Daufuskie Island is one of my favorite places in the US! (And I’ve been to 46 states so far, but few places compare to Daufuskie Island). It’s an island in South Carolina near Hilton Head, and it’s a pretty secluded place. I’ve been several times since I was 10 years old, and every time I go, the beaches are empty with only a handful of people. So if you’re looking for a relaxing retreat away from crowds, the island is the place for you, and these are 7 things to do on Daufuskie Island during your vacation! (Not included is golfing because I am not a golfer in the least 🙂 )
Things to know before you go
I’ve only driven to Daufuskie Island, but if you want to fly, the nearest airport is the Savannah Airport.
No cars are allowed on Daufuskie Island! You get to the island by ferry, and you can rent a golf cart or bike while you’re there. Some areas only allow battery operated golf carts, so if you rent a gas golf cart, read the rules of where you’re allowed to go. And be aware that not all roads are paved, so when it rains, be careful where you drive!
Now let’s get to all the fun things to do on Daufuskie Island!
Go to the beach
Ok this is an obvious one, but I still had to include it! The beaches are beautiful and empty, and they’re great for strolling or biking along.
Bike around to see colorful houses
There’s nothing I love more than colorful houses, and Daufuskie Island has lots! 🙂 I love biking riding around the island, and it’s a great way to see all the beautiful houses.
Bike around to see some nature
Since Daufuskie Island is fairly secluded, it’s a great area to get lost in nature! I’ve seen deer, alligators, tons and tons of different birds, and this past time, I saw a wild armadillo! Most of the island is covered in trees (which are covered in Spanish moss), so it’s a beautiful area to bike around for a few miles.
One of my favorite things to do on Daufuskie Island is learn about its history, and for such a small island, it has lots of history! Native Americans inhabited the island, and there are lots of artifacts of arrowheads and pottery, which you can see in the Daufuskie Island History Museum. Over time, people came to the island for land, and Huguenots came for protection from religious prosecution (fun fact: the last remaining Huguenot church in the US is in Charleston).
After the Civil War, Daufuskie Island became home to a large population of freed slaves who used to work the island’s plantations, and they founded the Gullah language and culture, which is a combination of English and African dialects. There’s a Gullah Bible and The Gullah Learning Center in the museum, and Gullah is still spoken on the island today!
There are tabby ruins in Haig Point from old slave quarters. Tabby is a type of building material made from ground oyster shells, sand and water, and it was introduced by Spanish settlers and used by British colonists later. The buildings that used tabby have far outlasted the wooden buildings on the island.
Brother and Sisters Oyster Union Society Building held many meetings and social events in the 1800s, and it’s recently been restored.
There are many cemeteries on Daufuskie Island, including several Gullah cemeteries. Their cemeteries are along the water so their spirits can be more easily taken home to Africa.
The Silver Dew Winery dates back to 1883, and it originally used to store oil, wicks and lamps for the Bloody Point Lighthouse. It was converted to a winery several years later by Arthur “Papy” Burn, and it remained a winery until 1959.
Do some shopping
Daufuskie Island has some great local places to do shopping! Last time I went, I visited the Daufuskie Island Rum Co., and they have some great spiced rum. At the farmer’s market, I got some great peaches, honey, and homemade gumbo sauce!
Daufuskie Soap Co. has some of the best smelling soaps and lotions! I’ve gotten lots as gifts, and Ocean’s Spa is my favorite scent. It smells like orchids at the beach! If you can’t visit Daufuskie Island right now and still want some of Daufuskie Soap’s amazing products, you can order online and have them shipped.
If you want some coffee or cold drink on a hot day, School Grounds Coffee is great! There were also some local artists selling their work in the yard while I was there if you want to do some more shopping.
Visit the Daufuskie Community Farm
The Daufuskie Community Farm and Artisan Village is a volunteer run farm with lots of animals, gardens, and orchards. You can take a tour to see all the animals roaming around and learn about how the local farm runs!
Take a horseback ride around the island
The one of things to do on Daufuskie Island that I actually haven’t done yet is gone for a horseback ride! I’m not the best on horseback, but I do love visiting the horses at the farms there. But if you’re better at riding a horse than I am, there are lots of different places where you can book a tour around the island!
If you’re looking for things to do on Daufuskie Island during your vacation, you can’t go wrong with any of these 7 things! It’s an amazing and relaxing place to take your next vacation 🙂