Discovery, Featured, Sip & Savor

Charleston Is Your Oyster

Both culinary playground and educational classroom, set out on an aquatic adventure in the ACE Basin. With a professional fisherman and oyster farmer as your guide, you’ll experience the lifecycle of an oyster and its sustainability firsthand from your perch in a boat in the winding estuary creeks of South Carolina. The ACE Basin, located where the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto rivers converge, is one of the largest undeveloped estuaries along the Atlantic Coast. Located just over an hour south of Charleston, this 350,000 acre wildlife refuge and natural environment is home to marshes, wetlands, cypress swamps, and hardwood forests. As the city landscape gives way to lush green spaces, glimpses of marsh grass beckon beyond. After arriving in Bennetts Point, South Carolina, you’ll be greeted at the rustic dock by the bearded crew behind Lowcountry Oyster Company. What started as a boyhood dream is now a daily endeavor for owner and operator, Trey McMillan. Along with his team, McMillan raises millions of oyster seeds each year, helping to replenish the diminishing oyster supply while purifying the area’s waterways. Your tour will start in the nursery, where millions of baby oysters are starting their maturation process before setting out from Mosquito Creek via boat for the floating oyster farm. As dolphins swim past and pelicans glide overhead, you’ll enjoy a leisurely 30 minute cruise through the winding estuary creeks as a gentle sea breeze blows the marsh grass and fish jump beyond. On the water, you’ll have a chance to see firsthand the hard work that goes into hand raising these single, select oysters. The entire process takes up to a year, before the oysters are shipped out nationwide, within 24 hours of being harvested. When you sample some of the Lowcountry Cups, you get a true taste of the place they come from. Lowcountry Oyster Company’s are high in salinity, a result of the pristine waters they are raised in. Not only does the water produce a better oyster, but the oyster helps better the water. Because oysters feed by filtering algae, they function as a natural filter, helping to improve the water quality. Truly one of the most sustainable from start to finish. After the tour and boat excursion, you’ll head around the corner to a private undeveloped forest for a picturesque Lowcountry oyster roast. Overlooking the Combahee River and a historic rice field, savor more oysters as you sip Champagne and enjoy black angus pepper-seared roast beef filet, mesquite-smoked grilled chicken and more while our team attends to your every whim. After living the Lowcountry lifestyle, you’ll depart for downtown Charleston and your home away from home. Later, shed your oyster overalls for fine frocks as a celebratory evening awaits at the Charleston Grill. If you haven’t had your fill of Lowcountry Cups, order the Local Oysters with Heirloom Pepper Mignonette or sample one of Chef Michelle’s other Southern delights that celebrate the bounty of our area’s rich waterways. Charleston is Your Oyster is exclusively available for guests of Charleston Place, A Belmond Hotel. For more information or to book this incomparable experience, contact us at 843-722-4900.
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Discovery, Featured

One of a Kind Experiences in Charleston

The list of reasons travelers rank Charleston as one of the top destinations in the country is quite extensive. Mild year-round weather, Southern hospitality, amazing history, and one of the most dynamic culinary scenes in the country. Just to name a few.

In addition to helping you explore the city’s most popular activities and attractions, our concierge team can arrange one-of-a-kind experiences—ones that guests typically would not find on their own. We asked our team to share a list of their favorite gems that they’ve planned for guests through the years.

1. A private walking tour of Charleston’s exclusive gardens in the historic district, by native author and expert, Louisa Pringle Cameron.

2. A tee time at either the Seabrook Island or Daniel Island Clubs, both which are closed to the public.

3. A private “behind-the-scenes” carriage ride at Middleton Place Plantation (reservations are not normally accepted).

4. A charter of the sailing yacht, The Fate, which is a privately owned 49-foot Beneteau that sleeps up to six people.

5. A private driving tour of “Little Jerusalem” by a member of Temple Beth Elohim, the oldest reform synagogue in the world.

6. An exclusive “behind-the-scenes” tour of the Calhoun Mansion.

7. Private tours of artists’ studios as well as introductions to the artists themselves.

8. A private historic district tour via bicycle with native authority Harlan Green—author of six books on Charleston history.

9. A morning or afternoon of horseback riding along the beach at Seabrook Island.

10. A private flying tour, either by Cessna or helicopter.

11. For a special occasion, a private dinner in a historic home with a famous local chef.

Have you enjoyed any of these hidden gems? What others would you recommend to locals or visitors? We would love to hear your thoughts!

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Arts & Culture, Discovery, Featured, Sip & Savor

Staff Picks: Why We Love Living in Charleston

As you meander throughout the Holy City, each turn promises to be an awe-inspiring discovery. Whether it’s our historic homes, gardens and antebellum charm or our glistening waterways and easy way of living, there is something to be loved by every local and visitor. And, who could forget our show-stopping culinary scene that captures the heart of even the most refined foodies? Consistently named the No. 1 City in the United States and Canada by the readers of Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler year after year, read on to discover why our staff adores the place they call home. “I love Charleston for its geographic beauty; imagine 12 months of something in bloom, and a constant breeze carrying those scents across the peninsula. Also, anywhere you turn you’re greeted by water whether it’s a beach, river, estuary, or marshland. And if Charleston’s beauty isn’t special enough, the people who live here genuinely envelope and exude a gentle sweetness that is Southern hospitality.”-Shelley, Operations Manager at The Spa at Charleston Place “Food and history, hands down. Our restaurant scene is unlike anywhere else in the US—we have some of the best restaurants in America right at our fingertips, and our Lowcountry cuisine is as rich in flavor as it is in tradition. You can’t get that anywhere else. In addition, we have 350 years of history right in our very own backyard. I love visiting iconic sites and landmarks, plantations, and more.”-Steven, Executive Chef at The Palmetto Cafe “My two favorite seasons in Charleston are the spring and fall. The moderate temperatures, beautiful blooming flowers, and exciting festivals make it impossible to stay indoors. Also, I welcome the slower pace of the South, where it encourages one to take time to enjoy life rather than rush through each day.”-Catherine, Digital Marketing Manager “We live in the perfect size town where it’s big enough to take part in different events and festivals around town, but small enough to feel like you’re a part of a family and can support local businesses. One of my favorite things to do on the weekends is to visit our local farmers market—they always have an abundance of South Carolina-sourced produce and handcrafted goods from local artisans.” Megan, Charleston Place Event Manager Our culture and history, mouthwatering cuisine, preserved traditions, beautiful blooms and beaches are just a few of the many reasons why our city is beloved by so many. This year, we invite you to experience the Holy City for yourself. Located at the very heart of downtown Charleston, in the historic district and within walking distance of all the major attractions, Charleston Place, A Belmond Hotel is the perfect base for your adventure.
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