Frequently Asked Questions
Coming to Daufuskie
For our first-time visitors to Daufuskie, the logistics of getting to our island can appear to be rather daunting. However, there are good options for boat services, and your boat trip here is part of the adventure. This is a beautiful ride, and you will most likely be seeing dolphins and sea birds on the way over.
We hope the information below will help prepare you for your upcoming trip to our island. Please let us know if you have any questions or need information after reviewing this information.
Please keep in mind that once you make your reservation, we will provide you with much more detailed information about logistics and other trip preparation issues. We will also be available to provide assistance as you are preparing for your trip, and once you arrive.
The Bottom line? We strive to make the process of coming to our beautiful island as effortless as possible for our guests.
How do we get to Daufuskie Island?
There is no bridge to Daufuskie, so you will have to get here by boat. Your car will stay on "the other side". The policy and rates for parking and luggage fees varies depending on which boat service you choose.
Below are some of the options for water transportation. Please note that the rates listed are subject to change, and you should check with the service itself about the ticket price and other fees.
From the Hilton Head Island, South Carolina area:
For those coming from the Hilton Head area, you will either be taking a ferry or a private water taxi services.
The Daufuskie Island Ferry Company This covered boat service departs from Buckingham Landing just before the bridge to Hilton Head. There are 4 roundtrips each day, and a 5th evening trip on Fridays. The current rate is $35 per person roundtrip, with no additional charge for luggage. However, there is a $10 daily parking fee per vehicle.. Children 5 and under ride for free. Tickets can be purchased online (highly recommended) or when you get to the dock.
This service offers a special "day-tripper" rate if you want to go back to Hilton Head for sight-seeing.
May River Excursions This water taxi service departs from Bluffton, which is just west of Hilton Head. This is a particularly scenic 25-30 minute trip on an uncovered boat.. This service usually lands on Daufuskie at the County (Public) Dock. Requires a minimum of 3 people ($150 roundtrip) and $45 for each additional person. There are no parking fees.
May River Excursions also offers fishing, crabbing, shrimping and dolphin-watching excursions.
From the Savannah, Georgia area:
Bull River Marina, located between Savannah and Tybee Island, offers a 25-30 minute water taxi service to Daufuskie. This company $45 per person round trip for 4 or more passengers $150 minimum round trip total for 1-3 passengers.
May we come over on our boat?
Absolutely…assuming you are able to set up docking, which can be in a little bit of short supply during the busy seasons. Contact the Freeport Marina at (843) 785-8242 to inquire about docking policies and charges. If there is no availability, contact us directly for private dock options.
Can we bring our car to Daufuskie Island?
For the most part, vacation guests leave their cars parked at their boat service's parking location, and then use a golf cart to get around here. Most of the resort areas on Daufuskie restrict the use of regular vehicles for residents and guests.
What Are Check-In & Check-Out Times?
The check-in time for all DRG properties is 4:00 pm, and the check-out time is 10:00 am. For guests who have reservations on the 11:30 am ferry, we will try to accommodate a later check-out time.
Once we arrive on Daufuskie, how do we get to our vacation home?
Daufuskie Transit provides ground transportation for most dock-to-vacation home locations. The rates as of this writing are $20 per person roundtrip; Extra charges will apply if the amount of your luggage necessitates an additional vehicle and driver, or for extra large items such as bikes.
Can DRG leave our golf cart at our arrival dock?
Most cart rental groups and DRG property owners do not drop-off golf carts at the dock. Carts are not designed for the wear and tear that result from the excessive weight of passengers and luggage, coolers, etc.
How do we get around on Daufuskie?
Most people get around the island by golf cart. A cart may be provided as part of your DRG vacation home rental or we will provide help in finding you a cart rental. A 4-person cart typically costs around $55 a day.
All golf cart drivers on Daufuskie are expected to have a valid driver's license and to comply with South Carolina Rules of the Road. Driving on the beach is strictly prohibited to protect the dunes and the wildlife, and especially to prevent destruction of loggerhead turtle nests. Children are NOT allowed to drive carts, the driver must always be sober, and no open containers are allowed on the carts.
Bikes are available for rent on the island through Sports Addition, Advance reservations are recommended.
Contact: (843) 815-8281.
Some folks choose to turn their vacation into a walking holiday. The island is (roughly) five miles by three miles, and its paved and dirt roads are well-suited for nice walks. There are several miles of walkable beaches, and endless small roads and paths throughout our wooded island.
Is there a grocery store on Daufuskie? How will we get our food and beverages over there?
There is no grocery store on Daufuskie. Island residents and visitors must bring their groceries with them on the boat OR purchase them through Cyber Valet Grocery, a Hilton Head-based shopping service which will buy your groceries and deliver them to your departure dock.
On-Island food and beverage options includes Freeport Marina’s General Store.
