Best Things to Do in Folly Beach: What You Need to Know

With its fun downtown and versatile beaches, you’ll never run out of things to do in Folly Beach. Fondly known as “The Edge of America” by locals, Folly is a beach town unlike any other. Its funky, laid-back vibe has enticed people from across the globe to create a place where uniqueness is celebrated.

You’ll find tons of Folly Beach activities below, but the Lowcountry also encompasses historic Downtown Charleston, Isle of Palms, and Sullivan’s Island. Request access to our complimentary DESTINATION GUIDE to get a full taste of this beautiful region in South Carolina.

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Here Are All the Best Things to Do in Folly Beach

Spend Time At the Beach

Folly Beach is one of the most well-known beaches in South Carolina and for good reason! Aside from the lively town, the beach is great for just about any ocean activity you could think of. Most of the beach’s six sandy miles are fair game as long as you get there through a public beach access or of course, a private beach entrance that you have access to with your Folly Beach vacation rental. The Folly Beach County Park offers beach chair and umbrella rentals as well as seasonal lifeguards on duty.

Bring Your Pup Along

Folly is a very dog-friendly beach town with plenty of outdoor eateries and bars. Some of Folly Beach’s dog-friendly restaurants include Chico Feo, Jack of Cups Saloon, and Lost Dog Cafe, a great place to grab breakfast before a fun day with your pet. For some playtime, the city offers a Bark Park for dogs to wander off-leash.

If you plan on bringing your furry family to play in the sand, be sure to know the Folly Beach dog rules. October through April, leashed dogs may run, walk, fetch, and swim any time of the day. From May through September (summer season), dogs are not allowed to go on the beach from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Go Surfing

Many surfers call Folly home and claim it has the best waves off the coast of South Carolina. The best Folly Beach surfing is at a spot called “The Washout” or “Hollywood”. Hurricane Hugo destroyed an entire block of homes causing the area to have more intense winds than the rest of the shoreline. To get there, follow East Ashley Avenue towards the Lighthouse Inlet until you get to an area without any houses on either side of the road. This is where you’ll find the surfers and the waves. If you’re a beginner, the rest of the beach makes for a great place to learn. Several businesses offer surfing lessons, so you can figure it out with a pro.

Throw In a Line

Folly Beach Fishing Pier

Folly Beach fishing is just as relaxing as it is rewarding! Locals love to throw in a line at the Folly Beach Fishing Pier because it provides fishermen with different depths to catch different fish. In the shallower water, catch trout and drum, and at the deeper end of the pier, reel in redfish and shark. Fishing charters allow you to be on the water and try your hand at some offshore fish. The post popular Folly Beach fishing charters include Sea Breeze Charters, Atlantic Breeze Fishing and Sailing Charters, and Folly Beach Fishing Charters.

Rent a Kayak Or Take a Paddling Tour

The Lowcountry’s breathtaking landscape makes for the perfect place to paddle along the marshes and immerse yourself in the vibrant nature and fascinating wildlife. Folly Beach Adventures offers all kinds of rentals from golf carts to surf boards to bicycles. This is also where you’ll find Folly Beach kayak rentals. You can rent their sit-on-top kayaks for half a day, a full day, or an entire week. If you’d prefer a guided tour, Charleston Outdoor Adventures features Folly Beach kayak tours through the saltwater estuary within the barrier island. They also offer rentals. Whatever you decide, we guarantee Charleston kayaking will not disappoint!

Catch Dolphins Swimming

The Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve provides the best spot on the beach to get a glimpse of bottlenose dolphins. The amazing creatures can often be seen in the waters surrounding the Lowcountry. However, you’re almost guaranteed to see a dolphin in this area of Folly Beach. Plus, the preserve offers breathtaking views of the Morris Island Lighthouse and is an incredibly relaxing spot on the beach.

