tour daufuskie

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


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.


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  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.

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.


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.

Tour Daufuskie’s New Kayak Rental Location

Tour Daufuskie not only offers world class guided kayak tours, but also offers kayak & paddle board rentals.  We now have two locations that our kayaks can be rented out from. Our first and primary location is down behind the Melrose on the Beach restaurant. If you step behind the pool, you will see our “kayak shack” where our kayaks and stand-up-paddle-boards can be found. From there, customers can paddle out from the beach and see the eastern side of Daufuskie facing Hilton Head’s South Beach and Harbour Town.  There is even a sandbar that pops up at low tide that paddlers can stop to rest on and enjoy!  Who wouldn’t love to pack a picnic and relax with great views of Hilton Head, Daufuskie, and Tybee all from one location?

Kayaking Tour Daufuskie, Kayak Rental, Daufuskie Island

kayaking tour on Daufuskie Island

Our newest location for our kayak rentals is at the public dock where Marshside Mama’s is located.  Here, paddlers can navigate their way through the rivers and salt water marsh creeks.  This western facing side of the island will allow kayakers to catch some the most unbelievable sunsets on earth!  If you would like to launch a kayak from your own desired location on Daufuskie, that is no problem! For a delivery fee of $40.00, Tour Daufuskie will bring your kayaks, paddles, stand-up-paddle boards, and life jackets directly to you!  Give Tour Daufuskie a call at 843-842-9449, or email us at when you are ready to plan your next Daufuskie Island outdoor adventure.

marshside mama's sunset

Marshside Mama’s Sunset

True Daufuskie Material – A family laughs at their rainy kayaking adventure

Recently, Tour Daufuskie guided the Grey family from Tennessee out on what turned out to be a very wet kayaking tour!  As normal, we began our paddle from the public dock aka Marshside Mamas.  While we were navigating the pristine rivers and marshes that make up our tour, threatening clouds quickly turned in to the Heavens opening up.  It was the type of rain that Forrest Gump described as, rain that seemed to come straight up from underneath.

kayaking daufuskie island in the rain

kayaking daufuskie island in the rain

Where 95% of the time our radar studies help us avoid rainy moments such as these, the other 5% of the time, mother nature throws us a curve ball.  The silver lining to this story is that the Grey family did not panic, but laughed, smiled, and carried on with the adventure!  Their 6 year old son was a little unnerved but even he toughed out the wet chill that hit us all.   Our guess is that this will be a story that the Grey family remembers for a long time to come and Tour Daufuskie would like to thank them for being such great sports.  We try our best to avoid these circumstances but when they occur, only a family like the Grey’s can decide wether or not we still have fun!  Indeed this adventurous and laid back family are what we islanders refer to as true “Daufuskie material” and we hope they visit us again for another adventure soon.

See you on the river!

Bradley Hoover,

Managing Director and Lead Guide

Daufuskie Material

Daufuskie Material

‘Tour Daufuskie’s’ Daufuskie Island Kayaking and Paddle Boarding Mentioned Nationally

‘Tour Daufuskie’s’ Daufuskie Island Kayaking and Paddle Boarding Mentioned as Daufuskie gets national recognition!

Not surprisingly, Daufuskie Island has been mentioned as one of the top 10 “MOST INCREDIBLE” small islands to visit in the United States!!!

Here is the link to the article

In the article, Tour Daufuskie gets a nice little mention for our eco kayak and paddle boarding tours!

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Tour Daufuskie Island, Kayaking Tour Daufuskie Island,

Happy guests on a guided Daufuskie Island kayaking tour

Birding tours on Daufuskie Island

Birding tours on Daufuskie Island



Three benefits to a guided Daufuskie Island kayaking trip


Are you nervous about your first paddle in a kayak?  That’s okay and it’s a good thing to be cautious because there is a lot to know about Daufuskie Island’s tides and weather patterns!  Here are the three benefits of our guided kayaking trips:

1. Our guide has many certifications that will put your mind at ease when being placed in the same boat as them.  Let us plan the weather and tides so you don’t have to worry while on vacation!

2. If you get tired, your guide can help you out with the paddling.

3. Small children can be placed in the same kayak with the guide as well! The two person kayaks are also available for customers and not just the guide with the customer.

Your choice….Daufuskie creeks or Daufuskie beach? Where do you want to explore?

Your choice….Daufuskie creeks or Daufuskie beach?  Where do you want to explore?

On Daufuskie Island, we are surrounded by amazingly beautiful landscapes.  We have the unique opportunity to catch both the sunrise on the eastern side, and the sunset on the western side every day(weather permitting of course).   We offer guided kayaking and paddle boarding tours for the group or family who simply can’t let these naturally amazing moments slip by unnoticed.

Melrose Kayaking Tour Daufuskie Island

For the sunrise tours, we like to launch off of the beaches of Daufuskie Island from either Melrose or from Bloody Point.  Melrose is also convenient for Haig Point visitors & members who can simply take a beach walk to our launch(call for directions if needed).   It’s pretty amazing to see the aquatic life waking up for the day while the sun is rising in a distance.

daufuskie island sunrise kayaking tour

Our sunset tours are equally as amazing and slightly more popular because you don’t have to be an early bird to participate.  For this paddle tour, we launch our kayaks from the Daufuskie Island public landing aka Marshside Mama’s Cafe.  From here we paddle in to the creeks while the sun sets in the west.

daufuskie island sunset kayaking tour

Of course, we also offer guided tours throughout the day but these are no doubt our most popular times.  Don’t leave Daufuskie without experiencing one of these great opportunities.

marshside mama's sunset

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