Top down, drive to the beach weather is here. Folly Beach is a favorite destination for sun bathers and surfers alike. Locals refer to it as the "Edge of America", which makes sense since it is on the coast of Eastern United States. It is more than just sand to park yourself on to get a tan or a place to catch a curl in the wild blue. It is rich with history, good food, and good times.
When we think of the word folly, foolishness comes to mind as a likely meaning. But folly actually is an English word meaning an area of dense foliage. Folly was referred to as "Coffin Land" on a 1780 map, but a map dated 1800 shows "Coffin Land" as the western end of Folly Island where the State Park is now. It was customary for ships with plague or cholera victims to leave the ill travelers on barrier islands before they entered the Charleston port and pick them up later if they were still alive.
The ship Amelia wrecked on Folly Island while sailing from New York to New Orleans in 1832. In 1930’s the new Atlantic Pavilion, Boardwalk, Pier and Oceanfront Hotel were built, but in 1957 The Oceanfront Hotel and Pavilion and Joe’s Restaurant burned. The Holiday Inn was built on the spot. The island played a part in the Civil War--first shots of the American Civil War fired by Citatel Cadets on Morris Island. The first surfboard on the island was introduced by Pat Thomas.
Now the fun begins. If you like to fish, there is a 1,045 foot fishing pier that hosts fishing tournament and you can rent everything you need at the shop on the Pier. There is plenty of sand to place your towel or chair upon to take in the rays or read a book. If you are so inclined, take a walk to the tip of the island past the state park and watch the fast moving currents flow in and out of the channel. You may catch a glimpse of a dolphin cruising the rapidly surging waters appearing as if it is stationary in the current. If you have a boat or a jet ski, beach it on the backside of the island and have a picnic. The surfing is some of the best on the east coast and Folly hosts a number of surf events throughout the year.
Looking for a place to stay for more than a day? Accommodations range from charming cottages, modern beach houses, to affordable condominiums and a luxury hotel. You can stay at Water's Edge Inn; top rated by Conde Nast Traveler, or the Tides; Charleston's only full-service oceanfront hotel. Also, plenty of ocean front vacation homes to choose from for the all-around package.
When hunger strikes you after a day on the beach there are a variety of restaurants such as Rita's Seaside Grille, Locklear's Beach City Grill, Folly Beach Crab Shack, and BLU Restaurant with an ocean view and delectable food. Folly Beach recreational activities include kayaking, jet ski rentals, parasailing, boat charters, and whatever else.
Charleston is only minutes away with one of America’s premier downtown historic districts. Angel Oak Park, just a short drive from Folly Beach, is home to "the oldest tree east of the Mississippi." Well, you get the picture. Visit Folly Beach for a day or a week. You may see me there, Vacation Rick. Please don't forget to say hello, southern style.