Image courtesy of Vrbo.
Folly Island is known locally as the “Edge of America,” and since beyond its shores is nothing but the wide, blue Atlantic, we can see how that nickname has stuck through the years. Located just 25 minutes from Charleston, SC this unique spot has developed its own beachy lifestyle and sense of charm. The pace is slow on the island, which is why so many visitors flock to its shores. We’re pretty sure the welcoming hospitality and the fantastic sunsets also have something to do with it as well.
There’s a lot to do on the island, which boasts of six miles of wide open beaches, where visitors can swim, surf, bike, or boat. But don’t forget to check out the bustling Center Street, which is full of unique shops and some amazing waterfront restaurants. So take some time to get away for a few days and see how great life can be at the beach!
101 E. Arctic Ave. | Folly Beach | ccprc.com/Folly-Beach-Pier
Whether you just want to take in the amazing views off the end of the pier, catch a magnificent sunset, or are interested in doing a little fishing, the Folly Beach Pier is a must-visit. The pier offers access to some of the best saltwater fishing in the area, but not to worry if you forget your rods and reels, as these can all be rented on the pier. The pier is also home to many fishing tournaments, due to its length, but it’s also great for just a stroll.
Throughout the summer, the Folly Beach Pier hosts the popular Moonlight Mixers, where you can have fun and dance the night away on the pier. There is also ocean front dining right on the pier at Pier 101, but reservations are recommended at this popular place!
“It's a great view from on top. There is a nice gift shop, icecream, restrooms. The bar was nice. There was live entertainment in the evening.” -Trip Advisor Review
66 W. 9th St. | Folly Beach | charlestonfishingtours.com
When you’re on Folly Island, what better way to tour it then by boat? Sea Breeze Charters is your place to plan a fantastic excursion that will really give you a taste of the island life. Their fishing charters are very popular, and anglers come from all over to test their luck in the waters off the coast. The Folly Beach sunsets are widely known, which is why they also offer popular Sunset Cruises, where you’re sure to get some fantastic frame-worthy pictures.
If you’d rather get a little more hands on, consider taking one of their eco tours, where you can search for dolphins, crabs, or even go shrimping! There are some beautiful wetlands that surround the island, which make for some interesting bird watching as well.
“Love this place! These guys are real pros!!” -Google Review
11 Center St. | Folly Beach | stjamesgatesc.com
You can work up quite a hunger while sunbathing on the beach or trying your hand at surfing, so you’ll definitely need to take some time to refuel. St. James Gate Pub is named after the famous Guinness Brewery in Dublin, Ireland, which is where the owners of this popular pub happen to be from. The pub atmosphere is welcoming and warm, and even dogs are invited to stop in for a visit on their patio!
Offering everything from handcrafted cocktails, seasonal beers and stouts, popular wines, as well as local, and fresh food, St. James Gate Pub has really made an impression on the Folly Beach community. Make sure you stop in for a pint!
“Fish and Chips and all sorts of other dishes. Cooked to perfection. Wonderful service. A real pub atmosphere. Reasonable prices. Casual dining. Highly recommend.” -Trip Advisor Review
6th Street East Beach | Folly Beach | shakasurfschool.com
If you’ve ever wanted to try surfing, Folly Beach is a great place to start! The owners of Shaka Surf School offer camps and classes to teach young and old alike how to safely and responsibly surf in the waters off the island. With over 20 years of experience participating in surfing events around the world, this family-owned business is a great place to learn or even hone your surfing skills.
In addition to surfing, Shaka Surf School also coordinates yoga classes into their surf lessons. So if you’d just like to do some yoga at the beach, this would be a great option!
