Healthy Eyes Are in Focus at the Eye Center of Charleston

Protect Your Eyes with Help from an Ophthalmologist in Folly Beach, SC

If there's one thing that most people can agree on, it's that our human senses are extraordinary. They help us interact with the environment around us every day of our lives. Our brain processes signals from various neurons associated with our senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch to provide us with a meaningful perception of the world. The truth is, though, that we tend to take our senses for granted unless we experience a malfunction in any of them.

Humans have five senses and the same number of organs to complement those senses: a tongue to taste, a nose to smell, two ears to hear, skin for the sensation of touch, and eyes for sight. Of those senses and organs, our eyes are often considered the most essential, as they enable us to perceive up to 80% of all the impressions we encounter daily.

If other senses like taste or smell stop functioning, our eyes protect us from potential dangers. But they also help provide us with distinctly human memories. Think of all the picture-worthy moments that you have experienced over your lifetime. From seeing your baby smile or walk toward you for the first time to enjoying a memorable movie, it's safe to say that our eyes play an incredibly important role in our daily lives.

It makes sense, then, that we would want to protect our eyes and have them checked regularly to make sure they're healthy and functioning as they should. According to data by Ipsos, however, only 39% of Americans have been to an eye doctor's office in the last year. Fortunately, if you live in the Lowcountry, finding an eye doctor in Folly Beach, SC, is easier and more convenient than ever when you visit the professionals at Eye Center of Charleston.

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 Eye Surgeon Folly Beach, SC

The Eye Center of Charleston Difference

Unlike some eye doctor offices in South Carolina, our team uses the most advanced technology paired with our esteemed clinical and surgical skills to precisely diagnose and treat a wide variety of eye conditions and diseases. We focus on a number of vision conditions, medical conditions, and physician services, including but not limited to:

  • Cataracts
  • Presbyopia
  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Styes
  • Diabetic Eye Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Excisional Biopsies
  • Dry Eye Syndrome
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Flashes & Floaters

It all starts with an introductory appointment with one of our experienced eye doctors, who will take as much time as needed to get to know you, learn more about your needs, and better understand the symptoms you're experiencing. Once we know the extent of your eye care needs, our doctors will provide you with an effective, efficient diagnosis and plan of action to remediate any issues you're facing.

From nuanced eye surgeries to standard eye exams, we've got you covered. In fact, we offer the latest technology in Varilux Progressives, Transitions, Crizal Anti-Reflective Lenses, Prescription Polarized Sunglasses, and Thin Lightweight Lenses. With a wide selection of frames and sunglasses, you're sure to find the glasses you need in a style you love.

 Eye Doctor Folly Beach, SC

What is an Ophthalmologist in Folly Beach, SC?

When people think about eye doctors, they often think about professionals who conduct eye exams and prescribe contacts. They don't realize that an ophthalmologist is different than other professionals, like optometrists. So, what is an ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a vision health professional who plays a specific role in the field of eye care. Along with optometrists and opticians, they are part of a comprehensive eye care team. However, some patients may need clarification on the similar-sounding names of these three types of eye care providers. Each one has unique skills and training for the tasks they perform. You should understand these differences so you can choose the best professional to address your vision needs.

What are the Differences Between Ophthalmologists and Other Eye Care Specialists?

Opticians, optometrists, and ophthalmologists each have a separate role in the field of eye care.

 Eye Treatment Folly Beach, SC

Optometrists

These professionals conduct eye exams, vision tests, and can prescribe corrective lenses that help address and solve eye conditions.

 Eye Surgeon Folly Beach, SC

Opticians

Opticians are often labeled "eye doctors," but they focus mostly on filling prescriptions for contact lenses, glasses, and sunglasses. They're also experts at repairing glasses and adjusting frames as needed.

Ophthalmologist Folly Beach, SC

Ophthalmologists

These medical doctors treat and diagnose certain eye diseases. However, it's not uncommon for ophthalmologists to provide vision services similar to those of optometrists.

