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South Carolina's Daufuskie Island remains small and isolated, with a population of less than 400 and no bridge access. Plus, there are no hotels, and some areas are restricted only to residents. That is until now. In 2019, for the first time, Haig Point, a private enclave on the tiny South Carolina barrier island, allowed visitors to stay in the historic Strachan Mansion and 1873 Lighthouse.
"For years there has been a lot of mystery and intrigue about Daufuskie Island," Adam Martin, Director of Sales & Marketing Haig Point, told Departures. "But with no hotel accommodations available, it was impossible for visitors to spend the night and really get a feel for the Daufuskie way of life—and all the amazing amenities Haig Point has to offer."
The two-bedroom lighthouse overlooks the Calibogue Sound and features a 40-foot tower while the Manor, built in 1910, features several suites, lounge, and bar. Both were previously reserved for residents or the occasional private event and not open to the public.
Due to the high demand for those accommodations, the Cottages at Haig Point are under construction, and the first two cottages (12 guest rooms) will open by the end of 2020, specifically for the guests to visit the island. Six total cottages are planned with 36 rooms, all of which will have common living spaces, kitchens, and more.
And thanks to the increased interest overall in the island, made famous by Pat Conroy's book "The Water is Wide," other changes are happening locally, too. The once-iconic Sportsman's Lodge at Melrose Resort (think Ralph Lauren equestrian life) will reopen in 2020. Guests of the Daufuskie Island Trail Rides equestrian tours (which launched in 2019) will have access to the lodge before and after their oceanfront rides for drinks, bites, billiards and more.
And this week, the inaugural food and wine festival on the island will bring together some of the biggest names in the industry right now, including Mashama Bailey, BJ Dennis, Alexander Smalls, Brandon Carter, and more.
"By allowing visitors to experience our community, there is the potential for them to become a future resident," added Martin. "There's something about the water here; once you've had a chance to experience this lifestyle, you want to be part of it."