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If you see a beach vacation in your near future, consider packing your bags and and planning to take an unforgettable road trip to Folly Beach. If you live in the southeast, Folly Beach is already close to some of the coastal beaches you might already be familiar with or have traveled to on family vacations for years. While it may be a bit further if you reside in the northeast or the midwest, you can still easily make the drive in one day.
Folly Beach is one of the barrier islands that surround Charleston Harbor, so while you’re sure to enjoy all the sunshine and surf that comes with a beach vacation, you also get all of the charm, history, shopping and dining in historic, downtown Charleston, all wrapped into one amazing vacation. From world class Charleston restaurants like FIG, Husk or The Ordinary, to horse-drawn carriage tours, Revolutionary War sites, and breathtaking gardens, you’ll find that a day spent in the city is a nice addition to your beach vacation.
For more information about the some of the top destinations in the Charleston area, request a free copy of our Insider’s Guide for fresh, local insight!
Planning the Perfect Vacation starts with a Map
How to Get There
Getting to Folly Beach is a breeze. The major interstates that serve South Carolina, from the Upstate to the Midlands and the Pee Dee region, all make for easy, direct access to Folly Beach. Summertime means it’s peach season in SC, and you’ll want to allow extra time for your trip to explore the back roads and stop at some of the popular farm stands along the way to grab a bushel of ripe, juicy peaches, watermelons, tomatoes and even okra for true southern flavors. Whether your travels take you on I-40, I-77, or I-95 all will connect you to I-26 E to downtown Charleston.From there, it’s a quick jaunt over the Ashley River and you’ll be on Folly Road in no time.
Top things to do Once you Arrive
Get out on the Water
Whether you’re interested in trying a new watersport or hoping to just relax by the ocean, you’ll find no shortage of things to do on Folly! Some of our favorite ways to get out on the water include:
- Relaxing on the beach.
- Casting your line off the fishing pier.
- Cruising with a local boat or kayak charter.
- Taking surfing lessons.
- Sailing along the Folly River.
- Trying SUP for the first time.
Have Fun with the Family
Spend quality time with the people who matter most. Folly Beach sets the scene for an incredible family vacation. Here are some tips to ensure you make tons of memories:
- Don’t overpack. Our concierge team is happy to help with things like ensuring your rental is baby-proofed, and stocked with everything you need for your family’s arrival.
- Let us lend a hand in pre-booking all your activities (such as your visit to the aquarium, boat tours, and dinner reservations) to ensure you can squeeze in everything you want to do during your stay.
- Always have snacks on hand, as days spent on the beach and in the water just naturally seem to burn energy a little quicker and someone is sure to declare “I’m hungry”
- Sun protection is a must. Bring sunscreen, wear hats, and stay cool in the shade when you can. Charleston summers are hot. Nothing ruins a vacation faster than an excruciating sunburn!
Plan a day to Explore Historic Downtown Charleston
One of the best things about staying on Folly Beach is simply it’s close proximity to Downtown Charleston. We recommend setting aside a day or two to fully experience the Holy City:
- Stroll through the Charleston City Market.
- Peruse impressive exhibits at local museums and galleries.
- Enjoy breathtaking views from Riley Waterfront Park.
- Grab a tasty cup of coffee.
- Check out the best vegetarian restaurants on the peninsula.
Dine at the Best Restaurants
A stay on Folly means you won’t necessarily have to leave the island to find some of the best food in the Charleston area. We know exactly where to eat on Folly Beach. Here are some of our favorite restaurants:
Stay in Elegant Accommodations Right on the Beach
To complete the perfect getaway for your road trip vacation to Folly Beach after a long day on the road, you’ll appreciate arriving at a vacation rental to call home during your visit. Luxury Simplified Retreats goes above and beyond to offer guests an outstanding experience with beautiful beach rentals and unparalleled concierge services. Browse our Experience Packages to consider making your trip especially unique, then select your favorite vacation rental from our impressive portfolio. You’re going to love Folly Beach’s laid-back, small-town vibes. We can’t wait to host you!
While Charleston, SC is known for its hospitality, it’s incredibly dog-friendly too! Whether you live locally or simply like to bring Rover along when you travel, the walkability and mild climate in Charleston make it a popular destination for spending time outdoors with your pooch. Charleston has a strict leash law in place, and good dog-manners are a “must have,” but if there’s a restaurant with a patio or porch, your dog is more than likely welcome — though it’s always a good idea to call ahead. But if you’re planning on bringing your dog to one of our beautiful beaches and giving your pup the full sun, sand and surf experience there are a few rules to know, and it starts with being a responsible pet owner and always cleaning up after your pet.
Folly Beach loves its pups! Many restaurants have outdoor spaces for you to dine al fresco with your dog by your side. However, if you’re looking for a fun walk on the beach, know that dogs are not allowed on the beach from 10am to 6pm from May 1st to September 30th. At all other times, dogs are welcome but must remain on the leash or under voice control.
If you’re looking for alternatives when the beach is too packed, there’s a dog park located on the island at 512 E Erie Ave!
Known as the widest beach in the Charleston area, Sullivan’s Island is a dog’s playground with tidal pools and expansive beach! However, all dogs, including those of both residents and visitors, must have a dog permit from the Town of Sullivan’s Island. Non-resident permits are $50 per dog annually and resident permits are $25 annually. Permits are issued at Town Hall at 1610 Middle Street. Make sure you have proof of your rabies vaccine as well!
