All eyes are on Hurricane Irene as she makes her slow trek toward the East Coast of the USA. When and where Irene makes her turn is crucial as to where she may be headed. The predictions have been fast and furious and the scenarios changing everyday. The latest prediction, as I write this article, puts landfall in North Carolina near the Outer Banks, taking Charleston out of the dnager zone. This would be good news for the surfing crowd, particularly the most hardy of the group, who are always looking to the next big wave. Hurricane Irene's presence offshore will make Folly Beach their focus of attention.
Folly Beach, referred to by locals as the "Edge of America, is Charleston's premier beach for surfing. The most popular spot on Folly Beach for surfing is an area called the Washout, where the biggest waves are to be found. In fact, experienced East Coast surfers tend to agree that the Washout is one of the top 30 surf spots on the East Coast. Another popular spot is near the Folly Beach Pier.
The beach on Folly is six miles long and easily accessed anywhere on the island. The most beautiful area of "untouched" beach is at the Folly Beach County Park at the west end of Folly. There is plenty of parking, a snack bar, retail area, and all the necessary amenities needed for a day at the beach. From the park, you can walk to the end of the island where the waters rush in and out of the channel with tremendous force at the beginning and end of high tide. Often, you are able to watch dolphins riding the fast moving currents. Center Street Beach is located on both sides of the Folly Beach Fishing Pier. In season, this is always a very busy beach. Here you can rent jet skis and boogie boards, purchase food and beverages from the Holiday Inn's Tiki Bar and restaurant or the Starfish Grille on the Pier, take a walk on the Folly Pier or watch the surfers.
If you looking for a place to stay, there are plenty of beach homes with the best of everything for a comfortable stay and cozy cottages with a more simple touch located up and down the island. Charleston's only full-service oceanfront hotel, Tides of Folly Beach, is a newly renovated hotel located right on the beach. The hotel has 132 ocean front rooms with private balcony overlooking the ocean. It is also host to the BLU restaurant with oceanfront dining. What will it be? The choice is yours to make. There are many other places to dine and some have entertainment scheduled throughout the week.
Just a final side note. Where did Folly get its name? It doesn't have anything to do with an act or instance of foolishness. Folly comes from an old English word meaning clump of trees or thicket.