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Folly Beach

Known for Beaches, Sea and Seafood

This small oceanfront town a short drive from Charleston is loved for its pristine beaches and laid-back atmosphere.

How do you get to Folly Beach?

Folly Beach is renowned as one of South Carolina’s oceanfront gems. The small beach town is located on the east face of Folly Island, a barrier island that borders the Atlantic Ocean.

In the 1700s, Folly Beach was known as “Coffin Island” because it was a repository for victims who had contracted the plague en route from England. It was also used by the Union army as a resting place for troops during the Civil War. In 1934, legendary composer George Gerswhin spent the summer at Folly Beach, where he worked on the music for the opera Porgy and Bess. Visit Folly Beach today to discover its history and enjoy outdoor activities in a beautiful setting.

Make the most of the ocean’s mild temperature with swimming and other watersports. Folly Beach is one of the most popular surfing sites on the East Coast. Explore the marine environment by kayak or paddleboard, which are available for rent throughout the town, or join a boat charter. Folly Beach County Park, on the west end of the island, offers pristine oceanfront access. Its sandy beaches are packed during the summer with families grilling, picnicking and sunbathing.

Nicknamed the “Edge of America,” the Folly Beach Pier reaches 1,000 feet (305 meters) out into the Atlantic Ocean. The historic structure is a favorite haunt for fishermen. Stroll out to the end of the pier for dolphin watching and photo opportunities, including Morris Island Lighthouse that stands nearly 1,000 feet (300 meters) out to sea.

Folly Beach’s downtown area has souvenir stores, bars, restaurants and surf shops. Live music and theater performances can be seen daily during the summer. Enjoy a lively nightlife venue after dinner at one of the many seafood joints scattered throughout the town.

Take a daytrip and drive 10 miles (16 kilometers) to the historic city of Charleston. Enjoy cobblestone streets, preserved mansions, small shops and a highly regarded food scene.

Folly Beach is a 20-minute drive from Charleston, where you’ll find the nearest airport. Walk the beach town on foot and rent a car to explore communities nearby.

Things to do in Folly Beach

Stroll the city’s waterfront esplanades at sunset, when the afternoon sun begins to dip and the harbor is lit with soft colors.

Tour an aircraft carrier that earned its battle stars in World War II and the Vietnam War.

Wander through excellent gardens, stroll along the scenic banks of the river and learn about Charleston’s dark history in the museum.

Turtles, alligators and birds abound in this former plantation, now swampland, gardens, lakes and forest.

See an array of aquatic creatures, including an albino alligator, in underwater habitats ranging from salt marshes to coastal plains.

Learn about American military heroes, climb aboard the vessels in the harbor and sleep the night in the quarters of a ship.

Purchase food, jewelry and handicrafts in the market and learn about local tradition, the Civil War and slavery at its museum.

Tickets & Tours

Taste your way through the flavors, savors, and aromas of Charleston on this guided walking tour of the city's favorite eateries and cuisines. Explore the city's history and culture as you sample grits, pralines, sweet tea, and other delicious Lowcountry specialties.

Tickets & Tours

Climb aboard the Carolina Belle for a daytime voyage through Charleston's harbor. This sightseeing cruise covers more than 20 miles (32 km) and 300 years of interesting area history. Come experience Charleston's history by sailing aboard the Carolina Belle.

Tickets & Tours

Encounter the best that Charleston has to offer on this informative and memorable walking tour devoted to the city's history.

Tickets & Tours

Climb aboard for a trip through Charleston that takes you across 300 years' worth of history in this great American city. With comfortable, spacious seating aboard a minibus designed specifically to navigate narrow downtown streets, you get up-close views of the most hard-to-reach sites.

Tickets & Tours

Immerse yourself in the colonial past, American heritage, and pre-war beauty of Charleston on this tour of the city's historic heart. After scoping out landmarks from Rainbow Row to the City Market, visit a restored mansion for a true glimpse of what life was like here in the country's early days.

Tickets & Tours

Sit in the lap of luxury as you cruise the streets of Charleston in style and comfort, on an amazing carriage ride. Expert guidance, professionalism and knowledge await your arrival to explore this iconic destination.

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