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Best time of day to visit Folly Beach?

Minnesota
Level Contributor
36 posts
5 reviews
Best time of day to visit Folly Beach?

My sister, niece and I will be in Charleston area May 2-6. On Friday morning of that week we are thinking of going to Folly Beach. How early should we plan to head out to avoid crazy traffic? We are staying in Mt. Pleasant. We are doing the 3pm culinary tour in Charleston.

8 replies to this topic
Charleston, South...
Destination Expert
for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
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13,189 posts
45 reviews
1. Re: Best time of day to visit Folly Beach?

If you are staying in Mt. Pleasant, why would you go to Folly Beach?? Both the Isle of Palms and Sullivans Island are adjacent to Mt. Pleasant and would be far easier to get to.

Minnesota
Level Contributor
36 posts
5 reviews
2. Re: Best time of day to visit Folly Beach?

Of all the things to do in the area, my niece's only request was to go to Folly beach. It came highly recommended to her via a friend. Is there not much of a difference?

Charleston, South...
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for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
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13,189 posts
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3. Re: Best time of day to visit Folly Beach?

All the actual beaches are basically the same. Isle of Palms and Sullivans are more upscale than Folly. All 3 are barrier islands, roughly 6-7 miles long by .5 to 1 mile wide. Each island has a small business section with restaurants, shops, etc. The rest of the island is residential. There are no high rise buildings, amusement parks or that sort of thing.

At any of the beaches you will need to be there by about 9am to avoid sitting in traffic an hour or more. You need to leave by about 2pm to avoid the same issue as people begin leaving.

Level Contributor
61 posts
4. Re: Best time of day to visit Folly Beach?

Young people like your niece prefer Folly Beach over Sullivans or Isle of Palms for a day trip. I like it best when the tide's out - the beach is quite narrow during the two hours before and after high tide. But high tide is right at noon that day, and there's nothing you can do about it. It's going to be too cool to swim, so walk on the beach and out on the pier (free unless you're fishing). Folly has a 3-block commercial strip with Tshirt shops, beach souvenirs, restaurants, etc.

Friday traffic to the beach won't be bad until 3PM - that's when the afternoon commuter traffic starts to clog from downtown across the James Island Connector - and shouldn't be bad for your return from the island.

Ridgewood, New...
Destination Expert
for Kiawah Island, Charleston
Level Contributor
9,212 posts
99 reviews
5. Re: Best time of day to visit Folly Beach?

Folly Beach has its own "funky" vibe, with lots of "cool" restaurants and shops that appeal to young people. Beach at southwestern end, where the county park is located, is a good swimming beach. In the center of the island, there is a long fishing pier. Toward the northeast end, is "The Washout", the areas best surfing beach. Surfing lessons are available if your niece is interested.

Kiawah Island...
Destination Expert
for Kiawah Island, Charleston
Level Contributor
10,251 posts
12 reviews
6. Re: Best time of day to visit Folly Beach?

Yes, I believe that the thing about Folly, for teen girls, would be the little shopping area, funky and cool.

There are restaurants that will make Mom/Auntie happy, as well. Find a place to perch yourselves and let her go!

Minnesota
Level Contributor
36 posts
5 reviews
7. Re: Best time of day to visit Folly Beach?

Thanks for all the great suggestions and advice! I've had a few chuckles as my niece is 30. :-) I'm sure no matter which beach we visit, it will be fun!

Kiawah Island...
Destination Expert
for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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10,251 posts
12 reviews
8. Re: Best time of day to visit Folly Beach?

Well, then, the 3 of you can find a perch to share!!!

I've not been there, but Pier 101 is oceanfront at the public pier, should be nice for a beverage after beach and shopping.

Or, you could hit Bowen's Island for dinner, on the way back from the beach, beautiful marsh views. They open at 5:30, best time to be there to not have to wait in line.

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