Satisfy Your Cravings

We’ve already told you about some dog-friendly places to eat, and there are many other tasty Folly Beach restaurants to choose from! For a casual spot with seafood cooked however you like it, The Crab Shack offers seafood by the bucket, a raw bar menu, and so much more. Blu provides a great oceanfront dining experience. The menu will satisfy any surf and turf cravings you might be having from scallop risotto to filet mignon. Looking for a margarita after a day at the beach? Taco Boy serves typical Tex-Mex cantina fare along with great drinks and a beachy vibe.

Enjoy a Night Out

Because of Folly’s come-as-you-are nature, the people here know how to have a good time, providing locals and tourists with a vibrant Folly Beach nightlife. Sand Dollar Social Club features regular live music acts, pool tables, a flowing bar, and tons of space to dance. Surf Bar is another large bar with frequent live entertainment. However, the scene is more laid-back at Surf Bar than at Sand Dollar. If you prefer to do your drinking during the day, The Washout offers a large drink menu with a lively atmosphere. The restaurant is also known to occasionally host some Folly Beach events.

If you want the full Folly Beach bars experiences, you must do karaoke! St. James Gate Irish Pub brings something different than the typical beach bar to the city. The pub hosts karaoke nights on Friday and Saturday if they don’t have a live show booked that evening. Loggerhead’s Beach Grill always has something going on and that includes frequent karaoke events.

Go Shopping

Folly’s downtown area isn’t just home to great restaurants and bars; it’s also an amazing place to find a special souvenir or gift for someone back home! This is a beach town after all, so the best Folly Beach shopping is at surf and beach stores. Our favorites include McKevlin’s Surf Shop, Mr. John’s Beach Store, and Beachwear & Gifts.

Stay With Charleston Coast Vacations

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Now that you know the best things to do in Folly Beach, it’s time to book your stay! Charleston Coast Vacations provides more than 90 Folly Beach vacation rentals from condominium communities to luxury waterfront homes. Plus, they all feature amazing amenities and world-class customer service!

Browse our VACATION RENTALS and start planning your Folly Beach getaway today!

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What Are All the Best Things to Do on Isle of Palms?

If you’re looking for things to do on Isle of Palms, you’ve come to the right place! We love the barrier island, and we know you will too. The small beach city boasts miles of public beach, tons of recreation, and many tasty restaurants. We’ve listed everything you need to know to make the most of your getaway to the Lowcountry! 

You’ll find everything there is to do on Isle of Palms below, but the Lowcountry also encompasses historic Downtown Charleston, Folly Beach, and Sullivan’s Island. Request access to our complimentary DESTINATION GUIDE to get a full taste of this beautiful region in South Carolina. 

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Your Ultimate Guide to Things to Do on Isle of Palms 

Hit the Isle of Palms Beach

With just over six miles of sandy beaches, Isle of Palms is one of South Carolina’s favorite shorelines! The small city provides the public with more than 50 beach access points, so you’ll never have to walk far wherever you are in the city. Don’t worry about lugging around your beach gear because the Isle of Palms County Park offers beach chair and umbrella rentals. The price of parking at the park depends on the season. It’s typically $5 in the slow season and $15 in the peak of summer. You can also find some free and metered Isle of Palms Beach parking scattered around the barrier island. Before visiting, remember to check out the Isle of Palms Beach rules, so you don’t accidentally bring something that’s not allowed. 

Know the Beach Dog Rules

If your pup loves the saltwater, make sure to bring them along! IOP is one of the most dog-friendly beaches in South Carolina because the city allows dogs on the beach all day and year-round. You do need to follow the Isle of Palms Beach dog rules though. In the park, dogs must be kept on a leash at all times. However, if you’re outside the park, you can walk your dog off-leash September 15 through March 31 from 4 p.m. until 10 a.m. and April 1 through September 14 from 5 a.m. until 9 a.m.

Go Kayaking

There are countless things to do on Isle of Palms on or near the water. Because it’s a barrier island, IOP offers up some great kayaking. If you’re visiting for vacation or just the day, you probably won’t have a kayak and paddle laying around. In that case, we recommend a sunrise or sunset tour with Coastal Expeditions. They provide everything from the gear to the guide, so all you need to worry about is taking in as much of the Lowcountry as you can! 

