under the Oaks on August 31, 5-8 p.m. It is free (except for the purchase of food and drink) and open to the public. Come enjoy live music and check out what your life could look like at The Ponds.