daufuskie island

“Daufuskie Blues”, the indigo artisans

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Leanne Coulter and Rhonda Davis have hit the Daufuskie artisan scene with their new endeavor, Daufuskie Blues. These ladies use organic indigo to create eye-catching dye patterns on scarves, cloths, and other fabrics. Indigo is culturally significant to this area of the South, and Daufuskie Blues is honored to be carrying on the tradition with this unique and tricky dye.

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a selection of Daufuskie Blues’ indigo-dyed fabrics

Before the synthetic age in the late 1800s, using the indigo flower was the only way to obtain blue dye.  Interestingly, the first successful cultivation of indigo in America was done by a 16-year-old girl named Eliza Lucas.  After her success, indigo quickly became one of the colonies’ largest exports.  Indigo was economically important because blue dyes were so rare, and it represented a status of wealth. Civilizations were shaped by their choice and ability to produce indigo dye, and South Carolina was no exception.

Rhonda and Leanne started Daufuskie Blues after taking an Organic Indigo Vat workshop together.  “We spent the next two years on our front porch. We’ve had an indigo vat going almost consistently ever since we took that class two years ago,” explains Leanne.

The “Blues girls” create an indigo vat by combining organic indigo powder with a fructose source, such as bananas, honey, henna, or any non-acidic fruit. Indigo itself is non-soluble in water, so you must break it down in the reduction vat. Leanne compares the vat to a kiln, in which you need to remove oxygen for the process to occur.

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the indigo vat

Once the dye is prepared, you can simply dip a material in the vat and pull it out. Interestingly, the color starts off as a light green. Only when it oxidizes with the air does it change to the indigo blue color. “It’s magical. It’s just so magical,” says Leanne. By adding folds, twists, or stitching, the Blues girls create a variety of interesting patterns of color in their fabric. Lately Rhonda has been experimenting with nautical shapes, such as turtles or starfish.

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When applied to fabric, the indigo dye is initially a light-green color.

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Rhonda Davis uses stitching to create nautical shapes

Why do the Blues girls love working with indigo? “Indigo is so different from any other natural dye,” says Rhonda, “…The culture, the history, the mystique surrounding it, the amazing way it physically works, and the process of maintaining the vat of dye”. Indigo vats must be given attention; it needs stirred daily and requires to be fed fructose to keep the dye active. “I mean, it’s like you’re caring for a little living thing, you know?”

Leanne is also drawn to the unique qualities of indigo and appreciates the complicated process it takes to create the dye. “Other dyes are so easy to use. You either cut the plant, get the root or whatever the dye material is, cook it up, strain it, and that’s your dye product.” Not so the case for indigo! The traditional way to extract the indica (dye property of the plant) is to place the indigo in a large vat of water, beat the indigo many times to allow the sediment to come out, drain the water, and repeat the process over again. “And that’s the process that was used in South Carolina,” adds Rhonda.

As Rhonda mentions, mystique and lure surround the indigo vat. Many believe that the vat must be kept “happy”, which means keeping it away from certain people. This includes pregnant or menstruating women, people who are depressed or suffering, unpredictable children, etc.

While indigo is the Blues girls’ staple dye, they have been expanding and experimenting with other natural dyes.  Can you guess what creates this natural pink dye that the ladies use?

cochineal

The answer might surprise you: it’s a bug!  Cochineal is an insect native to South America, Mexico, and Arizona.  The insect is crushed and dehydrated into a powder, which the Blues girls then use to create the dye.

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Daufuskie Blues is currently located in the historic Maryfield School.   Future plans including growing their own indigo to harvest their own dye, and providing education to visitors about the dye extraction process.  Stop by to learn more!

Tour Daufuskie premiers Native Gullah Tour with Sallie Ann Robinson

 

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Sallie Ann Robinson, a sixth generation native of Daufuskie Island, is joining forces with Tour Daufuskie to debut the Sallie Ann Native Gullah Tour. This is the FIRST TIME EVER weekly-offered Gullah tour led by a native professional guide on Daufuskie.

