After a few days exploring Charleston’s historic sites, take some time to kick back, relax and enjoy the Southern sun. Overlooking the Atlantic – 12 miles south of downtown Charleston – this massive stretch of coastline makes for a great daytrip away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Come here for the nature and the surfing, or head to the pier to sit and fish. Folly Beach’s friendly atmosphere attracts a variety of travelers: most of the families stick to the shore, while adults traveling sans kids tend to congregate in the many bars that line the sand. If you’re hoping to lay claim to some fine beach real estate, you better get here early: Past visitors said the beach can get crowded as the afternoon progresses. If you didn’t bring your own beach chair, you can rent one near the beach, along with umbrellas and nonmotorized sports equipment.
Along with the casual beachfront bars and eateries, you’ll also find a few hotels near the shore, as well as restrooms and foot showers for cleaning off sandy toes. Away from the beach sit several casual eateries, including traveler favorites like Taco Boy and Lost Dog Cafe.
Recent visitors described the sand as clean, and said it’s a great place to bring kids. While it’s free to lounge on the beach, be prepared to fork over a bit of coin to pay for parking. Lots near the beach charge $7 for all-day parking; street parking is free, but scarce.