At Eye Center of Charleston, we offer patients all three eye care specialists to provide the most well-rounded, effective eye care services in Charleston and beyond.

Are Optometrists and Ophthalmologists Basically the Same?

While optometrists have a four-year Doctor of Optometry degree and can provide primary vision health care, ophthalmologists are medical doctors who have received approximately three times the education and training.

They can perform all the same services as an optometrist but can also provide treatment, including performing surgeries such as cataract removal, vision correction, and eyelid lifting. Optometrists may detect signs of eye diseases during routine eye exams but are unable to treat them, so they often refer patients to ophthalmologists at The Eye Center of Charleston.

Surgical Specialties at The Eye Center of Charleston

While we serve many different types of patients with a wide variety of needs, many clients visit our eye surgeon in Folly Beach, SC, for very specific procedures. Keep reading below to learn more about those surgeries and the conditions that necessitate an eye doctor's intervention.

While we serve many different types of patients with a wide variety of needs, many clients visit our eye surgeon in Folly Beach, SC, for very specific procedures. Keep reading below to learn more about those surgeries and the conditions that necessitate an eye doctor's intervention.

In a young and healthy eye, light passes smoothly through clear ocular structures and is then focused on the retina, the light-sensitive lining inside the eye. The lens, which is a slightly flattened marble-shaped structure, helps to focus the eye. If the lens becomes cloudy, yellow, or limits the amount of light that travels through it, it is known as a cataract. Cataracts can occur at any stage of life, from birth to old age.

Some of the most common symptoms of cataracts include the following:

  • Blurry or Dim Vision
  • Lights Are Too Bright
  • Lights Give Off Halo Effect
  • Faded Colors
  • Vision at Night is Poor
  • Vision Distortion

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause damage to the optic nerve due to high pressure in the eye, leading to possible vision loss. Therefore, the primary focus of treatment is to control eye pressure. Early intervention is crucial in preventing severe vision loss. While most patients can avoid severe vision loss with the use of topical eye drops, some require additional treatment.

It should be noted that some patients prefer to have less dependence on eye drops. Along with medical treatment, several safe and effective procedures are available, including laser trabeculoplasty and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery. To learn more about these treatment options, talk to your eye doctor at The Eye Center of Charleston.

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for sending visual information from your eye to your brain and is essential for good vision. While high pressure in your eye is often associated with optic nerve damage, glaucoma can occur even with normal eye pressure.

Although glaucoma can happen at any age, it is more prevalent in older adults and is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. Unfortunately, many forms of glaucoma produce no warning signs. The effect of the condition is so gradual that you may not notice a change in vision until the later stages of the disease.

That's why it's essential to have regular eye exams that include measuring your eye pressure. Early recognition of glaucoma is a very important part of that process because it can help slow down or prevent vision loss. If you have glaucoma, you will need to undergo treatment or monitoring for the rest of your life.

Some of the most common symptoms of glaucoma include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Eye Pressure & Pain
  • Low, Blurred, or Narrow Vision
  • Bloodshot Eyes
  • Nausea
  • Seeing Rainbow-Colored Haloes Around Light Sources

A pterygium is a non-cancerous growth that appears on the surface of the eye, causing blurry vision. It usually occurs in individuals who have a long history of exposure to sunlight or UV light. Should you need pterygium surgery at The Eye Center of Charleston, you can rest easy knowing that your eye doctor in Folly Beach, SC, will be highly trained and experienced in the surgical treatment of pterygia.

Also called surfer's eye, a pterygium is an overgrowth of the conjunctiva, which is a thin and clear membrane on the surface of the eye. It can appear as a fleshy growth and is usually found growing from the inner corner of the eye, close to the nose. However, it can also appear on the outer corner or on both sides of the eye. The condition is not cancerous and does not spread to any other part of the face or body. It can cause redness and irritation in the affected area.

If left untreated, a pterygium can grow across the cornea, which is the transparent 'window' that covers the pupil and iris, further impacting vision. In such cases, surgical treatment may be necessary. However, it's important to note that pterygia may grow back even after successful surgery.

