Folly Island, one of the barrier islands that hovers off the coast of South Carolina, still offers a unique alternative to the traditional family beach vacation. Located just ten miles from historic Charleston, its small town charm and easy going pace takes us back to our childhood and a forgotten era when neighbors were friends. On its ocean side the visitor can walk for miles on vast open public beaches, enjoying the thrill of viewing wildlife in its natural habitat. And, on the side bordering the Folly River, salt marshes stretch along the horizon creating a sanctuary for coastal birds and marine life.
Like many of its sister islands, Folly was home to native Americans prior to European colonization of the peninsula. Though it has grown in size to over 1500 permanent residents, it has been spared over-development. Accommodations are varied from quaint cottages dotted along the island’s length to ultra modern beach houses. There is also a string of sleek condominiums along the Folly River that boast their own marina and docks. Located centrally, a newly renovated luxury hotel standing next to the new Charleston County Fishing Pier, completes the variety of available housing.
There is a dazzling array of recreational activities to choose from all day long. Perhaps you might enjoy jet skiing along the Folly River. Or, if you are a boat owner, take advantage of the public boat ramp. The beach itself offers the traditional water sports of swimming, surfing, wind surfing and kayaking. Or spend the day sunning, beachcombing, flying kites and picnicking. Fishing off the new 1/5 of a mile fishing pier or crabbing can fill the entire day or just a few hours. On the western tip of the island The Folly Beach County Park has always been a favorite for many visitors. It offers nearly a mile of beach front with lifeguards, dressing rooms, showers, rest rooms, picnic tables, a snack bar and a large elevated group shelter. Beach equipment can be rented daily. On the other end of the island “Surf’s Up!” at the famous Washout surf zone, home to many local surfers and surfing tournaments. Get in on the action or enjoy just being a spectator while soaking up the rays.
Enjoy a wide range of fishing experiences that include surf fishing, river fishing and deep sea fishing. Several shops that carry live bait are located nearby. After a perfect sun filled day, take time to unwind in one of the many fine dining facilities located on Folly Beach. Whether you crave a full course seafood dinner or a quick and delicious snack, you’ll find an exciting smorgasbord of dining delights to fit every budget.