A Few Fun Days on Folly Beach

This week's post is about all things Folly Beach, or as it is commonly referred to by locals, the "Edge of America." 

Our friends Erica van Bavel and Eric Olivier happen to be getting hitched in the Lowcountry this coming Saturday, with family and friends (hi, guys!) staying on Folly. We decided to map out a fun few days to fill in the gaps, while they're not celebrating with the happy couple, but this could apply to anyone looking for a long weekend away on Folly.

BACKGROUND
Folly Beach is a barrier island that sits just south of the Charleston peninsula. The island is mostly residential with beach house rentals, bed and breakfasts, and few hotels available.  Folly in the fall is one of my favorite times of year. This is the time when the weather and water are still relatively warm, the bugs are at bay, and you can take your pooch to the beach without worry. 

WEDNESDAY
At Folly River Park, you will find a small local Farmer's Market this evening. Start your long weekend here, grab dinner from a food truck and enjoy some local music. This is a great place to pick up a few locally handcrafted souvenirs including one of those famous sweetgrass baskets. If the food trucks aren't what you had in mind for dinner, consider checking out one of my favorite restaurants on Bowen's Island, just down the road from Folly. In October, Bowen's Island Restaurant serves up some of the best oysters in the area. This place isn't fancy, but definitely worth the short trip over the bridge. The Tides Hotel also shows movies on Wednesday nights at dusk on the beach. These are free, just bring a towel or blanket and check out their page for this week's movie pick!  The Tides Hotel also is home to the great Blu Beach Bar where you can get a great view of the ocean while sipping on a cocktail.

THURSDAY
Beach day! If you're looking for a beautiful path to the beach, check out the public beach access located where E. Ashley Avenue meets 13th Street. As you walk through the lush green tree lined path, you will emerge onto one of the best surf spots at Folly Beach. You may also notice areas on the dunes roped off with stakes and tape. These areas are marking sea turtle nests and are not to be disturbed. If you go out for a night walk, you will notice that Folly Beach is a "light's out" beach, as not to confuse the hatchlings. Walk to the north from this public access and you can catch a glimpse of the Morris Island Lighthouse. More beach fun can be found walking through the Folly Beach County Park in search of sand dollars and shells or checking out the Folly Beach Pier. Looking for dinner? Enjoy a bite, beer, or live music at Chico Feo.

FRIDAY
Friday fun day could be spent playing cornhole or shuffle board at The Barrel. The view is beautiful and the drinks are cold here.  You could also checkout Crosby’s Fish & Shrimp Friday Night for a fun night of live music and seafood on the dock. The family friendly affair is run by the Crosby family and open to the public, beginning at 6pm (weather permitting). If it's late night dancing you're after, shake it on over to Snapper Jacks for some rooftop fun or stop by Surf Bar for some more local music.

SATURDAY
Today would be the day to venture into town. The Charleston Farmer's Market at Marion Square, downtown is bustling with people, food, activities, and more local vendors to find just what you're looking for to make this trip memorable. While you're downtown, stroll down King Street for some additional shopping. If you get there early enough, Glazed may still have some fresh doughnuts available! Before you head back to Folly for the evening, make sure to check out at least one of the downtown, rooftop bars to get a complete view of the Holy City.

SUNDAY
Breakfast or Sunday brunch at Lost Dog Café is a must!  This is one of our all-time favorite breakfast spots. It's a popular place, so you may have to wait, but we guarantee it is worth it. If your pooch is accompanying you on this trip, they are welcomed on the porch here. If it's just a cup of coffee you're after, check out Black Magic Cafe just off of Center Street.

Our congratulations to Erica and Eric. We can't wait to see you two walk down the aisle with this beautiful Lowcountry backdrop. Many happy days ahead!