“Amazing morning surf lesson with Chris. He was knowledgeable and made the day super fun while also making everyone feel confident and safe. Can’t wait to do a week of lessons next time we visit Folly.” -Trip Advisor Review
End of East Ashley | Morris Island | follybeach.com/lighthouse
Just six miles off the coast of Folly Beach is the uninhabited Morris Island, as well as the historic Morris Island Lighthouse. This lighthouse was built in 1876 and was a beacon of safe passage for countless boats that had to enter into Charleston harbor. Although it has been closed since 1962, it was deemed a place on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, and has been preserved with the help of the State of South Carolina.
You can take a boat tour to Morris Island, where you can learn more about its interesting history and even get close enough for some amazing pictures of the famous lighthouse. You might also see dolphins, sea turtles, or oyster flats along the way!
“We had an amazing time on the island taking pictures and finding shells. I got some great pictures of dolphins playing near the boat.” -Trip Advisor Review
712 W Ashley Ave | Folly Island | facebook.com/Porgy-House-Tours
If you’re a fan of American literature, you’ve probably heard of the novel Porgy written by Dubose Heyward. It was an intimate look at the life and times of a character living in Charleston, SC in the 1920s. In addition to their house in Charleston, the author and his wife also owned a cottage on Folly Island, where they enjoyed staying and entertaining.
The famous composer George Gershwin had agreed with Heyward to write an opera about his work Porgy, and came to Folly Island to do it! Here is where Porgy and Bess was created, and it continues to be one of the most popular musicals ever produced. He lived on the island until the piece was finished, falling in love with the beautiful beach in the meantime. Gershwin’s piano still remains in the Charleston Museum for visitors to see.
106 E. Hudson Ave. | Folly Beach | lowlifebar.com
The name of this beachy bar refers to the colloquial name of the South Carolina coast, the Lowcountry, which has its own distinct culture, architecture, and cuisine. As soon as you walk in the door, you know you’re in for a relaxing time and going to try some amazing new dishes! All the seafood here is fresh off the boat, and combined into creative and flavorful dishes.
Make sure you try some of their signature cocktails, which are all served up with fresh ingredients by accomplished and friendly bartenders. Also, consider stopping in for weekend brunch, you won’t be disappointed!
“This is a super casual, locals-feel, come-as-you-are type of place where you order from the bar and find your seat at a table...the atmosphere is just the right style for where you are. ~the beach~ This is also a regulars spot (which is always a good sign). -Trip Advisor Review
112 E. Hudson Ave. | Folly Beach | follybeachgolfcarts.com
If you’re looking for a super fun and unique way to take in the sights and sounds of Folly Beach, then rent one of these awesome go carts! There are carts designed for four or six people, so you can take the whole group out for some sightseeing that you’ll never forget! There are street legal carts as well, so you can keep the fun going after sunset and visit locations all across the island. Golf carts are a great option for folks who may have a harder time getting around the beach, or who don’t want to go for the bike option.
This local, family-owned business strives to make each customer’s experience special-- most people who come into the shop have never been in a golf cart! No matter how long you decide to rent your cart for, it’s going to be an unforgettable time.
“We rented a house in Folly Beach and decided that a golf chart would be helpful to see the whole island. Folly Beach Golf Rental was very friendly and good to rent from. I would recommend this place to anyone!” -Yelp Review
106 W. Huron Ave. | Folly Beach | lostdogfollybeach.com
The Lost Dog Cafe is popular among locals and tourists alike-- it’s friendly staff, casual atmosphere, and delicious food keep people coming back for more. Needless to say, this place is dog-friendly, and the restaurant even boasts of its own own dog hall of fame!
The cafe proved to be so popular among the community that they needed some more space, and recently moved into a larger building complete with beautiful community gardens!
“Had great spiked coffee sitting on the porch with my chocolate lab. The biscuits and gravy is amazing. They also provide water bowls for all the dogs.” -Trip Advisor Review
Folly Island is a fun, laid back place to visit, and the community really incorporates the casual, friendly beach way of life into all they do. Spend some time at the beautiful beaches of Folly Island, but don’t forget to visit some of the other amazing attractions on the island!