Some symptoms of a pterygium include the following:

  • Itching & Burning
  • Inflammation & Bloodshot Eyes
  • Minor Eye Pain
  • Issues with Blocked Vision

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes

If you have diabetes, you may be wondering if the disease can affect your eyes and whether or not an ophthalmologist in Folly Beach, SC can help. To provide the best answer, it's important that you understand how diabetes can affect your eyesight.

Diabetes is a condition in which your body fails to properly convert food into energy. This is because your body either cannot produce or does not respond to insulin, which is a hormone responsible for transporting glucose (blood sugar) to the cells in your body. When there is an excess of glucose in the bloodstream, it can cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves throughout your body, including the eyes.

Understanding Diabetic Eye Disease

When we refer to diabetic eye disease, we're talking about a group of eye conditions that stem from diabetes. Those conditions include the following:

3 Easy Ways to Protect Your Eyes Everyday

Eye problems can be easily prevented if you adopt some easy-to-follow habits for eye care in your daily routine. Even though these habits are practical and easy to accomplish, many people brush them off - until they have serious eye problems. To maintain good eye health and sharp vision, try incorporating these eye care techniques into your daily routine.

Eye Center of Charleston Pro Tip

Swing by one of our eye clinics to see our selection of fashionable and chic sunglasses. Our licensed opticians keep a number of popular sunglass options available at all times, like Costa, Kate Spade, and Juicy Couture. Protect your eyes and look great at the same time!

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Use Protection from the Sun

It's important to be mindful of the potential risks associated with exposure to sunlight and UV rays. These hazards include an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration, as well as the possibility of cornea sunburn or photokeratitis. To protect your eyes, try wearing sunglasses that have UV protection. If you don't like wearing sunglasses, you can opt for UV-protected eyeglasses or contact lenses instead. You can also try wearing caps, visors, and hats for added protection.

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Try Not to Rub Your Eyes

One of life's little pleasures is rubbing your eyes when you're tired or have had a long day. It may feel good, but we don't recommend doing it. Reason being, your hands come into contact with a great deal of dirt, dust, and bacteria on a daily basis.

Every time you touch or rub your eyes, these harmful particles can be easily transferred to them. If you avoid touching your eyes with your hands, you can better prevent infections and irritations.

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Try the 20-20-20 Rule of Thumb

To keep your eyes in the best shape possible, consider adopting this handy rule. It states that:

  • Look away from your computer screen or TV every 20 minutes and fixate your gaze on something that is 20 feet away.
  • Blink your eyes 20 times in succession. This helps prevent dry eyes.
  • Get up out of your seat or away from your desk every 20 minutes. Then, take 20 steps. Doing so helps you vision and also helps promote healthy blood circulation and posture.

See a Brighter Future with Help from An Eye Doctor in Folly Beach, SC

At The Eye Center of Charleston, we're proud to offer a breadth of eye care services under one roof tailored to you and your whole family. From pediatric myopia management and treatment for dry eye to popular eyewear options and complicated eye surgery, we're ready to help. Regardless of the reason why you visit our eye care office, you can have peace of mind knowing that your patient experience will be comfortably curated for you.

Contact our eye care center today to learn more about our practice and to schedule an initial consultation with one of our expert eye doctors.

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Latest News in Folly Beach, SC

A Smart, Scrappy Reno Gave This Couple Their Dream Lowcountry Beach House

If you can kick the tires on a potential new car, why can’t homebuyers do the same? Cameron Bishop, a coastal South Carolina native, spent years hunting for an authentic ...

If you can kick the tires on a potential new car, why can’t homebuyers do the same? Cameron Bishop, a coastal South Carolina native, spent years hunting for an authentic cottage in Folly Beach. “We both lived in Charleston for years and loved Folly’s surfer vibe and laid-back beaches,” says his wife, Katherine. At long last, Cameron spied “the one” online. He says that a particular set of virtues caught his eye: “The 1950 build is from around the same period as a great-aunt’s home where my mom grew up vacationing, which felt very nostalgic; the intact floor plan told me it had not been messed with yet; and all the V-groove walls and ceilings (no drywall) really sold me.” Katherine says she was game to look at the place, though it was “well loved and worn—with a lot of wall-to-wall brown carpet.”

