Why You Need to Go to the James Island County Park Festival of Lights

There are certain traditions that we all look forward to during the holiday season, and attending the James Island County Park Festival of Lights is one of them. Even though our winter weather is usually mild in the Lowcountry, you’ll feel the holiday spirit in the air when you attend an event like this. Millions of twinkling lights create displays for you to walk and drive through– it’s the perfect way to celebrate the season. Keep reading for all the details on the annual Holiday Festival of Lights!

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What Is the James Island County Park Festival of Lights?

Christmas lights have always been a tradition around the holiday season, but you probably haven’t seen them like this before. Every winter, the James Island County Park transforms into a winter wonderland. Start with the three-mile ride through the light displays, then head to the walking portion for even more lights and festivities. In all, you’ll see more than two million twinkling lights on these displays, and they captivate visitors of all ages! 

It’s More Than Lights

After you’ve enjoyed the driving portion of the festival, it’s time to park and walk around. Warm up in front of one of the fire pits, and make sure you purchase a stick with marshmallows so you can roast them! Then, get a cup of hot chocolate to keep you warm as you explore the rest of the festival. You can shop at Santa’s Attic, see local art, ride the festival train, and even tell Santa your wish list. Check out all the things you can do at Santa’s Village and Winter Wonderland!

When Is the James Island County Park Festival of Lights?

The festival starts on Friday, November 12 and ends on Friday, December 31. It’s open nightly from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The lights are on rain or shine, but we recommend checking the weather so you can also enjoy the walking portion!

Admission

Admission to the festival is charged per car and depends on the night. Be sure to check their website to know if you plan on attending a “regular night” or a “peak night.” Tickets for larger vehicles carrying more than 15 people cannot be bought in advance. The pricing is as follows:

  • Standard vehicles with 1 to 15 guests: $15 in advance or $20 at the gate on “regular nights,” and $25 in advance or $30 at the gate on “peak nights.”
  • Larger vehicles with 16 to 30 guests: $50 at the gate.
  • Larger vehicles with more than 30 guests: $150 at the gate.

Book Your Holiday Getaway Today

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There’s no place like home for the holidays, and Charleston Coast Vacations will be your home away from home. Events like the James Island County Park Festival of Lights create traditions that you’ll want to come back to year after year. Plus, when you stay in a vacation rental, you can bring all of your traditions with you. Cook your typical holiday dinners in your rental’s fully equipped kitchen, open presents in the living room, and make your rental your home during this special time of year. Browse our vacation rentals to start planning your stay!

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Everything You Need to Know About the Folly Beach Christmas Parade

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… Well, as much as it can in South Carolina! Just because we have pleasant weather year-round doesn’t mean that we don’t have plenty of holiday spirit. The Folly Beach Christmas Parade is known for bringing holiday cheer to the island! Below, you’ll find everything you need to know before you attend the festive event.

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About the Folly Beach Christmas Parade

Santa Claus is coming to town! Every year, locals and visitors gather along the sides of Center Street for the Folly Beach Christmas Parade. Attendees get to see floats and colorful holiday displays pass by. This parade is family-friendly– children love getting candy and treats handed to them from the floats! If you can’t get enough of the fun from this traditional Christmas parade, you can also check out the Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade!

*Editor’s Note: We recommend checking the event’s page for the most up-to-date COVID-19 precautions and procedures.

When Is the Folly Beach Christmas Parade?

The Folly Beach Christmas Parade takes place every year on the second Saturday in December. This year’s parade will take place Tuesday, December 14, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.

Where Is the Folly Beach Christmas Parade?

The parade begins on Second Street and West Ashley Avenue before continuing down Center Street.

After the Parade

After the parade is over, make sure you head to Folly River Park to continue the festivities! Finish your holiday shopping at the Arts & Crafts Show. Local artisans and crafters offer a variety of handcrafted items for you to browse. It’s the perfect place to get a unique gift you won’t be able to find anywhere else! 

After you’ve done your shopping, warm up by the fire and roast a marshmallow or two. Then, go meet Santa Claus and the mayor of Folly Beach! Mrs. Claus might even be there, too. 

