For our visitors
The logistics of getting to Daufuskie might seem a little daunting. However, the DRG team is ready to assist you and your family make your way over to our beautiful island. The information below should be helpful as you plan your trip
Bottom line? – We strive to make the process of coming to Daufuskie as effortless as possible for our guests.
There is no bridge to Daufuskie, so you will have to get here by boat. (Island motto? "No Bridge – No Problem!") Your car will stay on "the other side". The policy and rates for parking and luggage fees varies depending on what boat service you choose. You will leave your car in a parking lot maintained by your ferry or water taxi company. Note that there has been extra demand for these services lately, and you should call as soon as possible for reservations.
From Hilton Head/Bluffton Area:
For those coming from the Hilton Head area, you will either be taking a ferry or a private water taxi services.
May River Excursions: www.mayriverexcursions.com/daufuskie-water-taxi; 843-304-2878. Bluffton is the last town before Hilton Head. Flexible schedule; 25 minute ride to Daufuskie. Not a covered boat, so bringing a rain jacket is advised. This is a popular service and booking as much in advance as possible is recommended.
Hilton Head by Boat: Goes out of Palmetto Bay Marina. Call Captain Jimmy for availability: 843-304-3847
Sky Pirate Parasail: Goes out of Broad Creek Marina (843) 842-2566. Note: You may be parking a little ways from the dock, so drop off your bags first and then go park.
Daufuskie Island Ferry Company (www.daufuskieislandferry.com) Departs from Buckingham Landing dock off Highway 278 immediately before the bridge to Hilton Head. Four 45-minute roundtrips each day, and one additional evening trip on Fridays. Current rate is $55 per person roundtrip, with a $10 a day parking fee at a remote parking lot. Bags limited to one bag less than 50 pounds per guest; you will be charged for additional bags. Gratuity expected for crew if they transport your bags via trailer to the boat. Policies change, and we highly recommend you check the ferry website for current prices and policies.
From the Savannah, Georgia area:
Island Shuttle Boat Tours: Private water taxi by Captain Dan Foulds. Recommended for Savannah transport if available. At this time, they can take only 6 passengers per boat, but we believe they have two boats: 912-657-5222. Foulds.Daniel@gmail.com. www.Savannahboater.com.
Yes, 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.
There is no car ferry to Daufuskie. Our 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.
The check-in time for all DRG properties is 4:00 pm, and the check-out time is 10:00 am.
Several Daufuskie companies provides ground transportation for dock-to-vacation service. 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 our golf cart be left at our arrival dock for transport to our vacation home?Most cart rental groups and DRG property owners do not drop off golf carts at the dock for vacation home guests , Golf carts are not designed for the wear and tear that results from the excessive weight of passengers, luggage, and coolers.
Most cart rental groups and DRG property owners do not drop-off golf carts at the dock for vacation home guests , Golf carts are not designed for the wear and tear that results from the excessive weight of passengers, luggage, and coolers.
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 $65 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 alcohol is allowed on the carts.
Bikes are available for rent on the island through Sports Addition, Advance reservations are recommended.
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.
There is no traditional grocery store on Daufuskie. Island residents and visitors must bring their groceries with them on the boat OR get help from a service that delivers groceries to your departure dock:
LOW COUNTRY GROCERY RUNNER
1) Online : www.cybervaletgrocery.com
2) Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Phone : 843-505-8568
There are now two General Stores on the island, both of which offer basic food supplies. The Freeport General Store also has an arrangement with ABC Liquor and offers beer, wine, and hard spirits. In addition to basic groceries, D'Fuskies, located at the county/public dock, offers deli selections and sandwiches, home made pizza, some produce, eggs, milk, etc.
Also, Wine and Woodworks (located next to Freeport Marina) carries some nice wines, as does the Bloody Point Lighthouse and Silver Dew Winery. You can buy premium regular and spiced rum, bourbon, and vodka at the Daufuskie Island Rum Company on Haig Point Road.
Most Saturdays, fresh shrimp and produce can be found at a stand located on Haig Point Road near the intersection of Church Road from about 11:00 am – 2:00 pm.
Tips for Bringing Groceries: You can minimize space and weight by using dry ice, freezer packs, and/or 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.)
There are currently three restaurants on the island, all of which you can reach by golf cart:
D'Fuskie's offers pizza and deli sandwiches. 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, and there are usually home made cookies and muffins in the morning.
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.
See our Local Dining page for more information.
Daufuskie boasts wonderful and unique artisan studios (especially Daufuskie Blues, the Iron Fish Art Gallery, and Daufuskie Soap), two eclectic General Stores, fun items at the Daufuskie Rum Company and Wine & Woodworks, and more. See our Shopping page for more information.
