If you’re looking for a charming new island escape on the East Coast, get away to a locale many have yet to discover. Daufuskie Island considers itself the Nantucket of the South, a hidden gem off the Southeast Coast, near Savannah, Georgia, and Hilton Head. The luxurious environment is unpretentious, but filled with all the amenities discerning family travelers need.
The 1,100-acre island is only accessible via boat or helicopter (available from airports in Savannah (SAV) and Hilton Head (HHH); the helicopter rides begin at $400 per person and takes about 10 minutes, depending on where you’re traveling from). There are no cars on the island, everyone gets around via electric golf cars or the occasional horse. The primary “town” is Haig Point, a community with plenty of relaxing, leisure activities and unique accommodations.
One of those accommodations your family can take advantage of — The 1873 Lighthouse overlooking Calibogue Sound. The lighthouse offers accommodations for four, with rates starting at $850 per night. Enjoy having the 40-foot tower to yourself, as you lounge by the luxurious fireplace, take a dip in the clawfoot bathtub or rock the day away on the rocking chair-lined porch. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to spot the dolphins swimming in the Sound.
There are also currently two new guest cottages under construction in Haig Point. Another accommodation option is Strachan Mansion.
When you’re ready to get out and explore, you’ll have plenty of activities to choose from, including horseback riding, nature watching, golf or history. A 20-hole Rees Jones signature golf course offers seven waterfront tee boxes. Waterfront horseback riding allows you to explore the shores at a slower pace.
Gullah history is particularly plentiful on the 10-square-mile island with its population of just less than 400. Check out the local indigo dyeing shop Daufuskie Blues, and the Tabby Ruins, located on the indigo and cotton plantation, now part of the Haig Point community. See the first African Baptist Church, the Mary Fields School House and more.
As for cuisine, expect plenty of waterfront eateries and seafood, with a Southern flair. Favorites include Old Daufuskie Crab Company, Melrose on the Beach and Eagle’s Nest. There are no grocery stores on the island, but you can be assured everything is fresh (but if you plan to cook on your own during your stay, make sure to bring your own provisions on your boat or helicopter ride to this exclusive southern escape).
Wearing sunscreen at the beach is a given, especially for little ones running in and out of the water — and anyone who forgets that usually regrets it with a vengeance the next day. One aspect of sunscreen I admittedly didn’t think about until just a few years ago is how detrimental its impact is on marine life and reefs. Oxybenzone is a chemical found in most mainstream sunscreens — it works to prevent sun damage, but is also carcinogenic and harmful to coral. The chemical makes coral more susceptible to bleaching and damages its DNA, interfering with reproduction and killing dependent marine life in the process.
With technology advancing faster than ever, children globally are becoming attached to devices. Adults too. Our Netflix queue and ever-expanding inbox call our names even when we’re on vacation. We carry distractions with us everywhere, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to truly connect with your loved ones.
IMAGINE SETTING SAIL IN AN EXOTIC, far-flung destination, just you and your family or group of friends aboard a private yacht. The sun warms the deck, a soft breeze dances off the water, and an über-attentive crew caters to your every whim while the personal chef whips up the finest of the local cuisine with all of your culinary preferences top of mind. All the while, the captain navigates the yacht into secluded coves; to pristine, seemingly undiscovered beaches; or even to the hottest spots along the coast for a night out on the town.
An interesting and accidental beneficial side effect of recent travel bans is that large swaths of the world affected by over-tourism are beginning to heal themselves. Major cities from Los Angeles to London and Beijing are reporting their best air quality in years with less nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide emitted by cars and industry. The canals in Venice are so clear, schools of fish and even a dolphin were easily spotted by locals — all of this and more taking place before Earth Day’s 50th anniversary in April.
While urban wine country might sound like an oxymoron, it’s actually a reality at the stunning City Vineyard in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The water-side venue is the perfect host for your next event — whatever that may be, from 20 to 200 guests and from cocktail party to plated dinner.
When you want to get away without getting behind the wheel, Amtrak has news for you — and budget-friendly news, at that. Enjoy the ride this summer to your next destinations from the comfort of a private Roomette room on Amtrak with a two-for-one deal on select one-way routes.