Folly Beach

Discover a carefree escape that runs on surf, sand, and soul

Affectionately known as “The Edge of America,” this eclectic community is full of personality. Home to the East Coast’s second-largest fishing pier, the best waves on the South Carolina coast and colorful local establishments, Folly Beach has won the hearts of both locals and visitors alike.

Folly Beach in 3 Days

Where to Stay

From the iconic Tides resort to charming cottages full of character, Folly has the perfect place for every surf and sun worshiper.

The Tides Folly Beach

Located on a beautiful barrier island mere miles from historic Charleston lies Kiawah Island Golf Resort, host of the 2012 and 2021 PGA Championships. The resort is also home to a beautiful seaside mansion, The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, which has been honored with the prestigious AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Stars ratings.

Folly Beach Rentals

With ocean views and proximity to the island’s restaurants and surf shops, Folly’s wide selection of beach houses fit every style, budget, and group size.

Folly Beach Sullivan's Island Isle of Palms Mount Pleasant Downtown Charleston North Charleston Kiawah Island Seabrook Island

Folly Beach History

A tale of pirates, shipwrecks, soldiers, and hurricanes, Folly’s history has encompassed several surprising chapters, all shaping the eclectic community that thrives here today. Once an isolated enclave, the beach’s earliest records date back to the late 1690s, though it served as a prominent Union stronghold during the Civil War.

By the 1930s, the Atlantic Pavilion, boardwalk, pier, and the Oceanfront Hotel were under construction, and the island came into its own as a true getaway. Vacationers included the likes of George Gershiwn, who penned the famous line “Summertime, and the living is easy” for his musical Porgy & Bess while staying on Arctic Avenue. Folly’s “golden age” began in the 1960s, when the boardwalk was bustling and surfing became all the rage.

Wild Wonders

Folly’s waters and tidal creeks provide habitat for countless coastal creatures, including crabs, sea turtles, and bottlenose dolphins. Scores of shark teeth are known to wash up along the sand, while the shore and shallows are a delicate haven for birds. The island is a crucial nesting ground for wading birds like egrets and herons and shorebirds like the American Oystercatcher, Wilson’s Plover, Willet, and Least Tern. Don’t forget your binoculars—the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve is recognized as an Audubon Birding Hotspot.

Things to Do