Folly Beach New Residents: Your Essential Guide to The Edge of America

folly beach welcome guide

Welcome to Folly Beach! We are so happy to have you as a new member of our eclectic and funky community. To help you get settled in and make the most of your time here, we have put together a new neighbor welcome packet.

Explore the island

The County Park is at the far west end (a CCP Gold Card will permit free parking, dogs are allowed on leash during certain times.) The Dunes House offers a snack bar (during season) and wonderful seating overlooking the beach as well as bath facilities.

The Lighthouse Inlet is at the far east end (no dogs permitted as this is a bird nesting preserve).

– Sunset Cay Marina is off W 9th Street on the “river” side. (The Folly River is actually an estuary.) Sailing tours and chartered fishing trips are available there.

– Leashed dogs are permitted on the beach from October 1 to April 30. From May 1 to September 30 they are not allowed from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

The Folly River Park and Karen Stringer Recreational Pier are on the left, just as you come over the Folly River Bridge. Swings, fitness area, bathrooms, and pavilions dot the area. Visitors can fish, crab, and enjoy marsh vistas and sunsets.

– The pickle ball, basketball, and tennis courts are at 510 E Erie along with Pirates Cove Playground.

– Folly Beach Bark Park is between 5th and 6th Streets E off Hudson or Erie.

– Wave Watch playground is at 5th West & Cooper.

– Shadow Race Park is adjacent to 302 Shadow Race Lane – a quiet spot with a bench.

– Shorebird Park is adjacent to 1582 E Ashley. (No dogs permitted, even on leash.)

– The Community Garden has benches and is located at the Back Bay end of W Michigan Avenue.

The Library / Community Center is on Center Street. Hours are: 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM Mondays and Tuesdays, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Fridays, and 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM the 2nd and 4th Saturdays. The CCPL website is great for downloading ebooks and audio books.

The Baxter-Patrick James Island Library is located at 1858 S Grimball Road, about 10 minutes off the island. The facilities are new and the offerings amazing.

– Churches on the island include Baptist and Catholic (on Center Street) and Methodist (on West Indian).

The James Island Rec Center off Harbor View Road is great for families and is only 15 minutes away in the middle of James Island. It offers a number of activities and classes.

Get Involved

Folly Beach is a close-knit community, and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and meet new people. See the Sandspur, our local monthly newsletter, and the monthly Folly Current for information. Both are free and delivered to your PO Box.

 – Local Websites and Facebook pages: Folly Beach Civic Club, Folly Residents Association, I Love Folly, Folly Beach, Folly Beach Turtle Watch, Toby the Turtle, City of Folly Beach, Folly Beach Public Safety

Community Yoga is at 10 AM each Tuesday and Thursday at the River Park or the Community Center, weather dependent.

– Seniors meet the first Thursday of the month at 11 AM at the Community Center.

– City Council meets the second Tuesday of the month at 7 PM and is open to the public.

– The Civic Club meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7 PM at the Community Center. Our mission is to support the community – come join us!

Share your photographic artistry – the Civic Club sponsors the Photo of the Month and produces a stunning Folly Beach Calendar each year.

– The Exchange Club meets the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7 PM, 206 West Indian.

– The Garden Club meets at 12 noon on the 4th Wednesday of each month at the Community Center.

– Folly Green Community Garden Workdays are the 2nd Saturday of the month at 8AM.

– There is a quarterly blood drive held either at Father Kelly Hall or the Tides hotel. We have collected over 1000 pints in the last 6 years.

Take Care of the Environment

Folly Beach is home to a unique and fragile ecosystem, and it’s important to do our part to take care of it. Be mindful of your impact on the environment.

– Smoking and alcohol are prohibited on the beach.

– Glass containers, plastic bags, balloons, styrofoam, fireworks, and open fires are also prohibited on the beach.

– Our beach sweeps turn up everything from small pieces of plastic to cigarette butts to dirty diapers. Follow Toby the Turtle on FB for updates on beach sweeps.

– Fill in holes in the sand – not only could someone break an ankle walking the beach at night, but baby turtles get trapped and die.

– There is a drop off site for residential composting. If interested, sign up at charleston- sc.gov/compost. Once registered, you can drop off food scraps at the Folly Beach Community Center.

– Residential Trash pick up (green roll carts) is Mondays and Thursdays; route collection starts at 7 AM. Recycling is handled by Charleston County and pick up is every other Monday in the off season and weekly (Monday’s) from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

– There is a Charleston County Recycling Convenience Center located at 1716 Signal Point Road right off Folly Road on James Island. Perfect for disposing responsibly of all kinds of hazardous waste as well as bulk recycling.

– Check out additional recycling information at charlestoncounty.org/departments/ environmental-management/index.php.

 – Yard waste and man-made items (furniture, beach chairs, etc.) are picked up Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Bulk pick ups by appointment can be scheduled by emailing trash@follybeach.gov.

– The community garden is located off Sandbar and W Michigan Avenue. Plots can be rented for $100 a season through the Garden Club.

– Memorial pavers in the garden behind the Community Center can be dedicated to a loved one for $75.

Be Prepared for Hurricane Season

Folly Beach is located in a hurricane-prone area, and it’s important to be prepared for potential storms. Make sure you have an emergency kit and plan in place, and stay informed about weather updates and evacuation procedures.

– Face Book: City of Folly Beach

CityofFollyBeach.com: emergency kit information and other emergency procedures

– Apps: NOAA, My Radar, Tide Charts, Tide Alert (NOAA). Hohonu tide gauge site for local tide gauges: hohonu.io/

– Be sure to sign up for emergency notifications – Code Red – from the City website. This alerts you to power outages, storms, etc. cityoffollybeach.com/emergency-notification.

