Folly Island SC

Folly Island SC is a mecca for surfers, fishermen and all lovers of the laid-back beach lifestyle. Visitors head to Folly Beach for the same things the locals enjoy. You’ll find excellent pier and surf fishing, an wonderful variety of restaurants and bars, live music, and some of the best surfing on the east coast. Folly Beach embraces the low-key surfing lifestyle that welcomes everyone to “come as you are”. Enjoy fishing, paddle boarding, surfing or simply relaxing on the sun-kissed beach. Folly’s business district features a variety of eateries, watering holes and shops to designed to please any beach goers. Visit all of the best beaches on our South Carolina Beaches guide.

Folly Island SC Weather – When to Visit

Folly Beach is a great year-round destination, but some months are better to visit than others. June, July, and August can get very hot and crowded in Folly Beach. In September, crowds begin to taper off as kids go back to school and temperatures begin to slightly cool down. The average high is 81 degrees and the average low is 73 degrees. You can also take advantage of the Sea and Sand Festival happening in September.

Folly Beach, Folly Island SC, best South Carolina Beaches, best Folly Island hotels, best Folly Island restaurants, best Folly Island tours & activities, best Folly Island bars

Folly Beach

Also known as the Edge of America, Folly Beach is a barrier island on the front lines of the Atlantic, with nothing but ocean stretching out before it. Despite its popularity, the place has managed to retain its small-town character. You won’t catch too many chains here, and instead funky restaurants and bars in abundance.

You can also grab your surfboard and head for the pier or The Washout, Folly’s two most popular surf spots. The Pier tends to primarily attract those riding long boards (surfboards over 9 ft. in length), while The Washout is a mecca for the more maneuver-oriented short board riders. Rentals and lessons are available.

Best Folly Island Tours & Activities by Viator

Charleston Stand-Up Paddle Board Eco Tour

The calm waters of the Folly River are one of the most popular spots in Charleston for water sports. Have a go at stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) on this tour suitable for all levels. Master the basic techniques under guidance of an expert instructor, then take to the water for a thrilling SUP tour. Along the way, stop to swim at a private beach and look out for wildlife including bottlenose dolphins. Learn more about this paddle board tour.

Learn to Surf Charleston!

Surfing is unlike anything else. Only those who have experienced it can truly understand. It’s exciting, surreal, and calming all at the same time. With a locals professional instruction you get a short cut to successfully surfing. Within minutes you go from a complete beginner to showing skills only an advanced surfer could perform. Learn more about Surfing Charleston here.

Dolphin Sunset Paddle Board Tour

Enjoy a relaxing evening paddle boarding down the folly river while we spot dolphins and watch a beautiful sunset. Local tour guide with 15 years of experience accompanied by his dog (Breezy) provide information on wildlife, nature and attractions. Learn more about this Dolphin Sunset Paddle Board Tour.

Charleston’s Tidal Creeks Eco Boat Cruise with Stop at Morris Island Lighthouse

Cruise through Lowcountry tidal creeks and marshes en route to the uninhabited Morris Island on this boat cruise from the Charleston area. A private boat company launches from Bowens Island for the scenic ride through an estuary rich in biodiversity before a soft landing on Morris Island. Spend free time to taking photos of the historic Morris Island Lighthouse, combing for seashells, and looking out for birds, sea turtles, and dolphins before your return. Learn more about this Eco Boat Cruise.

Charleston’s Old South Carriage Historic Horse & Carriage Tour

Experience more than 300 years of history on this guided carriage tour of Charleston. See the many mansions, churches, and gardens as your horse-drawn carriage tour covers more than 2.5 miles and 30 blocks of historic Charleston. Belgian and Percheron draft horses will you lead you through the streets while you learn about this “Holy City” and its role in the Civil War. Learn more about this Historic Horse & Carriage Tour.

Best Folly Island Restaurants

Lost Dog Cafe $11 – 30

Before a day at Folly Beach, hit up Lost Dog for brunch. The café has something for everyone on their menu, from huevos rancheros to fresh fruit parfaits. Relax with a mimosa before hitting the waves and sand. Telephone: 843-588-9669 Web: Lost Dog Cafe

Jack of Cups Saloon Under $10

Full of surfers and deal-seekers, Folly Beach stop Jack of Cups offers filling ramen, dahl, and a highly-addictive red curry macaroni and cheese. The menu is a mash-up of different cuisines, including nods to the South, which is always good while sipping a few craft beers. Telephone: 843-633-0042 Web: Jack of Cups Saloon

Black Magic Cafe $11 – 30

They strive to only serve the best quality food and drinks in a family friendly atmosphere. Each and every dish is made fresh to order. They offer breakfast and lunch daily, complemented by a large variety of gourmet coffee and cocktails. Telephone: 843-633-0025 Web: Black Magic Cafe

The Crab Shack $11 – 30

The friendly staff, relaxed atmosphere, and delicious food attract locals and visitors alike. Add to this an owner, Ron Hill, who is relentless in his dedication to offering huge portions of uniquely prepared seafood at reasonable prices, and you have what the locals will tell you is the best restaurant on the beach. Telephone: 843-588-3080 Web: The Crab Shack

Rita’s Seaside Grille $11 – 30

Casual beach restaurant, open at 11am Mon-Fri and Brunch on Sat & Sun, starting at 8am. Chef Billy makes the most delicious burgers, sandwiches, salads and fresh catch daily specials. Indoor and outdoor seating. Live music. Come straight from bed or the beach! Telephone: 843-588-2525 Web: Rita’s Seaside Grille

Best Folly Island Bars

Lowlife Bar

Folly’s Finest, with a fun, laid back vibe, nightly specials & friendly bar staff. Monday Wing Night * Wednesday Taco Night * Saturday Ribs &Reggae. Here…it’s always summer! Telephone: 843-633-0460 Web: Lowlife Bar

