With only one ingress and egress on and off the island, traffic at Folly Beach can back up quickly, especially during peak season, holidays or festivals. Knowing the best times to arrive and depart probably still won’t help you avoid the traffic completely, but it can at least significantly reduce your gridlock experience, giving you more time to enjoy the sun and sand. Here are some tips and suggestions for evading the worst of the congestion and making the most of your Folly visit.
Stay on Folly during the off-season
Okay so this first recommendation isn’t exactly rocket science, but it is the single best way to avoid the worst of Folly traffic. It isn’t practical for everyone, especially if you have kids and you plan vacations around summer break. But if you can manage it, this is definitely the way to go, especially when you consider that most places on Folly are open year-round and you won’t miss a thing by adjusting your visit to spring or fall. Another added bonus is that hotel rooms, house and Airbnb rentals will be cheaper during off-season.
Don’t arrive during peak check-in time
A lot of check-in times for hotels, condos and rentals are around 3 or 4 p.m., so avoid coming during those times if at all possible. Arrive for lunch and walk around downtown or stroll the beach until check-in. Or, if staying in a beach house or condo, you can always call or stop by your realtor’s office to see if your rental is ready ahead of time. It may present a minor inconvenience in terms of not being able to immediately unload your luggage, but it can also save you some major traffic headaches.
Avoid these times during peak season weekends
Hordes of day-tripping locals will descend upon Folly between the hours of 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on summer weekends and holidays, so it would behoove you to plan a weekend or holiday arrival outside of what will almost certainly be a rough traffic window.
Visiting downtown Charleston
Many weekend day trippers leave Folly around 5 or 6 p.m., but there is not as much traffic coming onto the island during that time, so if you are heading out to Charleston to be a tourist for the day, you might want to plan your return for after 5 p.m. when the traffic coming into Folly will have abated a bit.
Remember your online resources and apps
You can always visit the website localconditions.com to view real time updates of Folly Beach traffic, road and weather conditions, and there are plenty of phone apps to keep you updated on traffic and accidents.