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Daufuskie Island Information
Daufuskie Island is a beautiful and unique island right next door to Hilton Head Island. We currently only rent one property on Daufuskie, called Sea Oak Manor, which is listed here at the bottom of the page. The only way to get to Daufuskie is by boat and there are some unique considerations to think about when planning a Daufuskie vacation. In order to help you understand what you need to plan for as well as what is available to you on Daufuskie we compiled this handy guide to explain all the details of staying on the island. Enjoy!
As you are already aware, access to the island is by water. You have the option of taking a ferry or water-taxi to the island. Once on the island, the means of transportation to get around is by cottage cart which you may rent by the day or week. As with any island destination, advance arrangements are recommended!
KEY CONTACT INFORMATION:
For questions prior to arrival on the island:
Hilton Head Rentals & Golf 843-785-8687 / 800-445-8664
For island information:
GETTING TO DAUFUSKIE
You will take a boat to Daufuskie Island. Island Motto: “No Bridge - No Problem!” The main form of transportation here is by golf cart. Cars are not brought over (except by barge). You will be able to leave your car on the mainland in a parking lot maintained by your ferry or water taxi company.
Assuming you don't have access to a private boat, there are several choices getting here. These trips can be fun, and you will often spot dolphins on the way to the island.
There are several boat transportation options to help you get to Daufuskie Island. For large groups, we recommend Calibogue Cruises, which operates a ferry boat out of the Broad Creek Marina in Hilton Head and into Daufuskie's Freeport Marina. Calibogue Cruises also offers ground transportation on the island to Sea Oaks Manor, and can accommodate your entire group in their bus.
Calibogue Cruises (recommended)
This is the main ferry boat to Daufuskie leaving from the Broad Creek Marina on Hilton Head and arriving at Daufuskie's Freeport Marina.
Broad Creek Marina (next to the Zip Line attraction)
18 Simmons Rd, Hilton Head Island
The boat has a set schedule, and be sure to allow yourself at least 30 minutes prior to departure time in order park, unload, get your tickets, and carry luggage onto the boat. ADVANCE RESERVATIONS ARE ENCOURAGED!
It is a 60 minute trip to Daufuskie on this ferry. Please note that not all scheduled boats allow luggage. Check the company's website at www.daufuskiefreeport.com and click on "Our Schedule and Rates" section for more information. (It's always good to call and confirm the ferry schedule the day before you are scheduled to come over here, as the website does not always reflect recent schedule changes.)
Rates are $28 per person round trip. In addition, however, please note that there is a $20 roundtrip charge for large bags and coolers (even if you don't bring them back with you.) Also, parking is $5 per day for each vehicle. (Be sure to check website for current rates, as they change frequently.)
GROUND TRANSPORTATION ON DAUFUSKIE FROM MARINA TO YOUR LODGING DESTINATION:
If you are taking Calibogue Cruises from Broad Creek Marina on Hilton Head to Daufuskie, you will land at their Freeport Marina on Daufuskie Island. You can arrange for ground transportation from Calibogue Cruises. They charge $20 per person, round trip (no charge for luggage). You should make arrangements for ground transportation at the same time that you make your ferry reservations with them.
For information on water taxi service to the island:
Contact Capt. Chris with May River Excursions at 843-304-2878 www.mayriverexcursions.com/daufuskie-water-taxi
The water taxi drops off passengers at the County Dock at Marshside Mamas on Daufuskie Island. Subject to time availability, The Daufuskie Rental Group offers land transportation from this location to the Sea Oak Manor. Before arranging for this water taxi service option, it is important to first call Deborah at The Daufuskie Rental Group at 404-414-1282 to check availability for taxi/ground transportation from this location. They offer transportation from the dock to the Sea Oak Manor for $20 per person, round trip (no charge for luggage transport).
On Your Arrival Day
IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT GUESTS OF THE SEA OAK MANOR PAY THEIR BALANCE IN FULL 30 DAYS PRIOR TO THEIR CHECK IN DATE IN ORDER FOR HILTON HEAD RENTALS & GOLF TO MAIL THE KEYS IN ADVANCE OF THE GUEST CHECK IN DATE (Hilton Head Rentals & Golf does not have an office on Daufuskie Island). IN THE KEY PACKET THERE WILL ALSO BE A SELF ADDRESSED AND STAMPED ENVELOPE TO RETURN THE KEYS TO HILTON HEAD RENTALS & GOLF AFTER YOUR DEPARTURE.
