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Exploring History-Rich Daufuskie Island

Cottage house

Hilton Head Island has already, for decades, been described as one of the best travel destinations in South Carolina. With the rolling seashores, beautiful beaches, and plethora of things to do, places to dine, and cool experiences to be had, there’s no wonder that Hilton Head Island joins the world’s destination hotspots in on and off seasons. However, there are elements Outside of Hilton Head Island, such as Daufuskie Island, that provide extra entertainment, exploration, and discovery for adventurous, curious, eager travelers to the coasts of South Carolina. Keep reading for some facts, fun information, and all you need to know about the delights of Daufuskie Island—a true, explorational treasure trove, situated just Outside of Hilton Head Island.


What is Daufuskie Island Exactly? And Where?

The entirety of Hilton Head Island has been dubbed the Lowcountry, and that term has special meanings on Daufuskie Island. Daufuskie can only be reached via transport across the water, like a personal boat or chartered ferry. It is surrounded by oceans, making it a well-talked about paradise with a rich, well-documented history.


The name Daufuskie means sharp feather, and it was a name gifted by the Muscogee Native Americans over 9,000 years ago. These first inhabitants called the Island their home for centuries, eventually making their way to the mainland of Hilton Head, where several generations still live to this day. Thousands-year old artifacts have been discovered across Daufuskie Island, but the tell-tale sign of inhabitants were piles of shucked oyster shells—which are a staple food on Daufuskie.


Daufuskie Island Map

Daufuskie Island has both negative and positive histories, with a bit of blood shed to boot. It has been home to Native Americans, West African slaves, Union Troops of the Civil War, and Spaniards—all seeking to make the Island their own through any means necessary. For instance, cotton was a huge trade on Daufuskie for over a century. It was harvested by West African slaves, then sold as Sea Island Cotton—which was notably called some of the best, softest materials in the world.


Nowadays, lore, legends, and respect are what remains of the histories of Daufuskie Island. It’s not difficult to find ghost stories here. And you might notice most of the residential and shop doors and shutters are painted a heaven/sky blue. This color was seen as sacred because negative energies and spirits were thought to be unable to pass through “openings painted heaven blue.”


Daufuskie Island Tours that are Must-Sees

There are numerous tours around Daufuskie Island, each offering something different and fun to explore, learn, and discover. However, Outside Hilton Head is a tour-booking firm that grants you a number of exciting and engaging experiences to satisfy your curiosities about Daufuskie Island.



One of the most popular Daufuskie Island tours is called “The Daufuskie Island Artisans & History Tour.” This excursion takes you on a full-guided excursion with someone savvy in both history and nature. The guide is well-versed in historic destinations on Daufuskie, such as The Mary Fields School, The Daufuskie Rum Distillery, Bloody Point Lighthouse, and The Iron Fish Gallery. You will experience a side of Daufuskie Island that many travelers often overlook in favor of the Island’s dining and shopping options.


Here are some of the positive things that past guests to both Outside Hilton Head and Daufuskie Island have had to say.


★★★★★ Jamie W. wrote: “A lucky last-minute reservation on a super busy weekend. Very accommodating. Tour guide was great and knowledgeable. Daufuskie is a beautiful place.”


★★★★★ La Bromon from New York City commented: “We had a great time visiting Daufuskie Island off Hilton Head. We traveled around the Island on golf carts and he showed us the historical sights and explained about its early settlers including the Gullah people. It was an enjoyable day and very educational. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about its people, the current residents and the historical sites on the Island.”




What You Should Know About Outside Hilton Head


Outside Hilton Head offers activities galore to year-round travelers to Hilton Head Island and beyond. While they dabble in both on-land and in-water activities, their main draw is chartered boats to Daufuskie Island. These well-versed professionals also offer customized trip experiences, with pre-booked tours to make Daufuskie Island all the greater for you and your traveling companions.


If you want to go somewhere, especially on Daufuskie Island, the team of Outside Hilton Head can help you get there. There is no and has never been a bridge to connect Hilton Head Island to Daufuskie Island. However, Outside Hilton Head offers other methods of bookable transportations, such as a water taxi, boat rental, ferry schedule, and private charters.


Additionally, you can opt for a full tour of Daufuskie Island, guided by a historian and interpretive naturalist. You will begin at the Outside Hilton Head docks, the head over to Daufuskie Island on a private boat. This allows you to learn, explore, ask questions, and go in-depth into the history and fun that Daufuskie Island has to offer.


To book your tour over the phone, call: 800.686.6996. Or, visit the Outside Hilton Head office at Plaza at Shelter Cove Lane on 50 Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928.

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