– Folly Beach Non Emergency Dispatch – 843-588-2433

– Folly Beach Emergency – 843-588-7003

– Folly Beach Public Announcement (Code Red) – 866-419-5000

– The City provides 10 sandbags per household a few days prior to a hurricane if we are in the “cone.” First come first served – sometimes they go quickly!

– Traffic can be a BEAR from the first warm weekends through the summer, especially on weekends. Think ahead! The Beach Reach app, also beachaccess.manageourapp.com, provides web cam views of traffic going on and off the island.

– King Tides and rains can quickly flood some streets. Be careful. After driving through salt water road flooding, be sure to do an undercarriage car wash to rinse off the salt.

Add King Tides to your calendar – they can make a difference to your schedule. Just Google them each year – the highest ones are usually in late summer and fall.

– Free Tide Charts are available at City Hall early each year.

City Information

CityofFollyBeach.com and on Facebook: City of Folly Beach

– City dog tags are required through City Hall.

Folly Beach Post Office: Hours are 9 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday with closure from 1 PM to 2 PM. Saturdays they are open from 9 AM to 10 AM only.

VERY IMPORTANT – If a non USPS package is delivered to the PO, it will be RETURNED to sender. For all non USPS deliveries it is recommended to add your PO Box number after the street address – usually in the “Unit or Apt.” section. That way if it is delivered to the PO they will know to whom it belongs and will keep it. Don’t use “PO” – just #111 or whatever.

– Elections: Voting is held at the Baptist Church on Center Street. A mobile voting van will also visit the island a week or two prior to a major election.

 – City Council Elections are every 2 years, appointing members for 4 years.

– We can stream City Council meetings through the City website, cityoffollybeach.com. – There are a number of City Boards and Commissions on which to volunteer.

Parking

– Be sure to get your parking decals in January of each year at City Hall. With these decals we can park in “Pay to Park” spots for free as well as the beach access lots.

– PCI Municipal Services is now handling parking for the city: parkfollybeach.org, 843-580-0423.

– Parking: We must all be fully OFF the asphalt unless there is a white line on the road side. Then park OUTSIDE that white line.

– Be certain to park in the direction of traffic flow. Otherwise, it’s ticket time.

– Golf carts are not allowed on Center Street.

Charleston County Parks and Recreation offers an annual Gold Card available at the Gift Shop at the pier, the office at the Dunes House, or purchased online. This permits free yearlong entry into any CCPR park or area.

Enjoy the Quirkiness

Folly Beach is known for its eclectic and funky vibe, and we love that about our community! A few bits of Folly Wisdom from your neighbors:

– We find the tides, wind, and sun much more relevant than the temperature.

– Immediately after a hurricane can be a great time to pick up shells and sharks’ teeth on the beach.

– Pollen season starts when it feels like it and extends until early/mid April. So don’t clean off your porch and car too soon.

– The only grocery on the island is Bert’s on East Ashley and 2nd Street – and they are open 24/7.

The closest fresh seafood is Crosby’s, just as you enter the 35 mph sector coming onto the island. Watch for signs for their food truck.

– There is a Blessing Box on the Post Office side of the Catholic Church. We leave non perishables there for those in need.

– There is a Book Box located at Wave Watch playground at 5th West & Cooper.

– The Baptist Church coordinates an island wide Crisis Center to help support residents in need. Dry and canned food, medical supplies (walkers, crutches, etc.) are greatly appreciated.

– Surf, Surfer’s Healing, Surf Riders, and Save the Light are among the organizations connected to Folly.

– The Folly Beach History Museum (in its beginning stages) is located in our local library/community center.

– Check first – many restaurants and services do not deliver to Folly due to the vagaries of traffic congestion.

– Festivals!!! Center Street is closed after West and East Indian. Residents can gain free entry by showing proof of residence. DO consider plans during these times due to traffic.

– January is Taste of Folly; February is Sea and Sand; July 4th; September is Mermaids & Mateys; December is New Year’s Eve and the Polar Plunge (January Garden Club Easter Promenade

– Live Music: Folly restaurants and night spots host over 30 live music events each week! Preview all the shows on follycurrent.com

 Folly also celebrates:

July 4th fireworks at 3rd Street W

Family Fun Nights through the summer – Christmas tree lighting at River Park

– Christmas Parade on Center Street

Local Fauna

– There is a high osprey nest on the right just after Lolo’s on Folly Road as you enter the island. Check for mom and pop beginning in April.

– Love Bugs come in early summer. They don’t mate for too long.

– If something skitters across your driveway, it is much more likely to be a small crab than a spider.

– The little lizard like animal is an anole or a skink.

– The island is home to bobcats, deer, raccoons, land turtles, minks, and a huge variety of birds.

– Mosquitoes and No See ’ems. Good luck.

– Sea Turtles – The loggerhead sea turtle is the state reptile of South Carolina. Each year approximately 60-100 loggerhead nests are laid on Folly. Nests begin hatching in July. The best time to see a sea turtle hatchling is at a nest inventory. Time and location of inventories are announced on the Folly Beach Turtle Watch Facebook page beginning in July.

Recommended books on Folly Beach and Charleston:

– Very Charleston by D. Hollingsworth Gessler

– Ramblings of a Lowcountry Game Warden, A Memoir by Ben McC. Moise

– Images of America, Folly Beach by Stratton Lawrence

– Partisans & Redcoats, The Southern Conflict That Turned the Tide of the American Revolution by Walter Edgar

– City of Ruin, Charleston at War 1860-1865 by Brian Hicks

We hope that this welcome packet has been helpful and informative. Welcome to Folly Beach, and we can’t wait to see you around town!