A Weekender’s Guide to Folly Beach
Folly Beach is where Charleston locals and tourists alike flock to for a slice of paradise with a side of fun. More so than any other beach in the area, Folly, though small as it may be, is packed with stuff to do for the whole family.
One of our favorite things to do while on Folly is to hang a left at the end of Center Street, following Ashley Avenue all the way to the end, park, and walk the 15 or so-minute stroll to the Morris Island Light House. Once there, behold the most secluded part of Folly Beach, a shore covered with beautiful driftwood, and the Morris Island Light House. You’ll love the desolate feeling out there, the staggering beauty all around. Bring a camera, because photo opps abound. To actually get in the water and explore, we recommend a kayak adventure through the meandering creeks we love so dearly in the Lowcountry. Folly Beach Adventures is one of many companies that will facilitate the rental of everything from kayaks and golf carts to stand-up paddle boards and surf boards. They also do guided boat tours.
There is definitely no shortage of great food on Folly. We love the Asian-infused food and craft beers at Jack of Cups, the shark tacos at Chico Feo’s outdoor oasis, more Asian-infused goodness at The ‘Wich Doctor, Tex-Mex at Taco Boy, and pizza from Woody’s. Oh, and you can’t miss the tuna watermelon nachos at Rita’s — trust us!
For all-things seafood, the Crab Shack has got you covered, but if you get in the car and drive up Folly Road for less than five minutes, you’ll find another local favorite, at Bowen’s Island (your GPS will get you there just fine!) The restaurant is likely to have a line because it’s that good, but you’ll also find some of the best views in Charleston and a place with a down-home, down-to-earth, casual feel.
For a killer view of the sea to go with your cocktail, go to the rooftop of Snapper Jack’s, a bright, blue-colored building on Center Street that’s unmissable. For fun sake cocktails and delicious beers, make your way to Jack of Cups. Don’t miss the frozen screwdrivers at Taco Boy, beachfront pina coladas at BLU‘s beachfront bar, or pineapple jalapeno margaritas at Rita’s. If you’re one of those people who gravitates to the Irish pub in every city, St James Gate is where you need to be.
Sure, you can find plenty of your run-of-the-mill beach stores on Folly in case you need anything from sunglasses and bathing suits to tacky magnets and tees, but shop with the local surfers at Ocean Surf Shop for all your surf wear needs (located right above our Folly Beach office). For anything from gourmet to-go sammies, boiled peanuts, cool hats, beer, groceries, coffee, and hotdogs, go to the beloved Folly institution of Bert’s Market. It’s actually a must, so put this at the top of your list and thank us later.
Nothing says, “This is the good life” better than live music and an ocean breeze. Luckily, Folly is full of great local talent, and you’ll undoubtedly be able to catch some live tunes one of these spots: Loggerhead’s, Planet Follywood, Chico Feo, Surf Bar, or Drop In Deli.
There’s not a lot of choice when it comes to hotels, but there’s plenty of beach rentals — with either the gorgeous marsh or the Atlantic Ocean as your backyard — where you can make yourself right at home. We recommend stopping by our Folly Beach Vacation Rental office or browse our website for all our vacation properties. Summertime books up quick, but the Fall and Spring are still beautiful times to enjoy the Charleston Coast.
And in the off-chance that you’re in town on a Wednesday during the summer, check out the Folly Farmer’s Market, where you’ll find locally made goodies you can take back home with you. Also on Wednesdays in the summer months, we do movies on the beach! Bring a blanket and watch a movie in the sand behind the Tides hotel. Seeing something like Top Gun while the waves crash behind you — well, it doesn’t get much better than that, folks.