Daufuskie Island is a residential "sea island" between Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina about 2.75 miles (4.43 km) offshore. The total island surface is just 8 square miles (21 km2) within the maximum length of 5 miles (8.0 km) and maximum width of 2.5 miles (4.0 km).
Daufuskie has a full-time population of around 250. There are two resorts, a private residential community, and a large undeveloped tract of lands identified as residential property. The island was named a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places due to its Gullah and Civil War history.
The island's recorded history traces back to Pre Revolutionary War times. It was the site of a skirmish called the "Daufuskie Fight" during the Yemassee War of 1715–1717. The island was home to a sizable population of Gullah inhabitants from the end of the Civil War until very recently. The Jimmy Buffett song, "The Prince Of Tides" (from his 1988 album, Hot Water) laments the urbanization of the island and loss of the Gullah. Pat Conroy's 1972 book The Water is Wide was set on Daufuskie, fictionalized as "Yamacraw Island". The book recounts Mr. Conroy's experiences teaching on the island in the 1960s.
The Daufuskie Island Historical Foundation has a museum with historical artifacts of the island as well as a display with information about the Gullah history of the island.
Daufuskie Island School is a Beaufort County public school built in 1997. It is a modern facility with two classrooms, lunchroom and library. The students are in multigrade classrooms; Pre-K through 2nd grade and 3rd grade through 5th grade. Generally there are around 15-18 students each year and the school has significant community support and many volunteers on the island.
Students in grades 6–12 are transported to the Hilton Head Middle School and High School by a ferry. On Daufuskie, these students take a small school bus to the ferry. Once the students reach Hilton Head, they are picked up by a county school bus and taken to their appropriate school campus. The entire trip is about an hour and ten minutes each morning and afternoon. The students often do their homework or simply nap during the boat ride.