Enjoy fresh seafood, surf shops and newly renovated hotels in this laid-back Charleston town.

The oldest surf shop in South Carolina can be found in Folly Beach.
Chris M. Rogers

The Vibe
It's been said that Folly is Charleston's Venice Beach—more board shorts and flip-flops than khakis and penny loafers. Take Bert's Market. Bert lost the keys years ago, but the 24/7, 365 grocery store lives by its motto, "We may doze, but we never close."

What to Do
The oldest surf shop in South Carolina, McKevlin's Surf Shop (843/588-2247) was opened in 1965 by a family that saw Folly grow without cluttering its beach with high-rises. For the island's best sunset-plus-dolphins view, join locals for some Frogmore Stew at Bowens Island Restaurant.

Where to Eat
Four surfer buddies opened the Folly Beach Brew Pub (843/588-0095), bringing in craft beer to complement long-standing breakfast joint Lost Dog Café (843/588-9669), where locals gather over cinnamon rolls and lingering coffee sessions. BLU (843/588-6658) lures in locavore foodies with super-fresh red drum from Swimming Rock Farms, a nearby sustainable aqua-culture farm, and brown shrimp brought in daily from local purveyors.

Where to Stay
The newly renovated Tides Hotel (843/588-6464) sits right on the beach (from $239). Water's Edge Inn (843/588-9800) has eight rooms and two private villas (from $280).