This stunningly beautiful and cheery barrier island is located near Charleston, South Carolina. The surrounding marshes and beach make it the perfect location for outdoor activities and fun get-togethers with family and friends. The town is welcoming to vacationers and locals. It offers a variety of restaurants and bars – several of which feature nightly live entertainment, delightful food trucks, beach-style and boutique shopping experiences, numerous free or low cost activities, amazing civic organizations, and even a weekly farmer’s market on Monday evenings!
Folly beach has public beach access points scattered throughout the island, many of which offer wheelchair ramps. Throughout the island there are paid parking lots with some limited free street side. he beach is a great place to run, surf, SUP, take a fitness or yoga class, learn a bit more about nature, sunbathe, and build memories to last a lifetime!
Parks & Playgrounds
For the kids (and young at heart) the tiny beach town features 2 fun dedicated playgrounds – one on each end of the island. Both are free and each offers a slightly different experience. Visit the Wave Watch Park 500 West Cooper with the kids to burn off some steam within a gated park featuring a covered gazebo and bench. Or check out Pirates Cove park at 510 East Erie to climb aboard a playground pirate ship or dome, skate the ramps in the skateboarding park, play a round of tennis or basketball on the courts, or even have a perfect picnic in the park in the covered gazebo. Pirates Cove park also offers public restrooms, bench seating, water bottle refill stations, and the dog park is right next door.
Kids may also find swings and room to roam at the Folly River Park at 58 Center Street. The park often hosts events (including the Farmer’s Market in Folly River park on Monday evenings), both public and private. The gazebo at the end of the park’s dock is also an excellent spot to watch the sunset on a clear evening!
Folly Beach Pier
The Folly Beach pier offers easy parking and the ability to fish, or simply walk above and enjoy, the Atlantic ocean. It is owned and operated by Charleston County Parks and Recreation and features a small gift shop, restaurant, and bar. Picnic tables and benches abound on and below the pier making this a great picnic spot too!
Dogs are very welcome on the island including in and around many of the restaurants and bars, but be sure to check the time before you hit the beach – dogs are not allowed on the beach between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. during peak summer months. During the off hours, consider a visit to the Folly Beach bark park where you and your pup can make some new Folly friends. Remember to pick up after your pet and to keep dogs leashed at all times.
For those looking for adventure a stand up paddleboarding or kayak trip in the Folly River may be more your style. Remember bug spray if you are headed out in the early morning or evenings especially, but if you happen to find yourself in or facing the marsh side Folly River on a clear day around sunset, be ready to have your breath taken away!
Didn’t remember to pack something? Not to worry. There are numerous rental companies on and around the island offering everything from beach chairs and umbrellas to surfboards, SUPs, kayaks, and golf carts!
Choose a boat tour and take in the natural surroundings and Morris Island lighthouse, dolphin watching, or even heading out to deeper waters for for some deep sea fishing, Or, choose something a little slower paced and head out for a guided paddle boarding tour of the island and its surroundings.
Wildlife & Plants
The island is home to a wide variety of wildlife species, both on the land and in ocean, including bald eagles, ospreys (or sea hawks), dolphins, crabs and fish of all sizes and variety, bobcats, and endangered sea turtles. It also happens to be a popular sea turtle nesting spot! When identified sea turtle nests are clearly marked. Please do not touch or obstruct the area around the turtle nest, and remember lights out after 10 p.m.