The Lowcountry's long and rich history is a patchwork quilt. Patches depicting impressive live oaks draped in Spanish moss, stately homes, shrimp boats named after women, and dapper men with rolled up sleeves are just a few of the images sewn together. And whether you are a local or a visitor to the area, you are comforted by this quilt because it balances rustication and elegance so beautifully.
This legacy of luxe continues today as many businesses and developments incorporate nature with modern amenities. Take Page Island for example. Outside Hilton Head has owned the property for 15 years and operates with a very strict “leave-no-trace” philosophy. According to Outside Hilton Head's director of marketing Jessie Renew, "When someone arrives on Page Island, typically the first comment is, 'Wow, I feel like I just landed on the location of the Survivor show.' It is a beautiful three-acre chain of eight islands nestled in the marsh with 360 degrees of uninterrupted views."
Page Island offers team leadership development programs, group events such as Lowcountry boils and oyster roasts, recreational activities including kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, crabbing, shrimping, swimming, hiking, exploring and camping, and opportunities to experience the Lowcountry in its truly natural state.
The facilities include:
- A state-of-the-art challenge course for teambuilding.
- Boardwalks connecting the islands.
- Sustainable restroom facility with rain catchment water and solar powered pumps.
- Cooking and eating shelters.
- Storage for kayaks and paddle boards and fishing, crabbing and shrimp gear.
And then there's Palmetto Bluff. I never pass up an opportunity to attend an event at this mecca of sustainability and sophistication. Last time I got wined and dined Palmetto Bluff-style, I drank planters punch out of a mason jar, ate the best shrimp and grits I've ever tasted out of a martini glass and listened to bluegrass as the sun set over a lagoon—and this was after getting a massage from its plush day spa. Some notable awards Palmetto Bluff has earned include:
- U.S. News & World Report, Best Hotels in the USA Rated
No. 1 Hotel in South Carolina and No. 2 Top 10 Hotels in the U.S. - 2014
- Condé Nast Traveler 2013
#1 Resort in the U.S., #11 Resort in the World
- Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards
Rated No. 96 Top 100 Hotels Overall and No. 11 Resort in the Continental U.S. - 2013
- Golf Magazine Top 100 Golf Courses
Rated No. 51 - 2012
- AAA Five-Diamond Award
Most Luxurious Accommodations in North America - 2013, 2012, 2011
- TENNIS Magazine Top 50 Tennis Resorts
Rated No. 3 South Carolina Tennis Resort - 2012
Last and certainly not least, there's Melrose on the Beach on Daufuskie Island. The newly renovated bar and restaurant offers not only delicious food and wine but also Daufuskie folk—who are known for being characters. The Melrose Inn is currently being renovated and when the project is complete it will include 52 guestrooms, 44 of which provide direct views of the Atlantic Ocean. Additionally, according to their website, "Melrose on the Beach guests will soon have the opportunity to take part in a growing global phenomenon known as 'glamping' which combines camping with the luxury and amenities of a first class resort. Packages are tailored to suit your style; whether you choose lavish accommodations or prefer rustic décor, glamping gives you the opportunity to experience nature and all the fun of camping without any of the hassle."