South Carolina is known for its deliciously rich low-country seafood. And what better place to enjoy the spoils of January’s oyster season than just outside Charleston on the grounds of an historic Southern estate?
The 30th annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival — which claims to be the world’s largest oyster fest — will take place at Boone Hall Plantation & Gardens. It’s a sprawling, working farm — complete with moss-draped live oaks, pastures with horses and a butterfly garden — located in Mount Pleasant, S.C., just across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge from downtown Charleston. A whopping 80,000 pounds of oysters will be brought in for the festival, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on January 27.
In addition to oyster shucking and eating contests, the day will include live music, a selection of wine and domestic and imported beers, a children’s area with jugglers and bounce castles, and a food court featuring eats from eight great local restaurants: Red’s Ice House, Zeus Grill and Seafood, Gilligan’s Seafood Restaurant, The Windjammer, Jim ‘N Nicks Bar-B-Q, Wild Wing Café, AW Shuck’s and Hyman’s Seafood. Three food trucks — Dukes Barbecue, BlackJack Barbecue and Hubee D’s Tenders and Wings — will also be on hand, and the festival’s sweets will come from Dixie Supply Bakery & Café, Charleston Cookie Company and S&D Coffee.
If you’re in town for the weekend, stay in downtown Charleston at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Charleston Place, where you can spend the Saturday before the festival strolling the historic district, taking in the city’s quaint architecture and sampling its restaurants.
Photos courtesy of Lowcountry Oyster Festival