Enjoy Some Water Sports Or a Boat Tour

There are many other Isle of Palms activities that, of course, involve the ocean! Tidal Wave Water Sports offers just about everything fun you can do in the water. Rent a jet ski, charter a boat, go parasailing, try wakeboarding, let the kids enjoying some tubing, or take one of their many tours. We’re serious; they offer so many Isle of Palms attractions! If you’re looking for something with less adrenaline and more relaxation, check out Barrier Island Eco Tours. They offer both public and private tours around the Lowcountry with a focus on its natural beauty and wildlife. They also provide several different fishing charters.  

Play a Round of Golf

Work on your game with Wild Dunes Resort’s two golf courses. The Links Course and the Harbor Course were both designed by world-renown golf architect Tom Fazio. The Links sits on the east side of the island overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The Harbor brings a bit more of a challenge and offers gorgeous views of the marsh. Both courses are par 70 courses. 

Where to Eat 

Vacation is a time to try new foods and splurge on a meal or two, and eating out is one of our favorite things to do on Isle of Palms. From Southern cuisine to Tex Mex to seafood, Isle of Palms restaurants serves up a lot for a small beach city! However, that’s no surprise because the Lowcountry features some of the best food in the country. Long Island Café offers a changing daily menu with fresh seafood and incredible pasta. If you’re looking for a simple comfort food, Papi’s Taqueria serves up all kinds of tasty tacos. Coda del Pesce is your classic, quality Italian seafood restaurant but with a Lowcountry twist. For a killer Isle of Palms breakfast spot, Sea Biscuit Café doesn’t disappoint with favorites like pancakes, omelets, and of course, biscuits and gravy.

If you’re looking for Isle of Palm restaurants on the water, Coconut Joe’s Beach Grill is a fun spot with great views, a large rooftop bar, and classic seafood. We also recommend visiting Shem Creek for dinner if you have the time. The area sits about 20 minutes from IOP in Mount Pleasant and features several dining options right on the picturesque waterway. It’s the perfect spot for a sunset dinner! 

For dessert, you absolutely need to stop by Ben & Jerry’s and stroll down Ocean Boulevard. Anyone will tell you it’s an IOP tradition you can’t skip! The best beach shops and places to get a souvenir line the street so stop in if something catches your eye.  

Check Out The Windjammer 

The Windjammer is a unique staple on IOP. The large bar directly on the beach often hosts Isle of Palms events like sand volleyball tournaments and live music. It makes for a great place to grab a quick bite, enjoy a beer overlooking the ocean, or catch a concert. The business welcomes dogs so stop by after a walk on the beach with your furry friend. After about 50 years in business, The Windjammer is by far one of the most vibrant Isle of Palms bars and is home to much of the small city’s nightlife.

Visit Downtown Charleston 

If you’re making the trip to Isle of Palms for vacation, you must visit Downtown Charleston. As you walk the streets, you’ll feel the city’s more than 300 years of history. Take a stroll down King Street for rows of fantastic shops or visit at night for a lively nightlife. We also recommend walking along the water at The Battery located at the end of the peninsula. Although there are countless other things to do in the Holy City, our favorite thing to do is eat! From fine dining to local fare, CHARLESTON RESTAURANTS rarely produce a dissatisfied customer. There’s just as much to drink as there is to eat. Over the last decade, the BREWERY scene in the Lowcountry has boomed leaving locals and tourists with many places to enjoy a beer with a view.

Stay With Charleston Coast Vacations 

Pavilion Paradise things to do on isle of palms


Now that you know the best things to do on Isle of Palms, it’s time to book your stay. Charleston Coast Vacations provides more than 30 Isle of Palms vacation rentals from resort villas to luxury waterfront homes. Plus, they all feature amazing amenities and world-class customer service!  

Browse our VACATION RENTALS now and start planning your Isle of Palms getaway today! 

BOOK NOW