Charleston Area Beaches Guide


Each of Charleston’s area beaches has its own unique flavor and its own beach rules. Check out our guide so you’re prepared before you land on the sand.

Folly Beach

  • This barrier island beach is laid back and often frequented by locals and surfers.
  • No possession or consumption of alcohol is allowed on the beach.
  • Traffic can get heavy and parking can be a problem if you arrive after 11 a.m. during the busy season, so you may want to consider a morning beach visit.
  • Folly Beach Fishing Pier is open daily and has a full-service restaurant, fishing, rod rentals and a tackle shop.
    Folly Beach Pier

    Photo/Charleston County Parks

  • Surfing without a leash is prohibited. Through Sept. 15, surfing is prohibited from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from 2nd Street East to 3rd Street West.
  • Folly Beach County Park has lifeguards, outdoor showers and snack bar.

Isle of Palms

  • This is the most commercialized beach with a selection of shops, restaurants, bars and public restrooms.
  • The area of Ocean Boulevard from 10th Avenue to 14th Avenue is set aside for beachgoers and is known as “front beach.”
  • For access to picnic tables, showers, restrooms and a playground, you might want to park at the Isle of Palms County Park for Parking is $7 a day on weekdays and $10 a day on weekends through Labor Day. Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Labor Day; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in September/October.
  • Alcohol is prohibited; no glass bottles on the beach.

Kiawah Island

  • Much of the island and its beaches are private.
  • The only public beach access is at Kiawah Beachwalker Park on the west end of the island. It has restrooms, picnic areas with grills and boardwalks. Parking is $7 a day on weekdays and $10 a day on weekends through Labor Day. Park hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Labor Day; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in September/October.Family Fun

Sullivan’s Island

  • Plan for a day trip to this beach as it has very few short-term rentals and no hotels or motels.
  • Parking can be a problem if you arrive after 10 a.m. There are no public parking lots; street parking only. Be sure to obey posted signs and don’t park in any private yards or driveways.
  • There are no public restrooms or showers, and alcohol is not permitted.