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Family Time on Daufuskie Island, South Carolina

by Holly Riddle

May 26, 2020

Izabela Beretka | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

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.


South Carolina Shores. Photo: Izabela Beretka | Dreamstime.com

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).


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