For visitors coming in on the Calibogue Cruise Ferry, the ferry company offers land transportation to your vacation home, which can be arranged with them at the time you make your ferry reservations. Please be aware they may charge for coolers, golf clubs, etc. except for the two small carry on pieces of luggage which are complimentary per person.
For visitors coming in on the May River water taxi, you must make reservations for land transportation well in advance of your arrival on the island by calling Deborah Smith at 404-414-1282.
What To Bring
There are two very small General Stores with limited items on the island (at the Bloody Point Eagles Nest Club House and at Freeport Marina) but no traditional grocery stores. Therefore, you will probably want to buy groceries before you leave home or stop at a grocery store before you get to your embarkation dock. It's helpful to bring one or two roll-on suitcases in which to place your groceries, and many folks also bring a cooler for items needing refrigeration prior to your arrival.
There is also a grocery shopping service provided called Cyber Valet Grocery; so you may instead choose to call them and place an order for groceries to be delivered to your rental property on Daufuskie Island. The number for Cyber Valet Grocery is 843-290-3191. You may visit their website at www.cybervaletgrocery.com. See last page for more details.
The Sea Oak Manor has a fully-equipped kitchen. In addition to the essential appliances, there is a second full sized refrigerator, an ice making machine and two washing machines and two dryers. There are also two gas grills for outdoor cooking. The Sea Oak Manor also has three 4-passenger golf carts for rent. There will be a “starter” supply of bath soap, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, toilet paper and paper towels available to you. Please remember that there are no grocery stores on the island and the general stores are stocked with limited items.
Clothing and Towels
The Sea Oak Manor includes bed and bath linens, but you may want to bring beach towels since the bath towels provided to you cannot leave the home. Also there are no beach umbrella or beach chair rentals on the island.
Regarding what to bring to wear, most people end up packing more than they need. Keep in mind that this is a very casual island, including the restaurants. Also, your vacation home includes a washer and dryer.
One note: Anyone planning on horseback riding (available through the Sea Grass Stables, located on the Melrose on the Beach Resort, should bring long pants and leather-soled shoes or boots. Advance reservations are recommended: Call 843-341-2894.
Don't forget bug spray as well as sunscreen or (better still) sun block: Many sun burns have ruined a good vacation! A broad-brimmed hat always makes sense, and a light rain jacket may come in handy.
Getting Around on Daufuskie
Golf Carts and Bikes
Most folks get around the island by cottage carts which are 4 passenger golf carts). Transportation around the island by cottage cart is your means of transportation. The Sea Oak Manor has three 4-passenger carts for rent at $45 each, per day. If you would like to rent these carts, please call Hilton Head Rentals & Golf at 800-445-8664 to arrange. If you need additional carts, contact Bloody Point Cart Rentals at 843-341-5505 or you can order online by visiting their website at www.bloody-point.com. They have 4 and 6 passenger carts for rent and you arrange directly through them for rental and payment. Drivers must be at least 18 years old and be able to show a valid driver’s license.
If you rent the Sea Oak Manor carts, make sure that you always keep them attached to the cart chargers when not in use so that you will always have a full charge when traversing the island.
For bike rentals contact The Daufuskie Rental Group at 404-414-1282. The have a few beach bikes (cruisers) for rent at $10 a day or they can give you information for other bike rental sources.
Cart renters/users should keep in mind that all SC Rules of the Road are in effect, and that careless driving can result in serious accidents. Any drinking on the cart or evidence of inebriation will be grounds for terminating your cart contract and forfeiture of your deposit.
Preserving our fragile dunes and protecting wildlife (the endangered Loggerhead Turtle lays eggs on our beaches) is important to us, and we ask that our island visitors help protect our environmental resources.
COTTAGE CARTS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THE BEACHES!
There is a 8-9 ft. tidal difference on these beaches! If the ocean swallows the carts, you are responsible for their replacement!
Children should always be securely seated and should hold on to the cart’s armrests, and should be instructed not to exit the cart until it comes to a full stop. Drive defensively, and especially at night when visibility can be an issue. Always pull over to the side of the road to let cars and trucks pass you.
The bottom line is that carts are fun, but you need to be careful. Accidents can easily happen, and we are sobered by the knowledge that there were 4 golf cart-related deaths in our county last year.
Things to Know
PLEASE WATCH YOUR CHILDREN AND PETS!
