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Beaches and Swimming in Folly Beach, SC

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Swimming is allowed on all Folly beaches. There is access to the beach at the end of every block. There is a wheelchair access ramp at 9th Street on West Ashley. Additionally, the Folly Beach Pier and Folly Beach County Park are both handicap accessible. Highlighted below are two of Folly’s most popular beaches plus some important beach safety information.

Folly Beach County Park

All of the beaches on Folly Island are lovely, but the most beautiful area of “untouched” beach is located at the Folly Beach County Park at the west end of Folly. To get there, take West Ashley all the way to the west end of the Island. The street dead-ends into the Folly Beach County Park. Amenities include 2,500 feet of ocean frontage, 200 feet of river frontage, dressing areas, outdoor showers, restrooms, a boardwalk and accessible ramps, a picnic area, and a snack bar (seasonally). Umbrellas, chair, and wheelchair rentals are also available. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer season as well. Swim in the designated area only. There is no swimming in adjacent rivers and inlets.  

Learn more about directions, hours, rates, rentals and more on the Charleston County Parks website.

Center Street Beach

This beach is located on both sides of the Folly Beach Pier. In season, this is always a very busy beach – and great for people watching! Here you can rent rods for fishing, purchase food and beverages from the BLU Beach Bar & Grill’s Tiki Bar or the Pier 101 Restaurant & Bar on the pier, watch the locals play volleyball, take a walk on the Folly Pier, or watch the surfers. Swim in the designated area only.  There is no swimming allowed within 200 feet of the pier, per Charleston County Parks rules.  

General Safety Information

To get the most out of your Folly Beach experience, make sure to be aware of the following rules and safety precautions.

Tides and Surf

We’ve all heard the cautionary tales – someone is swimming at the beach, when all of a sudden, they get caught up in a dangerous rip current and are carried out to sea. Read our blog on how to recognize a rip current, and how to get out of one, here.


Be careful of dead jellyfish that wash ashore – they can still sting! To treat a jellyfish sting, a number of medical resource websites recommend removing any tentacles still in the skin via tweezers, applying hydrocortisone cream to reduce pain and using hot water or an ice pack to further alleviate the pain and swelling. 


Sharks live in the ocean of course and do make occasional appearances but that shouldn’t keep you afraid from swimming in the water. Check out our blog on sharks for tips on avoiding them, here.

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