Photo courtesy of Explore Charleston
Folly Beach Pier
Officially named the Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier, this landmark extends 1,045 feet into the Atlantic Ocean, making it the second-longest pier on the East Coast. It’s also 25 feet wide, allowing ample room for walkers, fishermen, and families enjoying a day at the coast. At its base is a full-service restaurant, Pier 101, with an open-air bar over the beach (drinks are allowed on the pier), as well as public restrooms and a gift shop selling bait, tackle, and ice cream. The two-story gazebo at the end of the pier is the perfect place to catch the sunset or watch surfers tackling one of the most consistent wave-breaks in the state. If you’re visiting Charleston during the summer, head to the pier for a Moonlight Mixer (held once a month on Friday nights), when DJs entertain with beach music classics by The Drifters and the Chairmen of the Board.
By Stratton Lawrence, AFAR Local Expert
Laid-Back Folly Beach
A short drive from Charleston, islands hug the coastline and offer a lovely selection of beaches, each with its own personality. Folly Beach has a laid-back atmosphere and outdoor activities ranging from bird-watching to kite boarding and fishing on the town pier. If you'd like to get a behind-the-scenes look at the local flora and fauna, Charleston Kayak has backwater tours of the wetlands that are teeming with wildlife.
By Alison Abbott, AFAR Local Expert
Morris Island Lighthouse Folly Beach
If Isle of Palms is the equivalent of Charleston's North Shore, Folly Beach would be her South Shore. This area of Folly Beach is the northernmost tip of that island and its most beautiful and rustic. You owe it to yourself to make the trip and experience an adulterated white sand beach. The Morris Island Lighthouse was once well situated on land but it is now completely surrounded by the Atlantic. Corrosion to the beach on Morris Island was as a result of the jetty system the Army Core of Engineers installed many years ago. The lighthouse was rendered inoperable once the Sullivan's Island lighthouse was completed. The water here can get as agitated as your washing machine. Often times you can witness schools of dolphin teaching their young how to swim and as the sun begins to set in the west over Charleston it makes for an incredible vibe.
Back over on the West Ashley side of the river, Folly Beach reigns supreme as the most popular stretch of sand in Charleston, and one of the most famous anywhere in the United States. Drawing a diverse mix of families, locals, couples and teens, the retro beach town has a lively boardwalk scene and a number of bars and restaurants within easy walking distance set against Charleston’s natural beauty. Nearby, James Island County Park has a playground, a water park, kayaking, and an impressive holiday lights display from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. If you are ready to see this popular beach, as well as other highlights of Charleston, the first step in planning your trip is to visit the itineraries at AFAR Journeys created by the members of the AFAR Travel Advisory Council .
Sponsored by Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
101 E Arctic Ave, Folly Beach, SC 29439, USA
Sun - Sat 6am - 11pm