Keep your distance from the lagoons and DO NOT FEED THE ALLIGATORS (it is against SC state law).
REMEMBER LIGHTS OUT FOR TURTLES! The Town of Hilton Head, which includes Daufuskie Island, requires that lights on structures visible from the beach be shielded or turned off from dusk to dawn from May 1 to October 31. Any windows facing the beach must also be covered with draperies or shade screens.
On-Island Taxi / Ground Transportation Services
Several local vendors will drive you back and forth to the island's restaurants and other destinations. Subject to availability, The Daufuskie Rental Group offers this service to anywhere on the island. Call Deborah at 404-414-1282 to request this service.
There are several restaurants on the island, which you can reach by golf cart or by pre-arranged ground transportation. Casual dress is the norm at all three.
1) Eagle's Nest at Bloody Point Resort
Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner; Reservations recommended for dinner and for large groups for lunch.
This is a very pleasant restaurant with a nice dining room, an adjoining sports bar, and a screened-in porch eating area. Great chef; Kid-Friendly. Sundays and Mondays feature a very popular homemade "pizza night" in addition to the regular selections. The Eagle's Nest is about a 15 minute golf cart ride from your vacation rental if you are on Melrose.
Open for lunch and dinner; reservations recommended for dinner.
2) Old Daufuskie Crab Company at Freeport Marina
Super casual with inside and outside colorful tables and chairs, and often featuring a band on weekends. Be sure to check out the centuries-old canoe recently discovered embedded in mud in a nearby island. This restaurant is one of the best places to watch the sunset! Grab a drink and head over to the Adirondack chairs or a picnic table to enjoy it. For large group dinners, contact Chef Brad, for their special menus and all-inclusive pricing.
Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. Reservations not needed.
3) Marshside Mama's at the County Dock
Legendary laid-back restaurant open for lunch and dinner every day except Monday. Menu features local favorites such as Shrimp and Grits, as well as more standard fare. Some outside seating; summer months often feature a band. Don't expect an elegant environment: the restaurant motto is "No Whining" and inside you'll see cautionary signs such as "No Golf Shoes Allowed When Dancing On Tables." Bring your bug spray to ward off the no-see-ums should you end up eating outside.
Open every day except Monday for lunch and dinner. Reservations for dinner highly recommended for summer and holiday/special event times.
4) Melrose on the Beach
This casual water view restaurant is near the pool and will offer inside dining, screen porch dining and dining on the open deck. For updates on the restaurants progress, please visit their website.
Other Eating Options
Enjoy a home-cooked and authentic low-country meal prepared by Ernestine Smith, whose family has lived on Daufuskie for more than 150 years. Be sure you ask that your meal include her famous Devil Crab” – a Daufuskie Gullah delicacy.
Call Ernestine at least one week in advance at 843-842-3011 and ask for a meal to be delivered directly to our vacation rental. This service is not always available, depending on Ernestine’s schedule.
As isolated as our little island may seem, we do have access to immediate and efficient emergency services. Should you have need of medical services, immediately call 911. Your call will be routed to the Daufuskie Island fire station where there is an outstanding team of firefighters and paramedics on call 24/7. When necessary, they will transport emergency patients to the appropriate medical facility by boat or helicopter.
Regardless of where you are staying, there are a variety of options for you to enjoy the island's resort amenities, including golf, horseback riding, tours, etc. For more information about resort amenities:
Melrose on the Beach Website: www.melroseonthebeach.com
Bloody Point website: www.bloody-point.com
Yoga classes are generally held every Saturday morning at the Mary Field School (now a community center) on School Road. The instruction is appropriate for all fitness levels, from beginner to intermediate, and visitors are welcome. Laura Winholt is a certified Anusara Yoga and RYT 500 instructor. For more information call Laura at 843-842-5990 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Island Locations of Special Interest
There are many interesting places to visit on Daufuskie, including the locations described below. All of these places will be marked on a map found in your arrival welcome packet.
The Silver Dew Pottery opens for the season on Tuesday, April 30th and remains open through October. This studio is run by Lancy and Emily Burn, longtime Daufuskie residents. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Lancy's grandfather arriving on Daufuskie to serve as the Bloody Point assistant lighthouse keeper. You can hear some fascinating stories about the island's history from the Burns during your visit to this shop.