Robinson is known as an authority of Gullah culture and cuisine, having been a featured favorite in programs such as QVC, The Food Network, and The Travel Channel. As a child, she was a student of the famous author Pat Conroy and is remembered in his critically-acclaimed novel “The Water is Wide”. Sallie Ann’s historical and cultural knowledge of Daufuskie Island is unparalleled, and her tour will unearth Gullah stories and give insight to growing up on this bridgeless island.

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Sallie Ann with Pat Conroy, author of Daufuskie-inspired novel “The Water is Wide”

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Robinson is the author of two Gullah cookbooks, “Gullah home cooking the Daufuskie Way” and “Cooking the Gullah Way, Morning, Noon, and Night”

 

The Sallie Ann Native Gullah Tour is offered four times a week; Tuesdays and Saturdays at 9am and 2pm. The debut tour is Saturday Nov 5 at 2pm. Tour duration is 2.5 hours and the cost is $55 per person. These intimate tours have limited spaces available and reservations are required. To book a tour call Tour Daufuskie at (843)842-9449 or email at tourdaufuskieguide@gmail.com.

Daufuskie Island Guided Tour Options

Taking a guided tour with Tour Daufuskie is a great way to get a local’s perspective and insight into our rustic and quirky island.  Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover, or an outdoor enthusiast, we have a guided tour for you!

 

History and Artisans Tour

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The guided History & Artisans tour is a classic favorite!  If you’re looking for a great overview of the past and present of Daufuskie Island, this tour is the one.  While we can’t possibly cover everything in this 2.5 hour guided golf cart tour, we can tailor the tour to each group’s specific interests.  Common historic stops include the First Union African Baptist Church, Maryfield School (where famous author Pat Conroy taught and wrote a novel based off his experience), Billie Burn Historic Museum, Gullah Learning Center, and a number of original Gullah-constructed homes.  Evidence of Civil War, Native American, and Gullah history can be found throughout the island.  A handful of artisans practice their craft on Daufuskie, and this is your chance to visit their galleries.  Chase Allen at The Iron Fish creates unique coastal sculptures from rusted metal, while Lancy and Emily Burn spin Native American inspired pottery at Silver Dew Pottery.  “Daufuskie Blues” dyes fabric with blue indigo, creating eye-catching patterns and designs.  Jan Crosby offers her luxurious hand-crafted soaps with an island flare at Daufuskie Peach.  At “Wine and Woodworks”, Mike Loftus creates hand-carved wooden kayaks and canoes.  Not only will you get the chance to visit their galleries and view their work, but you’ll also learn more about each artisan from your local guide.  There’s no better way to get to know Daufuskie Island’s past and present!  $45/person, 2.5 hours

 

Sallie Ann Native Gullah Tour

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Sallie Ann Robinson is a 6th generation native on Daufuskie Island.  As the only native professional tour guide on the island, Sallie’s tours are highly sought-after and are available Tuesdays & Saturdays at 9am & 2pm.  In this 2.5 hour guided golf cart tour, Sallie will provide personal insight into what it was like to live on Daufuskie Island as a native Gullah.  One of her more notable experiences is that she was a student of Pat Conroy at the Maryfield School; she is remembered as “Ethyl” in his book The Water is Wide.  Sallie’s enthusiastic, humorous, storyteller style will leave you both entertained and informed about the history of Daufuskie Island and its people. $65/person

 

Kayak / Paddle-board Tour

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Tour Daufuskie’s Kayak & Paddle Board Tours are a hit among outdoor enthusiasts, athletes, and nature lovers alike!  Whether you want to cruise slowly and enjoy the scenery, or push yourself to exercise, these paddling tours are a great option for your group.  The tour can embark from two places, offering two different experiences.  For an ocean-front paddle, we start at the Kayak Shack near the Melrose-on-the-Beach Pool & Restaurant.  We may also leave from the County Dock, which offers more creeks and inlets to explore.  Either way, you’re in for a scenic and memorable ride.  $55/person, 1.5 hours

 

“Wild Daufuskie” Eco-Tour

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Daufuskie Island’s ecology is unique, to say the least.  Wood storks and egrets roost in trees above ponds inhabited by alligators.  Dolphins are a common sight on the shore, along with pelicans, osprey, and bald eagles.  Marine life is evidenced along the sandy beaches in the form of shells, turtle tracks & nests, and the occasional horseshoe crab.  In our “Wild Daufuskie” Eco-tour, you’ll have the chance to get an up-close look at some of these creatures.  You will also hear fun facts about these animals and conservation information from our naturalist guide.  Plant life can’t be forgotten – Daufuskie is known for its lush and untouched landscape.  Learn about both the flora and fauna in this exciting eco-tour! $35/person, $25/children under 12.  Kids under 5 are free!