Consider Heading to the James Island County Park Festival of Lights

The festivities don’t stop at the Folly Beach Christmas Parade! There are plenty of other ways to celebrate the holidays, and one of the best is located on the island neighboring Folly Beach. The James Island County Park Festival of Lights is a must-see during the holiday season. Colorful, themed displays are created from millions of tiny lights. There’s a driving portion and walking portion, and both are magical! Then, you can walk through Santa’s Village and Winter Wonderland to shop, eat, roast marshmallows, and meet Santa Claus. We recommend grabbing a hot chocolate and exploring!

Book Your Holiday Getaway Today

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Are you ready for the holidays in the Lowcountry? Make Charleston Coast Vacations your home for the holidays. We offer vacation rentals all along the coast. If you’re planning on going to an event like the Folly Beach Christmas Parade, consider a property on Folly Beach to be close by. Or, you can browse all our rentals! 

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This Is Why You Need to Attend the Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade

The holidays only come once a year, and the Lowcountry is ready for them! No matter which area you choose your Charleston Coast Vacations rental to be in, there will be countless festivities you can attend. One of them is the Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade. It’s sure to get you into the holiday spirit, and it’s fun for all ages!

During your stay in the Lowcountry, there are countless amazing things to see, places to dine, and stores to shop at! Access our complimentary Charleston, SC Destination Guide for all the best things to do in the area!

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Everything You Need to Know About the Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade

The Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade’s name speaks for itself. It is just that– a holiday parade in Mount Pleasant filled with twinkling lights, local groups and organizations, and gorgeous floats. The entire family will love lining up to enjoy the Christmas activity! Take some hot chocolates with you or opt to get a little something from one of the restaurants lining the street to keep you warm, then sit back and relax as you get into the spirit of the holiday season. If you can’t get enough of the fun from this traditional Christmas parade, you can also check out the Folly Beach Christmas Parade!

*Editor’s Note: We recommend checking the event’s page for the most up-to-date COVID-19 precautions and procedures.

Where Is the Parade?

The Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade spans about 1.2 miles down Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant. It starts at Live Oak Drive traveling south and ending at the intersection of WestColeman and Patriots Point Road. You may sit along the road or get a spot on the bleachers that have been set up for the parade! The road closes for the parade, so you’ll have more than enough room to set up along the side. 

When Is the Parade?

This year’s parade marks its 26th year and is scheduled for Sunday, December 12, 2021. The parade starts at 5:30 p.m. and goes until 8:00 p.m., but you are welcome to show up early! All roads are closed at 5:00 p.m. to allow people to get ready for the fun.

How Long Does It Last?

The parade lasts for about two and a half hours. You’ll want to make sure you’re there a little early, so you can tailgate with the crowd and watch the fireworks that mark the start of the parade.

What Should I Bring?

Don’t worry about packing a ton for the parade, but make sure you are prepared. Here are our recommendations: 

  • Folding chairs – If you don’t want to be on the bleachers, folding chairs are a little more comfortable! You are able to set these up along the parade route.
  • Blankets and extra layers – As the sun starts to go down, it gets a little chilly. Take a blanket or two, a scarf, and maybe even some mittens depending on the weather.
  • Drinks and snacks – Tailgating the Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade is a tradition in our area! We recommend coming a little early, setting up, and getting to know your neighbors. Warm apple cider, hot chocolate, or coffee will keep you toasty during the parade. Or, you are welcome to get food and drinks at any of the restaurants located on the parade route.

Book Your Holiday Getaway Today

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Spend the holiday season in the Lowcountry this year! Make new traditions with your family or friends when you stay with Charleston Coast Vacations. We have rental homes located all across the Charleston Coast, so we’re sure we have the perfect one for you.

Browse our vacation rentals to choose your favorite, then book your stay! We can’t wait to host you for the holidays! 

