Folly Beach is a small barrier island located on the coast of South Carolina, USA, just south of the city of Charleston. The island is approximately 6 miles long and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the Folly River, and the Morris Island Lighthouse. Folly Beach is known for its laid-back atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and local seafood cuisine. It is a popular destination for vacationers, surfers, and outdoor enthusiasts, offering a variety of activities such as swimming, fishing, kayaking, surfing, and boating. Folly Beach is also home to the Folly Beach County Park, which features a fishing pier, picnic areas, and nature trails.
Let’s explore the best things to do in folly beach:
Visiting the Folly Beach Fishing Pier
The Folly Beach Fishing Pier is a popular attraction in Folly Beach, South Carolina. It is located at 101 E Arctic Ave, Folly Beach, SC 29439, USA, and is easily accessible by car or bike. The pier is open every day from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. There is an admission fee for access to the pier, which varies depending on the season and time of day. It is a great spot for fishing, and anglers can catch a variety of fish, including redfish, flounder, and sheepshead. Fishing gear can be rented at the pier, and bait and tackle are available for purchase. It offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and is a great spot to watch for dolphins, pelicans, and other wildlife.
The Folly Beach Fishing Pier is also a great spot for a leisurely walk and offers beautiful views of the ocean and the Folly Beach coastline. You can take a stroll along the pier and enjoy the sea breeze, watch fishermen at work, and enjoy the scenery. It hosts several events throughout the year, including fishing tournaments, music concerts, and art festivals. The pier has a gift shop, a snack bar, and restrooms. There are also benches and picnic tables available for visitors to relax and enjoy the views. There is limited parking available at the pier, but visitors can also park at nearby parking lots and walk to the pier. Visitors are advised to follow safety rules and guidelines while on the pier, such as wearing appropriate footwear and being aware of their surroundings.
Take a surfing lesson
There are several surf schools and surf shops in Folly Beach that offer surfing lessons on the beach itself. There are several surf schools in Folly Beach that offer surfing lessons for all levels, from beginners to advanced surfers. Some of the popular surf schools in the area include Shaka Surf School, Ocean Surf School, and Sol Surfers Surf Camp. Most surf schools offer private or group lessons, and lessons typically last for one to two hours. Lessons usually include surfboard rental, wetsuit rental, and instruction from experienced surf instructors. Surf schools prioritise safety and ensure that students are aware of the risks involved in surfing. They provide information on ocean conditions, tides, and currents, and teach students how to stay safe in the water.
If you don’t have your own surfing equipment, surf schools and surf shops in Folly Beach offer surfboard and wetsuit rentals. The best time to surf in Folly Beach is typically in the early morning or late afternoon when the winds are calm and the waves are ideal for surfing. The Beach hosts several surfing events throughout the year, including the Wahine Classic Women’s Surfing Competition and the Folly Beach Surfing Association’s Annual Surf Contest.
Surfing is not only a fun and exhilarating activity, but it also offers health benefits such as improving balance, coordination, and cardiovascular fitness. The cost of a surfing lesson varies depending on the surf school, lesson length, and group size. Prices typically range from $50 to $100 per person.
Exploring Morris Island Lighthouse
Exploring the Morris Island Lighthouse is a popular activity for visitors to Folly Beach. The Morris Island Lighthouse is located on Morris Island, which is accessible by boat or by walking from the southern end of Folly Beach during low tide. Visitors can also view the lighthouse from the Folly Beach Fishing Pier or from a distance on the beach. The Morris Island Lighthouse was built in 1876 and operated until it was decommissioned in 1962. The lighthouse was damaged during the Civil War and has since been restored by the Save the Light organisation.
The Save the Light organization offers guided tours of the Morris Island Lighthouse during select times of the year. Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area. The Island is known for its beautiful beaches and is a great spot for beachcombing. Visitors can collect seashells, shark teeth, and other treasures while enjoying the scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Morris Island is also home to a variety of wildlife, including dolphins, pelicans, and sea turtles. Visitors can spot these animals while exploring the island and its beaches. The Morris Island Lighthouse is a popular spot for photographers, particularly during sunrise and sunset when the light casts a beautiful glow over the surrounding area. Visitors are advised to be aware of the tides when visiting Morris Island and to be careful when walking on the beach or climbing on the rocks near the lighthouse. It’s also important to respect the natural environment and wildlife on the island. It is located on a barrier island and is accessible by boat or by walking from the southern end of Folly Beach during low tide. Visitors should be aware of the tides and plan their visit accordingly to avoid being stranded on the island.
