1. Grits at Cahill’s Market—I mean I know “liquid buttered biscuits” isn’t a description for everyone’s taste buds…but their loss! These grits were one of the best things I’ve ever eaten for breakfast (Laura + Katie both agree). Cahill’s is a nursery/greenhouse+produce stand+restaurant in one. We stumbled upon this baby on our way to the airport & boy were we glad we stopped! We bought a home-grown summer tomato and had it sliced up to go with our breakfast. It was a delightfully Mayberry time: our server had regulars who asked after his music career, Dad’s dream country music playlist was on the speakers, my waffles came with fried bologna…in a word—ideal. We sat across the table from each other grinning from ear to ear.
2. Beach-combing on Daufuskie—we were one of four groups on the entire public beach. At one point we were walking along and found these palm trees that a past hurricane had tipped over and exposed the roots. Whole sand dollars galore to be collected! It felt like if you squinted your eyes just right as you looked out over the water you’d see ghosts of pirate ships past. After going through a pirate history phase and reading about Savannah’s past, the beach was the perfect place to re-inspire my first novel concept—a young girl masquerading as a boy, a pirate ship…no spoilers!
3. The Paris Market—this is one of those stores I could spend some serious time and money in. Every piece is so well curated. Then it’s styled and displayed in a creative, elaborate way that gives everything around it new life. Beautiful lighting, piles of coffee table books, bundles of someone’s great grandmother’s silverware, hand-poured candles with unique scents, all in an old building with brick walls and creaky, hardwood floors. Even though we didn’t spend too much time in Savannah this was a must-see for me and a must-share after having been before. Last time I went I bought a candle, a turtle shell, and a picture of the 1912 spring baptismal group from Savannah’s first United Methodist children’s program. Cool stuff!!
1. Golf Cart Exploring — Let’s be honest…this isn’t just Katie’s favorite. This was a group favorite. Daufuskie Island has limited roads and is a “no cars allowed” island. Everyone gets around on golf carts. There are countless dirt roads & trails to explore. Almost nothing is posted or advertised so you just drive around exploring…checking out remote cemeteries in the woods, abandoned houses, lighthouses, & even an old rum distillery. You don’t see many people out and about, but the few you do see you’ll see over and over again. The island is small but the adventure is endless!
2. Lucy Bell’s— let me tell you about the most bizarre yet equally enjoyable restaurant experience I’ve ever had. Lucy Bell’s is one of three establishments on the island & it is located inside a very old house. They are open for lunch and lunch only. You aren’t able to eat inside the house. You walk inside, order, and then walk right out the back door and grab a table on the lawn. It’s like having a cookout with your family on the fourth of July except your family is Daufuskie locals and stray dogs. At one point the owner of the restaurant called a neighbor to come get her dog and then when she got there… told her he’s going to shoot it if she doesn’t get her damn dog! It was like a movie. And the food was bomb! Southern comfort food met with traditional island fare. Nothing made me feel more like a local than eating at Lucy Bell’s.
3. Sallie Ann Robinson— We met Sallie Ann when we were driving around on a golf cart & saw a massive tree and a little old house. We stopped to look up at the tree when we noticed a woman sitting in the yard! Sallie Ann told us to drive through her yard to get a better look. So we did. And naturally, we all became instant friends. Ms. Robinson is a SIXTH GENERATION NATIVE to Daufuskie Island. Her home was built around 1850 and she still resides in it today. The tree we were looking at? At least 300 years old. Sallie Ann runs the tour on the island, is an author, expert on Gullah culture, and is even a character in a Pat Conroy memoir about his time spent on Daufuskie! We ran into this lovely woman a couple more times before departing the island. She is a true gem & her smile is unforgettable! It was a true pleasure to meet her.
1. The Oyster Cottage — Katie found “the Oyster Cottage” on Airbnb and didn’t think twice before booking it. No, really, she didn’t even know if it had A/C when she booked it. An impulsive decision has never paid off as much as this one. The home we stayed in was out in the boonies, over 100 years old, & built by emancipated slaves! All of us girls are a little bit history obsessed so this fact was so awesome to us. This was not your cookie-cutter Airbnb, but the aesthetic was true to Daufuskie and we appreciate authenticity. I’m not going to lie…we initially thought we were going to get murdered out in the sticks when we arrived…and by the time we left we felt that the place was a bit haunted…but hands down it was one of the coolest parts of the trip.
2. Scrap Iron Moonshine— Turns out there is a hole in the wall bar on the far side of the island. In true Daufuskie fashion…there are no signs telling you how to get to it. We literally happened upon it one day while driving around on the golf cart & were pleasantly surprised! The vibe was great. It felt like a mirage on a deserted island when we first saw it. The bar serves Scrap Iron Moonshine that, according to the legends, got its name when the bootleggers would take it over to Savannah on boats hidden under piles of scrap iron! This is where the locals hang & the “river rats” come to drink. It’s not crowded like your average bar, but you’ll likely see a friendly face or two from other parts of the island.
3. Alligator Hunting — Okay… so we didn’t really go alligator hunting, but there may have been some deliberate stops near some swamps in an attempt to find some. It was on my bucket list to see one in the wild! We did end up finding some on our last night after a few Scrap Irons and, well, let’s just say they were just as excited to spot us as we were them. As soon as Sarah yelled “alligators can run up to 30mph and climb trees” we were back at the golf cart— screaming with both terror & delight.
So there you have it. The Lambert Homie’s guide to Daufuskie Island! We were sad to leave, and can’t wait to go back! There’s something truly refreshing about choosing the road less traveled. If you haven’t yet…you should come into the studio to get the inside scoop on who was sicker than a dog the whole trip, who got thrown off a golf cart, and who lost their suitcase on the island!