Folly Beach, South Carolina is lovingly referred to as “Charleston’s Beach Town” as it is located about twenty minutes from the historic downtown of Charleston. Folly Beach invites you to take a moment to slow down and enjoy its island vibes. It’s hard to not fall in love with Folly Beach immediately. From its adorable Center Street full of local restaurants and shops to the pier to the miles of incredible beach on the Atlantic Ocean to Morris Island Lighthouse to opportunities to see wildlife like dolphins and sea turtles, there is something for everyone when visiting. Oh, and be sure to keep an eye out for surfers, a sign of a true beach town!
We first found Folly Beach while living out of our self-converted campervan, Vivian, in the fall of 2019. We were in Asheville, North Carolina and found ourselves with multiple cold and rainy days. Our van had no heat, so we felt the cold and rain, especially when taking our dogs Ollie and Baxter outside. So, we opened up Google Maps and searched for the closest beach town with warm weather less than five hours away. And, that’s how we found Folly Beach! We immediately started our journey to the Atlantic Ocean and were greeted with the most beautiful sunset and immediately fell in love. We spent the next few weeks exploring Folly Beach and the Lowcountry areas nearby. We just couldn’t get enough of the area and decided to end our full-time travels in the van and got an apartment in Charleston County for 1.5 years.
When we eventually moved away from South Carolina, the desire to come back and visit never went away. After having not visited for over a year, we knew it was time to plan a trip back to Folly Beach.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Visit Folly Beach. All opinions are our own.
When planning our trip, we knew that we had to visit in the fall. Although you may think summer would be the best time to visit a beach town, we want to let you in on a little secret: Fall is actually the best season to visit Folly!
There are a few reasons fall is the best season:
Less Crowds - Are you looking to have a private beach experience? Fall is the perfect time to visit because there are far fewer crowds than normal. There were only a handful of people on the beach during our mid-October visit.
Perfect Temperatures - South Carolina can be extremely hot and humid during the summer. However, in October and November, temperatures are typically more mild making spending the whole day outside much more enjoyable. I think we said “The temperature is perfect!” about every time we stepped outside.
Incredible Sunrises & Sunsets - Sunrises and sunsets can produce the most beautiful and vibrant colors. But, in the fall at Folly Beach, both seem even more colorful than during the rest of the year.
Less Dog Restrictions on the Beach - From October 1-April 30 dogs are allowed on the beach anytime, whereas the rest of the year there are only certain times dogs can visit the beach.
If you are looking to plan a trip to Folly Beach, check out our 4-day travel guide below! For more specifics on visiting with dogs, you can read our dog-friendly guide to Folly Beach.
Arrive at Folly Beach
Charleston International Airport is about 40 minutes away
Check into your lodging accommodation
We stayed at Folliday Inn and had a great time. This boutique inn is within walking distance to the beach and downtown and is dog-friendly. The incredible pool and lush landscaping allows you to really feel the island vibes! We still can’t get over the inn’s location. Walkability is the most important factor to us when looking at lodging options. The fact that you can wake up and in less than two minutes have your toes in the sand is amazing. Definitely a location you do not want to pass up!
Walk over to the beach with dogs
From October 1-April 30 dogs are allowed on the beach anytime. Dogs must be leashed at all times. You will find many other dog friends while strolling along the beach.
Have dinner at Taco Boy
The dining experience itself is incredible as it’s one block from the Atlantic Ocean and feels like you are in a tropical treehouse. The food is also wonderful!
Wakeup for sunrise and walk over to the pier from the inn
It is definitely worth waking up early to see, I promise!
Explore Folly by foot in the early morning (There were no crowds!)
Visit Folly River Park and go on the boardwalk
Take a few minutes to look for wildlife as well. There could be coastal birds or dolphins.
Have lunch at Bert’s Market
Bert’s Market has a local eatery inside called the Wooden Spoon, where the food is made fresh and is great!
Do some shopping on Center Street
Relax at Folliday Inn pool
Rent a Trike with Folly Beach Moped Rentals and drive around the island
One of the most unique experiences during our visit was driving a trike around the island. Feeling the sun on my face and wind blowing my hair as I drove next to the Atlantic Ocean and stopping to explore the beach is a memory I won’t forget. It was truly an island experience.
Enjoy the sunset at the beach with views of Morris Island Lighthouse
Breakfast with the dogs at Rita’s Seaside Grille
The cinnamon roll was absolutely amazing!
Beach time! Rent beach chairs with Folly Beach Chair Company
Relax back at inn
Head over to the Bark Park for the dogs to meet some friends!
Drinks at Loggerhead's Beach Grill
The drinks were great. The staff was so friendly. This is also the perfect place to catch a football game too!
Enjoy one final sunset on the Atlantic Ocean
Wake up for sunrise (or sleep in) - We chose to sleep in :)
Pack everything up
We can’t recommend Folly Beach enough! If you are looking for a beach town where you immediately feel at home and have an indescribable desire to constantly revisit, Folly Beach is the place for you!
Until next time, keep adventuring!