Monthly Archives: May 2017

Hilton Head Island activities

Hilton Head Island is one of the most popular summer destinations for families.  It is a paradise for beach-lovers, golfers, seafood-eaters, and shoppers alike.  However, after a few days on the island, you may find yourself yearning to get away from your get-away.  Hilton Head locals and visitors have been voyaging to Daufuskie Island for years to do just that – get away.  Leave behind the traffic, tourism, billboards, and shopping for the quiet and peaceful Daufuskie Island.  Daufuskie’s Iron Fish Gallery artist Chase Allen describes the Daufuskie experience as, “the feeling of leaving the United States but without the need of a passport.”  Daufuskie Island is a world apart from anywhere you’ve ever been.

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Daufuskie Island’s historic sand roads offer a break from busy roadways and heavy traffic

Daufuskie Island has a rustic & quirky vibe that other islands in the area lack.  Ditch the car and the pavement for a golf cart and historic sand roads!  You’ll learn about the Gullah culture that remains on the island through the Gullah-constructed schools, churches, and homes.  Check out our local artisans like the Iron Fish Gallery to see how the unique nature of the island has inspired hand-crafted artwork.  For the local’s perspective, take a guided tour with Tour Daufuskie!  Kayak tours and rentals give you an opportunity to view Daufuskie from the unique perspective of the water.

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Historic Gullah-constructed homes are found throughout the island

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Explore Daufuskie by water with a kayak or paddle board

For nature-lovers, Daufuskie is a dream come true.  With its underdeveloped land, wildlife flourishes in the island’s maritime forest and salt water marshes.  Check out the Melrose Rookery for a great bird-viewing opportunity, or go beach-combing along our 3-miles of quiet beach.  Take a guided eco-tour to learn more about flora and fauna of Daufuskie!

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Wildlife is abound on Daufuskie!

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Dog-friendly beaches offer miles of beach combing

For your day trip to Daufuskie Island, call Tour Daufuskie at 843-842-9449.   Your adventure awaits!

Gullah Tours of Daufuskie Island from Hilton Head, Bluffton, and Savannah

Daufuskie Island is known for its rich Gullah history.  When Union troops occupied Daufuskie Island at the end of the Civil War, the plantation owners were driven off the island, freeing the slaves.  These folks, now referred to as “Gullah”, stayed on the island and continued to farm, fish, and harvest oysters.  In 1959 the Savannah River became severely polluted due to a paper mill company in Savannah.  This event wiped out the oyster population.  The Gullah people lost their livelihood and most were forced to leave the island, resulting in signs of abandonment throughout the island.

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abandoned oyster shack

From the period of 1959-1980, the Gullah population on the island fell from 2,000 to just 50.  Community gathering places like the First Union African Baptist Church closed down due to lack of people on the island.  Fortunately, many of these historic buildings have been restored by the Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation.

 

To see what remains of the Gullah culture on Daufuskie Island, join Sallie Ann Robinson for her Native Gullah Tour!

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Sallie is a 6th generation native of Daufuskie Island.  As an authority of Gullah culture, she has appeared in programs such as QVC, the Food Network, and the Travel Channel’s “Bizzare Foods”.  She is also a frequent favorite in magazine such as National Geographic, The South, Southern Living, and Hilton Head Monthly.  As a child, bridge-less Daufuskie Island was Sallie’s playground and her life was filled with tales from elders. The famous author Pat Conroy taught Sallie Ann along with many Gullah children at the Maryfield School, and their time together is remembered in Conroy’s bestselling book The Water is Wide(fun fact – Sallie Ann was “Ethel” in the novel and Daufuskie is known as “Yamacraw Island”).  Nowadays, Robinson is a recognized TV personality, celebrity chef, and spokesperson for preserving the legacy of Gullah culture. She is an author to two Gullah cookbooks; “Gullah Home Cooking the Daufuskie Way” and “Cooking the Gullah Way, Morning, Noon, and Night”.

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Pat Conroy, author of “The Water is Wide, with Sallie Ann

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A seasoned Gullah chef, Sallie Ann has written two Gullah cookbooks

The Sallie Ann Native Gullah Tour is currently offered Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10am and 2pm.  The cost is $55 for just the on-island tour, and from $89 with round-trip boat service.  For reservations call Tour Daufuskie at 843-842-9449 — please book your tour at least 48 hours in advance to ensure availability.