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Folly Beach – Folly Beach, South Carolina

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Located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Folly River, Folly Island is home to the City of Folly Beach. It is located in Charleston County, about 15 miles south of downtown Charleston, via Folly Road through James Island. Along with Sullivan’s Island, it’s the closest beach to historic Charleston.

Folly Beach Aerial

Larry Gleason, Aiken Aerial Photography, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly was once called Coffin Island, but these days it’s full of life. On weekends you’ll find Center Street crowded with revelers who gather to talk and drink. There is a shag club, a pool hall, an excellent brew pub, an ice cream parlor, and plenty of restaurants with outdoor seating.

Folly Beach at the Morris Island Light

Kevin Travis © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Despite its lively nature and an abundant supply of tourists, Folly is a world away from South Carolina’s more commercialized beaches like Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head. It’s still a great place to grab a beer, shake off your shoes, and enjoy the sunset with friends.

Folly Beach Evening

Barry Gooch of Port Royal, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

It’s also considered the best place to catch a wave in South Carolina. Even before Hurricane Hugo created the Washout in its destructive wake in 1989 – thought to be the best local break for surfing – people ventured to Folly for the waves. Surfer Angel Llano tells us of the below photo: “Good winter swell in 1978 taken of me by my friend Jim Cooper. The water was really cold, no hood, and the outside air temperature was just above freezing. Coop missed the sequence on this wave. It was a fun ride!”

Folly Surfer Historic

Angel Llano of Saint Augustine, Florida, 1978 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

More Pictures of Folly Beach

Folly Beach Tidal Pool

Yvette Wilson of North Charleston, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Beach Morris Island

Mark Wickliffe of Charleston, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Aerial

Larry Gleason, Aiken Aerial Photography, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Beach Dunes

Mark Wickliffe of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Beach Sailboat

Steve DuPree of Charleston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Beach Sunset

Norma Armstrong of Charleston, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Beach Sunset

Mark A. Leon of Charleston, 2017 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Folly Beach Landmarks

Here’s a list of more great places to visit on Folly Beach:

1) Folly Beach County park
2) Folly Beach Pier – Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier
3) Folly River
4) Morris Island Lighthouse
5) Shrimp Trawlers at Crosby’s Seafood
6) The Washout

Reflections on the Folly Beach

Photographer photographer Kevin Travis, who took the photo at the top of the page, shares this great story: “Shot this image on a cold December morning right after Christmas. It was about 40 degrees on the beach at 5:30 am. I used a flashlight to illuminate the old live oaks tree stumps on the beach. Morris Island Lighthouse is in the background. The lighthouse is always the focal point of so many pictures, and rightfully so because of the rich history of this beautiful structure. I wanted to show a different perspective of the beach with the lighthouse playing second fiddle so to speak.”

Steve DuPree, the artist behind the photo of the beached catamaran above, says he calls his shot “Swept Away” because “that is the feeling I get when I look out at a beautiful sunrise. If you are dealing with life’s pressures, get out and watch a sunrise or sunset and just let your mind go. This is the medicine out there.”

Mark Wickliffe tells us about his spectacular image: “This is the site of the Morris Island Light House, it is hidden from traffic and about a 20 minute hike on the beach. Sunrises are often rewarded with extremely grand views, and often you can be the only person with such a grand sight.”

Douglas Channer, who took the sunset photo of the trawler, shares, “My wife, daughter, and I had just moved to South Carolina the month before. We heard about Folly Beach, and being from Delaware, it sounded like a quaint town near where we had come from. Sure enough, it was – but all the more beautiful. We pulled over into a parking lot and snapped this photo of a shrimp boat that was docked. Needless to say, Folly Beach has continued to be a place we enjoy going to for beautiful sunsets.”

Folly Beach Map

Folly Beach – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Folly Beach, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!

Please Share Your Thoughts!

The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!

3 Comments about Folly Beach

Carroll Price says:
June 22nd, 2016 at 10:58 pm

From the mid 1960s through 1972, we spent many pleasant days swimming at Folly Beach.

Sandy Sutherland says:
February 20th, 2015 at 6:16 pm

As a child I spent almost every weekend at the pier. I learned how to shag there when I 10

Veronica RobinsonNo Gravatar says:
December 27th, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Thank you for showing me where I had spent the happiest summers of my life. That was a gift of a priceless reflection. So many happy memories for me there.

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