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Your Ultimate Guide to Charleston in January

Many people like to visit the Charleston Coast in the warmer months, but you can still have a spectacular time in Charleston in January! In fact, there are numerous benefits to visiting our beautiful area during the winter. For instance, there are fewer crowds at popular attractions, cool weather for walks on the beach, and remarkable rates on vacation rental properties! Learn everything you need to know about what it’s like to experience Charleston in January.

If you’d like to see some of our local recommendations for activities and attractions here, then we suggest checking out our free Destination Guide. We customized this convenient resource to include helpful tips and insider information that will simplify your planning process.

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What Is Charleston Like in January?

The Weather

First thing is first: you need to know about the weather. How else will you know what you should pack in your bags? It’s very similar to Charleston in December. Historically, the average high temperature is 57 degrees, and the average low temperature is 43 degrees. That means you should include some warm clothing in your luggage.

We recommend a jacket, gloves or mittens, a knit hat, and maybe a scarf so that you stay cozy no matter what the weather brings during your visit. Of course, you should still bring a T-shirt and a pair of shorts to enjoy the occasional warm afternoon, although jeans and a long-sleeved shirt might usually be the better option.

Fun Activities

Don’t worry, beach bums, you can still enjoy the sandy shoreline in January! In fact, our family-friendly beaches can be even more enjoyable during the winter due to the lack of crowds. Feel free to go for a stroll when the weather is warm in the afternoon and soak up the serenity. Or, pack a light picnic and indulge in delicious food with your loved ones. You’ll have your pick of your favorite spot in the sand! Of course, you can always check out our local shops and top-notch restaurants in January as well.

Discover the Perfect Vacation Rental for Your Visit

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Don’t overlook one of the most important details of vacationing on the Charleston Coast in January: choosing the right vacation rental property! Luckily, Charleston Coast Vacations has you covered with a wide variety of options in Folly BeachIsle of Palms, and Sullivan’s Island. We have plenty of options with oceanfront views, convenient locations, and luxurious accommodations. You’ll have no trouble finding your happy place here! View all of our properties and book your favorite.

This Is Why You Need to Visit Charleston in December

Who says Charleston vacations are only for the summertime? Not us! In fact, it’s truly a treat to enjoy a vacation in Charleston in December. If you didn’t already know why, then you’re about to find out! We’re about to tell you what makes this time of year so special in the Lowcountry. So, read on and find out everything you need to know to experience an incredible winter getaway to Charleston, South Carolina!

Your experience in Charleston is always our No. 1 priority. That’s why we love to provide plenty of helpful information to help you plan the perfect vacation. In addition to reading this blog, make sure you check out our free Vacation Guide! It’s full of our local recommendations for restaurants, shops, historical attractions, and more.

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3 of the Top Reasons to Visit Charleston in December

Cool Weather

Many people like to spend time here during the summertime, but winter is actually one of the best times to visit. The cooler weather in Charleston in December makes it perfect for those of you who like to bundle up in cozy clothing and explore the coastline without worrying about hot, humid afternoons – or getting sunburn! The average high temperature for Charleston in December is 60 degrees, and the average low is 46 degrees.

Exciting Events

What would a vacation during the holiday season be without fun festivities? Luckily for you, there are some magical Christmas events in Charleston that you can look forward to each winter. Here are a few of our favorites:

Note: These events might have limited hours or capacity as well as special rules in 2020 due to COVID-19. Please visit the official websites for updates and information before you plan your trip.

Fewer Crowds

Last but not least, one of the best reasons to visit Charleston in December is that there are fewer people here! Since so many visitors come to the Charleston Coast during the summer instead of winter, you don’t have to worry about waiting in line at your favorite restaurants and attractions. Plus, you can take peaceful, undisturbed walks on the beach without any distractions as you take in the scenery.

Find Your Happy Place for December

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Here’s a bonus benefit of visiting in December: You get to choose from a selection of gorgeous vacation rentals that are typically booked during peak season. (You’ll even get some remarkable rates on them!) Charleston Coast Vacations offers a variety of luxurious villas and beach homes to make your winter getaway the best it can be. Whether you’d like to stay in Folly BeachIsle of Palms, of Sullivan’s Island, we have you covered.

