Located on Folly Island in South Carolina, Folly Beach is a city and resort on the Atlantic coast. It boasts a family-friendly beach with a laid-back atmosphere, numerous surf and fishing spots, a 1,000-feet pier, and a wide variety of bars and restaurants.
Popular activities include fishing, crabbing, surfing, kayaking, sailing, parasailing, paddleboarding, and photography. The place is popular not only with fishermen and surfers but also with those who most enjoy lazy and relaxed beach days.
Location and Access
The City of Folly Beach is located on Folly Island, just 11 miles south of downtown Charleston. It is the closest beach to downtown Charleston.
There are public parking lots at the beach access points and parking costs $7 per day (to be paid in the designated box). There is also metered parking along the beachside of the street leading to the Washout. Finally, there is free parking on the street if you can find a spot.
There are restrooms and showers on-site.
Shops and Eateries
The city’s business district is dotted with dining places, watering holes, and stores. If you’re into surfing, go check one of the two surf shops on Center Street.
Sand and Water
The beach is flat, spacious, and uncrowded. There are lots of seashells and crabs (crabbing is quite popular). The water is clear and beautiful. There is often a good bit of waves. Still, the weather is calm enough for swimming most of the time.
In spite of its usually calm conditions, Folly Beach is a popular place for surfing along the East Coast and boasts numerous surf spots. The most popular spots are the Folly Beach Pier, 10th Street, and the Washout.
The last one tends to attract those who prefer shortboards and more maneuver-oriented riding while those who ride longboards are frequent visitors to the Pier. If you don’t have your surfboard with you, don’t worry, there are rentals as well as lessons available on site.
If you want to try something besides surfing, the Washout also offers kayak and paddleboard rentals. If you’re an early bird, don’t miss a sunrise overlooking the Lighthouse, which is one of the best spots on the island. The Folly Beach Pier is good for strolling, birding, fishing – even fishing tournaments take place here.
Officially, dogs are not allowed on the beach. However, many dog owners break this rule and bring their four-legged friends on leashes.
- 20 minutes from Downtown Charleston, SC
- 2 hours 5 minutes from Savannah, GA
- 2 hours 15 minutes from Myrtle Beach, SC
Hotels and rentals
If you're considering staying for one or even a few nights, there are plenty of options available near the beach. Chose your preferred accomodation type and your favourite room provider:
- Nearby rentals from VRBO.
- Nearby rooms and properties from Booking.com.
Additionally, there's a number of beaches near Folly Beach which you can visit:
- Folly Beach Pier (1 mile)
- Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve Beach (3 miles)
- Morris Island Beach (3 miles)
- Folly Beach County Park (3 miles)
- Fort Moultrie Beach (8 miles)