Freeport Marina's General Store has an arrangement with ABC Liquor, and those items are located in a cabin near the store. Also, Wine and Woodworks (located next to Freeport Marina) carries some nice wines, and you get buy premium regular and spiced rum at the Daufuskie Rum Company on Haig Point Road. The Bloody Point Lighthouse gift shop carries wine with Daufuskie origins.
Most Saturday's, fresh shrimp and produce can be found at a stand located on Haig Point Road near the intersection of Church Road.
Tips for Bringing Groceries: You can minimize space and weight by using freezer packs and frozen food instead of bags of ice, and by drinking tap water (it's very safe here!) instead of bringing bottled water. (This is also good for Daufuskie as we currently have no island-wide recycling program.)
Are there restaurants on the island?
There are currently three restaurants on the island, all of which you can reach by golf cart: Lucy Bell's Cafe located in the Historic District, Old Daufuskie Crab Company located at Freeport Marina, and the Beach Club Restaurant on Melrose. Casual dress is very much the norm at all three.
Tip: Each restaurant has outdoor seating if you want your canine member of the family to accompany you.
There is also the wonderful School Grounds Coffee Shop, located at 203 School Road in the former Mary Field School.
There are several local islanders who make delicious home-cooked meals and will deliver them to your vacation home. Contact us if you would like more information and to place an order prior to coming to the island.
What should we bring with us?
Your DRG vacation home includes the following:
- All linens, including sheets and towels
- A grill, either gas or charcoal
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Washer and Dryer
- Coffee Maker - Auto-drip unless otherwise indicated
- Starter supply of coffee and coffee supplies (generally enough for at least two pots), paper towels, trash bags, toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, soap, laundry detergent, dishwasher and dish washing soap. Generally (depending on the size of your group), there are enough of these supplies to last at least 2 or 3 days.
- Hair dryers
- At least 4 beach chairs.
- Pack N Plays and high chairs upon request. (Contact us prior to your trip)
We do NOT supply:
Don't forget to bring:
- Bug spray
- Rain Jacket
- (Recommended) Cold & Cough and Allergy medications, especially pediatric Benadryl for children.
Most people end up packing more than they need. Keep in mind that this is a very casual island, including the restaurants. Also, all of our vacation homes include a washer and dryer.
We suggest that you avoid bringing the large over-sized suitcases in lieu of regular-sized bags that are easier to handle by your boat crew and ground transport services.
Worried about forgetting something? We can usually round-up what you need. You can also order items to be delivered by Cyber Valet Grocery.
What about medical emergencies?
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, call 911 and tell the operator you are on Daufuskie Island. 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 a Hilton Head or Savannah medical facility by boat or helicopter.
For these (fortunately) rare occasions, we also ask that you contact your DRG representative after calling 911 so that she can help out.
Is there enough for my chldren to do on the island?
Kids LOVE Daufuskie! They especially enjoy riding in golf carts, the endless quiet beaches, the pools, the Daufuskie Island Community Farm, and the casual and fun restaurants. It really is the perfect place for family vacations, and we often see families coming back again and again.
Tour Daufuskie, offers a variety of outdoor activities including kayaking, paddle boarding, golf cart tours, etc. Horseback and pony rides are offered by the Haig Point Equestrian Center, now operating out of the Melrose Equestrian Center.
Not convinced? Here's our favorite quote from one of our younger visitors:
"I am 12 years old and I think this must be the #1 most non-polluted place in the world! It is the best vacation spot in the world as well. I hope I get to come back over and over until I am dead. Sincerely, John G. P.S Here is my autograph for when I am famous."
Where can I get more information about Daufuskie Island?
Be sure to check out other pages on this website. In addition, once you make a reservation for a Daufuskie Rental Group property, we will send you comprehensive information to help you plan your visit. We will also be available for questions and assistance. Once here, you will find a notebook in your vacation home with additional information, including maps of the island.
Background reading prior or during your trip can help enhance your appreciation of the island and the area.
The Water is Wide was authored by Pat Conroy, and based on his experiences as a teacher at Daufuskie's Mary Field School. (Now our island's community center.) The book was made into the movie “Conrack”, starring Jon Voight.
Daufuskie Island (Images of America) was co-authored by two Daufuskie residents and offers a beautiful portrayal of Daufuskie's people from past times.
Gullah Homecoming the Daufuskie Way and Cooking the Gullah Way, Morning Noon and Night by Daufuskie resident Sallie Ann Robinson celebrates the culinary heritage of the native islander population.
The Freeport Marina General Store has two very interesting CDs about the history of Daufuskie and narrated by the marina owner, Wick Scurry. We highly recommend these, and especially “The History of Daufuskie”. Other books providing information on our island and the surrounding Low-Country area can be found at this store at the island's museum, and at the School Grounds Coffee Shop.