Cameron noticed that it was available as a rental and had plenty of vacancies, so the adventuresome Bishops, a family of three at the time (now they have a second son), headed to Folly Beach for a four-day test-drive of the 1,200-square-foot find. “It was so filthy that I spread bedsheets over the sofa and carpet for baby Robert to crawl on, and I never took off my flip-flops,” says Katherine. Still, Cameron’s hunches proved correct. “The house was a solid, good-looking Folly original,” he says. And there were hardwood floors under all that carpet.

Of course, Cameron can spot a diamond in the rough. As a residential designer and cofounder of the firm Bishop and Bartos, he spends his working hours drawing homes imbued with details that are often borrowed from old, overlooked structures like their would-be beach house. “The rustic simplicity appealed to me,” he says—so much so that they called their real estate agent and signed the offer letter for the place while sitting at its dining table. Once it was theirs, the couple committed to making just enough updates to turn it into their ideal getaway. “We have traveled together a lot and stayed in tiny hotel rooms and Airbnb rentals. Along the way, we realized that we don’t require much,” says Katherine. In that spirit, they tackled a large portion of the work themselves with some help from their backyard neighbor turned contractor. Here’s how they pulled off this top-to-bottom transformation without breaking the bank.

Be Smart, and Start Small

After closing on the property, they kickstarted a makeover. “We borrowed an SUV, packed it with decor and accessories, drove to the new place, and ground it out for three days and nights just cleaning,” Katherine recalls. “We got rid of trinkets and anything dingy.” They fluffed up the home with new bedding, slipcovers, and dishes—plus a few coats of spray paint on the furniture—before putting it back on the rental market. Just a few months of that income covered nearly half the renovation budget, she notes.

Banish the Frump

PHOTO:

Courtesy of Katherine and Cameron Bishop

PHOTO:

Brie Williams; Styling: Kate Malpeli

Katherine still can’t get over the outlandish combo that ruled the house when they first bought it. “Carpet and sand just don’t mix,” she says. “Plus, ours was a very shaggy dark brown.” Removing the old flooring throughout, including the kitchen’s garish black-and-white linoleum, and applying pale bluish-green paint (Benjamin Moore’s Wythe Blue, HC-143) directly to the floors immediately rerouted the interiors back to their beachy roots. Understated globe ceiling fixtures and stylish rattan lighting sourced from Etsy replaced outdated fans with laminate blades. Frilly and poorly functioning window treatments went by the wayside in favor of fuss-free matchstick blinds that feel appropriately island inspired.

Modernize Wisely

PHOTO:

Courtesy Katherine and Cameron Bishop

PHOTO:

Brie Williams; Styling: Kate Malpeli

Of all the rooms in the house, it’s best to invest in the kitchen. The homeowners removed the upper cabinets, painted the lower ones white, and splurged on new appliances and countertops. The white dishwasher mimics the cabinet fronts, helping the small space seem bigger. "We opted for quartz over marble because it’s less porous and easier to clean,” explains Katherine. The wooden island doubles as a serving piece and offers extra storage.

Don't Spring for Built-In Everything

In keeping with seaside simplicity, they shunned the popular Pinterest trend of built-in bunks—as well as the additional carpentry expenses—by placing a pair of beds from Amazon against opposite walls. “We knew we wanted to create a bunk room,” says Katherine, and this way, the kids still have plenty of space in the middle of the floor where they can play. The small Dash & Albert rug adds a cushy layer for the little ones—plus the blue-and-white pattern pops against the painted floor.

