Day Trips from Hilton Head Island: A Day on Daufuskie Island
I recently read an article in the Island Packet about a gentleman, Tony Chase, who is purchasing property to open a micro distillery on Daufuskie Island. He thought about producing bourbon but he has lived in Kentucky for 35 years and it just didn’t seem right to him that bourbon should be distilled outside of Kentucky so he decided upon a more tropical brew, rum. He is building a 3500 sq ft facility that will include a large porch overlooking a pond where you can sit in rocking chairs and sip on a glass of rum, it sounds so southern doesn’t it? Should I bring my playing cards? This all got me thinking about the last time that I spent a day on Daufuskie and how interesting it was to discover this island neighbor so I thought that I would share some of the points of interest with you.
Daufuskie Island is a pristine and remote sea island west of Hilton Head Island. A day on Daufuskie is like stepping back through time. The island is only accessible by ferry so you begin your adventure with a boat ride, just imagine standing on the deck, relaxing in the sunshine, watching the sun rays sparkle off the waves of the Calibogue Sound. Upon disembarking from the ferry you will want to rent a golf cart, Daufuskie is not large but there is a lot to see so you will want to move between places readily. You will want to pick up a copy of the Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation’s self-guided trail of historic island sites map. Daufuskie Island is rich in history, Bloody Point is so called because of the clashes between settlers and the Yemassee Indians. The island was the home of plantations that farmed indigo and cotton. The Union occupied Daufuskie during the Civil War and Gullah people found their way to the island and made it their home.
You won’t want to miss the Billie Burn Museum which houses historical artifacts and will provide you with an overview of the island’s history. Mary Fields School was built for the island’s black children and was featured in Pat Conroy’s book, The “Water is Wide”, inspired by the story of a teacher at the school. The White School House, built by the school district to educate the white children on the island, houses the Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation’s archives. Be sure not to miss the Bloody Point Lighthouse & Silver Dew Winery, say hello to Joe for me, he’s the current lighthouse keeper and he’s quite a character. Bloody Point is a must visit, you won’t see a more beautiful beach.
Stop for lunch at one of Daufuskie’s restaurants. The Old Daufuskie Crab Company is located at the Freeport Marina. Marshside Mama’s is a legend and can be found at the County Dock. The Eagle’s Nest at Bloody Point Golf Club has a screened porch and expansive golf views. And don’t forget to stop by the Daufuskie Rum Company and have a rock on the porch and a sip of rum, they hope to open early in 2014.
Have a great day exploring Daufuskie Island. Here is the Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation self-guided tour map so that you can plan your route ahead of time. You may want to read a llittle about the Gullah history of the island. Reading Pat Conroy’s book, “The Water is Wide”, would give you another perspective. Visit my Day Trips web page for other ideas for day adventures from Hilton Head Island.