As published in The Florida Villager
Summer is here and that means sun and sand. Tired of the Miami beaches and looking for a change of venue, well make your way to Folly Beach in South Carolina. Just a hop, skip and a jump in flip flops from downtown Charleston, sits what locals term, the Edge of America.
Driving into town reminded me of a smaller version of Key West. A quick decision to check things out prompted me to park my Jeep and take a stroll down Center Street. This quaint street is lined with funky boutiques, unique artwork, local restaurants and of course, everything one needs for the beach. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the diversity that abounds here. Passing by a bar called The Drop In I could smell what turned out to be one heck of an amazing burger. Sitting down I struck up a conversation with one of the locals and learned that The Drop In is the local hangout and not to be missed once in Folly.
Having departed my time with the locals, I decided I better make my way to Water’s Edge Inn where I would be taking up residence for 3 days. One look and I knew I was going to be hard pressed to leave. My room, with fireplace included, looked out over a marsh and an outdoor hot tub I planned on using that night. A quick change into my bathing suit and I was off to see how I could get to the beach. Entering into the main house, I came across a wonderful spread of wine and cheese; happy hour was in full swing. Learning I had a choice of a bike or complimentary golf cart shuttle, I opted for the bike ride, as I wanted to explore on my way.
Taking the side streets to the beach gave me the opportunity to see all the cute clapboard houses and wonder about the people that live in this unique town. Finally on the beach, I staked out my spot and began to people watch while listening to the surf against the shore. Everyone was doing something, whether it was boating, paddle boarding, kayaking, surfing, fishing or just catching some rays. My sense is the people here don’t care what you wear, drive or do; they just care about ‘being.’ What a refreshing way of life.
I had heard someone say the best sunset was from the marina so off I went, getting side tracked briefly, at a Bohemian looking, outdoor bar called Chico Feo. Two cucumber lemonade sakes later and I was pedaling over to the marina to see one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen.
Back at the inn, I turned in my bike, showered, dressed and started walking back into town to scope out the nightlife. I had gotten one block out and could hear music coming from somewhere. Not being sure where it would lead me, the thought of a scavenger hunt was intriguing, so I followed the trail of notes. It led me straight to Snapper Jacks. Up on the roof top a guy was singing and playing the guitar where a nice size crowd had assembled. I ordered a Snappers Colada, which by the way is made with strawberry moonshine and took up a seat by the railing so I could see it all, above and below.
I have to admit; my next two days were more of the same, as I didn’t want to change a thing. I did take a walk over to Folly Pier, which is the second longest one on the east coast, to check out the spectacular views but for the most part, I had my spot at the beach and on Snappers rooftop. As I mentioned earlier, it appears the way of life here is just about ‘being’ and I always say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” And I did.