Have you visited Folly Beach, South Carolina? Whatever type of beach trip you’re looking for, you can find it on the barrier islands of Charleston, South Carolina. Folly Beach is your best bet for the perfect mix of relaxing beaches and places to dine. Folly Island is 18 square miles of sand and sunshine, just 20 minutes from Charleston tourist attractions.
Join us as we tour Folly Island and its beaches with Kidding Around’s Melanie – who spends much of her time in the South Carolina Low Country.
This article includes:
Access to the public beach on Folly Island
Places to eat on Isle of Madness
Take a trip to visit more Beaches located not far from the north of the state!
Folly Island on the coast of South Carolina
The Low Country beaches offer something for everyone when it comes to a trip to the beach. For a quiet, non-commercialized beach experience, Kiawah Island’s Beach Walker Park is my go-to option. However, if you are looking for very touristy business expertise, Isle Of Palms does the trick.
If you want a sandy spot somewhere in the middle of the two, then the beaches on Folly Island are perfect. They are suitable for families, quiet and some access points have toilets and showers for beach lovers.
Where to stay near Folly Beach, SC
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Access the beach on the Isle of Madness
With six miles of shoreline, there’s no shortage of sand to stretch when visiting Folly Beach. Finding beach access is not difficult, but depending on your family’s needs, one access may be more appropriate than another.
Located at the southern tip of Folly Island, County Park provides families with all the amenities they could need, including showers, restrooms, a seasonal concession stand, seasonal lifeguards, and chair rentals.
Parking fees range from $ 5 to $ 10, depending on the season, and are $ 15 during summer vacation. The park gates are open from 8 a.m. until sunset.
Folly Beach Ocean Park
Folly Beach Ocean Park is located at the end of West Arctic Avenue. It offers bathers free toilets and showers open to the public (currently only open in summer.)
Access to Folly Beach
At the end of almost every block on the island, there is a path to the beach. Some places include parking if space allows, otherwise you can park on the street side.
The further away you are from the pier, the lower the parking fee is charged. By a little. If you’re not trying to be right next to the pier and central street, drive a few miles north to find cheaper metered fares. Parking meter charges can be paid through a kiosk or with the Park Folly Beach app.
The centerpiece of Folly Island is currently under reconstruction and is expected to reopen in the spring of 2023. Currently, the gift shop and amenities are open during construction of the pier. Folly Beach Pier facilities include restrooms, showers, changing rooms and wheelchair beach access.
Pier 101 restaurant is closed and is expected to reopen in spring 2022.
Swimming is permitted on the beach flanking the sides of the pier, however, the surf can become dangerous near the pier, causing unsafe conditions. Also, when the jetty reopens and fishing resumes, people will cast baited hooks out of that jetty looking to catch “a big one”. I don’t know about you, but I would rather not swim near where people are pissed off.
Parking fees range from $ 5 to $ 10, depending on the season, and are $ 15 during summer vacation. The gates of the park are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Places to eat on the Isle of Madness
There are plenty of places to choose from when it comes to dining on Folly Island. These are just a few of our favorites when we head out to spend the day at Folly Beach.
Ameri-mex style cuisine with children’s menu and full bar. Great place for nachos and margs after a day on the beach.
The perfect place for breakfast or brunch, The Lost Dog offers sandwiches, burgers, breakfast (all day) and more.
Saint James Gate Proper Irish Pub and Three Monkey Ice Cream
The menu here has a bit of everything, including tacos. It is child & dog friendly! Plus, they have delicious dessert options.
The pineapple hut
If you spend time on Folly Island, you are bound to see people walking down the street with a pineapple in their hand. This food truck is where it came from, filled with Dole Whip, or one of their weekly special soft ice cream flavors. (from March to October)
Hawaiian inspired food including spam sliders and pupu platters! They also have burgers on the menu, a kids menu, and a full bar.
For more information, see The Kidding Around Travel Guide to Charleston, SC: Things to Do, Where to Stay & Places to Eat