Folly Beach

Waves roll beneath the Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier in Folly Beach, SC on Monday, July 7, 2014. Copyright 2014 Jason Barnette

Located on Folly Island in the southern central portion of Charleston County, the city of Folly Beach was named after the barrier island that it occupies. This was, in turn, named for the Old English term "folly," that referred to the dense foliage found on its coastline.

Folly Island is bordered by the Folly River to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south; James Island lies to the north and Morris Island to the northeast, while Johns Island can be found to the northwest and Kiawah Island to the southwest.

Folly Beach is regarded by locals as "The Edge of America," due to its beachfront location just 11 miles to the south of downtown Charleston. It’s a blend of small-town charm with a peaceful, laidback appeal as well as its own distinctive and eclectic beach community vibe. Folly Beach’s six miles of wide beaches, surf spots, and an overall beautiful natural setting has continued to attract residents and visitors through the years.

Real estate

Folly Beach offers a good selection of homes which include single-family residences, from beach cottages to estate properties. There are also numerous townhouse, villa, and condo developments like:

  • Charleston Oceanfront Villas
  • Folly Creek Place
  • Palmetto Pointe
  • Pavilion Watch
  • Pelican Pointe
  • Pier Pointe Villas
  • The Preserve at Clam Farm
  • Turtle Bay

Most of these complexes usually have gated entrances and access to amenities such as clubhouses, swimming pools, fitness centers, and tennis courts.

Homes along Ashley Avenue and Arctic Avenue overlook the beach areas and provide spectacular unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean, while newer developments that are further inland and heading north towards Folly Beach Road offer river and marshland views. For those who prefer to build their own custom home, land and lots suitable for new construction are also available.

Areas of interest

The Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier located at the very end of Center Street is the city’s most well-known landmark, and is considered the 2nd longest pier on the East Coast, extending 1,045 feet into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. You can also find some of the best saltwater fishing in the area, as well as shops and a restaurant.

Many more stores and dining establishments like specialty shops, boutiques, cafes, and bars can be found along Center Street. Regarded as Folly Beach’s commercial and retail district, it stretches around four blocks as it runs towards Folly Beach Road to the north.

At the western end of Folly Island lies Folly Beach County Park, with over 2,500 feet of ocean frontage. The park also has picnic areas, and its 600-foot beachfront designated swimming area is patrolled by lifeguards on duty seasonally.

Folly Beach is home to many good surfing locations on its coastline, but the most popular is located towards the eastern side of the island. This is the surfing spot dubbed The Washout, also known as Hollywood to island residents, a venue for several surfing competitions. Here, the waves create the best surfing conditions and roll along the area where land and a block of homes were washed out – hence the name – by Hurricane Hugo in 1989.