Always Sample Paints in Person

PHOTO:

Brie Williams; Styling: Kate Malpeli

PHOTO:

Brie Williams; Styling: Kate Malpeli

Choosing the right white can be trickier than it looks. “We selected our colors from afar in Atlanta,” Katherine says. When the couple came to see the updates, they were surprised to discover a yellow-hued home. “It was bad enough that we had to repaint everything,” she says. Benjamin Moore’s Simply White (OC-117) and Pure White (OC-64) proved to be the winners on the inside walls and exterior siding, respectively, while Sherwin-Williams’ Dried Thyme (SW 6186) worked best on the house’s contrasting siding.

Author Terry McDonell reminisces about a winter retreat at Folly Beach

South Carolina is famous for its beaches, but I didn’t know them. Folly Beach, which I discovered looking for escape from a dark, grueling New York City winter, advertised exceptional surf breaks and beach town tradition. Yeah, I thought, Folly Beach! Brilliant water, four-generation family beach houses, surfer subculture, and only one bridge on and off the island; my Southern friends were surprised I’d found it.I missed kicking off the new year with the “Bill Murray look-alike” polar bear plu...

South Carolina is famous for its beaches, but I didn’t know them. Folly Beach, which I discovered looking for escape from a dark, grueling New York City winter, advertised exceptional surf breaks and beach town tradition. Yeah, I thought, Folly Beach! Brilliant water, four-generation family beach houses, surfer subculture, and only one bridge on and off the island; my Southern friends were surprised I’d found it.

I missed kicking off the new year with the “Bill Murray look-alike” polar bear plunge, for which one dresses like a favorite Murray character and runs into the ocean. Motto: Freeze your balls off! No matter, I was just happy to find it was 20 degrees warmer than New York, and empty except for year-round people and diehard surfers. End to end, Folly is only six miles of wide beaches broken and protected by a series of jetties, and I planned to walk them all.

My rented house faced “The Washout,” a long beach break that got rowdy during storm swells and on windy days when the blow whipped up classic, rolling surf. A 20-minute walk up the beach was the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve with nesting sites for threatened loggerhead turtles. A local said you could find shark’s teeth there, but I never really looked. Off the beach, was marshland and maritime forest with stopover and winter roosting sites for flyway birds including the endangered piping plovers that I saw.

If I walked west, I would end up at Folly Beach County Park, acres of bone-white sand and scrub dunes bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the wide (at that point) Folly River. A day-tripper magnet between Memorial Day and Labor Day, it was now almost deserted except for people walking with dogs (only allowed in winter).

I had been warned about the weather, but on some of my best days the rain would come and go several times, leaving a freshness on the magnolias that perfumed the salt air coming off the water. My backyard had magnolias, too, and two stands of 60-foot palmetto palms with large fronds, as well as hemlocks with dense green umbrella tops— excellent nesting cover for the robins, mockingbirds, and woodpeckers that fed on the palmetto cones and seeds. A swinging back gate opened onto wetlands that rose and fell with the tide.

By the time my month was up, the lessons of Folly would stay with me in the specifics. The birds and the trees and the long beach walks, learning the tides, the endlessly changing rhythms of the Atlantic. The way the sun would rise over the wetlands just outside my back gate, where early one morning I saw a family of raccoons, perhaps heading for the preserve.

Driving north over the Folly River Bridge at the end of my month, I knew that hordes would descend all summer and surfers would complain it was too crowded just to go left. But those high-season inconveniences weren’t my concern. For a month in the middle of winter, Folly was the perfect beach.

• • •

Terry McDonell is a media executive, literary editor, and published author. He has won numerous awards for his editorial work at various magazines and websites and has written and produced for film and television. Known for his acclaimed book The Accidental Life, McDonell returned to memoir with his most recent book, Irma: The Education of a Mother’s Son.

This article appears in the Winter 2023 issue of Southbound.

Commentary: Many of us remember a different Folly Beach

Mr. John’s Beach Store has been a fixture on Folly Beach since 1951. The affectionately coined “mayor of Folly Beach,” Paul Chrysostom, took over the family business started by his parents, John and Rachel Chrysostom. They were esteemed, respected and beloved members of the community; John was a bookkeeper, accountant and Greek professor, and his wife, Rachel, a pharmacist.For many of us who recall the old days on Folly, Mr. John’s was the last stronghold of memories that can never be replaced. Mr. John’s...