 

Self-guided Golf Cart Rental

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Don’t forget – Tour Daufuskie also offers golf cart rentals!  If you are more interested in a self-guided adventure, this would be the choice for you.  A Tour Daufuskie representative will set you up with a detailed map and orientation, and then you’ll be sent off to explore the island on your own.  A 4-seater golf cart costs $75 for a 4-hour period.

Getting to Daufuskie Island by Water Taxi or Ferry

With the number of water taxi and ferry ride options to Daufuskie Island, it’s no wonder that visitors get overwhelmed with the logistics of their trip.  Tour Daufuskie is here to help you determine which ride best suits your group’s needs!  From a large ferry to a semi-private taxi, there is an option for everybody.

 

From Hilton Head or Old Town Bluffton

May River Excursions (843)304-2878

Offering the most scenic trip to the island, the May River Excursions water taxi is a joy ride to say the least.  They operate out of Old Town Bluffton, which is just a short drive from Hilton Head Island.  In this 25 minute boat ride, you will wind through rivers and creeks where shorebirds and dolphins are a common sight.  Your captain will drop you off at the Public Dock (also known as the “County Dock”), where the beloved Marshside Mama’s Cafe sits.  Make sure to set enough time aside to explore the historic Old Town Bluffton before or after your visit to Daufuskie!  With art galleries, a pottery shop, restaurants, and a farmers’ market on Thursdays, Old Town Bluffton is a great way to extend your daytrip.  Water taxi tickets are $45 round trip.  Call Tour Daufuskie at 843-842-9449 to reserve your water taxi to Daufuskie Island!

 

Daufuskie Island Ferry (843)940-7704

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The Melrose Landing on Daufuskie Island

The public ferry leaves from the Buckingham Landing and arrives on Daufuskie at the Melrose Landing.  They provide dollies for transporting luggage from your car to the dock, and friendly staff are always happy to help load up your bags onto the boat.  Keep in mind that you must arrive 30 minutes early!  For those folks craving some fresh air, a few seats are available outside on the back of the boat.  Alternatively, the ferry offers indoor air-conditioned seating with plenty of windows to get a great view of the waterway.  A round trip costs $35, and each way takes about 1 hour.  There are four scheduled arrivals and departures each day, with a later run offered on Friday nights.  They highly recommend reserving your seat after the purchase of your ticket; this is especially important during the summer and holiday weekends.  Good news – Tour Daufuskie can book your tickets with the ferry! Just give us a call at 843-842-9449 and we’ll set up your whole day.

 

From Savannah, Tybee Island, Wilmington Island

Bull River Marina (912)897-7300

Bull River Marina in Savannah, GA

Bull River’s water taxi costs $45 per person round trip or $225 total for a 6-person ride.  The water taxi to Daufuskie departs three times a day from Savannah and takes about 30 minutes.  They drop-off at a handful of docks on Daufuskie; County dock, Freeport Marina, Bloody Point, and Haig Point.  For those of you on Tybee Island who want to check out some quieter sands, Bull River also offers beach drop options.

 

Once you arrive on Daufuskie

If you are just visiting for the day, you are going to need a golf cart for transport around the island.  Your cart can be delivered to any of the public docks on the island.  Most of the sights on Daufuskie are located on sandy roads, so biking can be very difficult — carts are the way gain a full perspective of the island.

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If you’re staying overnight on Daufuskie and have luggage with you, you have one more piece to the puzzle.  Golf carts are not built to carry the weight of a group of people and their luggage, so you need to make arrangements to transport luggage to your rental.  Try Daufuskie Transit at (843) 338-2570 or email at DaufuskieTransit@gmail.com.  They will meet you at the dock, load up all of your luggage onto a trailer, and shuttle it to your rental home for only $20.  If any of your group will be traveling to the rental home with Daufuskie Transit, you will be charged $20 per person.

