Visit the Edge of America at Folly Beach

Looking for some beach fun close downtown Charleston? Be sure to explore Folly Beach off of James Island. With great surf, fun restaurants and bars, and stunning beaches, Folly has it all. Dubbed “The Edge of the America,” Folly Beach is a barrier island at the western end of Charleston Harbor. It boasts six miles of coastal beach on the Atlantic Ocean, plus peaceful river and marsh views along the other side, providing waterview property galore.


The history of Folly goes back to Colonial times. In 1696, King William III granted the land to an Englishman, even though it was mainly inhabited by the Bohicket Indian tribe. Its name comes from the Old English term describing the dense foliage on the island. During the Civil War, US troops occupied and developed Folly as a supply depot. During the 20th century, Folly grew into a beachside tourist destination with a boardwalk, amusement rides, hotels, and the famous Folly Pier – which hosted many of the biggest bands of the day. George Gershwin even composed Porgy and Bess while renting on Folly Beach. He immortalized his time there with the lyrics “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.”

Folly amusement postcard



Today, the town of Folly Beach delights residents and visitors alike. Although the original pier and a replacement burned down, now the Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier stretches into the Atlantic Ocean just as the famous piers of Folly’s heyday did. On the weekends, it once again comes alive with the sound of live music and shag dancing. If you enjoy the outdoors, you will find plenty to do. Try out water sports or charter a fishing excursion. Visit the Folly Beach County Park and let the kids break out the boogie boards and enjoy the surf. For the more experienced surfers, the Washout provides the best waves in town. Folly has something for the whole family.

If you are hungry for a good meal in Folly Beach, there are plenty of choices. Some delicious and lively hangout spots are:

  • BLU Restaurant & Bar – for oceanfront dining featuring sustainable seafood, as well as live music
  • The Crab Shack – for some of the best crab cakes in town
  • Snapper Jacks – with 3 floors of fun for the social crowd, including a rooftop bar
  • Jack of Cups Saloon – if you’re looking for vegan and vegetarian offerings, along with craft cocktails and live music
  • Chico Feo – a funky outdoor restaurant with a Caribbean vibe, serving tacos, burritos, and salads
  • Lost Dog Cafe – a breakfast and lunch spot known for its cozy atmosphere, homemade food, and hearty portions

Locals enjoy relatively quiet and tranquil winters with fewer vacationers, but be prepared for those summer months when this part of the region comes to life as arguably the best beach near Charleston. Every summer you can catch fishing events, surfing contests, family-friendly festivals, and more. Annual events include the Taste of Folly, The Bill Murray Polar Bear Plunge, and the New Year’s Eve Flip-Flop Drop. The island community consists of a mix of eclectic local residents, vacationers, and day-trippers tossed with plenty of Southern hospitality, all wrapped up in a fun, small beach town atmosphere.


Real estate in Folly Beach is valuable and ranges from vacation houses on the ocean, to single family homes, to condos, townhouses, and more. If you are looking for a home for sale on Folly Beach, please contact us at at 843.577.4115.

View All Homes For Sale on Folly Beach


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