Looking for a day of fun in the sun? Look no further than Folly Beach, our favorite local sandy spot to bar hop, nosh on good food, and shop wacky trinkets. If you don't live on the island, we recommend Ubering with a few pals for the day so you don't have to worry about driving home after an orange crush or three. Here's what's on our schedule:
A night at Water's Edge Inn
79 2nd Street West
(843) 588-9800. innatfollybeach.com
If you really want to experience all Folly has to offer, a stay at Water's Edge Inn is a great way to take your time and live like a local (with a dash of luxury, of course). Located on the marsh, the inn offers a variety of rooms (all appropriately named with titles like 'The Floridian' and 'The Hemingway), and while the price point can be a bit steep, a staycation is always a great excuse to splurge.
Folly with a view at Tides
1 Center St.
(843) 588-6464. tidesfollybeach.com
Or for a postcard view of Folly's Center Street and the fishing pier, the Tides is the only hotel like it on Folly. Down on the ground level, Blu offers one of the only beachfront bars in town.
Airbnb it up
The island is chock full of cute Airbnbs (we've stayed in a couple winners), so check those 'commodations out if you want to live more like a local. Stock up with some necessities like, ya know, local beer, at Bert's Market, and you'll be all set.
Brunch at Wiki Wiki Sandbar
106 E. Ashley Ave.
(843) 588-9454. wikiwikisandbar.com
While you may be tempted to stay at this tiki-inspired restaurant all day, we recommend starting your Folly-full day at Wiki Wiki for brunch, served 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on weekends. It's going to be a long day so you might as well get down with the Loco Moco ($16), a hamburger patty over Jasmine rice with beef gravy, a sunny side egg, and fried shallots — and a side of macaroni salad. Hell yes. And yes, of course, you're going to need to drink some tiki cocktails (bonus points if you pay a little extra to take the tiki mug home with you). The Pineapple Incident (whipped cream is involved, need we say more?) and the Port Royal Punch are a couple of our faves. Head back to Wiki Wiki for live music on select evenings and yoga on Sunday mornings throughout the summer.
- Ruta Smith
Drink a Painkiller at Surf Bar
103 W. Cooper Ave.
(843) 588-2009. surfbarfollybeach.com
Seriously, just do it. And at $7 these bad boys go down really smooth. Pair your drink(s) with the special of the day, usually some kind of fresh fish cooked up just right and beer-battered onion rings — and you've got a sweet mid-day meal.
Keep drinking at Rita's Seaside Grille
2 Center St.
(843) 588-2525. ritasseasidegrille.com
Orange, mango, grapefruit, black cherry — pick your poison when it comes to Rita's crushes ($8). They've got that special ice, y'all. You know what we're talking about.
- Ruta Smith
Sip and stroll on the Folly Pier
Pier 101 may have the best view on Folly. Situated at the end of the pier (beach side), Pier 101 serves up cold beer, both local (Coast, Westbrook, Revelry, Palmetto, Freehouse, Holy City) and otherwise inclined, and we can't imagine a nicer companion to walk the pier with.
- Ruta Smith
- Chico Feo is a hidden gem on Folly — go for the atmosphere, stay for the food
Nosh under the trees at Chico Feo
122 E. Ashley Ave.
(843) 906-2710. chicofeos.com
You haven't really lived the good Folly life until you've eaten mahi tacos at the Chico Feo bar. They've got beer, they've got wine. It's all pretty low-key and laid-back, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Shop 'til you drop at beach stores
1959 Folly Road.
Mr. John's Beach Store
20 Center St.
Head to classic beach stores like Treasure Island (hello, hermit crabs) and Mr. John's Beach Store for trinkets galore. From tacky T-shirts to oversized beach towels to more shells than you can count. Pink shells! Blue shells! They've got it all, y'all.