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You might have heard a thing or two about it flooding these last few days in the Lowcountry. We're happy to report that both of our homes and loved ones stayed safe during the rains, but not everyone was so lucky. We are very grateful to the first responders and everyone that continues to work together to keep us all informed on safety precautions and what is ahead of us. For now, we're all looking forward to the sun predicted on Tuesday. Our friend (and van Bavel bridesmaid) Stacey appeared on CNN to discuss her experience with the flood downtown. Somehow, we always tend to keep a sense of humor in this town- and a pair of rain boots at our front door.

Boone Hall: Through the Seasons

One of my favorite parts about living in Mt. Pleasant is the proximity to Boone Hall. No matter the time of year, their plantation and farm always have something going on for families, foodies, and fun. Today, I'm going to focus on my favorites from the seasons:

FALL
The secret is out; the Lowcountry serves up the best weather in the fall months. Well, temperatures, at least. As a Lowcountry resident, the majority of us own rain boots for fall and spring endeavors. This past weekend, Boone Hall Plantation hosted Southern Living's Taste of Charleston. The event, now hosted for 35 years, featured 50 of the Lowcountry’sfavorite casual and fine dining restaurants serving sample size portions, plus beer and wine. In true Charleston fashion, the proceeds benefitted several local charities. Miss out this year? The Greater Charleston Restaurant Association has another event you might be interested in coming up in the winter. 

To get in the true autumn spirit, Boone Hall also hosts a pumpkin patch, the entire month of October. There are lots of activities for the kids, from a corn maze, to a rock climbing wall and hayrides. If you're looking for something to add to the Halloween spirit, you'll want to check out Fright Nights. With four 'terrifying attractions', you're sure to get your share of zombies and strobe lights.

WINTER
One would think that the Lowcountry would slow down in the winter months. Not so, as the calendar of events show for Boone Hall during the winter months. My personal favorite of all the seasons is the Lowcountry Oyster Festival, in January. Basically, this is the world's largest oyster festival that serves up 80,000 pounds of oysters, along with other tasty delights and libations. You guessed it, this event also benefits local charities

Before the oysters, is A Lowcountry Christmas, where you can visit Santa's Castle and Christmas Town after taking a holiday hayride. This time of year is also when it's hard to leave the safety of your own, warm home with temperatures falling into the low 40s (Listen, my blood has thinned since moving from the mountains). So, it makes a great time to run out to the Boone Hall Store for your fruits, veggies, and prepared dishes. I promise, I've never tried to pass off their spinach and artichoke dip as my own.

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SPRING
The oyster festival may be my favorite event held at Boone Hall, but my favorite service their farm offers is their Spring Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). By signing up for a CSA (and there are many CSA options in the Lowcountry) you're buying local, seasonal produce directly from the farmer by purchasing a share of the farm. Sign-up is required well in advance, so being added to their mailing list is the way to stay on top of getting your weekly fill of basket goodies.

Another benefit of their farm during this season are the strawberries! The Lowcountry Strawberry Festival, in April, hosts more family fun with over 30 attractions and rides. Looking for a way to get your run on? The Rugged Maniac, in March, is packed with 25 obstacles that are sure to get your heart rate going and your entire body dirty.

SUMMER
We may be perspiring (ahem, glistening) through the Lowcountry summers, but that doesn't mean we slow down. Boone Hall hosts weddings and music events all summer. It just so happens the actress, Blake Lively AND one of my good friends got married there. Their cotton dock and row of oaks make for a perfect, romantic backdrop. Just a few years ago, I spent a hot July night on their lawn with my parents, KC and the Sunshine Band, and The Village People.

Last but not least, the summer brings the best peaches you'll ever eat. From Mid-May to August, you can visit the farm for U-Pick or stop by their store for a basket. They move pretty quickly in my house, so we visit the store a couple of times a week during those months. Other farm specials are updated frequently on this site.

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To really keep up with all Boone Hall has going on, their Facebook is updated pretty regularly and has tons of photos.

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Did you miss us last week? Well, we sure missed you. We spent Monday-Friday in a continuing education class and didn't take one nap! All the better to serve your Lowcountry home searching needs, friends.