Folly Beach, located on a barrier island, is the closest beach to Charleston. The beach is located about 20 minutes from the downtown historic district and has a great mix of restaurants, cafes and shops.
Center Street Beach, located in front of the Tides Hotel with Folly Beach Pier in the center, is the busiest beach on the island. At 1,045 ft, the fishing pier is the second longest on the east coast and is great for fishing, walking and enjoying wonderful views of the beach. Folly Beach County Park is on the western end of the island and here you will find showers, restrooms, changing rooms, picnic areas and a snack bar. The Washout is located on the opposite end of the island from Folly Beach county park. This is where most of the surfers go so it’s a great place to watch the surfers and catch some rays. Lighthouse Inlet Beach is as far east on the island as you can go and is usually the most secluded beach on the island. This beach offers great views of the Morris Island Lighthouse and has a parking lot about ¼ of a mile from the beach.
Parking at the beach during the summer months can be hard to come by so be advised to arrive early. Free parking is offered along the streets but this parking often fills up first. If you can't find any spots along the streets, you will have to pay to park at the County Park, the Folly Beach Pier or the public beach access points.
Note to Visitors: The Folly Beach Pier closed in October 2020 to allow for the construction of a new pier. The replacement project is expected to take two years with the new pier opening in the spring of 2023.
Folly Beach Photos
Folly Beach Map
Folly Beach Parking Rules
- No parking on roadway. All 4 tires must be off the road. If white lines are painted, tires must be outside the white line.
- No parking against traffic. All vehicles must park with the flow of traffic.
- No parking in a crosswalk
- No parking within 20 feet of an intersection.
- No parking on sidewalks.
- No blocking public or private driveways.
- No parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
- No stopping, standing, or parking in a roadway.
- No diagonal parking unless posted. All parking must be parallel to the roadway.
- No parking on dunes or revetments.
- No parking on yellow curbs or within areas marked by yellow or red street lines.
- No parking behind yellow lines.
Folly Beach Rules
- Dogs are not allowed on the beach from 10 am to 6 pm from May 1st to Sept. 30th. At all other times they must be leashed and under control. Pick up your dog’s waste and remove from the beach. No pets are ever allowed on the pier.
- No possession or consumption of alcohol on beach.
- No glass is allowed on the beach.
- No plastic, balloons, or Styrofoam allowed on the beach.
- No open fires or fireworks are allowed at any time.
- No littering - Please bring garbage bags and take trash to containers found at each beach access.
- Personal items left on the beach after sunset, such as tents, canopies, coolers, volleyball nets, and umbrellas, shall be considered abandoned and the City has the right to take possession and dispose of said items. Please make sure you have all your personal property when you leave the beach.
- Sand Dunes are protected and fragile. Beach Sea Oats and grass help protect the dunes. Stay off the dunes and use public walkovers, located at every block, to access the beach.
- Sea Turtles are an endangered species. Do not interfere with them in any way. No lights are allowed that illuminate the front beach between 10 pm and dawn from May 1st to October 31st. Hatchling turtles are disorientated by artificial light. Fill holes dug in sand before you leave the beach. If you see any adult sea turtles or hatchings call 843-588-2433 to report your sighting.
- Strong rip currents are common so swim with caution. Charleston County Parks and Recreation provides lifeguards at the West End County Park and from 2nd Street East to 3rd Street West beachfront from May through Labor Day.
- Surfing without a leash is prohibited. From May 15th to Sept. 15th surfing is prohibited between 10 am to 6 pm from 2nd Street East to 3rd Street West, known as the swimming zone. From September 16th to May 14th, surfing is allowed in any area except surfing is always prohibited 200′ from the fishing pier.
Current and Upcoming Events
at Folly Beach
What: Mermaids and Mateys Street Festival
When: October 2021
Where: Folly Beach
A three day celebration including an “Under the Sea” Dance on Friday, Breakfast with Mermaids on Saturday morning, a Street Festival on Saturday, and a Sandcastle Building Contest on Sunday. Stay tuned for more details.
When: October 2021
Where: Folly Beach
The Follypalooza Cancer Benefit returns to Center Street to raise money for local cancer patients and others with medical ailments. In the last year alone, Follypalooza paid over $17,000 in local cancer patients bills, including a significant contribution to give one local a much-needed new roof. Follypalooza has paid $80,000+ in patient bills for over 40 people in the Folly community.
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