Exploring Folly Beach & Where to Stay
I capped a recent trip to Charleston with a single-night stay on the beach – not nearly long enough, but better than nothing. Early on in my trip-planning process, I decided I couldn’t be this close to the ocean and not get my feet wet.
But which beach?
Charleston is located about halfway between South Carolina’s best known stretches of sand – Myrtle Beach to the north and Hilton Head Island to the south, each about a two-hour drive. But you don’t have to travel that far from the city for a terrific oceanfront overnight.
After a bit of research, I selected Folly Beach, a 6-mile-long barrier island about 15 miles south of Charleston.
Less developed than Myrtle and less polished than Hilton Head, Folly has a casual, funky vibe all its own. It’s popular with locals and an easy day trip from Charleston, but with enough amenities and overnight options to attract some longer-term guests, as well.
If you go: Folly Beach, South Carolina
Getting there: Three airlines now fly between Cleveland Hopkins and Charleston International Airport: Allegiant, Frontier and United. While you don’t need a rental car during your stay in downtown Charleston, you will want one to get to the beach. We picked up a car downtown, at Enterprise, for the last day of our trip.
Where to stay: The Beachside Boutique Inn offers well-located, reasonably priced accommodations in historic cottages and bungalows a short walk from both the beach and Folly’s main drag, Center Street. We stayed in the Treehouse Room for $149.
Where to eat: We ate just two meals in town, both of them terrific. For breakfast or lunch, try the Lost Dog Café, 106 W. Huron Ave., home to the Folly Benedict, poached eggs atop side-by-side crab and shrimp cakes (yum). For dinner: Bowens Island Restaurant, 1870 Bowens Island Road, with fresh seafood in a rustic, scenic setting.
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