Folly is for family... and couples, and singles, and pretty much anyone that loves a great vacation.
On the many travels I have gone on in my life, occasionally there is a pleasant surprise that I find along the way. Recently, my family and I ventured to beautiful Charleston for a quick family getaway. Charleston is a gem, don’t get me wrong, but the weekend we were visiting was also the same weekend as the famous SEWE event which brought major crowds. The house that we were staying at, which was located directly on Folly Beach, was only 20 minutes outside of Charleston. The SEWE crowds drove us to stay mostly in Folly and I am so thankful. Folly reminds me so much of my beloved Tybee Island. Eclectic and coastal, nestled on the South Carolina border, Folly is full of beautiful protected preserves and gorgeous beaches. With fun souvenir shops and delicious food, Folly will become a family favorite for vacations to come.
Where to stay:
Airbnb and VRBO have several locations on the beach for rent as well as locations more in the “town” of Folly on Center Street. Folly begins with a small area of restaurants and shops on “Center Street” and then turns into a long stretch of homes located on the beach and across from the beach. This road is called E Ashely Ave. Our stay was at a friend’s home down the long stretch of beach and directly on the sand. Unfortunately it is not for rent. And though this house and location was absolutely spectacular, we are already planning our next stay which may be closer to the shops in town for fun golf cart riding and food crawls. If house rentals are not what you are looking for, then check out Tides Folly Beach hotel. It has a great location and breathtaking views of the ocean and pier. To book your stay, visit https://www.tidesfollybeach.com/
Getting around town:
Near the end of Center Street and at the start of E Ashley Avenue, is a convenient spot to rent a golf cart for your stay. Charleston Golf Cart Rental is definitely a must. Once you have settled into your vacation house or hotel, be sure to call Charleston Golf Cart Rental for a fun ride to get around with. The rentals run around approximately $140 for a two day rental which is a steal if you are splitting the cost with another couple traveling with you. You will know the rentals when you see the iconic blue carts lined down the side of E Ashley Avenue. Remembering that this is a small community where golf carts scoot by and pedestrians leisurely walk the town, be sure to follow the speed limits and keep your eyes on the road while driving your vehicle at all times. Visit https://www.charlestongolfcartrental.com/ for more information and rates.
Where to eat:
Oh the food at Folly. With several different options, you will probably not go wrong but there were some favorites that made our list. The more touristy restaurant would definitely be Wiki Wiki Sandbar, but don’t let that stop you from going. With true authentic Polynesian decor and eats, the backdrop is that of Hawaii, with friendly Folly locals serving your dinner. With drinks all served in hawaiian-themed cups and food loaded with flavor, kick back and enjoy this beautiful setting with someone special or even the entire family. You're sure to have a blast.
More of a brunch kind of traveler? Oh, have I got the place for you!
The Lost Dog Cafe is going to bring you all of the feelings of being with family and friends while giving you that good home-cooked breakfast. The most delectable eggs Benedict one can enjoy, paired with a bloody mary, this place will have everyone satisfied. Don't forget to try their mason jar mimosas while you wait for your table. This eatery has a walk up counter where you can order coffee and drinks before even being seated. The kids enjoyed delicious
chocolate milk while we waited outside. Need a quick bite for lunch or dinner that's easy on the wallet? The Drop In Bar & Deli was such a delightful surprise. Our group of 14 quickly filled up this establishment and we noticed many of the locals stopping in and happy to see such a full house. You could tell this was an untapped tourist stop that only the locals really get to appreciate. The service was great and the food was even better. And what's good after a hearty meal? Ice cream and/or coffee! There is a neat coffee shop in town that is attached to an ice cream shop. Center Street Coffee has tons of coffee options but get this... THEY SERVE FROSÈ!!! Something truly for everyone, ha! Grab your coffee (or frosè, I won't judge) and head next door for some great ice cream choices. Check out their website: http://centerstreetcoffee.com/?fbclid=IwAR1FiuAajGIB88SJx79GIdunAh-ZyyfB35halj7Ah3NHuZpo6LsZVif9Jxs
What to do:
Obviously the beach. Spend hours hunting shark teeth and soaking up some vitamin D while taking pleasure in your stay on a clean and beautiful part of the East coast. There are beach rental opportunities during the summer for paddle boarding and kayaking so don't miss out. The lighthouse inlet Heritage Preserve has much to be explored so wear some comfy shoes and get walking. There are great views of the Morris Island Lighthouse from this portion of the beach as well. Get ready to explore this breathtaking preserve by maybe even bringing a picnic lunch with you. At the very end of E Ashley Avenue, the road brings you to a Short quarter mile walk down a paved path completely covered in graffiti. But the graffiti all over the Jetties on the beach breaks my heart, to be honest. Though some of the art itself is beautiful, there is a place for that art that does not belong on nature, in my opinion. But, the paved (man made) path that leads you to the beach where you can view the Morris Island Lighthouse is currently covered in graffiti art that is worth the walk to see. So many beautiful drawings, quotes, and even proposals painted onto the pavement that makes for a lot of fun to read. Be aware that some of the writing may be a bit pg13+ so observe at your own risk.
Charleston is close.
Only a twenty minute drive, give or take, and you can visit the gorgeous city of Charleston. Charleston is meant to be an informative blog post all in itself but this tiny corner of the internet is for Folly. But I will let you know what we did in Charleston on our day away from Folly. My husband and I had the opportunity to dine at The Darling Oyster Bar. For starters, we enjoyed the seafood plateau. This is a large plate of raw oysters served in different styles along with shrimp cocktail sprinkled with a hint of seasoning along with some crab legs. It was great. Then we had the famous lobster and king crab roll. This sandwich was absolutely amazing. But the cocktail, "shoulder monkey", was a fantastic shock! It was so delicious, that Garrett and I will make it a point to stop by just for that drink during our next visit; it was that yummy! (Fun fact: Savannah GA will be opening its very own Darling Oyster Bar soon!) The other attraction we visited, as mentioned above, was the popular SEWE event. This is a type of wildlife exposition. It is very popular amongst hunters, fishermen, and dog sportsmen. It is full of nature and wildlife exhibitions and even has bounce houses for the kids. I would recommend to come early to enjoy everything. I stood in line for a corn dog for 40 minutes, just to give you an idea of the crowds... Half of this event is free entry and that includes some free sampling of local food and beverages and lots of items and food for purchase. But there is a ticket requirement for the other half. See https://sewe.com/events/ for more information.
Then there is Charleston's City Market. It is a long stretch of shops and stores (some are flea market style) with some drink and snack shops throughout. This was loads of fun for the kids. Roman was able to pick out a book from a children's shop and Fallon enjoyed a lemonade slushy. The entire length of the market, along with shopping and snack stops, took about an hour. And nearby is one of my favorite restaurants: the Charleston Crab House. I implore you to visit this place. My husband and I have had a love for this restaurant for years. The snapper, the burgers, the tuna, the waffle fries, the mules... Its ALL good.
And back to Folly Beach we go...
Imagine a prefect night sky, scattered with twinkling stars and hearing the ocean waves crash down onto the sand. Imagine strolling through a beach community, filled with friendliness and eclectic strangers that strangely feel like family. Imagine sitting on a rooftop of a Polynesian eatery and sipping on a Mai Tai while surrounded by tiki torches and breathing in the salt air. Not many beach communities invite you to come and vacation while making you feel at home. Folly is unquestionably that. I hope that you and yours will make this a family vacation destination this summer. You won't regret it.
The Adventurous Alfords