Folly Beach

It’s all about the water at this iconic east coast surf town. Sail, surf, kayak, or fish before taking in a spectacular sunset.

Surf’s up at the “Edge of America,” as Folly Beach in South Carolina is regularly known. The west coast might have California, but the east coast isn’t short of its own surf spots, and Folly Beach, just south of Charleston, is one of the very best.

Surfing has been the number one pastime in town since the 1960s. Newbies can learn to surf off the beach; the more experienced can try renting a paddleboard. The brightly painted stores and houses along Folly Beach’s main strip, Center Street, sell everything from boards to T-shirts.

Don’t want to hang 10 with the surfers? There’s plenty of other things to do in Folly Beach. See North American whales offshore during their migration season. Take boat trips year round and explore the classic red-and-white lighthouse on Morris Island. Built in 1875, it used to mark the entrance to Charleston Harbor. While it’s been closed for the last 50 years, you can still go and take in its majesty. If you’re lucky, you might see dolphins frolicking nearby.

Folly Beach is a complex network of rivers, wildlife reserves, beaches, bays, and inlets. Rent a kayak and discover a wildlife wonderland. If you’d rather something less active, rent a boat and set sail around the coastline. At James Island County Park, you can crab, camp, and hike or bike the wetland trails. Fancy a dip in the sea? At the southern point of Folly Island is a county park which has sheltered swimming. You’ll be sharing the park with the hundreds of pelicans who also call this spot home.

The Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier is one of the best spots for saltwater fishing in the area. Come to this landmark in the warmer months summer for fishing tournaments and music concerts.

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