Browse our beautiful properties today and experience the ultimate December vacation!

How to Enjoy the Most Festive Christmas in Charleston

Are you ready to celebrate Christmas in Charleston? We’re ready to help you! Here at Charleston Coast Vacations, your experience is our No. 1 priority. That’s why we love to offer local tips and recommendations about how to enjoy our incredible area to the fullest. Read on to learn about fun festivities and awe-inspiring activities that you can get involved in this holiday season.

If you’d like to learn more about Charleston, SC, then you need to check out our free Vacation Guide. It’s full of helpful information about activities, attractions, events, and more. Take a look today!

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The Ultimate Guide to Celebrating Christmas in Charleston

Attend a Fun Event

Christmas in Charleston isn’t complete without attending our variety of unique, must-see events. It doesn’t matter if you’re here for a romantic getaway or a family vacation. There are festivities that people of all ages and interests can enjoy! Here are just some of the many possibilities:

Note: Please be aware that while the above events are still on for 2020, they might have limited hours or capacity as well as special rules that attendees must follow due to COVID-19. We recommend visiting the official websites for the most up-to-date information before your trip.

Go Holiday Shopping

The Christmas fun doesn’t stop there. If you visit Charleston, SC, for the holidays, then you need to spend some time exploring local shops. The Charleston City Market is one of the best places to find gifts for family and friends. (Make sure you treat yourself to something nice, too!) This historic market in Charleston has dozens of unique vendors and an open-air section where you can enjoy the cool weather as you browse.

Cozy up in a Gorgeous Vacation Rental

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There’s one more essential aspect of the perfect Christmas in Charleston: a beautiful property in the area! Luckily, Charleston Coast Vacations has numerous options in Isle of PalmsFolly Beach, and Sullivan’s Island. Whether you’re looking for a quaint villa for you and your special someone or a spacious beach house for your family, we have what you need.

Browse the options now and find your home away from home for the holidays!

Here’s How to Have the Best Charleston Fourth of July

There’s something special about Independence Day. This holiday always evokes fond memories of picnicking beneath the sun, BBQs, cold drinks, and plenty of fireworks. Consider having a Charleston Fourth of July this year! Celebrate with a sparkler in your hand and your toes in the sand. It doesn’t get any better than that! 

Start planning your 4th of July getaway when you access our complimentary Destination Guide! Inside, you’ll find all of the best things to do and see in Charleston.

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5 of the Best Ways to Celebrate a Charleston Fourth of July

1. Fireworks Blast at Patriots Point

One of the most popular spots to head to on the 4th of July is Patriots Point. Every year, countless people gather by the bridge to watch a fireworks show light up the night sky. You can either watch from the Yorktown Flight Deck or park and spread out a blanket at the point. Parking for the show costs $10, and USS Yorktown costs $125 per person for a VIP experience. Keep in mind that the Yorktown usually sells out well in advance, so purchase these tickets as far in advance as possible! 

2. Uncle Sam Jam

What do you get when you combine dancing, fireworks, and live music? The Uncle Sam Jam! Head to the Mount Pleasant Pier for an evening of fun. It only costs $8 per person to participate. This is also a great spot to watch the fireworks display. 

3. Fourth of July Water Taxi Cruise

Celebrate Independence Day out on the water! Round up the family and head to the Water Taxi. We recommend bringing a cooler with snacks and drinks along– you can bring alcoholic beverages if you would like, but don’t pack any glass! Tickets are just $30 for adults and $25 for children. The memories you will make are priceless! 

4. Riverfront Park 4th of July Festival

Catch the Lowcountry’s largest fireworks show at Riverfront Park this 4th of July! This free, family-friendly event has live music, kids’ activities, food trucks, and craft vendors. That will keep the entire family entertained for the day! Bring along some lawn chairs and a blanket so you can relax and enjoy the celebration. 

5. Host Your Own Celebration 

Are you going to be in town with family and friends for a Charleston Fourth of July? Host your own celebration! Charleston Coast Vacations has a large variety of rentals, and many of them have private pools, large yards, and beach access. Imagine hosting the perfect poolside party with your family and friends. 

