Folly Beach | Photo by Jonathan Boncek

Essentials for a perfect day in the sand this summer

It’s hot as hell. Hopefully you have a few days off work. You’ve probably already mapped out exactly what you’re going to do this holiday weekend.

No? Well good thing, because we asked a few friends how they would approach their ideal day in the sun.

The idea was simple: You’ve got the essentials covered — sunscreen, towels, swimsuit. What else do you pack in your ultimate beach bag? We’ve got survival tips for everything from a sunrise beach morning with Smarel Nicole Brown to a pretty-great-sounding day on the boat with Jamie Hough.

We also asked y’all for your beach essentials.
And boy do you guys love Folly Beach — but really, who doesn’t?

So stay safe this 4th of July holiday, wherever you find yourself. We hope you get a few little tidbits you can take with you this weekend.

See you out there! —Sam Spence

Larson | Provided
Carrie Larson
Executive director, Pay it Forward Charleston

What’s your preferred beach?
Folly Beach or Sullivan’s Island.

If we are going to catch up with (husband Jacques Larson), then we head to Sullivan’s so that we can finish with a meal at The Obstinate Daughter and a treat at Beardcat’s. But if Jacques is with us, as a family, we head straight to Folly to forget work and the rest of Charleston behind us. Folly feels like a million miles away.

What’s in your bag?
Always a few cans of Dalai Sofia kombucha to keep the party going, plenty of water and a good book.

Where do you stop on the way?
We always make a stop at either Yous Guys subs or Baguette Magic on Folly Road to stock the cooler.

We also try and make big batches of boiled peanuts in the summer. But if we’re ever short on time, we always pull over and grab some boiled peanuts at either Crosby’s or Bert’s Market.

What about before you head home?
Depending on the mood, it is either curry and a cold beer at Chico Feo or a margarita at Taco Boy.

Alexander | Photo by Ruta Smith
Ana Alexander
Owner, Mama Ana’s Arepas

What’s your preferred beach?
Folly Beach or Isle of Palms.

My plan used to always be that I would go to Sullivan’s and find somewhere to park out closer to Fort Moultrie and then always hit House of Brews on the way back, but now they’re closing.

What’s in your bag?
Obviously, I like to bring water. I usually bring a soccer ball or something fun to play with because I get kind of bored laying there. And then, I bring two plastic bags, one to put my phone in so I don’t get it sandy, and then another one to collect shells and shark’s teeth.

Where do you stop on the way?
On the way to Isle of Palms: Trader Joe’s to get snacks. I like the plantain chips and the cheese puffs and those little sandwich wraps.

On the way to Folly Beach: I always hit up Bert’s on the way to the beach and Chico Feo on the way out. At Bert’s, I usually grab a six pack of beer that I definitely don’t drink on the beach.

If you were on a beach where alcohol was allowed, what’s your ideal beach beer?
Munkle Contigo or the Pizza Pils from Fatty’s.

Michiel Perry
Founder, Black Southern Belle
Host, The Juneteenth Menu

What’s your preferred beach?
We’re right in the middle (in Walterboro), an hour from Charleston and an hour from Savannah. So either side, depending on the weather. I go to Charleston in the offseason, especially without the traffic.

What’s in your bag?
With two little ones, I always bring some pre-made foods. I’ve definitely been known to order from a lot of hot bars, from a Lowcountry or Gullah restaurant. You just have to pick out what menu items hold the best for the day.

We try to bring a little outdoor rug for the kids to just play with. I love the collection of beach stuff that Gullah Renaissance has — they’re fun and inspired by different African American heritage sites.

I always just say to bring as much cold water, even frozen water, so you can just cool your body down five degrees.

What’s your “pro move” for a day at the beach?
It’s not a beach thing, per se — it’s kind of old school from when people always used them — but the reflectors for your car windshield. That’s something I didn’t have to worry about as much until I had kids, but it’s hot, man!

Hough | Provided
Jamie Hough
Owner, Redfish Mafia Charters

What’s your preferred beach?
We wind up taking the boat to the beach. We usually go to Capers or Morris Island.

What’s in your bag?
I gotta eat — I’m an eater. So I get a cooler dedicated for ribs, chicken thighs, chicken wings, stuff like that. And I’ve got a little Traeger Tailgater (grill) and a Traeger Ranger (smoker), and I’ll put it on my platform on my boat. I’ll smoke wings throughout the day while people play Frisbee or play bags or whatever. We bring some tortillas and make some barbecue sauce, pickled onions or pickled cabbage and make some pulled-pork tacos.

I can’t go to the beach and drink Natural Light all day. The wife likes Edmund’s Oast seltzers, and I like any of the sours from Revelry because they’re more refreshing.

Any tips for folks joining someone else for a boat day?
Bring your own beverages and bring extra. Also ask if you should bring your own life jacket. A great gift for a day on the boat headed to the beaches or sandbar is to just bring extra ice.

Brown | Provided
Smarel Nicole Brown
Owner, Well with Smarel

What’s your preferred beach?
Sullivan’s Island or Folly Beach.

If I’m feeling like being around people (even though I don’t want to be around people), it’s Folly. But I really prefer Sullivan’s Island.

What’s in your bag?
We try to eat our water because you always think about bringing hydrating drinks, but you never think about really getting foods that have a lot of water content — like your cucumbers, like any of your melons and then the fruits that have a lot of vitamin C in them because we’re out in the sun. That’s a must for me: making sure we’re packing hydrating fruits and food.

I always take a sarong blanket. Because those light cotton, or cotton-blended sarongs are easier to get sand off of. I don’t even really use towels at the beach, even though I bring them. I usually use my sarong — I’ll have one for myself, one for my son and another one that I can just lay down and they’re very lightweight.

I love making food from home. But if I’m going to get food, it’s got to be Dellz or Gnome Cafe. I love their Caesar salad with buffalo seitan.

What’s your “pro move” for a day at the beach?

I love to get to the beach early in the morning. I’m always driving to the end of the beach to find as few people as possible. We try to get there around sunrise. That’s a big thing for me.

Cantlon | Provided
Simon Cantlon
Event producer, Vive Le Rock

What’s your preferred beach?
Folly Beach.

I head out to the Washout on Folly Beach as my spot to go lay in the sun, take a dip, chill out and watch the surfers do their thing!

Where do you stop on the way?
Always Bert’s Market on Folly for a sandwich, snack, some sun-tan lotion, a cold beverage and so on.

Where do you go on Folly?
After I lay out on the beach at the Washout, I like to take a walk out to the lighthouse inlet for a view of the Morris Island Lighthouse. Then I head to Jack of Cups for a late afternoon meal and after that, I end the beach day at Surf Bar for a drink on their patio.

What’s your “pro move” for a day at the beach?
I always freeze the water bottles in advance so I have an ice-cold drink at the beach. I bring a Ziploc bag to put my phone in and some baby powder to rub on my feet post-beach to get the sand right off of them. I also bring a small Bluetooth speaker to play some tunes while on the beach.