An hour outside of Birmingham is where you’ll find Pursell Farms, a 3,500-acre resort with championship golf and hunting grounds, lakes stocked for fishing and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. Accommodations at the Sylacauga, Ala., retreat include the two-bedroom, Southern-style Hamilton Place, built in 1854 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its adjacent three-bedroom guesthouse; four four-bedroom cabins next to the 11th hole; three cottages, each with a large gathering room with a fireplace and a full kitchen and dining room; and Parker Lodge, which has eight suites, a great room, full kitchen and dining area, stone fireplaces, covered patio areas and views of Lodge Lake. In total, Pursell Farms has accommodations for about 75 people.
While the resort has a laidback atmosphere, it doesn’t lack the seriousness meetings demand. Seven meeting venues combine for a total of 10,000 square feet of conference space, including a conference center with a 200-person capacity. Several of the conference rooms have high-definition plasma screens, wireless Internet and laptop connections for audiovisual presentations. The Solutions Center has a 75-seat theater room and a private patio space, ideal for multimedia presentations and breakouts. The center also has a kitchen and dining area.
Once the meetings are over, attendees can choose from several activities for teambuilding and outdoor adventures. Play a round at the resort’s FarmLinks Golf Club, which also happens to be the world’s only research and demonstration golf course. Or take advantage of the rolling hills, oak and pine forests, and tall grasses that are managed and prepared for guided preserve hunting. Depending on the season, groups can hunt for dove, quail, duck or turkey. Another outdoor option is fishing for largemouth bass or bream in one of the stocked lakes.
Pursell Farms takes farm-to-table dining to another level with its vegetable garden. Previously used as a hayfield, the garden’s rich soil yields a variety of vegetables from tomatoes, peppers and corn to cucumbers, zucchini and squash. The produce is used at The Farmlinks Grille, where guests enjoy a country-chic fine dining experience.