Daufuskie tours

Daufuskie Island Ferry: dependable transport from Hilton Head to Daufuskie Island

If you’re looking for easy, affordable, and hands-free transport to Daufuskie Island, check out the Daufuskie Island Ferry!  The ferry is conveniently located at the Buckingham Landing (35 Fording Island Rd), in between Bluffton and Hilton Head Island.   Directions to the ferry can be found here.  The ferry is an affordable $35 per person round trip!

buckingham landing

the Buckingham Landing dock

At Buckingham Landing, you may park for free if you are visiting for the day, or pay $10/night for overnight visits.  The courteous ferry staff will meet you upon your arrival to help shuttle your cargo to the boat.  You pay no additional cost for your personal items such as suitcases, groceries, bicycles, etc.

captain shakes hand

The ferry’s friendly crew greet visitors upon their arrival

cargo

Don’t worry about your cargo – the staff will help get it safely stored on the boat.

The ferry offers rides to the island four times a day, with an extra run on Fridays.  The trip takes about 50 minutes.  Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure!  For any questions or clarifications regarding the ferry, give the ferry staff a call at 843-247-5378.

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Good news – Tour Daufuskie and the Daufuskie Island Ferry have teamed up, offering you a simple streamlined booking process.  If you’d like to ride the ferry and do a golf cart rental or self-guided tour on the island, simply call Tour Daufuskie at 843-842-9449 and we’ll book everything for you!  Please note that ALL boat rides, tours, and rentals must be booked in advance to ensure your spot is reserved.

Visitor’s love renting a golf cart for $75 for 4-hours, $10 for one additional hour, and $5 for every hour after.  This self-guided golf cart tour comes with an orientation and map of the island.  If you want more local insight into the past and present of Daufuskie, take a guided History and Artisans Tour ($45 per person, 2.5 hours) or a “Wild Daufuskie” Eco-tour ($35 per person, 1.5 hours).  For the outdoor enthusiasts, the guided Kayak / Paddle Boarding Tour ($55 per person) is a great way to spend an hour-and-a-half on the water.  For a real treat, spend 2.5 hours with Sallie Ann Robinson in her Native Gullah Tour ($65 per person)

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.

23 Things To Do On Daufuskie Island

23 Things to Do On Daufuskie Island:

#1  Rent a golf cart for a self-guided tour(aka as an adult version of a scavenger hunt).  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 maps are complimentary.

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 to name a few and he was the 2014 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 an all volunteer run and volunteer funded sustainable farm.  All buildings on the farm where constructed of timbers milled directly on the property.

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 very cute little store where specialty wines, beer, and gifts can be purchased.

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.

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 of course available for purchase and taste tests!   Each bottle of rum is distilled, bottled, and labeled right here on Daufuskie Island!

Daufuskie Island Rum

Daufuskie Island Rum

#13  Golf at Melrose or Bloody Point and enjoy some of the most beautiful golf holes you could imagine.  Most Daufuskie Island courses are 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, The Daufuskie Crab Company, Melrose on the Beach or at 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!

horse back ride daufuskie island

horse back ride daufuskie island

#16  Meet & chat with the people in the community who actually choose to live on this remote island that has 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.  Yes, 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 daufuskie island

#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 or a birding 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.   All guides are master naturalists and master birders!  Binoculars are included.

Birding tours on Daufuskie Island

Birding tours on Daufuskie Island

 

 

 

 

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.