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A big reason I chose Charleston some 14 years ago was its proximity to the ocean. And my first digs (a guest house loaner) on front-beach Sullivan’s Island was the perfect welcome to the area. After work and on weekends, my old retriever Ojai and I got to know our new home, walking the beach, playing in the surf, and hanging out at favorite dog-friendly haunts, such as Dunleavy’s on Middle Street. It was, in a word, idyllic, but alas, that little abode couldn’t be mine forever. So I made my way to the peninsula, stealing time at the beach whenever my schedule would allow.

That’s when I started visiting Folly, which seemed pretty much the polar opposite of Sullivan’s with its inherent wildness, both in its natural wooded areas and the nature of the folks who live and visit there. I loved the laid-back, come-as-you-are vibe and tried my darnedest to find a rental there. That wasn’t meant to be, but Ojai and I visited often, especially after I bought my first home on James Island. We would commute in regularly to hang out with friends, paddle on the river, and catch some gorgeous views at Sunset Cay. That was many moons, another house, and a couple more dogs ago, and I’ve found I don’t make it out to the beach (either Sullivan’s or Folly) as much as I’d like. Island time, whether spent on Mayberry-like Sullivan’s or the edgier “Edge of America” of Folly, begs you to slow down, relax, and enjoy the moment.

In this annual Home issue, you’ll get a taste of both islands. For our cover story, “The Art of Summer”, contributing editor Stephanie Hunt takes us into a new Sullivan’s Island abode. It’s a stunner, with architecture that pays homage to the old-school island styles and furnishings that inspire classic coastal living. In the feature “Feast on Folly”, restaurant reviewer Jeff Allen tackles that island’s ever-evolving food and beverage scene, offering insider tips on when to go and what to eat and drink. Photographer Peter Frank Edwards’ drool-inducing shots have me craving some island time right now. Enjoy!


Darcy Shankland