Mr. John’s Beach Store has been a fixture on Folly Beach since 1951. The affectionately coined “mayor of Folly Beach,” Paul Chrysostom, took over the family business started by his parents, John and Rachel Chrysostom. They were esteemed, respected and beloved members of the community; John was a bookkeeper, accountant and Greek professor, and his wife, Rachel, a pharmacist.

For many of us who recall the old days on Folly, Mr. John’s was the last stronghold of memories that can never be replaced. Mr. John’s, which recently was sold, was the heart and soul of Center Street.

I recently read an article on the WCSC-TV website that quoted Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin as saying: “When people come to me and say, ‘I want Folly Beach to be like it was,’ I look at them and say, ‘What do you remember Folly Beach being?’”

Given that Mayor Goodwin moved to Folly Beach in 1998, I would like to respectfully answer his question.

Folly Beach was a vibrant, magical, exciting, warm and lovable place. It was naturally community oriented. The sleepy beach. Some even called it the poor man’s beach.

But rest assured, there was nothing poor or wanting about Folly.

It was overflowing with riches, treasures that could never be measured materially. I don’t even remember the word tourist; everyone was welcomed and seen the same.

When I was growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, visiting Folly was like entering a portal into an enchanted world.

A horse that belonged to a neighbor was stabled in our backyard.

My grandfather gave the Bruggemann family next door our backyard garage to stable their horse, Nosy.

The family’s daughter, Nancy, in turn, gave me rides on Nosy on the beach. It was a young girl’s dream.

The boy next door was my first crush. It was a time of innocence and sweetness that can never be duplicated.

Cars could drive on the beach, horses pranced along the streets, and neighbors never locked their doors for the simple reason that our neighbors were not considered neighbors. They were family.

Folly wasn’t “funky.” It wasn’t branded. It wasn’t marketed. It was what it was.

The Sanitary Restaurant on Center Street had a lunch counter that sold soft-serve ice cream sundaes and the best sandwiches and comfort food.

The Pavilion had wooden benches, hotdogs and hamburgers, and the amusement rides twirled with the echo of children’s laughter in the air.

We used to walk an eternity over the big sand dunes to get to the beach.

Many times, we would swim in the gullies by the old groins even if folks were there crabbing.

My grandfather George Manos would go out in the wee hours of the morning with his big net and bring in buckets of fish for my grandmother Virginia to clean and cook.

The front porch was an open door that called to passersby: “Come on up. The table is full.”

Generosity and hospitality flowed like the ocean. And at night, we would be lulled to sleep by the sound of her waves.

Goodbye, Mr. John’s Beach Store.

You will always be in my heart. This is what Folly was like — in all her beauty, simplicity and wonder. A reminder that the greatest gifts of life are priceless.

Jackie Morfesis is a Charleston writer, speaker and community advocate.

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Folly Beach is unapologetically its authentic self

Folly Beach, the self-titled “Edge of America” greets you with an easy-going vibe that has a colorful hue of charming restaurants and souvenir shops. Palmetto trees gently shade the edges of Center Street. The town is widely regarded as South Carolina’s quintessential fun and funky beach community.With a population just over 2,000 people, this tight-knit town and surrounding area defines its unique essence with its laid-back demeanor and inclusive atmosphere.A notable transformation for Folly Beach has been th...

Folly Beach, the self-titled “Edge of America” greets you with an easy-going vibe that has a colorful hue of charming restaurants and souvenir shops. Palmetto trees gently shade the edges of Center Street. The town is widely regarded as South Carolina’s quintessential fun and funky beach community.

With a population just over 2,000 people, this tight-knit town and surrounding area defines its unique essence with its laid-back demeanor and inclusive atmosphere.