Aside from the historical Mt Carmel Baptist Church (now part of the Daufuskie Island Museum), Daufuskie has one non-denominational church, the historic First Union African Baptist Church, located at the intersection at Church Road and School Road. Services are at 10:00 am every Sunday, vacation wear is acceptable, and visitors are warmly welcomed.
Your DRG vacation home includes the following:
Don't forget to bring:
Most people end up packing more than they need. 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 big over-sized suitcases in lieu of regular-sized bags that are easier to handle by your boat crew and ground transport services. Use freezer packs, dry ice, or frozen food for your coolers instead of bags of heavy ice.
Worried about forgetting something?
Add on the Stock the House package offered by Island Ease and cut out the extra costs and hassle of transporting these items by boat.
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. They will notify the Daufuskie Island Fire Station where there is a team of firefighters and paramedics on call 24/7. When necessary, they will transport emergency patients to Hilton Head or Savannah by boat or helicopter.
Burke’s Pharmacy, on Hilton Head, will deliver prescriptions to the boat docks servicing Daufuskie.
Kids LOVE Daufuskie! They especially enjoy riding in golf carts, the endless quiet beaches, the pools, the Daufuskie Island Community Farm, horseback riding, and the casual and fun restaurants. It really is the perfect place for family vacations, and families often come back again and again.
Tour Daufuskie, offers a variety of outdoor activities including kayaking, paddle boarding, golf cart tours, etc. Tour Daufuskie also rents beach chairs and tents, and other beach items.
Horseback and pony rides are offered by the Haig Point Equestrian Center, now operating out of the Melrose Equestrian Center. The Marsh Tacky program offers rides and instructional talks about South Carolina's state horse, the endangered Marsh Tacky which used to run wild on Daufuskie.
Be sure to check out the other pages on our 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 and will 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.
An Island Named Daufuskie by Billie Burn provides a comprehensive history of Daufuskie.
The Freeport Marina General Store has two very interesting CDs about the history of Daufuskie and narrated by the marina owner, Wick Scurry. 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.
Have Additional Questions?
"The cottage was exactly as described and exceeded our expectations. Most impressive to me was the communication. We received a phone call before we arrived to answer any last minute questions, they contacted us after we entered the cottage to see if we needed anything. There was a minor technical issue in the cottage and their response was immediate. My interaction with DRG was a big part of making this trip good."
"Deborah Smith and staff were so welcoming and accommodating! Upon our arrival at our cottage everything was clean and beautiful! Deborah even supplied us with a high chair and pack n play. She went out of her to make sure we had everything we needed. There is something magical about Daufuskie – the beauty of the island, the carefree bohemian attitudes – all so hard to leave! We loved the beaches, wildlife, the fun out of the way trips to little galleries, the music and laughter and games at Freeport Marina. Daufuskie! What's not to love?? Now our problem is to figure out when we get to go back."
“We are more than pleased with our vacation on Daufuskie! Deborah went above and beyond! She checked on us during a storm and she was in constant communication. We have 3 young kids and she made sure we were all taken care of. She even got groceries for us to make sure we had enough. This house is so quaint and perfect. Has all you need….Thank you for a great trip and we WILL be back!”
"We could not have been happier! Not only was our villa the perfect location for our visit to Daufuskie Island, but the grounds and condo were beautiful! The condo had gorgeous views from the wrap around porch of the ocean and was the perfect place to enjoy dining. The interior was tastefully decorated and comfortably furnished. Just a few short steps away was the beach and pool area. The property manager was amazing and invaluable to us. Every detail of the trip was worked out with her help and dedication to assuring that this was a wonderful vacation. We could not be more pleased with our stay!"
1) Daufuskie Rental Group makes a good faith effort to describe island amenities, including restaurants and pools. However, please note that we are not responsible for the availability of amenities that we do not operate and that are beyond our control. Please contact the vendors directly for rates, days and hours of operation.
2) Your rental agreement contract's cancellation policy states that we are not responsible for events that are beyond our control, such as hurricanes. We strongly encourage our guests to purchase travel insurance, and especially recommend "cancel for any reason" policies. (These must be purchased shortly after your reservation is made.)
3) Please note that because the Melrose Resort is in transition, our Melrose guests may notice a certain level of deterioration in the resort-owned buildings but will also see that renovation efforts are now underway. Our vacation cottages are in well-maintained areas and continue to be extremely popular.
4) Restaurant days and hours of operation vary seasonally and by business. We highly encourage all renters contact the business directly for operational times during their stay dates.
If you booked on or after May 4th, 2022, Daufuskie Rental Group is no longer offering included golf carts with properties. Please disregard any included golf cart verbiage, as we are in the process of removing.