Visit the Folly Beach County Park
Visiting Folly Beach County Park is a great way to experience the natural beauty of Folly Beach. Folly Beach County Park is located on the west end of Folly Beach, at the end of West Ashley Avenue. The park is easily accessible by car or bike, and parking is available for a fee. The park offers a variety of amenities for visitors, including restrooms, showers, picnic areas, and a playground. There is also a seasonal snack bar and beach equipment rentals available. It has a beautiful stretch of beach that’s perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing. The beach is also popular for surfing, and there are designated surfing areas. Fishing is allowed in designated areas of the park, and visitors can catch a variety of fish, including redfish, flounder, and spotted sea trout.
Folly Beach County Park has several nature trails that wind through the maritime forest and offer views of the salt marsh and tidal creeks. Visitors can see a variety of wildlife, including birds, deer, and raccoons. The park offers environmental education programs for visitors of all ages, including guided nature walks and talks about the local ecosystem. The Park hosts several events throughout the year, including beach yoga classes, live music performances, and outdoor movie nights. It is open year-round, but hours vary by season. Admission fees are charged per vehicle, and there is a discount for Charleston County residents. Visitors should check the park’s website for the most up-to-date information on hours and fees.
Take a dolphin-watching tour
Taking a dolphin-watching tour is a popular activity in Folly Beach. There are several companies that offer dolphin-watching tours in Folly Beach, and most tours last between 1-2 hours. Some tours also offer other activities, such as shelling or exploring nearby islands. Bottlenose dolphins are common in the waters around Folly Beach, and the chances of spotting them on a tour are very high. Tour guides are experienced at finding dolphins and can often provide interesting information about their behaviour and habitat. Most dolphin-watching tours use small boats or kayaks to get up close to the dolphins. Some tours also use larger boats with viewing decks or glass-bottomed boats for a unique viewing experience.
Tour companies take safety very seriously, and all passengers are provided with life jackets and safety instructions before departing. Children must be accompanied by adults and should be old enough to follow safety instructions. Tours are weather-dependent and may be cancelled or rescheduled in the event of high winds, rough seas, or lightning. It’s important to check with the tour company before booking to ensure that the tour is running as scheduled. Dolphin-watching tours provide great opportunities for photography, but it’s important to be respectful of the dolphins and not disturb them. Tour guides can provide tips on how to get the best photos without causing any harm to the animals. In addition to dolphins, visitors may also see other marine life such as sea turtles, pelicans, and ospreys. It’s recommended to book a dolphin-watching tour.
Rent a bike or kayak
Renting a bike or kayak is a great way to explore the natural beauty of Folly Beach. There are several companies that offer bike and kayak rentals in Folly Beach, and some even offer stand-up paddle board rentals. Some popular rental companies include Folly Beach Adventures, Flipper Finders Boat and Sea Kayak Tour Co., and Tidal Wave Water Sports. Rental prices vary depending on the type of equipment and the length of rental. Bikes can usually be rented for around $25-35 per day, while kayak rentals typically start at around $50 for a half-day rental.
Rental companies will provide safety equipment, such as life jackets for kayaking, and will usually provide a brief safety instruction before renting equipment. Rental companies are typically located close to the beach, making it easy to pick up and drop off equipment. Folly Beach is surrounded by creeks and marshes, making it an ideal location for kayaking. Biking is also a great way to explore the area, with several bike trails and paths available. It’s recommended to book bike or kayak rentals in advance, especially during peak season (May-September). Rental companies in Folly Beach can be contacted directly or booked through third-party websites such as TripAdvisor or Viator.
Rental companies usually require renters to be at least 18 years old, or accompanied by an adult if younger. Some rental companies may have height or weight restrictions as well, so it’s best to check with the company before booking. Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are recommended for both biking and kayaking in Folly Beach, as well as plenty of water to stay hydrated. Some rental companies also offer guided tours or instruction for those who want to learn more about the area or the activity.