A notable transformation for Folly Beach has been the frequent reconstruction of its pier. In the 1960s, the pier emerged as a musical hub, attracting crowds from across the country who developed a fondness for the community, leading to its title as “the people’s beach.” Since then, Folly Beach has become a safe haven for surf enthusiasts and beach lovers alike.

The town’s inherent charm draws visitors from all over. But what truly anchors many locals is its reputation for offering some of the finest waves in Charleston, especially catering to beginners. Shane Granigan became the first employee of Isla Surf School in 2015, working alongside founder Peter Melhado to create a welcoming and secure, yet fun, atmosphere for learning to surf on Folly Beach.

“People who surf on Folly come from all different backgrounds,” Graingan said. “You get people riding their first waves, all the way to people who have been surfing their entire life and have based their life around it. So it’s a fun mix of people.”

What sets Folly apart from other beaches is that you can tailor your experience to exactly what you’re looking for, Graingan said. It’s spread out, which allows you to find a little nook or cranny for yourself or some friends. If you prefer, you can join a whole crowd to surf with.

“The community and the vibe out there is what really keeps people coming back,” he said. “It’s got a little bit of something for everyone. Whether it’s surfing and then going and grabbing a beer at Chico Feo, there’s always people around.”

Nadia Klincewicz and Liz Wolfe co-founded she’s on edge, a Charleston-based women’s surf and skate collection. They host meet-ups and events on Folly Beach, creating a space for women of all ages to thrive and receive support within the community.

Wolfe describes Folly as “a really magical place for women surfing.” When she isn’t surfing or arranging the next paddle, you can find her working at McKelvin’s Surf Shop, South Carolina’s longest-established surf shop.

Wolfe said she loves the dead of the winter when she can sit and catch up with locals who come into the shop. She says summer is crazy as hundreds of people come into the shop daily. During the colder months, it’s nice to have a moment to breathe.

“Driving down any given street on Folly is really representative of the kookiness of Folly,” she said. “Not one house is the same. You’ve got massive, built-up, four-story homes, and then you’ve got little beach shanties and everything in between. I feel like that is a good metaphor for the people on Folly.

“There’s no type of person, It’s just characters. Even when there is dysfunction, it is a family dysfunction — there’s still love there.”

Klincewicz lives on Folly and describes it as “a really dynamic place to live because it changes throughout the season, like being a snowbird but in your own home.”

During morning walks, she said she enjoys bumping into her neighbors and taking a moment to say, “Hey.”

“You just feel like you have such a strong support system,” she said. “If you ever need anything, there’s 12 neighbors that you can call and everyone will be jumping to help you.”

Locals often come together at locally owned bars, unique restaurants and watering holes where they unwind and socialize.

“People are a bit more down to have an experience that’s more authentic and a little less polished,” said Ian Condon, bar manager at Jack of Cups Saloon on Center Street.

Other parts of Charleston haven’t quite matched the innovative concept offered by Jack of Cups, which is praised for its fusion of global comfort food with influences from Asian and Indian cuisines. The interior is welcoming and cozy, with the perfect touch of quirkiness that seamlessly integrates with the authentic feel of Folly.

“I always laugh with people, we literally have a hole in our one wall at Jack of Cups,” Condon said. “It’s where the beer lines used to come in before they switched the bar around and we cover it with a sticker. Like, we’re literally a hole in the wall and people love that about us.”

Reflecting on his time working in the restaurant industry, he said he’s never encountered anyone like the local regulars who come in nearly everyday — the people who generously offer him parking in front of a house or use of an outdoor shower if he wishes to take a quick ocean dip before heading to work.

“Folly Beach doesn’t pretend to be anything other than itself. That kind of authenticity I think is one reason why the business thrives,” Condon said.

Folly Beach stands out as a cherished gem along the South Carolina coast. Whether it’s the vibrant community spirit or eccentric nature, locals and visitors find themselves drawn back time and again.

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13 Things To Do In Folly Beach, South Carolina

It's only twelve miles south of Charleston's historic homes and manicured window boxes, but the salty little town of Folly Beach ditches the Holy City's refinement in favor of an easygoing, barefoot sensibility that feels a bit more California than Carolina. Known to locals as the Edge of America, Folly is everything a ...

