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