Visit the Folly Beach Farmers Market
The Folly Beach Farmers Market is a popular attraction in Folly Beach, offering visitors the opportunity to experience local culture and sample fresh, locally grown produce. It is typically held on Wednesday afternoons from 4-8pm from April through October. It is located at 10 Center St, Folly Beach, SC 29439. The market offers a variety of locally sourced fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, baked goods, and artisanal products. Visitors can also find handcrafted items, jewelry, and other unique souvenirs. It often features live music, adding to the festive atmosphere and providing entertainment for visitors. It is a family-friendly activity, with activities and games for kids and plenty of space to walk around and explore.
Parking can be limited in Folly Beach, especially during peak season, so it’s best to arrive early or consider biking or walking to the market. Visitors who are unable to attend the Folly Beach Farmers Market can also check out other local farmers markets, such as the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market or the Charleston Farmers Market. Some vendors may only accept cash, so it’s a good idea to bring some cash with you. However, many vendors now accept credit cards as well. It was held outdoors, so it may be cancelled in the event of inclement weather. Visitors should check the market’s social media pages or website for updates in the event of bad weather.
Visit the Folly Beach County Park Pier
The Folly Beach County Park Pier is a popular attraction in Folly Beach, offering visitors the opportunity to fish, walk, and take in stunning views of the ocean. It is open daily from 6am to sunset. However, the pier may have different hours depending on the season, so it’s best to check ahead of time. Visitors can purchase a daily fishing pass for $10, which allows them to fish off the pier. Non-fishing visitors can walk on the pier for free. The pier is equipped with cleaning stations for fish, restrooms, and seating areas for visitors. It also offers a great view of the beach and the surrounding area. Visitors can bring their own fishing equipment, or rent fishing rods, reels, and tackle from the pier’s gift shop. Live bait and frozen bait are also available for purchase.
There are several regulations for fishing on the pier, including size limits, bag limits, and catch-and-release rules for certain species. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these regulations before fishing. It also offers beach access, picnic areas, and walking trails. Visitors can also check out nearby attractions such as the Morris Island Lighthouse or take a surfing lesson. Parking is available at the Folly Beach County Park for a fee. Visitors should arrive early during peak season (May-September) to ensure they can find a parking spot. Visitors should exercise caution while walking on the pier, especially during windy conditions or rough seas. Children should be supervised at all times, and visitors should be mindful of other people fishing on the pier.
Enjoying the local cuisine
Folly Beach is known for its local cuisine and fresh seafood, so there are plenty of options for visitors to enjoy. It is known for its fresh seafood, including shrimp, oysters, crab, and fish. Visitors can enjoy seafood dishes at many of the local restaurants and seafood markets. Visitors should try local specialties such as She-crab soup, Lowcountry boil, shrimp and grits, and fried green tomatoes. It has a variety of restaurants offering different types of cuisine, including seafood, American, Italian, Mexican, and more. Visitors can explore the local restaurant scene and find a restaurant that fits their taste.
Visitors can also find food trucks offering a variety of cuisines in Folly Beach. These trucks often offer unique and delicious food options. Visitors can visit the Folly Beach Farmers Market or other local farmers markets to sample locally grown produce and homemade foods. It has several craft breweries offering locally brewed beer and pub food. Visitors can check out the local brewery scene and sample some unique beers. Many restaurants in Folly Beach offer outdoor dining options, allowing visitors to enjoy their meal while taking in the scenic views.
Folly Beach hosts several food festivals throughout the year, including the Lowcountry Oyster Festival and the Charleston Wine and Food Festival. Visitors can also enjoy local cuisine from the comfort of their own accommodations by ordering takeout from one of the many local restaurants.
In conclusion, Folly Beach is a wonderful destination for those who enjoy the beach, outdoor activities, and local cuisine. With its laid-back atmosphere and beautiful scenery, Folly Beach offers a variety of activities such as surfing, kayaking, fishing, and dolphin watching tours. Visitors can also explore local attractions such as the Morris Island Lighthouse and the Folly Beach County Park. The local cuisine is a highlight of the area, with fresh seafood and local specialties available at many restaurants and food trucks. With its vibrant local culture and welcoming atmosphere, Folly Beach is a great place to relax, unwind, and enjoy the simple pleasures of beach life.