Grassy marshlands weave throughout the intracoastal waterway of South Carolina’s Low Country, creating an ideal setting for a teambuilding activity or off-the-beaten-path event venue. Wild Dunes Resort, located on Isle of Palms about 30 minutes outside of Charleston, offers groups everything from photography classes to oyster-reef building to deserted island cookouts—giving attendees a glimpse of the Low Country culture.
The resort’s photography tours combine a typical tour of the area with photography lessons by professional photographer Tiffany Briley. Briley can lead tours up to 150 people that can be customized based on the group, says Ivie Parker, marketing director for the resort. Meeting planners can decide to plan a shorter tour of the resort’s surrounding seascapes, marshland and trails, or they can take the group into Charleston, where attendees can take photos of the local architecture.
“At the resort, people love taking sunrise and sunset photos on the beach. We also have a beautiful hole on our golf course that makes a nice photo, as well as the really great marshes and intracoastal waterway,” says Parker. “Closer to Charleston, the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge is one of the most beautiful bridges in the States, where you can take photos of sweeping views of the city.”
Another teambuilding exercise is available for the environmentally conscious groups, in which attendees will go out by boat and help build an oyster reef. Attendees will basically take oyster shells and build a reef, which will help preserve the local habitat and ecosystem. Take it a step further and use the oyster shells from an oyster roast that can also be planned at the resort, says Parker.
“If you have an oyster roast, which we offer out at our oceanfront venue, you can recycle the oyster shells from that event and take those to build a reef,” she adds.
Groups that want a taste of the Low Country lifestyle can opt to take a boat and have a custom cookout on one of the undeveloped islands such as Caper’s Island nearby the resort. There, they can also set up beach games such as bocce and corn hole before or after feasting on oysters, shrimp or some other South Carolina delicacy.
“Just because you’re eating doesn’t mean it has to be within four walls,” says Parker. “You can have a really cool cookout on the beach there.”
The resort also partners with the Lee brothers, two popular cookbook authors in Charleston who can lead cooking demonstrations for groups, as well as create custom dinners. The brothers are known for researching old plantation recipes and making them more modern.
“Meeting planners in the past have handpicked menu items from the [Lee brothers’] cookbooks, and the brothers will cook them for the group. It’s almost like a history show with dinner; they’re a riot,” says Parker.