Summer hours for dogs on the beach run from May 1st to September 30th. During that time dogs can be off leash from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., on leash from 6:00 p.m. to 5 a.m. No dogs are permitted on the beach between the hours of 10:00 a.m and 6:00 pm. Winter hours for dogs on the beach run from October 1st to April 30th. During that time dogs can be off leash from 5:00 a.m. to noon and on leash from Noon to 5:00 a.m.
Isle of Palms
The City of Isle of Palms recommends you obtain a dog permit if you plan to have your dog on the beach. Permits are free of charge, and you must have proof of up-to-date rabies inoculation signed by a licensed veterinarian.
Dogs are allowed to be off-leash during summer hours, from 5am to 9am from April 1st through September 14th and then for winter hours, 4pm to 10am beginning September 15th to March 31st. If you’re on the beach during other hours, just make sure your dog is on the leash!
You can also visit the spacious dog park on Isle of Palms located behind the Recreation Department at 24 28th Avenue.
Pet Safety Beach Tips
Remember, if it’s hot at the beach for you, your dog will be extra toasty underneath all their fur! Limit the time your dog has on the beach and make sure you provide plenty of water throughout the day. Additionally, never leave your dog in the car. Within minutes, a car can reach dangerous temperatures.
If you’re planning a Charleston vacation and wonder if you should bring your dog, we’ve put together some tips to help you and your furry friends have the best vacation possible. Whether they’re sniffing their way through charming and historic downtown Charleston SC or splashing in the waves and digging in the sand on Folly Beach, your dog will be happy that you brought them along – after all, their favorite place in the world is wherever you are! So grab their leash and book one of our pup-friendly luxury vacation rentals today.
As winter approaches, Northerners along the Atlantic seaboard, in states from New York to Maine, prepare to head indoors and hunker down for the long winter until warm weather returns in the spring. What if things could be different? You don’t have to endure the bitter cold of a northern winter this year. Instead, spend a month in Charleston to soak up the Lowcountry sunshine, enjoy the outdoors, and lounge on our beautiful beaches, even during the coldest time of year. Whether you’re retired, have the flexibility to work remotely, or simply can plan some time off, there’s milder temperatures, some incredible historic sites to see and year-round outdoor shopping and dining waiting for you in the Holy City.
Our Insider’s Guide to Charleston has everything you need to know to help you plan your trip. It’s full of our top recommendations for restaurants, breweries, golf courses, activities, and more. Request your complimentary digital Insider’s Guide today.
What could be better than spending the coldest time of year in one of America’s top vacation destinations? There are endless benefits to escaping the cold to spend some time relaxing and exploring in the Lowcountry. For one, Charleston’s winter climate is more favorable to many when compared to the often-freezing temperatures of the northeast. Instead, you can comfortably spend time outdoors, enjoy a nice brunch on restaurant patios, and soak up the sunshine on the beach. There are plenty of beach activities to enjoy in the cooler temps, from tossing a football in the surf, gathering with friends for a cookout or taking long walks along the sand. Plus, a change of scenery is the best way to get rid of those winter blues.
There’s nothing like winter in Charleston! While it’s true, you can occasionally experience a cold day here in Charleston, most of our highs in the winter months reach the high 50s and 60s. It’s perfect weather to get out, ride bikes, stroll through downtown, and actually enjoy the winter.
Because of Charleston’s temperate winter climate, there are few things you’ll be unable to do during your stay. And in the winter, you can enjoy many of the same activities that are popular in the summer, minus the crowds. While a dip in the ocean may cause a shiver at this time of year, sitting on the beach is often still comfortable – you just may want to keep the swimsuit in your suitcase! In historic downtown Charleston, you can enjoy strolling the cobblestone streets through the French Quarter, or walking along the Charleston Battery, the mile long walking path that overlooks Charleston Harbor and is lined with the gorgeous homes of Charleston’s famed South of Broad neighborhood.
Celebrate the Holidays
Sure, there is something nostalgic about sleigh rides through the snow, sledding down the hills around town with friends and eggnog around the fire on Christmas Eve while snowflakes swirl outside the window, but there are plenty of good reasons to celebrate the holidays in Charleston. Whether you are looking for a sunny locale to host your Thanksgiving getaway, or days spent shopping for holiday gifts along Charleston’s famed King Street, Charleston delivers big on holiday festivities. There’s even a glittery holiday boat parade filled with dazzling lights.
In South Carolina, golf is always in season, no matter what time of year. Not only would snow flurries be a rare event around Charleston, it’s not unusual for January to have numerous 60-degree days. What may impact a winter round of golf in the lowcountry is the shorter days, which usually means planning for an early morning tee time or wrapping up an afternoon on the links by 5 p.m. Still, there are tales of glorious, cool mid-afternoon rounds in the “dead” of South Carolina winters.
Find Luxury Long-Term Rentals with Luxury Simplified Retreats
If you’re considering spending a while in Charleston, SC, there’s no better choice than Luxury Simplified Retreats. As you settle in to explore our charming city, you can rest assured that we’ll be there every step of the way to ensure every need is met. Whether you choose to stay on Folly Beach by the water or in the heart of downtown Charleston, you’ll have everything you need to make your space feel like home. Browse our long-term vacation rentals to find your ideal home. Then, book your stay with us today. The Lowcountry awaits!