 

Figuring out the logistics of your trip doesn’t need to be stressful- just give yourself the time to plan ahead!  Trust us, when you arrive to the island you will be glad for it.

The Daufuskie Wine and Woodworks Now Open!

Located on the north end of the island next to Freeport Marina, The Daufuskie Wine and Woodworks is owned and operated by Mike and Joanne Loftus. The couple spent 30 years in the northeast, but is now full time on Daufuskie Island! Mike and Joanne operate their businesses out of their beautifully designed post and beam barn, which can also be rented for private events and gatherings. The woodworking shop is concentrated on building wooden kayaks, surfboards, canoes, and paddleboards in the world. The quaint wine shop operates out of an attached building where they curate many wines and craft beers. With organic, sustainable, and low production wines from vineyards throughout the world, you will love every second of your time at Daufuskie Wine and Woodworks. The Daufuskie Wine and Woodworks is just one of many terrific stops on the Tour Daufuskie Guided History & Artisans Tour!

Daufuskie Island Wine and Woodworks

Daufuskie Island Wine and Woodworks

Daufuskie Island Wine and Woodworks Tools

Daufuskie Island Wine and Woodworks Tools

Daufuskie Island Wine and Woodworks Kayaks

Daufuskie Island Wine and Woodworks Kayaks

 

Palmetto Bluff Visits Chase Allen’s Daufuskie Island Iron Fish Gallery

Dylan Sell from Palmetto Bluff boated over to Daufuskie Island so he could cover a story on Chase Allen’s Iron Fish Gallery.  Below is Dylan’s story:

Chase Allen and Martha Stewart

Chase Allen and Martha Stewart

Chase Allen’s Iron Fish art gallery isn’t a place the average Lowcountry tourist happens upon by accident. Though a few visitors might wander down the dirt path tucked deep in the forest of Daufuskie Island and be drawn to the metal decorations on the walls of an old cottage, more and more are actively seeking out Allen and his seascape of fish and mermaids wrought from metal. The Iron Fish gallery has become a real destination and one of the most successful art galleries in the area.

Years before the Iron Fish art gallery existed, there was an unhappy business school student who happened to take a class in ceramics. Throwing pots inspired Allen: “I realized the pleasure of working with my hands.”

Through this happenstance ceramics class, the creative seed was planted, but before it could sprout, Allen had finished school and had gone to work as a real estate agent. It wasn’t long before he realized that selling property was not something he enjoyed. It was, however, what introduced him to Emily and Lancy Burn, owners of Silver Dew Pottery on Daufuskie Island. Remembering the joy he found in the pottery class and seeing that others were pursuing their art, Allen decided to take a huge risk. “I decided to live across from them. Life is too short to not do what you love. I quit my job and rented the place on Daufuskie with a friend.”

Some might say that moving to an island accessible only by boat to start a business might not be the wisest financial strategy, but Allen was determined. “I got a job as a waiter at Marshside Mama’s Cafe. I could bring in $150 a night, which was good money.”

After he had the income to cover his basic living expenses, Allen focused on making friends. He started meeting the other sculptors in the area and became friends with Jacob Preston, a gallery owner in Old Town Bluffton and potter renowned for his expert skill. Although ceramics was his first love, Allen didn’t want to move in across the street and compete with his friends Emily, Lancy and Jacob. So he found another medium in which to work: metal. He started welding iron scraps together into abstract sculptures, and later he began welding metal into fish, mermaids and other marine subjects that he is known for today.

When he decided to open his gallery, Allen looked for inspiration at the shops of artists he admired. He was impressed by the way his friend Jacob Preston operated his gallery. Sales are under the honor system; there are no salespeople, and visitors who wish to make a purchase simply leave their information on a sheet. So, following Preston’s model and advice from a friend, Allen put his art on his porch with a hand-written note telling visitors that they may take the art they like and leave their money in the “honor box.”

