Sunday, July 31, 2011

Come Spend The Day at The Edge of America

Well another blistering day of heat and humidity has already descended upon us here in the Lowcountry. Michelle and I just completed our 3 mile walk around our neighborhood walking trail at White Gables and are now assessing our options for the day. One of the considerations is some time at the beach. From The Land of Palm Trees, the blog, is defined by an innate desire to share with many of you what life is like for those of us who stay behind on Saturday mornings when the vacationer packs the trunk and heads back up I-26, I-77 or I-95 toward their home and a big part of living here in the land of palm trees is having the ability to take 3 hours out of your day and head to the beach for a little while.

So many times I talk to friends, old neighbors, classmates and the such and they talk about taking their beach vacations to Myrtle Beach like it is the only beach to visit. While MB is a great place, albeit more the quintessential tourist trap than piece of paradise, their are some other great beach destinations just a little further south on the Atlantic Ocean from "the Grand Strand." Fortunately, for us Lowcountry folks, Charleston is home to four distinctive beach towns, each unique in it's own right, and if you extend the reaches of Charleston just a little bit South and lump Edisto into the mix we have five options.

While it is not necessarily my favorite beach in Charleston, Folly Beach, aka "The Edge of America" is a great beach town in it's own right and one that any of the Myrtle Beach crowd should consider trying out one year. Especially if after you get back home and start looking through those beach vacation photos you notice a lot of concrete, a hundred different versions of putt-putt golf, miles after mile of high rise after high rise, and just about every other get rich quick scheme known to tourism. Folly isn't exactly all sand and waves, and beach stores are counted on one hand instead of "on every corner" like at MB, but Folly Beach is one cool little beach town and I think a lot of you may enjoy visiting there. I found a You Tube video that provides a pretty good taste of Folly Beach and have embedded it for your enjoyment.

Like most places around Charleston, Folly Beach is a treasure trove of historic facts. Serving as a barrier island protecting Charleston, when ships traveling from England and other locations approached the coast Folly was one of the first pieces of land that they encountered after months at sea. At one time the island was known as "Coffin Island" because ships would drop off any passengers suffering from cholera or malaria rather than taking them into Charleston. There is also a fair amount of Civil War history involving Folly and it's neighbor Morris Island. Perhaps my favorite little snippet of Folly Beach notoriety is that George Gershwin wrote the American Folk Opera Porgy and Bess while living on Folly Beach in the 1930's, and you all know what a fan I am of Porgy, ie Summertime, and the livin' is eeeeeeeeezzzzy!!!

So, if you are looking for a beach vacation that provides laid back evenings listening to bluegrass and acoustic guitar, real fresh seafood not the truckload of all you can eat frozen for months variety and sunrises over the ocean and sunsets over the Folly River, come on down to the Edge of America. Who knows, you just may not go back home. Whether you are on the beach today or in the back yard, have a great day, From the Land of Palm Trees.

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