Book Your Charleston Fourth of July Today

Are you ready for a Charleston Fourth of July? Book your getaway with Charleston Coast Vacations! Wake up to stunning views in one of our vacation rentals. Whether you’re looking for an oceanfront condo or a home with plenty of space, we have what you’re looking for. Browse our homes and book today! Countless memories await.

How to Have the Best Charleston New Year’s Eve

10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1! Happy New Year! A Charleston New Year’s Eve is always magical, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate. Waking up in Charleston on January first is always a great way to start off the new year! Here’s our list of all the things you can do to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new. Start planning your holiday stay when you get a copy of our complimentary Destination Guide

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Where to Spend Your Charleston New Year’s Eve

Folly Beach Flip Flop Drop

If you’re staying on Folly Beach for New Year’s Eve, consider a night out on the town ending with the Folly Beach Flip Flop Drop. This annual event is fun for all ages, and the mature crowd takes advantage of the bars on the main street of Folly Beach. At 11:59, make sure you’re at the drop site! Just like the famous Times Square Ball Drop, a pair of massive flip flops slowly drop as attendees countdown to midnight. 

Yorktown Countdown

Ring in the new year on a boat! The Yorktown Countdown is one of the highest-rated ways to spend your Charleston New Year’s Eve, and when you go, you’ll see why. Indulge in delicious Southern cuisine, a top-shelf bar, and incredible live entertainment. A large, heated tent is stationed on the deck so you’ll keep warm, but you’re welcome to go out and revel at the Charleston skyline, harbor, and Ravenel Bridge. 

Snyder Grand Ball

If you’re looking for an excuse to get dressed up, head to the Snyder Grand Ball. Attire is black-tie optional, and this swanky event is held at the SC Aquarium. Attendees can expect a full open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and fantastic live entertainment.

Charleston Wonderland

For an over-the-top New Year’s Eve, make sure you get tickets to Charleston Wonderland. Here, everyone is a VIP! Not only does this event offer the biggest New Year’s countdown and balloon drop in the Southeast, the entertainment is also award-winning. See performances by acrobats trained by Cirque Du Soleil, enjoy live bands, dance to DJs, and more! 

Have a Relaxing New Year’s Eve at Your Beach House

Sometimes, the best way to ring in the new year is to enjoy some quality time with your friends and family. Spend the night in playing board games and watching the ball drop on TV– it’s so much more relaxing! Take a walk on the beach before the sun goes down, then settle in for a night of fun. 

Book Your Charleston New Year’s Eve Getaway Today

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Are you ready for your Charleston New Year’s Eve? Book your Lowcountry getaway today! Charleston Coast Vacations offers vacation rentals all along the coast; whether you’re looking to be on Isle of Palms or Folly Beach, we have the perfect rental for you. Browse our properties and start planning your getaway today!

Everything You Need to Know About the Charleston Reindeer Run

Located along the coast of South Carolina, Charleston is one of the hottest travel destinations right now. With world-class cuisine, an exciting nightlife scene, gorgeous beaches and marshland, and many historic sites, this charming city has tons to offer. Thanks to the area’s mild climate, it’s the perfect place to visit all year long. The summer can be hot, but the winter offers respite while still staying relatively warm. Escape the cold this holiday season and visit Charleston! There are dozens of great holiday festivities for you to participate in including the annual Charleston Reindeer Run.

Thinking of coming to Charleston? Check out our complimentary Vacation Guide for a list of things to do and see here! 

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Participate in the Charleston Reindeer Run

The Race

The Charleston Reindeer Run always takes place at the beginning of December, right at the start of the holiday season. Intended for the entire family, this event includes a 5K run through the downtown area of Charleston. The run begins at 9 a.m. on the corner of Queen Street and East Bay. Runners follow a route through downtown passing iconic areas and gorgeous, traditional Charleston houses along the way. After the race, treat yourself to a refreshing drink in the Beer Garden or grab a bite to eat at one of the many downtown restaurants. While the race itself is a thrilling way to spend the day, the most exciting part of the event is the costume contest. Throw on your best holiday getup and enter in one of the four categories: adult individual, child individual, group, and dog.