One day Emily and Lancy stopped by and bought one of his pieces. “It was the greatest vote of confidence they could have given me,” remarked Allen, and he started to believe that he could make it as artist.

Tools of an Artist
As Allen experimented and refined his craft, he began using blacksmithing tools to hammer and create indentations in his material. As his fish sculptures became more and more popular, his success created a problem. The fins of the fish sculptures required crimping to create regular ridges in the metal. Though the results might look similar to the simple crimped edge of a pie crust, crimping iron is physically demanding. It involves using a blacksmith hammer and a sheet metal crimper tool to achieve the desired effect. The sculptor must hammer the tool every few inches of the metal, which is a long, difficult process. “I thought I was going to develop a shoulder problem!” Allen explained.

For the sake of his throbbing shoulder, Allen realized that he needed to make his crimping process more efficient. He knew of an industrial crimping machine, but its cost was prohibitive. Recalling the old adage “Necessity is the mother of invention,” Allen, a creative problem-solver, solicited several friends to pool their money, knowledge, experience and tools in order to construct their own industrial iron-crimping machines. Each person contributed $1,000 to purchase the necessary supplies. These craftsmen, artists and industrial engineers gathered in an assembly line, and they built their own crimpers!

Years later, in his blacksmithing shop Allen has an odd-looking machine with a tire on top. This peculiar creation is actually the crimping machine that accelerated Allen’s production to an industrial level, thereby helping him become financially secure.

 Part of a Community

Besides having equipment challenges, as an artist living on Daufuskie Island, Allen needed a way to connect with other artists, his friends and his existing and potential patrons. Social media was the perfect solution. Allen started a Facebook page and posts regularly about his work. When someone sends a photo of one of Allen’s sculptures installed in their home, Allen posts it on Facebook. Facebook not only allows Allen to communicate with the people interested in his work, but it also gives Allen a great way to garner feedback and ideas from his fan base. For example, when one of his patrons made a suggestion to backlight some of the creations with LED lights, Allen took the suggestion, and the new lighted sculptures became very successful.

Allen strongly believes in giving back to the community. In 2014, 13 years after his daring leap out of office life, Chase Allen competed with over 1,000 artists for the American Made Award sponsored by Martha Stewart Living. With 55,000 votes, Allen won the Audience Choice award and its $10,000 prize. He donated the greater portion of his winnings to the Holmes Team, an organization dedicated to finding a cure for brain cancer. The organization is named for Holmes Desmelik, a six-year-old boy with an inoperable brain tumor; Holmes is the son of Allen’s high school friend. Allen donated the remainder of his winnings to the Alzheimer’s Association, Doctors Without Borders and the Spondylitis Association of America.

Despite his professional success, Allen has never turned his back on the people who supported his craft. Just last year, he wrote an article for his website urging Daufuskie visitors to check out Emily and Lancy Burn at Silver Dew Pottery, and to this day Allen speaks with immense respect of Jacob Preston’s pottery gallery to journalists.

After abandoning a career in the office to become an artist 14 years ago, Chase Allen not only turned his dreams into a reality, he used his success to bolster his local community.

23 Things To Do On Daufuskie Island

23 Things to Do On Daufuskie Island:

#1 Rent a golf cart for a self-guided tour.  With only a couple paved roads on the island, most visitors love navigating the “old timey”, tree canopied historic dirt roads that are unique to Daufuskie Island.  Of course, rentals come with a complimentary map and orientation.

Daufuskie Island Golf Cart Rentals

Daufuskie Island Golf Cart Rentals

#2  Book a guided history & artisans tour if you’d rather get the local’s perspectives.  One common denominator for all Tour Daufuskie guides is that they must be Daufuskie Island residents!

Historic Tour Jane Hamilton Bradley

Tour Daufuskie – History & Artisans Tour

#3  Book a kayaking or stand-up-paddle-boarding tour with Tour Daufuskie.  You will be able to choose from paddling the shores of the beach or navigating the turns in the rivers and salt water creeks.  Either way, nature will find you!

Kayaking Tour Daufuskie, Kayak Rental, Daufuskie Island

kayaking tour on Daufuskie Island

#4  Learn about the rich American Indian and Gullah culture by stopping by the Daufuskie Island museum as well as by touring the 20+ historic landmarks found on the Rob Kennedy Historical Trail.

