From Hilton Head you can take a 45-minute ferry ride to nearby Daufuskie Island, the setting for Pat Conroy's novel The Water Is Wide, which was made into the movie Conrack. The boat ride may very well be one of the highlights of your vacation. The Lowcountry beauty unfolds before you, as pristine and unspoiled as you can imagine. The island is in the Atlantic, nestled between Hilton Head and Savannah. Many visitors do come just for the day, to play golf and have lunch or dinner; kids might enjoy biking or horseback riding. On summer Sunday afternoons from 2 to 6, the little tiki hut at Freeport Marina whirrs out frozen concoctions as a vocalist sings or a band plays blues and rock and roll. On weekend nights when there are bands at Marshside Mama's, the hip crowd even boats in from Hilton Head.
The famous Jack Nicklaus signature golf course at Melrose on the Beach is one of the highlights of Daufuskie Island. For tee times, call 843/422–6963. The island also has acres of unspoiled beauty. On a bike, in a golf cart, on horseback, or in a horse-drawn carriage, you can easily explore the island. You will find remnants of churches, homes, and schools—some reminders of antebellum times. Guided tours include such sights as an 18th-century cemetery, former slave quarters, a "praise house," an 1886 African Baptist church, the schoolhouse where Pat Conroy taught, and the Haig Point Lighthouse. There are a number of small, artsy shops like the Iron Fish Gallery and Silver Dew Pottery.