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Resorts Off the Beaten Path: The Daufuskie Island and Resort


Claudine Williams

You have probably heard of Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. But not many people have heard of Daufuskie Island, a discreet island just a mile off the coast of Hilton Head Island. You can't get to the island by car. You have to take a 45-minute ferry ride from Hilton Head. But it's worth the trip. The island is virtually unspoiled; there are no major stores or gas stations. There are no skyscrapers or police sirens. There aren't any cars worth mentioning. Most people simply walk or use golf carts to navigate the island.

On the island -- which is itself a rustic paradise where people paint their houses blue to keep the island ghost away -- you will find the area's most modern building, Daufuskie Island Club and Resort. The resort is accessible via a private fleet of luxury passenger ferries that are provided by the resort. The Daufuskie Island Club and Resort, with its antebellum-style buildings, has 186 rooms.

If you prefer more traditional accommodations, you can book your stay in the resort's Melrose Inn, which has 52 ocean-view rooms. But if you really want to leave reality behind and escape into yourself or into the arms of your loved one, I recommend that you stay in a villa -- my personal favorite. The two and four-bedroom villas resemble perfect little dollhouses set along the beach. I stayed in a two bedroom canary yellow villa when I visited Daufuskie last summer.  I could look out onto the ocean from my back porch.

If you enjoy the outdoors, the resort has three pools, three miles of white sand, a pristine beach, an equestrian center and a Stan Smith-designed tennis center. You can rent bikes for two, order up massages and go horseback riding on the beach. Those who prefer to stay indoors can rent videos and cuddle up for the night. If you get hungry, there are four restaurants and lounges for both casual and fine dining. The most formal of the resort's restaurants, the Stoddard Room, is renowned for its stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. If you prefer a relaxed dining experience, Jack's Place, named after Jack Nicklaus, may be your restaurant of choice.

The fall, from August to September, and winter, from November to March, are probably the best seasons to visit the resort. Those months are considered off-season. In the spring and summer, the resort is in a bustle with conference attendees and golfers. Daufuskie has made a name for itself by having some of the finest greens in the South. However, whenever you decide to visit, you will feel as if you are in your own private world, particularly if you choose to stay in the villas. Huge trees with hammocks that are big enough for two, line the beach. And it is so very easy to hop inside one, snuggle close, and sway your troubles away while with sweet caresses from the ocean breeze.

Get more information on island by calling 843-842-2000. You can also visit

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Cladine Williams is a freelance travel writer. (More about this writer.)


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