Best Beaches in the Southeast USA: Center Street Beach – Folly Beach, South Carolina
Center Street Beach and Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier front the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Folly River on the west. Center Street Beach is often called the "Edge of America" due to its laid back, surfer culture. It's a best beach for singles, couples, families, retirees, fisherman, and water sports enthusiasts.
Beach Personality: Funky Old-Fashioned Beach Town
Center Street Beach is a very popular beach due to its convenient access to Charleston and the many activities and amenities available. It’s also my personal favorite in the Charleston area. Why? It’s clean (both the water and the sand), it has all the amenities anyone could want making it a low preparation/low stress option, and it has lots of the beach activities I like. For example, people watching, boogie boarding, swimming, and beach walking. Those activities only scratch the surface too, as you can see from the list below, so no matter what you’re looking for in a beach Center Street Beach probably has it.
One of the most popular activities here is surfing because Folly Beach is considered a top east coast surfing destination. “Washout” is the most well-known surfing beach on Folly Island, but surfers also like Center Street Beach. If you’ve always wanted to try surfing, there are a number of surf shops and schools in Folly Beach that offer lessons.
- People watching
- Boogie boarding
- Paddle boarding
- Walking on the beach
- Skim boarding
- Jet skiing
- Fishing (license required, may be purchased at the pier)
- Public bathrooms – Yes.
- Showers – Yes.
- Parking – Yes, for a fee.
- Food – Yes, at Locklear’s Beach City Grill on the pier. Food is also available at the adjacent business district.
- Lifeguard – Yes, Memorial Day to mid-August. Weekends only in May and mid-August to mid-September.
- Dogs allowed on the beach – No.
Fishing rods are available for rent at the pier.
Sun and Ski Rentals (843-588-0033) at 1 Center Street rents chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards, kayaks, and jet skis.
Summer Rental LLC (843-724-9822) rents chairs, umbrellas, sun shades, coolers, surfboards, boogie boards, baby joggers, baby strollers, and tents.
Rip Tide Jet Ski Rental (843-452-9911) east of the pier on the beach offers jet ski rentals.
Extreme Jet Ski Rental (843-270-7474) on the beach west of the condos in the 200 block of West Arctic offers jet skis for rent.
Ocean Surf Shop (843-588-9175) at 31 Center Street has surfboards for rent.
McKevlin’s Surf Shop (843-588-2247) at 8 Center Street has surfboards for rent.
Center Street Beach and Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier are a convenient drive, about 20 minutes, from Charleston South Carolina. Its address is 101 East Arctic Avenue, Folly Beach, SC 29439. From Charleston take Lockwood Boulevard/James Island Expressway (Route 30). Turn left at Folly Road/Folly Beach Road/Center Street (State Highway 171). At East Arctic Avenue turn left.
To many joyful beach experiences!
— Lisa Dworkin
Photos courtesy of Lisa Dworkin