Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve Beach

Sandy beach
E Ashley Ave, Folly Beach, SC 29439, USA
7 miles from Charleston, SC
Water Quality
Unknown (read more)
Nudist beach

Beach amenities

  • Clothing optionalRead the description for more info
  • ParkingCar parking nearby
  • CrabbingPublic crabbing sites
👉 Download a FREE PDF map

About this beach

Warnings and hazards

Beware of the snakes.

No restrooms.

No showers.

Limited parking.

The naturist beach area is located in close proximity to houses. Make sure you’re not visible.

Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve Beach is a serene wild beach in the northeastern part of Folly Island. It is known for having a gorgeous view of the Morris Island Lighthouse and a road covered with graffiti paintings. There are also some objects on the beach that are covered with graffiti.

Location and Access

To find the beach, go till the very end of Ashley Ave, and you’ll see the beach with large stones on the sand. The walk from the entrance to the beach is about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile. The preserve is open from sunrise to sunset.

Parking is very limited. It is prohibited to leave your car near the preserve entrance. You can either leave your car at the nearest parking lot which is the Summer Place Parking Lot or find a free place somewhere in the street.

Naturist Beach

Unlike other preserves, Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve features an official nude area called Naturist Beach.

Drive along Ashley Ave till the last house. You’ll see a Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve information shield to your right. No parking is allowed at this spot. To the right from the information shield, you’ll see a sandy path. It leads to Naturist Beach.

Naturist Beach features no ‘Nudity allowed’ signs but the police know that it’s an officially designated nude beach. They ask nudists to stay unnoticed to the people living in nearby houses.

Driving Time

  • 30 minutes from Downtown Charleston, SC
  • 2 hours 20 minutes from Columbia, SC
  • 2 hours 30 minutes from Florence, 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:

Beaches nearby

Additionally, there's a number of beaches near Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve Beach which you can visit:

Beach reviewed by:
Mariam
Photos from Google Maps
Graffitti on Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve BeachGraffitti road leading to Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve BeachDriftwood on Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve BeachLighthouse Inlet Heritage PreserveLighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve information shieldDriftwood and lighthouseLighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve BeachLighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve
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Visitor questions:

