Aquatourism and the Sea-to-Fork culinary movement will soon combine to assist oyster habitat and marine research.
Oysters, that gourmet delight prized for over 4,000 years in the Lowcountry, will soon be at the center of a new “aquatourism” initiative set to launch this fall. The Lowcountry Oyster Trail, will highlight the region’s famous oysters, and their growing role in the red-hot “sea-to-fork” culinary movement.
“The Lowcountry Oyster Trail (LOT) is an exciting multi-faceted economic development concept highlighting wild and farm-raised oysters and much more,” says Bluffton resident Larry Hughes, mastermind behind the LOT. He’s orchestrating the Trail’s development and growth. “We also plan to shine a deserved spotlight on the men and women who grow, harvest, shuck, prepare, cook and serve Lowcountry oysters.”
The LOT will guide residents and visitors to restaurants, wine bars, outdoor adventure sites, museums, and historical and cultural sights with a host of packages and immersive experiences for all ages. Partners in the trail will include oyster growers, food and beverage operators, hoteliers, educational and cultural attractions, and retailers. Each partner will display a plaque identifying them as part of the LOT and marking them as a steward of the Trail experience.
The LOT website (www.LowcountryOysterTrail.org) will explain the lore and legend of watermen and oystering and be a pathway for site visitors to discover more about the special Lowcountry environment.
“The fun will help support a fund, the SC Lowcountry Oyster Trail Fund,” says Hughes. This is a charitable fund in support of the SC LOT Foundation in partnership with the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, a 501c3 organization
Special hospitality packages may include lodging, unique Chef’s Table offerings, oyster tasting rooms pairing single select oysters with special wines or craft beers, and on-site visits to an oyster farm. Additional offerings include outdoor adventures/dolphin encounters in the May River and surrounding sounds, educational boat trips, one-of-a-kind nature talks, and shopping discounts.
The Trail will allow participants to custom design their very own unique “LOT experience” in the Lowcountry. For example, a family can perhaps start their day with a morning kayak paddle on the May River, have lunch at the Toomer family Bluffton Seafood House, go on an afternoon visit to the Port Royal Sound Foundation Maritime Center in Okatie, and enjoy cocktails and dinner at Hudson’s on the Docks on Hilton Head Island.
For more information about the Lowcountry Oyster Trail itineraries, partners to date, and calendar of events visit www.LowcountryOysterTrail.org. Any individual or organization interested in becoming a Trail partner can email [email protected] or phone 888-587-4593, Ext. 2.