The hours for the Silver Dew Pottery are 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Tuesday through Friday
The historic Jane Hamilton School, formerly used as the school for children living on the north end of the island, has been restored by the Daufuskie Historical Foundation and is currently home to the Gullah Learning Center and the Daufuskie Island Community Library. It also serves as the polling location for Daufuskie's elections precinct.
Located next door is the Billie Burn Museum, which was formerly the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church. The museum contains a fascinating collection of island artifacts and historical documents and also offers some distinctive gift items for sale.
The Jane Hamilton School and the Billie Burn Museum's hours are: Tuesday and Thursday: 12:30 pm - 4:00 pm; Wednesday and Friday: 12:30 pm - 3:30 pm.
1. The Iron Fish Art Gallery is always open, even if its resident artist, Chase Allen, is not present. Chase has been featured in numerous Southern and Coastal Living publications. Lots of interesting things to see here, and visitors enjoy exploring his art work on both the front porch and in an outdoor gallery area. Love honey? Chase has his own bee hives, and you can buy jars of freshly-made honey.
2. The Daufuskie Island Community Farm is run by volunteers and is a particularly nice location for families with children to visit. Ducks, chickens, turkeys, and a cow named Muffin are among the resident animals. Don't forget to visit the goat barn where you will most likely see the recently-born baby goats (kids). (Please note that this is not a petting zoo, and that entering into the animals' gated areas is not allowed.)
3. The beautiful First Union African Baptist Church holds services every Sunday, and visitors are welcome. Church services begin at 10:00 am. For more information go to www.fuabchurch.org.
4. The Rob Kennedy Historic Trail was developed by the Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation and contains numerous landmarks of great historic and cultural importance. This is a great way to spend a day exploring the island on golf cart or bike. A map can be found at the Billie Burn Museum and other places around the island.
5. The Silver Dew Winery is a historic winery located on Daufuskie Island in Beaufort County. The small building dates back to 1883 and originally served as a wick house (a building used to store the lighthouse lamp and wicks) for the Bloody Point Lighthouse. If you’re lucky, the current owner, “Low Country Joe,” will be on hand to relay the structure’s fascinating history.
6. Island T-shirt and Gift Shop and the Freeport General Store both carry Daufuskie-themed T-shirts and other souvenir items.
Island Etiquette and Tips
Slow down a bit! You’ll enjoy your time on the island more if you can adapt to “Daufuskie Standard Time!”
Get to know the Islanders! You can either spend all your time at the pool or on the beach (which is tempting, we know!), or you can turn your vacation into a truly memorable experience by taking the time to explore this unique, beautiful, and quirky little island. Get off the beaten path! Talk to the local folks! Most folks there are glad to chat with visitors and share stories about Daufuskie’s people, history, and culture.
Keep the island beautiful! Even one discarded beverage can or plastic bag on the roadside diminishes the beauty of the island.
Protect our wildlife and natural resources! Don’t drive your golf cart on the beach (you can inadvertently destroy all the eggs in an entire loggerhead turtle nest); leave the live sand dollars on the beach and let others enjoy the wildflowers and other foliage by not picking them. If you have a vacation property facing the beach, please make sure you do not have your porch lights on at night from May through October – this is loggerhead turtle nesting season. (The light will confuse the baby turtles and cause them to head for your light instead of the light of the moon which will lead them towards the water).
Support our nonprofit organizations! We are proud of all the island volunteers for their work to preserve and promote the island’s history, natural resources, and sustainable efforts. When you visit such places as the Billie Burn Museum and the Jane Hamilton School, the community Farm, and the First Union African Baptist Church, please do make a donation to help them continue these great programs.
Wave! There is a long-standing tradition on the island of waving at the people you pass in golf carts or other vehicles. Show us that your are glad to be here by joining in that tradition!
Once your vacation is over, keep in touch! Sign up for updates on the Daufuskie Island Magazine website (www.daufuskieislandmagazine.com) and those of our nonprofit organizations.
There’s a saying that “You don’t find Daufuskie….Daufuskie finds you.” Keep Daufuskie in your heart and come back to see us as soon as you can!
Browse and Refine
- Daufuskie Island
- Oceanfront Manor
- 8 bedrooms w/ Private Baths
- 2 Queen Beds Per BR
- Great Room
- Pool Table&Card Room
- Wedding Gazebo
- Reunion Home
- Spectacular for Large Groups
- Corporate Retreat
- Sleeps 32
- Singleton Beach
- Palmetto Dunes
- Forest Beach
- Sea Pines
- Folly Field
- Port Royal
- Daufuskie Island