Question: Hi, Mariam! Can you tell me how this area of the beach looks at high tide? I have a couple who wants to get married about an hour and a half before "high tide" next weekend. I told them there might not be enough uncovered beach to stand on if we do it at that time, but I thought I would check with the expert :) Thank you! Lynsey
Asked by Lynsey over 1 year ago
Answer: Dear Lynsey, you are absolutely right - at high tide, almost the whole beach gets covered with water. Marrying there an hour and a half before high tide is risky. What if bride and groom arrive later than expected? Unexpected delays often happen on wedding days. If so, the girl's beautiful white dress will get wet. Also, the current is pretty strong during high tide. The best time to visit this beach is during low tide. Best wishes to the happy couple!
Question: Is this a nude beach?
Asked by Hunter 12 months ago
Answer: The major part of Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve Beach is meant for people wearing swimsuits but there is one nude section as well. To find the nude section, drive along Ashley Ave till the end, turn right near the information shield, and go down the sandy path. It leads to the nude section. Have a nice day! No tan lines!
Question: Is this a friendly area to visit?
Asked by Carlisle 12 months ago
Answer: Yes, it is! Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve Beach is a very friendly beach, and nude sunbathing is officially allowed here.
Question: Is that part of Folly Beach open now??? What hours is that part of Folly Beach open??? Is it completely nude??? How is parking set up????
Asked by Kimba Giles 11 months ago
Answer: According to the latest news, this part of the beach was supposed to reopen after renovation in February 2023 and to be accessible from sunrise till sunset, yet to be on the safe side, please ask the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve administration at +18437954386. In the nude section you can (but don't have to) be completely nude. The nearest parking lot is the Summer Place Parking Lot (check its location on the map: https://goo.gl/maps/1YKWyTq8x7YnGSyu9). Have a nice beach day! No tan lines!
Question: What kind of beach is this? Hours?
Asked by Deborah 10 months ago
Answer: This is a wild beach that has no amenities. It features an official nudist zone. There are no fixed opening hours: the beach is open from sunrise to sunset.
Question: Are there any nude beaches by Isle of Palms or Sullivan's Island? We are staying for a few days for a business meeting at the Wild Dunes Resort. Thanks!
Asked by motobob260 10 months ago
Answer: Sadly enough, Isle of Palms and Sullivan's Island don't have any nude beaches. In South Carolina, Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve Beach is the only place that is officially designated for nude sunbathing.
Question: How up-to-date is the info on the naturism section of the beach? I am planning a vacation in June and I want to go somewhere I've never been. But it HAS TO be on the ocean! 😝
Asked by Jimmy 9 months ago
Answer: The latest visitor review mentioning nudists dates back to 2021, so we believe that the beach is likely to have the naturist section now. If you are eager to visit an ocean beach you've never been to, why not explore the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve and find out if the nudist area still exists! If you dare such an adventure, you're welcome to write an honest review about this place on our site.
Question: Hi. Is the Naturists Beach accessible for the wheelchair bound?
Asked by Heather Billings 9 months ago
Answer: No, Naturist Beach isn't wheelchair accessible, sorry about that! The sandy path leading to this beach section is narrow, uneven and stony, and the sand on the beach is too soft and too deep for a wheelchair to move on. However, you can visit the famous graffiti road - it is broad, asphalt-paved, convenient and long (about 0,3 miles). When the asphalt ends, a sandy road begins. It gets right to the ocean shore (but not to the naturist section).
Question: Hi. Good review. I’m planning to go to that beach. 1) Where is the best place to park? 2) Also I read: "Do not be visible to people". Do you need to hide to be tanning without clothes? 3) Also, where is the best place on the beach to be and not be bothered? 4) Are there people that go to watch?
Asked by Mike 9 months ago
Answer: 1) The nearest parking lot is the Summer Place Parking Lot (https://goo.gl/maps/Wam7pxMNiPvg2c2k7). It is located between the house 1727 E Ashley Ave and MHA Design LLC. 2) It's not that you need to hide but policemen usually ask nudists to stay unnoticed to the people living in nearby houses. This is a matter of keeping peace and order in public places. Just make sure you don't draw too much attention. 3) The best and the most secluded place is probably between the two rocky jetties: go along the shore for about 0,2 mi, with the houses staying behind you and the ocean being on your right, until you see the jetties. 4) Locals know that there is an official nude area in that part of the beach, and they respect nude sunbathers. Nobody peeps at naked people. Have a nice beach day! No tan lines!
Question: Where is your nude beach? I would like to know. My wife and I would like to go there to have some fun.
Asked by Jay 8 months ago
Answer: Move along Ashley Ave till the last house. You’ll see a Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve information shield to your right. To the right from the information shield, you’ll see a sandy path. It leads to Naturist Beach. Have a fun beach day! No tan lines!
Question: How is it? Does not sound like it is worth coming to...
Asked by Marc White 7 months ago
Answer: Despite lack of amenities, Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve Beach is well worth visiting! You can admire the view of the historic Lighthouse, walk along the unique graffiti road, and sunbathe on the beach - either in a swimsuit or au naturel in the nude area. Sounds like a good plan for a summer weekend, doesn't it? 😉
Question: Hey Mariam! I was wondering, is kayaking allowed from Inlet Heritage Preserve? Meaning, would it be allowed for me to bring my kayak and just launch from the beach there? I know its not a boat ramp or anything, but I was unsure of the rules here (or in the surrounding area) about where launching a kayak is allowed. Thank you!
Asked by Alanna 6 months ago
Answer: Yes, kayaking is allowed here. You can launch from any place on the beach that is convenient for you. Some tourists even dare to take a kayak trip to the historic lighthouse!
Question: It says beware of snakes, what kind, are there many and how do you look out for them?
Asked by Ken Roberts 5 months ago
Answer: There are about 40 snake species in South Carolina because of plentiful marshy areas, while only six of them are venomous. The most commonly seen snakes are black racers, rat snakes, and nonvenomous water snakes. On the beach, you can see the snakes mostly during their breeding period when they lay eggs into the sand. Remember that all snakes are nonaggressive when left alone. Never place your hands, arms, feet or legs where you can’t see them (e.g. in a hole). Wear closed shoes and long pants when walking through the woods near the beach. Walk around logs instead of stepping over them. If you happen to visit this beach at night, use a flashlight. No need to fear, just be careful and attentive!
Question: Mariam, interested in going to the nude section of the beach and was just wondering if it is still open to naturists who want to enjoy getting an all-over tan?
Asked by Paul 2 months ago
Answer: Yes, the nude section is open. It's a bit too cold to sunbathe nude in December, but if you aren't afraid of low temperatures, you can!
Question: I did visit the Naturist beach on a very mild day yesterday and some things in the beach rules listed on your post. There were a lot of people walking dogs on the nature end reserved for nude bathers and also there were a lot of people walking with small children and there weren’t any No Nudity signs posted anywhere in view. Just wondering if these are consistent findings?
Asked by Paul about 2 months ago
Answer: In December, it isn't warm enough for sunbathing nude in South Carolina, and many people don't know that this part of the beach is reserved for nudists because Naturist Beach features no signs, as mentioned in our beach description. This is why people may come here with kids not being aware of the fact that it's a nude zone. In summer, however, people will see nudists and won't be as likely to walk there with kids around. As for the dog policies, they sometimes change. At the time when we were writing our beach description, the dogs weren't allowed. Now we've corrected this information, thank you for your assistance! Hope you liked this gorgeous place!
Question: Have u been naked there before? If u have let me see a picture.
Asked by Brayden about 2 months ago
Answer: Mariam, our beach guide for Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve Beach, doesn't allow us to publish her photos without clothes on the site. Instead, you can admire the beatuful beach photos above!
Question: Will be in the Folly Beach area in the near future and considering visiting the naturist beach. If I wanted to walk to the very north end of the island for a view of the lighthouse, is there a designated point at which I would have to be clothed again? Don't want to get in trouble, but how do I now the accepted limits of the naturist area?
Asked by Van 3 days ago
Answer: There is no designated point at which you would have to be clothed again but usually nudist areas are rather small, the more so if it's a nature preserve. We don't recommend going nude to the very north end of the island. Have a nice trip!

Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve Beach videos

Morris Island Lighthouse
A fantastic drone made video of the lighthouse
Lighthouse on the “Edge of America”
A perfect video of the beach, the lighthouse, and the graffiti road

Weather conditions

Current weather at the beach and 3 day forecast

Best times to visit

Average temperature (°F)
Beach map and directions
The beach is located in Folly Beach, South Carolina E Ashley Ave, Folly Beach, SC 29439, USA (Open on Google Maps)
Drag and zoom the map to view lodging options near the beach.
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