Though not part of Hilton Head Island, Daufuskie deserves mention as it is a favorite side trip of many visitors. Daufuskie gained fame when Pat Conroy wrote about his experiences there as a schoolteacher in his book The Water is Wide. There is no bridge to Daufuskie, so access is by boat. Permanent residents number less than 300. Daufuskie has private developments and golf courses, but much of it is still natural and much as Hilton Head was many decades ago. Daufuskie was owned by freed slaves after the civil war and traces of the Gullah culture remain to this day. Only a few vehicles exist on the island and there is but one general store and, recently, a liquor store. Visitors favorite mode of transportation (other than walking) is by golf cart rentals or bicycle rentals. These are available at the Freeport Marina. Freeport Marina recently opened a new restaurant, the Daufuskie Crab Company, which is open Wednesday to Sunday. To see Daufuskie you can rent a boat or kayak (only if you are an experienced kayaker) and dock at the public dock there (it's around the back side of the Island). A better way to see it is to sign up for a tour offered by several companies.
Rental accommodations: at this writing there are no hotels or motels on Daufuskie, but rental homes, small rustic cabins and apartments are available.
If you go, be sure to check out the art galleries Iron Fish Art,, where Chase Allen produces metal sculptures of aquatic critters, and the Silver Dew Pottery shop.
If you rent a boat you can go to Daufuskie by yourself - there is a County maintained public dock and you can rent golf carts individually. Ask your rental company for guidance.
If you rent a kayak, unless you are very experienced and in top physical
condition you should not try to get to Daufuskie by kayak. Tidal currents can be
very swift and powerful and the water can get quite choppy. You could end up in
the Atlantic ocean or stranded aground at low tide.
Other tours are offered by:
Residents, golfers, workers, etc. get to Daufuskie via the Daufuskie Island Ferry (843-940-7704), which docks at their facility on Buckingham Landing in Bluffton and takes you to Melrose Landing. This is a public ferry and anyone can use it, the cost is $35.
This page Updated 03/18/2020
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