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Cool Down: A Destination Guide to Folly Beach
If you want to surf, head to the Wash Out on the east end of Folly Beach, long South Carolina’s most popular spot to catch a wave. (The sunbaked folks at McKevlin’s and Ocean Surf Shop will rent you boards and gear.) And if you feel like sunbathing, the Folly Beach County Park has got you covered on the chair-and-umbrella front. Hungry? You’ll want to leave plenty of time to eat and drink your way across this laid-back barrier island.
Check out a few of our favorite places:
Bowens Island Restaurant
Come summer, there’s a near constant line at the this old-school seafood house on a small five-acre island, just before you reach Folly Beach, but the platters of crispy fried shrimp and plates of Frogmore stew—shrimp, corn, potatoes, and sausage—are worth the wait. So is a seat on the waterside deck at sunset.
You’ll find everything from goat curry to Cuban beans and rice to mahi tacos to Cambodian-inspired hoagies at this uber-casual, oak-shaded favorite with a Caribbean cookout-like atmosphere. Grab a local beer while you wait on your order and chat about your bartender about the day’s surf report.
Credit: Chico Feo
Jack of Cups
The largely vegetarian menu at this cozy Asian and Indian influenced restaurant on Center Street changes four times a year with the seasons. And while it’s not your typical beach fare, the line for a table or a seat at the bar speaks for itself.
Lost Dog Cafe
This all-day breakfast spot is Folly Beach institution. Go for bowls of shrimp and grits, stacks of strawberry-topped pancakes, gooey frosted cinnamon rolls, and the standout breakfast burrito. As the name suggests, your pup is welcome.
Credit: Eater Charleston
Sunset Cay Marina
Locals love this low-key marina on the west side of the island for its riverfront porch and regular live music. Sunset Cay is really more of a ship’s store than a bar, though, so prepare to mix your own drinks and pop your own beer tops.
Credit: Sunset Cay
Head to this West Cooper Avenue outpost for a post-beach day Painkiller (a potent concoction of rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and cream of coconut), a fresh fish taco, and the island’s best live music.
Credit: Surf Bar