Folly Beach is known by Charleston locals as “the Edge of America.” This small island town gets its name from an Old English word that means an area of dense foliage. It’s the perfect place to experience painting-worthy sunsets learn about the area’s rich history. The Native American tribe, the Bohickets inhabited the island in the 1600s. Full development of Folly Beach didn’t occur until the 1920s when the original pavilion was constructed and nine families lived on the island year-round through the 1930s.

Top Attractions



Surfing is one of Folly Beach’s top attractions, as it has some of the best swells on the east coast. It’s here where you’ll find the Washout, the town’s most popular spot, as well as the Folly Beach Pier and 10th Street, which are other top surfing hubs.

Head over to Charleston Harbor and visit the South Carolina Aquarium where you’ll find the largest exhibit in the state. The Great Ocean Tank stretches from the 1st to the 3rd floors and includes more than 300 animals.

Folly Beach County Park is a great place to see more than 2,500 feet of oceanfront views as well as the Folly River. There are also lifeguards on duty along designated beach and swimming areas so that visitors can safely enjoy the water.

Things to Do



Ghost stories are popular in Folly Beach, many stemming from the town’s rich history in the Civil War. The Ghost Pirate of Morris Island and The Mystery of the Headless Bodies are the two well-known stories that involve pirates and soldiers from the Civil War. Those who are up for a spooky visit can head to Morris Island or the west end of Folly Beach to explore for themselves and see if they can bring the ghosts back from the dead.

Water activities are among the most popular things to do in Folly Beach. You’ll find some of the best fishing spots in Folly Beach, including surf, river and deep sea fishing. Kayaking around the island is a great way to see Folly Beach from the water and get a little exercise.

Golfing is also enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. Some of the best golf courses are only minutes from Folly Beach and The Links at Stono Ferry features a Lowcountry experience on the Intracoastal Waterway. For more ideas about things to do on your Folly Beach vacation, check out our travel guide

Top Restaurants and Shopping



Shopping is a big part of the Folly Beach lifestyle and because of Charleston’s location as a port city, residents have enjoyed the many goods that have found their way to the city for generations. If you’re looking for unique gifts, antique shops and boutiques, head to King Street and Old City Market in Charleston. It’s here where you’ll find one-of-a-kind collectibles as well as a wide variety of the city’s finest merchandise. There are also several art galleries near King Street and Old City Market that provide visitors with the perfect taste of the city’s diverse talent.

Shopping is also plentiful at malls located in Charleston. Citadel Mall features more than 100 stores, a six-screen cinema and a food court. The mall is only 20 minutes from Folly Beach. However, if you want the ultimate mall experience while vacationing in Folly Beach, take a 40-minute drive to Northwoods Mall, the largest shopping center in the Charleston area where there are more than 120 stores and restaurants.

Seafood is the highlight of Folly Beach cuisine. The Grill and Island Bar has a relaxed, cool atmosphere with a menu that pays homage to the town’s six miles of coastline. Those who enjoy organic and local produce should venture to The Smoking Pot where they can get a Southern meal with all the fixins. Visitors will love the huge portions at Folly Beach Crab Shack. The restaurant is famous for its raw bar and laid-back atmosphere. Check out our complete list of recommended restaurants in the area.

No matter what you’re looking for in a beach vacation, Folly Beach has a lot to offer. From surfing, dining, shopping and historic Charleston nearby, you won’t have to worry about running out of things to do.

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