A Destination Management Company (DMC) is a term for a professional services company possessing extensive local knowledge, expertise, and resources in the geographic regions they represent, specializing in the design and implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation, and program logistics.
Absolutely Charleston, the Carolina Lowcountry’s most respected and most visible DMC, provides an unparalleled ground service based upon our local knowledge and experience. Our services include Accommodations and Meeting Support... Companion Programs... Special Events... Sports Outings & Relationship-building Exercises... Tours & Excursions... and Transportation. We act as your local specialist – as a partner – in extending your own efforts in creating the correct atmosphere and tone for your assembly in the Lowcountry.
Meeting Room, Stage Set, and Theme Events
Food and Beverage
Speakers and Entertainment
Audio Visual and Lighting
Welcome Amenities and Gifts
Registration and Staff Support
Group Coordinators and Trip Directors
For the seventeenth consecutive year, readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine designated Charleston a “Top 10” travel destination in the United States. Charleston was honored with the No. 2 slot - topped only by San Francisco. This ranking maintains Charleston’s spot as the premiere East Coast destination.
What this means is when Charleston is announced as the location for your organization’s next gathering, you can bank on the fact that it won’t be just the delegates who will be excited to learn of the destination: the delegates’ wives... husbands... and companions will want to come and experience Charleston for themselves, too! And one of our goals – one of our most important undertakings – is to provide companion programs and experiences that are not only created expressly for the audience they serve, but also ones that speak to the singular and unique personality of the Carolina Lowcountry. These programs may be designed around any of the following disciplines:
The emergence of Charleston as a premier purveyor of fine cuisine began in the mid-1980s and continues today as Lowcountry cuisine has sparked a food revolution that frequently puts Charleston in the national spotlight. Culinary experiences range from cooking demonstrations with local celebrity chefs, to hands on cooking classes, and even behind-the-scenes restaurant, kitchen, and tasting tours.
Education, Enlightenment, and Expert Speakers
The historic charm of Charleston often leads to a desire for further education on specific aspects of the city’s past and present culture. These in-depth and intriguing programs may be tailored to your guest’s interests and are led by some of the city’s most knowledgeable experts in individual fields such as antiques, fine arts, silver, sweetgrass basket weaving, and architecture.
Relaxation and Rejuvenation
Sometimes the best part of being away is indulging in those experiences that time does not allow for at home. Our relaxation and rejuvenation experiences include custom and private day spa visits focusing on decadent services for the health of your mind, body, and spirit.
Delightfully diverse shopping is one of the most often mentioned reasons for visiting the Charleston area. The area boasts indigenous local crafts, unique boutique and specialty shops, antiques galore, plus, a wide variety of familiar retailers. The favorite pastime of shopping can be sculpted into exclusive companion programs by pre-arranged private store visits, including time with the shop owners, collectors, artists, and designers.
Participant sports and other outside activities are enjoyed on a year-round basis in the Lowcountry. This creates a perfect opportunity for companions to enjoy a variety of activities to occupy and entertain their time during meeting delegate sessions.
Tours & Excursions
History is literally found around every corner, and the city and its’ outlying areas create the effect of a living museum. Companion programs are the perfect time for the delegates’ spouses to experience Charleston, “where history lives.”
Eating is a serious pastime in Charleston. You can choose between nationally-renowned restaurants serving the best of Southern nouveau, or if you prefer, a waterfront shack with some of the best fried seafood south of the Mason-Dixon Line. In Charleston our chefs are our rock stars, and they’ve earned their stellar reputations by preparing classic Lowcountry cooking with a contemporary flair.
Allow Absolutely Charleston to unlock for you the entrances of white-tablecloth restaurants... the doors of private homes and historic buildings... the gates of celebrated plantations... and the gangways of vintage yachts as we showcase for you one of the most important of Southern traditions, the Art of Entertaining. These exquisite events and dining opportunities may be further explored in the following categories:
Charleston proper, the peninsula bordered by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers boasts a diverse collection of venues for unique special events including private homes, museums, public historical buildings, art galleries, an aquarium, and sporting venues.
Plantations conjure up visions of grand Southern culture, from white-columned estates to Scarlett O’Hara, these venues speak to the majestic days of the past...and with picturesque plantations and gardens closely located on either side of Charleston, private events at these sites is an opportunity for any group.
Create an evening around the pink-orange sunset sky darkening over the marshes and a golden crescent moon illuminating the water; an image and memory for your guests only available in the Lowcountry. Either sites as luxurious as private beach and waterside homes to the down and dirty rustic localities such as working shrimping docks set the perfect stage to experience this beauty.
On the Water
Permission granted for you to come aboard any of the diverse vessels available, ranging from Columbia sailing sloops and vintage Trumpy yachts to custom catamarans and expansive excursion yachts. Allow us to assist you in selecting the correct craft for your Charleston water adventure.
Semi-private dining, beautifully appointed private dining rooms, exclusive restaurant buyouts, and dine arounds are just a few of the ways for groups to incorporate the well-known Charleston restaurant scene into wonderful experiences for their attendees.
