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 perhaps 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. The islands oldest public restaurant, Marshside Mamma's, is frequented by Hilton Head's boating community as well as by locals. Hours/days of operation vary, so you must always call ahead (843-785-4755). If you go. plan to dine in very rustic surroundings with several dogs and a pig for company. 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 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.
offers boat transportation from Broad Creek Marina and a tour on a modified
school bus and golf cart rentals. You will see the remains of a winery, the
school, churches and other sights. You can also explore
on your own by
renting a golf cart or bicycle and using an annotated map that will be provided.
Other tours are offered by:
Daufuskie Island Excursions (Outside Hilton Head) provide boat
transportation, a golf cart and a guide 843-686-6996.
Residents, golfers, workers, etc. get to Daufuskie via the Daufuskie Island Resort Ferry (843-342-8687), which docks at their facility on Squire Pope Rd. an the North end and takes you to Melrose Landing. This is a public ferry and anyone can use it, but be sure to check the cost if it's not included in your golf or resort package. It is appropriate for visitors to the resorts on the island, not for the casual visitor.
This page Updated 05/12/2013
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