Nostalgia pervades Folly Beach

A picturesque seaside village steeped in history and its own unusual brand of culture, Folly Beach is affectionately referred to as “The Edge of America.”

Photo of Folly Beach Pier

[One of Charleston’s popular feature writers, Patra Taylor describes life along the South Carolina coastline.]

Welcome to Folly Beach

Located just eight miles south of historic downtown Charleston, Folly Beach, South Carolina begins at the end of Highway 171 on Folly Island. A picturesque seaside village steeped in history and its own unusual brand of culture, this six-mile long barrier island, bordered by the Folly River and Atlantic Ocean, is affectionately referred to as “The Edge of America.”

Photo of Morris Island lighthouseFolly Beach is defined by its sea, sand and surf; historical and culture sites, lush maritime forest; Morris Island Lighthouse, a number of endangered species of birds; and its genuine Southern hospitality. There are no malls or big commercial ventures on this laid-back tropical paradise, but locals appreciate its close proximity to historic downtown Charleston. In fact, Folly Beach residents enjoy many of the same benefits of living in that city; a mild year-round climate, thriving local economy; close proximity to other major cities across the Southeast; and the many community assets that make Charleston an enormously popular place to live and work.

But Folly Beach appeals more to the “Bermuda shorts” crowd – people who like to take life at a slower pace. Locals savor their long morning walks on the beach, hours of fishing off the East Coast’s longest piers; and casual dining in local restaurants that often features the music of the area’s most talented, or offer a spot to “Shag,” South Carolina’s official dance. Folly’s folks are definitely a different breed – and they’re always the first to say so.

While the rest of the Lowcountry basks in the media limelight for its world renowned golf, tennis, dining and resort amenities, Folly Beach residents delight in the nostalgia that pervades their island. They love the fact that Folly Beach once saw the likes of Glen Miller and Tommy Dorsey, whose Big Bands thrilled crowds on Folly’s old pier during the 1920s. And Folly Beach dwellers still remember how the island inspired George Gershwin as he composed his famous musical masterpiece, Porgy and Bess, during his several-weeks stay there in 1934.

Surf’s up!

But most of all, Folly Beachers are extremely proud of the fact that surfing off the island’s shoreline is considered the best on the East Coast. Folly, which hosts a number of surfing events throughout the years, is always on the minds of surfing fanatics around the world.

Copyright © 2019 by Patra Taylor Bucher. All rights reserved.

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Author: Patra Taylor

A freelance writer for three decades, Patra Taylor is currently a regular columnist and features correspondent for the Charleston Mercury. In that capacity, she has interviewed numerous Charleston celebrities along with a few national figures including FOX News political commentator, Tucker Carlson; Washington, D.C. insider-turned-winemaker, Bear Dyke; and country music singer/songwriter, Philip Claypool. She is also a regular contributor to Charleston Style and Design and the Southeast Film Guide.

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