Frances Jones

Frances Jones Historic Home

#5  Visit renowned coastal sculptor Chase Allen at his Iron Fish Gallery & Studio which was established on Daufuskie Island in 2001.  Allen & his artwork have been featured in national magazines such as Coastal Living, Southern Living, and Martha Stewart Living and he was the 2015 winner of the prestigious Martha Stewart American Made national contest.  Allen’s coastal sculptures are collected worldwide but handcrafted and sold exclusively on Daufuskie Island.

Sculptor Chase Allen Iron Fish Gallery

Sculptor Chase Allen Iron Fish Gallery

Chase Allen and Martha Stewart

Chase Allen and Martha Stewart

#6  Visit Lancy & Emily Burn at The Silver Dew Pottery.  Not only is their unique pottery beautiful, well respected, and very sought after, but Lancy’s stories of his life growing up on Daufuskie Island will blow your mind.

#7  Visit the Daufuskie Island Community farm which is a volunteer-run and member-supported farm.  All buildings on the farm where constructed of timbers milled directly on the property.  Currently the farm houses goats, chickens, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, a pig, two dairy cows, and a garden & orchard.

Daufuskie Island Community Farm

Daufuskie Island Community Farm

#8  Visit Daufuskie Island Wine & Woodworks.  Here, boat builder Mike Loftus handcrafts small wooden specialty boats in his beautiful state-of-the-art timber framed workshop.  Attached to this workshop is a store where specialty wines, beer, and gifts can be purchased.  Mike is usually open Saturday afternoons, so come by and see what he is working on!

Wine and Woodworks

Daufuskie Island Wine and Woodworks

#9  Take a walk or spend the day relaxing on Daufuskie’s approximately 3 mile long underpopulated beach.  Only at the height of Daufuskie’s tourist season would you see up to 300 people on the entire 3 mile stretch of sand!  More than likely, you will see so few people that you will feel as though you have arrived to your own private island.

Daufuskie Island Beach Walk

Daufuskie Island Beach Walk

#10

Visit the First Union African Baptist Church which was built in 1884.   FUABC is the only active church on Daufuskie and is one of the most beautiful historic churches you will ever see.  Church services run every Sunday at 10am.

First Union African Baptist Church Daufuskie Island

First Union African Baptist Church Daufuskie Island

#11  Visit Mary Fields School which was immortalized by Pat Conroy in his first best selling book, The Water Is Wide which was also made in to a movie called Conrack, starring John Voight.

#12  Take a tour of the Daufuskie Island Rum company where founder Tony Chase and his hard working partners distill their very own rum which is available for purchase and taste tests!   Each bottle of rum is distilled, bottled, and labeled right here on Daufuskie Island.  Tony Chase prides his company in being a soley American-made business.  Everything down to the screws holding the building together were made in the USA!

Daufuskie Island Rum

Daufuskie Island Rum

#13  Golf at Bloody Point and enjoy some of the most beautiful golf holes you could imagine.  This Daufuskie Island course is under-played, so enjoy your leisurely round with no pressure coming up from behind.

#14  Grab a bite to eat at renowned Marshside Mama’s, Lucy Bell’s Cafe, The Daufuskie Crab Company, or The Eagles Nest Restaurants.  From the classic island “dive” to fine dining, there are no wrong choices.

#15  Horseback ride on the beach!  Yes, this is a once in a lifetime experience!  Contact the Haig Point Equestrian Center for inquiries.

horse back ride daufuskie island

horse back ride daufuskie island

#16  Meet & chat with the people in the community who chose to live on this remote island with so few modern conveniences.  Daufuskie islanders are known to be fiercely independent yet very friendly and welcoming.

#17  Visit Daufuskie Peach where you can stop by Jan Crosby’s store to select from her line of handcrafted soaps or other natural body works.  Daufuskie is home to many independent & talented artisans and entrepreneurs.

#18  Ask around to see if the locals will direct you to their favorite “Devil Crab Ladies”.  If your lucky enough to find one, you will see why these ancient yet delicious recipes are synonymous with Daufuskie Island.

