As a child growing up in Columbia, the smell of chicken frying late on a Saturday night heralded a trip to Folly Beach. We’d pack up the cooler, floats and other accessories early the next morning and head to the beach.
As we neared Folly on a two-lane road with oak limbs hanging overhead and produce stands on either side my mother would always ask, “Can you smell the salt air?” My sister and I dutifully took deep breaths and nodded our assent. We could hardly wait to jump in the waves and enjoy the rides at the amusement park. The thought of living at the beach was completely foreign to us.
Fast forward to 2007. The amusement park is long gone, but the waves still beckon surfers and swimmers. And though Folly Beach still proudly calls itself “the edge of America,” it is definitely more upscale than the somewhat shabby beach town of my childhood. Best of all, not only is it possible to live at the beach, it is surprisingly affordable.
Back Bay, developed by Turtle Bay Development, promises to be one of Folly-s foremost properties. Situated on the back of the island on the Folly River, it is a quiet location just a few short blocks from the beach. Each town home has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, with 10-foot ceilings downstairs and 9-foot ceilings upstairs. Hardwood floors and crown molding throughout add an air of sophistication. There are ceiling fans in all bedrooms and living rooms.
Bathrooms are luxuriously outfitted with ceramic tile and a separate shower in the master bath. Kitchens are appointed with granite counter tops and under-mount sinks, and appliances include dishwasher, microwave oven and disposal.
To add to the livability of this beach community, there are screened porches off the living area in each unit and an outdoor shower to wash away the sand and salt. The exterior of the town homes reflects a resort-type look. Prices for this relaxed island lifestyle are quite reasonable, ranging from the mid- to high $500s.
Unfortunately for my sister and me, there was no place like Back Bay at Folly Beach when we were little. After a long day at the beach, sunburned and all, we faced a long ride home. And my dad always missed his turn and got lost. It-s enough to make us envy the lucky people who will enjoy life and the beach at Back Bay.
By Annie Patrick