Beachin': Folly Beach

Like many beach towns, Folly Beach is known for its quirks—one of which you can spot before you can even catch a glimpse of the waves. As you cross Folly River, on the right side of the highway, look for the boat that washed ashore during Hurricane Hugo in 1989. The owner never claimed it, but it didn’t take long for residents to claim it for themselves, turning it into a painted landmark that has proudly displayed everything from birthday wishes to marriage proposals. (You can even follow it on Twitter: @follybeachboat.) The Folly boat is just the latest in the island’s long tradition of inspiring its visitors’ creativity—George Gershwin wrote Porgy and Bess here in 1934. —A. A.

What’s New:
The ‘Wich Doctor is off the beaten path, but inside you’ll find Neapolitan-style thin crust pizza and sandwiches with toppings made in-house, like fresh-ground spices, house-cured bacon, and sausages made from scratch. Try the BBQ Chicken pizza, topped with grilled corn, collards, red onion, cheddar, and provolone—and your choice of red, yellow, or vinegar-based barbecue sauce ($12). 843-588-6666, thewichdoctor.net

Where the Locals Eat:
Tacos are great beach food, and you’ll find seventeen varieties at Taco Boy, from classics like carne asada topped with a green chili sauce and salsa cruda, to tempura avocado with a sweet Thai chili sauce glaze and citrus slaw (both are $3.95). 843-588-9761, tacoboy.net

Where to Drink:
If you like live music, snag a seat at the wraparound bar on the first floor at Snapper Jack’s. Or head to the rooftop bar to soak up ocean views while you sip on frosty margaritas. 843-588-2362, snapperjacks.net

Where to Rent:
Check out Avocet Properties’ vacation rentals for a range of options from beachfront homes with room for extended families to small bungalows a few blocks from the beach. 843-588-6699, avocetproperties.net

Where to Shop:
McKevlin’s Surf Shop, one of the oldest surf shops on the East Coast, inspires surfers with boards of all kinds, plus accessories, surf wear, and more. 843-588-2247, mckevlins.com

For the Adults:
Get in on the stand up paddling craze with Charleston SUP Safaris. 843-817-7877, charlestonsupsafaris.com

Catch Brunch Here:
Lost Dog Café is only open until 3 p.m., but don’t miss the Whistlin’ Dixie Shrimp and Grits ($9.95) or the Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Pesto Sandwich on a toasted bagel ($6.95). 843-588-9669, lostdogfollybeach.com

 

Go With the Tides

The only oceanfront hotel on Folly, Tides sits in a prime location at the center of the six-mile long beach. Rates start at $159 in the spring and $229 in the summer. 1 Center St., 843.588.6464, tidesfollybeach.com