Six Great Things to Do at Brays Island


The Southeastern Coastal region is undeniably one of America’s most desirable places to live, and South Carolina’s Lowcountry is a prime example of why people are flocking to the area. The combination of great winter weather; quaint, colorful cities like Savannah and Charleston; and diverse outdoor opportunities is tough to beat, especially for folks of the sporting ilk. But the sad fact is that as more people have moved to the area and development has increased, the ability to partake in quality sporting ventures has begun to wane. A shooter might still have access to a nice clays range but have nowhere to hunt birds, and good fishing might still be available to an angler but only after he or she has endured an hour-long wait to put in at the public boat launch. There remain precious few places where everything that the Lowcountry offers can be enjoyed to the fullest—and Brays Island Plantation, in Sheldon, South Carolina, is quite possibly the best of them. This 5,500-acre, world-class sporting community is home to around 300 families, and the spectrum of outdoor resources available is too extensive to list. A short list of what Brays Island residents consider their favorite activities is more manageable. 


To say that Brays Island Plantation is a shooting community would be untrue. There are simply too many wonderful non-shooting activities available as well. That said, shotgunning is considered the number-one pastime for the majority of residents, and the array of shooting opportunities available is eye-popping. On the wingshooting side, quail hunting reigns supreme. The Plantation manages several thousand acres for hunting, including 14 quail fields. Residents can hunt with their own dogs or have a staff guide orchestrate a hunt featuring dogs from the Plantation’s kennel. Speaking of dogs, Brays employs a full-time dog training professional who not only keeps the Plantation’s dogs performing at “Top Gun” level, but also helps residents train their dogs. There are also some excellent big-game options available, with deer and turkeys being the most popular species.

Target Shooting

Referred to as The Gun Club, Brays’ target-shooting facilities include a Holland & Holland-designed sporting clays course as well as FITASC, 5 Stand, skeet and trap venues—a gamut that provides great shooting for beginners, experts and everyone in between. Instructors and a pro shop are part of the shotgunning mix also, with the pro shop offering guns (for sale and rent), apparel and shooting supplies. And there are ranges devoted to rifle, pistol and archery shooting as well.


The golfing scene at Brays centers around a private, 300-acre, 18-hole championship course situated in a pristine Lowcountry setting. The course is never crowded, meaning that tee times are not necessary and that golfers truly have the luxury experience of owning their own course. Throw in a golf school staffed by PGA pros, and it’s easy to understand why this activity is a favorite.


South Carolina’s coastal estuaries boast some of the best year-round redfish, speckled trout and flounder fishing in the nation. And at certain times of the year, cobia, jack crevalle and tarpon invade the area too. Brays is smack in the middle of all of it and, thanks to the Plantation’s private launch (part of its full-service boating facilities), residents can be on the water in minutes—either on their own or accompanied by one of the Plantation’s guides. Add to that a countless number of private freshwater ponds rife with bass and panfish, and the result is a seemingly endless array of options for spin fishers and fly anglers alike.

Nature Walking

It’s a sad fact that natural beauty is something that must increasingly be enjoyed from afar. That’s not the case at Brays. The Brays Island Nature Center employs full-time naturalists to help residents get close and personal with the area’s amazing flora and fauna. Walkers, birders, kayaks and the like have access to more than 5,000 acres of undeveloped natural habitat in which to enjoy the outdoors. There’s even a farm where owners can enjoy an extensive array of home-grown vegetables.


Above everything else, Brays Island is a sporting community, and the Plantation staff and operators work tirelessly to make a large and diverse array of social opportunities available to residents. For example, there are small, low-key gatherings centered around clay target shooting, dog training and golf that might see eight to 10 residents participate, and there are large events such as oyster roasts and the Annual Outdoor Exposition where 150 to 200 people attend. Another popular gathering place is Brays’ restaurant, The Plantation Grill, which serves exquisite, chef-prepared delicacies. The kitchen is always happy to prepare fish and game that residents harvest on the property. 

All of the aforementioned aspects add tremendously to the high quality of life at Brays. Yes, hardcore bird dog owners and avid clay target shooters are blessed to have such incredible access to what they love most, but ultimately it’s the wider array of opportunities that makes the Plantation such a special place to live. Brays is primarily a community of like-minded sporting people with a broad range of outdoor interests, and the Plantation is a world-class venue where they can enjoy them all.

To learn more about Brays Island Plantation, visit

Photographs courtesy of Brays Island Plantation.

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