A visit to Daufuskie Island is an education opportunity cleverly disguised as an excursion where you can learn about the island’s rich Gullah heritage. Homework: Before you go, read Pat Conroy’s novel The Water is Wide based on his years living on Daufuskie.
You can only reach the island by boat; frequent ferries dock at Freeport Marina where you can rent golf carts and explore on your own. The Daufuskie Historical Foundation has a guide map to the island’s main public historic sites.
Dig into some shrimp and grits or a Carolina seafood boil at Marshside Mamas café at the Freeport Marina. Live entertainment, featuring bands like Biscuit Miller and the Mix, Marvelous Funkshun, and Train Wrecks, is on Fridays and Saturdays from March through August. At the 18-hole Bloody Point Golf Club, you can rent rooms in Osprey Cottage and dine at the Eagle’s Nest restaurant (do save room for the sweet potato pie, baked by a local resident).
Want a more authentic experience? You can rent a restored Gullah cottage (updated with modern necessities) that is sited directly under a glorious live oak. The Daufuskie Endangered Places Program, which is managed by the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation, searches for historically significant—but dilapidated homes to save. They fix them up and rent them out to recoup their investment; then the property reverts to the owner who can move in or continue to rent it out. Meanwhile, the Trust will start on another project—so staying there actually helps in the preservation effort.
For tours, visit http://www.daufuskieislandtours.com. For information on renting from the Daufuskie Endangered Places Program, contact Katie Alice Walker at (803) 250-5292.
For information on Haig Point, visit www.haigpoint.com.
For other rentals, visit www.marshsidemamas.com.
Photos courtesy of Haig Point.