Daufuskie Island Devil Crabs

Daufuskie Island Devil Crabs

#19  Want the full tilt true island experience?  Rent a house and stay awhile!  Rentals vary from quaint historic bungalows to beach front mansions.  Either way is a win. Try VRBO.COM

Iron Fish Gallery Daufuskie Island Artisan

Daufuskie Island Cottage Rentals

#20  Daufuskie is a favorite nesting stop for loggerhead sea turtles.  If you’d like an informative up-close look at the beloved “loggerhead sea turtle”, book a tour with Tour Daufuskie.  This option is only available during nesting and hatching season(May-September).

baby loggerhead turtle hatching daufuskie island

baby loggerhead turtle hatching

#21  Biking Daufuskie Island is a blast!  Warning….during dryer times, peddling through the sand can be a bit strenuous so be prepared with water and bug spray in the event you need to walk through the “soft spots”.

bike tour daufuskie island

Daufuskie Island Bike Riding

#22  Bring your gear for fishing and crabbing.  You might find that it’s challenging to “hear about” the good fishing holes but trust us when we say there are many!

Daufuskie Island Fishing

Daufuskie Island Fishing

#23  How about an eco-tour?  Tour Daufuskie also offers guided birding & eco-tours.  Learn all about Daufuskie’ large bird population and also about the flora and fauna that is so unique to this pristine island.  Binoculars are included.

Birding tours on Daufuskie Island

Birding tours on Daufuskie Island

 

 

 

 

Daufuskie Island Dining & Cuisine– be prepared for post-paddling hunger!

It’s 8 o’clock. You and your family just finished a sunset kayak tour on Daufuskie Island, and you’ve just heard the youngest whimper, “I’m hungry.”

Now you think this would be the time to panic but you thought ahead and got reservations, knowing that this secluded, 2.5-by-5-mile island only has four restaurants. Before you got to this point, the real panic was not, “Are we going to eat?”, but instead, “What should we eat?”

Your family, friends, and TripAdvisor, probably had rave reviews about each place separately, so you went ahead and researched them all, starting with Marshside Mama’s at the county dock. Voted one of Travel and Leisure’s top beach bars, this so-called “dive” is quintessential Daufuskie island. Boaters can pull up directly to the dock for the famously fresh menu, or to see live music on weekends. The menu, created by owner Beth Shipman, is written daily on a whiteboard– a sign of how truly fresh each dish is.  There are a few favorites which can always be found on the menu, such as gumbo or voodoo pasta. The fresh catch is brought to the dock daily directly from the fishermen who caught it. Reservations are mandatory, and always remember: No whining, just dance!

The next place you thought to look up was the Old Daufuskie Crab Company at Freeport Marina. This restaurant, right on the water just like Marshside Mama’s, has one of the best sunset views around. This restaurant has everything from shrimp to steak to an extensive kids’ menu, and is described as “down home good eatin'”…with an island twist that only Daufuskie can offer.

Next is the Eagle’s Nest restaurant at Bloody Point, which serves lunch and dinner every day from 11am to 8 pm, with happy hour fro 4-6 pm. The Eagle’s Nest brings a self described “flip-flop luxury” to Daufuskie Island. The menu ranges from simple sandwiches to gourmet entrees, all served in a member-guest clubhouse atmosphere. Everyone is welcome at this family owned and operated restaurant; however, reservations are encouraged. And don’t forget to visit them for their weekly Sunday brunch menu– the Fuskie French Toast is to die for!

The Eagle’s Nest Restaurant at Bloody Point

The fourth and final restaurant you found during your research is the newly renovated Melrose on the Beach restaurant. Open 11am to 9 pm daily, this is the perfect place to dine “post-paddle”.  From all-you-can-eat specials every Wednesday to weekly oyster roasts and lowcountry boil on Fridays, the Beach Club at Melrose has events every week that the whole family can enjoy.  The gourmet entrees offered after 5pm daily are some of the best in the lowcountry, and even items on the kids’ menu are incredible. While you’re there, of course, you can pick up Tour Daufuskie shirts for the whole family at Tour Daufuskie’s “kayak shack” located between the pool and the ocean…naturally.

