Folly Beach picture1 of 4
Folly Beach2 of 4
Daniela Duncan/Getty Images

Price & Hours

Free
24/7 daily

Details

Beaches, Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.1

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 3.5Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

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. For more information, check out Folly Beach's website.

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More Best Things To Do in Charleston, SC

The Battery1 of 20
Charleston Boat Tours2 of 20
Type
Time to Spend
#1 The Battery

Many visitors say you can't leave Charleston without seeing this stretch along the city's southern tip, which they call beautiful and a must-visit. This row of Southern-style mansions overlooking Charleston Harbor was formerly the heart and soul of the city's maritime activity. Today, the area attracts camera-toting tourists from all over the country.

As you explore this picturesque neighborhood, make sure to also spend some time in the nearby White Point Garden, where several Civil War relics and memorials commemorate the city's role in the battle. Start your tour of the Battery at the 12-acre Waterfront Park (home to the giant pineapple fountain featured on many Charleston postcards), then follow the walking paths on East Battery Street for the nearly mile-long stroll to White Point Garden. If you're staying at one of the hotels or bed-and-breakfasts located downtown, you can easily walk along the Battery from your digs. If you're driving to the Battery, you'll find some limited street parking, and some lots closer to Waterfront Park. Bus route No. 211 provides service to Waterfront Park and East Bay Street. Several of the city's best walking tours make stops along the Battery. If you're interested in the history of the mansions or the promenade's role in the Civil War, consider signing up for a tour.

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