Wiki Wiki Sandbar

Beautiful beaches. Solid surf (we dig our small, rideable waves). A laidback, slower pace. Palm trees and pineapple worship. A collaborative spirit – and a warm, inviting energy the South calls hospitality… Hawaii calls aloha spirit… and they call Wiki Wiki Sandbar. Telephone: 843-588-9454 Web: Wiki Wiki Sandbar

The Washout

Get into the Folly state of mind at The Washout! Come feel the ocean breeze on our huge outdoor patio while enjoying beach eats, ice cold drinks, and live local music. Telephone: 843-633-0143 Web: The Washout

Best Folly Island Hotels


  1. Daniella

    What a great article; thank you for sharing!
    My daughter is planning a trip with her friends to Folly island, and she didn’t know how to go about it. I will share it with her so that she can take a look and have an idea of what to do there. I just would like to know if this place is safe to get around? It’s the first time I hear about this island:) Can you suggest a cheap motel for my daughter? She is still a student and quite broke:)
    Thanks a lot!

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks for visiting Daniella, it is very sane on Folly Island. Her best bet for a hotel is going to be the Holiday Inn in Charleston. This is the most affordable option. Please let me know if you need any additional information.

  2. Bex Arnold

    I am so pleased to find new knowledge and information that a person can engage to make their life more vibrant. As an avid traveller and surfer, I was stoked to see this post and humbly admit I had no idea that Folly Island even was in existence. I have been so put off the US just given the energy of the political system that it is refreshing and welcoming to diminish that off putting perception and see that there is so much fun, adventure, well being and value found in the land that boasts such beautiful travel destination spots. If the edge of America can still boast a small town character charm then that is something definitely worth exploring. I am in great appreciation of the value and insights you offer here Leahrae! Thank you for your investment and such wonderful and comprehensive intel to travel enjoyment.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Bex for visiting beach travel destinations, and for taking the time to leave me comments. I am glad you enjoyed 🙂

  3. Shalisha Alston

    Okay, full disclosure here: I don’t know how to swim. I live in NYC. So if I visited Folly Island in South Carolina I’d be a fly on the wall. But, your description of Folly makes me want to learn how to surf and fish. I read a post on paddle board fishing. Sounds like that would be fun in Folly. Again, I’m a big foodie. So my trip to Folly Island would definitely be focused on your list of best Folly Island restaurants. Question: I have a dog. Do you know if any of the accommodations allow pets?

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Oh there are plenty pet friendly hotels, to include Tides Folly Beach, La Quinta Inn & Suites, and the Residence Inn 🙂 I’m a foody too and the seafood in this area is to die for 🙂

  4. Volkert

    Folly island SC looks like a great place to visit for a vacation or a family holiday. Considering the different kinds of activities that engage children and adults, but at the very heart of every vacation depends on food. Cause every place is as good as the food they serve or sale and the type of accommodation they offer.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I agree!  thanks for the visit to my Folly Island SC guide.

  5. angell70

    HI Leahrae,

    I got to tell you that I LOVE YOUR SITE. HONESTLY!” SUPER!

    one day I should take advantage when all this will be finished and meet each other on the beach. cos I LOOOOOVE BEACHSIDE! as you are. I wish I would be born again and die also on the beach. Amazing. Please keep going. Everything is perfect as it should be.well done, much love xoxoxo

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks so much Angel!  I do live very close to the beach and LOVE it.  I am with you there.  Thanks for visiting Beach Travel Destinations.

  6. Diana

    Your article on Folly Island is very informative. I would say it is a one stop guide for vacationers – providing information on places to dine, activities, temperature, and the best time to travel based on low or high season. Thank you for a great post, it will be easy to make a decision after reading.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks Diana and thanks for stopping by Beach Travel Destinations.

  7. StevieMAX

    Wow, I had no idea that Folly Island could be such an affordable getaway. I’d heard of it before but the distance was kind of off-putting. Hopefully, once the pandemic has passed, I and my family can make our way there. Are there any hotels that you would recommend in particular?

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Stevie, yes pretty affordable comparatively.  The hotels I have listed in the article are the ones I recommend 🙂  thanks for stopping by.

  8. Barbara

    I’m so glad I came across your article, just reading reviews about the best beaches and hotels I took a break from it all. If I could go on vacation now, I definitely would. The page is very interesting to you and I will definitely read more articles. Great job.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks Barbara.  We all need a break for sure from everything going on.  I am glad you enjoyed.  Thanks for stopping by.

  9. LineCowley

    I have never been to Charleston and after reading your post about Folly Island and the beaches, it seems like a destination that I will have to put on my bucket list. I really like the fact that although it is a popular destination, it has retained its small town feel, without the big chains. 

    Doing a SUP guided tour sounds like a unique, and superb way to explore Folly Island and the beaches.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, it is a great place with a small town feel and the SUP tour would be great.  I personally have an SUP and it is so peaceful…and addictive.  

  10. Jenni Elliott

    Hello Leahrae, thank you for this great post about travelling to Folly Beach in South Carolina. I am an Australian who now lives in Florida with my American husband, and Charleston, SC has been on my bucket list for quite some time. Aussies love beaches, of course, so I can see a visit to Folly Beach on the horizon now, hopefully during 2021. You have made it sound really enticing so I have moved it up the list to the top! Thanks again.

    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Oh nice!  I am curious how our Florida beaches compare.  I live in Clearwater Beach myself.  I think our beaches are great, just now sure how they compare to beautiful Australia!  Thanks for stopping by and SC beaches are a great choice for a getaway from Florida.  I guess that depends where in Florida you are 🙂


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