The Charleston area’s subtropical climate offers an annual average daytime of high of 74ºF / 23ºC and a low of 60ºF / 16ºC... and means that participant sports and other outside activities are enjoyed on a year-round basis by residents and visitors alike. Activities include levels of Golfing to accommodate any handicap... to hands-on Sailing Regattas... nature-based tourism in the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway... and participatory cooking exercises using sustainable “Certified South Carolina” produce and proteins.
Discover Charleston’s world-class golf courses situated on breathtaking coastal terrain, ranging from true links style courses to tight wooded Lowcountry layouts. Golfers and non-golfers alike will enjoy our unmatched variety; from private to public to resort style courses, there are many options for you and your guests. Make it a laid back day for golfers to enjoy each other’s company and the course, or a competitive tournament. We can arrange it all, including any side events or ending gatherings at the 19th hole!
Regattas offer a great time for colleagues to interact in small groups, while learning some basic sailing techniques and enjoying the picturesque sites of the Charleston Harbor.
The Charleston area offers outstanding inshore and offshore fishing opportunities for the fly or light tackle angler. Our boats are catching (or tagging and releasing) fish that inhabit inshore estuaries, tidal creeks, and all barrier island waters. First-time anglers as well as experienced fisherman, birdwatchers, sunbathers, and sightseers will enjoy this time out on the beautiful surrounding waters.
Weekend warriors will enjoy the opportunity to try a variety of shooting sports including paintball, sporting clays, five stand, trap, skeet, or trying their hand at wing shooting. This activity is available in sophisticated, yet rustic settings throughout Charleston.
The Lowcountry offers beautiful coastal paddling for groups to enjoy together, regardless of individual skill level. Salt marshes and coastal dunes are dramatic natural backdrops where your guests will see a wide variety of sea and shore birds and other local wildlife, including dolphins.
Build team camaraderie by completing a series of physical and mental activities together that make these events challenging and enjoyable for all ability levels.
Using local flavors and ingredients, guests will work together and test their cooking skills as teams compete to create the best dish! To heat up the competition, local celebrity chefs may be incorporated as judges for the event.
This is a fun and competitive way to take in Charleston’s history as teams race around the city in search of facts pertaining to a variety of subjects including history, architecture, churches, gardens, and local legends and establishments.
This “spirited” team activity will give your guests an in depth look at historic downtown Charleston as they spend two hours racing around the city learning about its history, visiting some famed spots and indulging in a little of the local nightlife.
Each and every single visitor to the Charleston area has at least one common element: transportation. By definition, if they’re a visitor, they’re not from here; they’re from “off.” That means they arrived from somewhere else... using a conveyance that travels over roads... over the water... or above the earth. Each and every trip for a visitor begins and ends with transportation... the common element.
And while any meetings organizer or delegate will tell you that transportation in and of itself is far from being the most exciting component of a conference, it is in fact one of the most crucial. Absolutely Charleston maintains its own fleet of vehicles, fromcomfortable custom van transportation and spacious coaches to our unique fleet of trolleys.
Our transportation team – from reservations to operations to drivers – is known in the Charleston area as the preeminent transportation service provider.
Private Individual Tours
Offering customized private tours for individuals or families to include: Historic Charleston, House & Gardens, Civil War History, Fort Sumter, the Plantations, Winery, Boutique & Antique Shopping, Carriage Tours, Summerville and Mt. Pleasant. All tours are customized to suit your needs; meet your guide in Charleston or at the resort, tour in the morning, afternoon or early evening. Admissions are not included and larger transportation is available for an additional fee. Contact Linda Wohlfeil 843-345-1130 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walk the cobblestone streets and narrow alleys of historic Charleston while a well-heeled guide gives your guests the history and stories that make the city come alive. Walking tours may be generally focused on the historic district or specifically designed around a number of disciplines including:
Gardens • Historic Homes • Museums • Architecture • Military History • Shopping • Antiques • Culinary • Gullah Culture • History & Mystery • Houses of Worship
When guests step aboard a motor coach with one of our City of Charleston-licensed guides, not only is the historic district available for touring, but outlying and surrounding areas are easily navigated to for guests, making more sites and attractions available for half-day and full-day excursions. Below is a sampling of some of the most popular options:
City Tours: Plantations • Tea Plantation • Winery
Military Sites: Fort Sumter • Patriots Point and the USS Yorktown • Hunley • Fort Moultrie
Surrounding Areas: Beaufort • Columbia • Myrtle Beach • Savannah
Our Step-On Guides are the ideal option for bus tours making their way through Charleston. Our guides can meet your bus and group at the Charleston Area Visitors Center and board your vehicle for a guided tour around the Charleston peninsula.
Carriage tours remain one of the most charming ways to see Charleston’s historic district. These leisurely one hour rides are led by licensed guides that share the history and stories of Charleston, making the city come alive.
Experience the history and beauty of Charleston from the water as you sail past famous sites and attractions such as the Battery, the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, Patriots Point, Waterfront Park, and Fort Sumter.
Enjoy a privately-guided leisurely ride through the picturesque area of Mount Pleasant known as the Old Village; often compared to Martha’s Vineyard and setting for the hit film The Notebook or for the more seasoned biker, take a thrilling ride across the 3.5 mile long Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.
Nature Based Eco-Tours
Take in the sights, smells, and sounds of the Lowcountry while learning about the various wildlife on private kayak rides through tidal creeks or from visits to one of the many neighboring uninhabited barrier islands.