It's only twelve miles south of Charleston's historic homes and manicured window boxes, but the salty little town of Folly Beach ditches the Holy City's refinement in favor of an easygoing, barefoot sensibility that feels a bit more California than Carolina. Known to locals as the Edge of America, Folly is everything a beach town should be. Surf shops line the main drag; cover-ups count as appropriate lunch attire; and nobody takes themselves too seriously (they drop a pair of LED-lit flip-flops to celebrate New Year's Eve). Here's where to stay, eat, relax, and play in South Carolina's super chill surf town.

Where to Stay

For a feels-like-home experience coupled with the charm and convenience of a boutique hotel (complimentary breakfast and happy hour daily, plus a free shuttle to the beach), book The Regatta Inn. Its best amenity of all, though, is the view: a spectacular vantage of Folly River and the surrounding marshland.

Every single room at Tides Folly Beach comes with an ocean view. Perched at the end of Center Street, the town's main thoroughfare, the hotel is steps from both the beach and an array of local shops and eateries.

For families looking to stretch out a bit more, there are a boatload of rentals to choose from: Opt for ocean-front properties that will sleep a crowd or cozy cottages with marsh and Folly River views. And for people who wouldn't dream of traveling without their four-legged companions, there are plenty of pet-friendly rentals too.

Where to Eat

You won't go hungry on this island. Fuel up for the day at Lost Dog Café, a local staple that serves coffee and all-day breakfast (so you can sleep in as long as you'd like). Don't miss their Lowcountry eggs Benedict, which they top with fried green tomatoes.

Fish tacos, Vietnamese-inspired lettuce wraps, and Cuban sandwiches all have a place on the colorful menu at Chico Feo, where the vibe is equally colorful. If you're in town for the wave-riding, be sure to check out their website's Surf Report, complete with a live video stream.

Don't let the easygoing atmosphere fool you: Rita's Seaside Grille is serious about its food...and its cocktails. Try one of the Signature Crushes, fruity sippers with flavored liquors that pack a punch.

End the night at Sand Dollar Social Club, a dive bar where you're invited to come as you are, so long as you're a member; membership costs $1, so bring your cash (you won't find a credit card machine here).

Though technically not on Folly (it's about two miles away), you'd be remiss to make a trip all this way without carving out time for a meal at family-owned Bowens Island Restaurant, a family-owned joint where the walls are graffitied and the oysters are locally harvested.

Where to Relax

The island's six miles of beachfront are its main attraction, and it'd be easy to while away a week with no plans beyond putting your toes in the sand. Spend a day shelling, sunning, surfing, or searching for shark teeth.

At the northern end of Folly Beach, the Morris Island Lighthouse provides a stunning backdrop from the shore. Get a closer look from the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve or via kayak. Several guided tours leave from Folly Beach to visit Morris Island for shelling, photography, and lighthouse history. The historic lighthouse is not open for viewing. How close you can get to the lighthouse depends on the tides.

Where to Play

Pack your fishing poles (or rent one) to test your fishing luck off the beloved Folly Beach Pier, which reopened in December 2022 after extensive renovations. If you're visiting in the summer, put on your dancing shoes—flip-flops count!—and head back to the Pier for one of the Moonlight Mixers, a music-filled family event held once monthly May through September.

For those looking to build an action-packed itinerary, there are plenty of activities that highlight the destination's natural beauty: Book a guided kayak tour with Charleston Outdoor Adventures, rent a stand-up paddleboard to explore the tidal creeks, or hop on a boat to discover uninhabited beachfront, where you can look for sharks' teeth and other fossils.

Stop by McKevlin's Surf Shop, South Carolina's oldest surfing outfitter, to peruse their selection of gear. You can also rent a surf or body board from the shop if you don't have one of your own; first-timers should consult their recommended list of surf instructors. Once you've got it down, catch some of the area's best waves at The Washout—or take a seat on the beach and see how the local pros do it.

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