The Charities

This exciting and festive event is also a part of a greater cause. The Charleston Reindeer Run was started in 1998 and has since made a major impact on the community. The event has helped to raise tens of thousands of dollars for MUSC’s Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. The proceeds for the run are split between MUSC and the Charitable Society of Charleston, which donates large sums of money towards the hospital.

Other Great Holiday Events

When visiting Charleston for the holiday season, you’ll discover dozens of great things to do with the entire family. Don’t miss the Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park. This dazzling display of festive lights amazes visitors every year. At the event, you can also make a stop in Santa’s Village to roast marshmallows, snack on a sweet treat, and, of course, visit Santa Claus himself. Throughout the holiday season, you can also embark on a festive holiday carriage ride or visit the beautifully lit Christmas tree in the middle of Marion Square. If you’re bringing the entire family with you, be sure to plan on attending the Mount Pleasant Christmas Parade.

Unwind in a Charleston Coast Vacations Rental

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During the holidays, there’s no better way to spend some quality time with the family than with a winter getaway. If you’re planning to attend the Charleston Reindeer Run this year, you’ll need a comfortable place to stay. Charleston Coast Vacations rentals are available from Folly Beach to Isle of Palms. If you don’t want to leave your furry friend at home, you can even rent one of our pet-friendly properties! Make the smart decision and book your stay with us. 

Check our availability and start planning your Charleston getaway! 

Why You Need to Attend the Flip Flip Drop on New Year’s Eve

You’ve probably heard about the annual Times Square Ball Drop. Did you know that Folly Beach, South Carolina, has its own version each year? Spend New Year’s Eve on the Charleston coast when you attend the Flip Flop Drop on Folly Beach. Make it a tradition and come back year after year! 

What Is the Flip Flop Drop?

Did you ever think you could count down to the new year as a giant pair of flip flops slowly falls from the air? You can at the Flip Flop Drop! Every year, more than 1,000 locals and visitors gather together to watch the illuminated pair of flip flops ring in the new year. Then, have a night out on the town at the many bars and restaurants of Folly Beach

Everything You Need to Know About Folly Beach’s Annual Flip Flop Drop

Your Itinerary for the Night

9:30 p.m. – The Flip Flops Are Hoisted

Every year, the famous flip flops make their debut around 9:30 p.m. Then, it’s time to have some fun before they drop! Center Street is closed to traffic, and there is a DJ, live music, and family-friendly activities to enjoy. 

Many of the restaurants on Folly Beach offer special menus, drinks, and pricing for this event. There is even live music at many of these venues! Go bar hopping or out to dinner, but make sure you’re ready before midnight. You’ll want to make your way to the flip flops with plenty of time to see them drop. 

11:59 p.m. – The Flip Flops Start Dropping

There’s nothing like the energy in the air when the flip flops start to drop! Just like the Times Square Ball Drop, the flip flops start slowly dropping at 11:59. Count down to midnight as they make their way down! 

12:00 a.m. – Fireworks Show

Immediately following the drop, the sky illuminates with a fireworks show to celebrate. Stay and watch before deciding whether or not to end the night. 

Many of the bars and restaurants on Folly Beach stay open later than usual so you can continue with your celebrations. Keep in mind that after midnight is best enjoyed by adults only. 

Where Is the Folly Beach Flip Flop Drop?

The Folly Beach Flip Flop Drop is on Center Street in Folly Beach. The entire street gets shut down for this festival! 

Book Your New Year’s Eve Getaway Today

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Ring in the new year in the Lowcountry! Charleston Coast Vacations has a variety of homes just moments away from the Flip Flop Drop. Browse our rentals on Folly Beach to start planning your holiday getaway, or opt to browse all our homes located across the Charleston Coast. We have properties that all vary in size and location, so we are sure we have the perfect one for you! We can’t wait to host you for the holidays.

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