Melrose On The Beach Tour Daufuskie Daufuskie Islan

Melrose on the Beach restaurant

With no grocery store, one would think Daufuskie Island’s four restaurants might have a big problem coming up with a menu. However, that’s not the case in the slightest, and the fact that there is not a grocery store leaves no questions about one thing: everything here is fresh. So there’s no doubt that the perfect way to follow an evening paddle trip is by filling up with some delicious lowcountry cuisine found right here on Daufuskie!

Heat wave hits Daufuskie Island and we are ready!

With the sudden heat wave (or, what Southerners call “June” and “July”), islanders and tourists alike are wondering if it’s really worth it to go outside.
Tour Daufuskie is here to say, of course it is!  Why hole up in the AC all day when you can cool off in the water with the help of a stand-up paddleboard or a kayak?  With sunrise or sunset tours, as well as rentals offered every day, Tour Daufuskie makes it easy to get out, explore and cool off.

Kayaking Tour Daufuskie, Kayak Rental, Daufuskie Island

Kayaking on Daufuskie Island

Tour Daufuskie’s “kayak shack” is located right behind the pool at the Melrose Beach Club and offers a few cool items such as t-shirts and hats to protect your body from the hot sun.  Now, we even have coozies to protect your drink from the heat as well.

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Tour Daufuskie’s kayak shack and its employees, Bradley and Katie

A variety of colors and options set the background for Tour Daufuskie’s stylish, simple logo, so even the pickiest person in your family will leave satisfied. And on the way back to your cart, you can visit the Melrose bar for summer beverages and ice cold soft drinks.
The Tour Daufuskie “kayak shack” is open from 8am-5pm every day. The prices are as follows: T-shirts are $17, or 2 for $30, with long sleeve or Dri-Fit options available for a slightly higher price; hats are $20; and coozies are $5.

Daufuskie Island Fourth of July festivities

For Americans, the Fourth of July is a national holiday, and a big one at that. For Daufuskie island, the Fourth is the biggest holiday celebration of the year. From cart parades to live music during the day, the Fourth on the island is topped off with watching fireworks be set off from Hilton Head, Tybee, and Savannah.
If you want to get out and see the island from a different perspective, Tour Daufuskie is offering a one-hour “Sparks and Paddles” guided kayak tour. This special tour leaves from Melrose on the Beach, and the fireworks can be seen from both Hilton Head and Tybee. The tour is only $55 per person, and includes a free Tour Daufuskie t-shirt. There are only 15 spots available, so book now at 843-842-9449!

Melrose Kayaking Tour Daufuskie Island

Sunset kayaking out of Melrose

If you’re not really the outdoorsy type, that’s fine! There are plenty of other events going on this Independence Day. If you happen to be near Freeport Marina, there will be an outdoor cookout with a lowcountry boil, a bouncy house for kids, and an appearance by Hilton Head-based band Cranford and Sons from 2-7pm. (For questions, go to daufuskiefreeport.com or call 843-785-6652)
On the other end of the island, Bloody Point is offering a barbecue and oyster roast with lots of kids activities. This is also where the Fourth of July cart parade is held; cart paraders line up at 2:30pm, and the actual parade starts at 3pm. The pool is free and open to the public, and the fun starts at noon. (For questions, go to bloodypointgolf.com or call 843-341-5505)
The place to be on the night of Independence Day 2015, however, is Melrose on the Beach. The activities begin at 6pm with a poolside cocktail party and a DJ, followed by a gourmet picnic buffet for dinner. American Idol finalist Casey Abrams headlines this Fourth of July party from 7:45-9:00pm. (For questions go to melroseonthebeach.com or call 843-341-2922)
Tour Daufuskie’s kayak shack by the Melrose pool will also be putting on and helping with activities for children with many prizes available. This Independence day, we are also unveiling a new product featuring the Tour Daufuskie logo, which will be revealed in the next few days.

Kayak and Stand Up Paddle Board Rentals Daufuskie Island

Tour Daufuskie’s kayak shack behind Melrose will be open all night on the Fourth

See you on the Fourth, Daufuskie!

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