Folly Island has one of the closest and most popular beaches for residents and visitors to Charleston. The town of Folly Beach retains a laid-back vibe despite crowding by tourists each summer. The white sand beach and crashing waves here are enjoyed and shared by many types of people for many different activities.
Lots of locals enjoy fishing and often make a family day of it on the Folly Beach Pier or elsewhere in the surf. Anyone can purchase a day pass for fishing from the pier; no state license is necessary. Others prefer to surf, and good waves can be found during much of the year. Beachgoers have plenty of other options including volleyball, swimming, skimboarding, picnicking, and beachcombing. Rental chairs and umbrellas are available seasonally, or you can always bring your own. Entry to the pier is free, and it has concessions, a bar, picnic pavilion, tables, and benches. Folly Beach is also great for dolphin spotting, and the pier is the best place to see them. Walking its length gets you several hundred feet out from the shore, where dolphins are sometimes seen fishing beyond the breaking waves.
The entire beach is public, and multiple access points besides the pier can be found in town, but all require the same parking fee of $10 per day in lots or $2 per hour on the street. Folly Beach County Park, located on the far end of Ashley Ave, is another popular spot to hit the beach, and it offers more amenities for recreation facilities and rentals.