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Old 07-14-2007, 07:06 PM
 
1 posts, read 27,374 times
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We (me, my girlfriend, and our 3 year old daughter) are going very soon to the Charleston area for a week.

We're currently hesitating between renting a place in Folly Beach or in Isle of Palms.

We plan on spending a few days at the beach and a few days in town or on day trips.

Anybody has a suggestion has to which place is the best to stay and which has the best beaches?

We would like a beach that is neither desert nor overcrowded. Big waves or strong currents would be a minus because of the child.
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Old 07-14-2007, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
2,501 posts, read 6,877,929 times
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I would definitely stick to the county park beaches since there are life guards, showers, concession stands, rentals, etc. at them. Both IOP and Folly have county beach parks....there is an admission, but well worth it when you have a child.
Both are equally close to downtown Charleston, and as for lodging, there is a Holiday Inn on Folly Beach and also lots of houses to rent. There are houses to rent on IOP, but probably much more expensive.
I would just google beach houses for rent on Folly Beach & Isle of Palms.

Hope you have a fun and safe trip!
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Old 07-14-2007, 08:15 PM
 
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I'm partial to Folly Beach, but that's because I lived there for 6 years. I live a few miles away on James Island now.
Folly is typically thought of as funky and eclectic while IOP is more upscale. As SCBeaches said, both are equally close to downtown. The drive is probably a little quicker coming from Folly.
One thing to consider: Folly has recently undergone a beach renourishment project. I think the project has been completed, but I'm not certain. It would be unfortunate to show up at your beach house and have dredge pipes and bulldozers between you and the surf. I would definitely ask if you make reservations.
You might also consider Sullivan's Island. It is next to IOP and is a little closer to town. Ft. Moultrie is located on the west end and it affords nice views of Ft. Sumter and the city.

EDIT: The renourishment is complete.
Charleston, SC Latest Local News: Folly ready for the 4th

More info on area beaches:
Charleston, SC Latest Local News: A guide to exploring Lowcountry beaches

Last edited by Captain Ed; 07-14-2007 at 08:26 PM..
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
153 posts, read 705,435 times
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Less waves and less crowds, I would go with Sullivan's Island. While Folly Beach is fun, it's a strong surfer hangout, with the best waves in the area. IOP is definitely crowded.

A little-known secret, speaking of going to the Chas County Parks: Kiawah Island has a great public beach that anybody can access...it's just a little further of a drive, but you can stay at a nice hotel West Ashley and be closer. The waves are not bad, and the crowds are not terrible. I spent many summer weekends there, and I was a local! Go to the county's recreation website for more details.
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Old 08-29-2009, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Charelston 29418 N
6 posts, read 30,832 times
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Nice comment thread. I agree with everyone, they all make excellent points. I grew up going to the Isle of Palms, and so did my daughters. I'd rather take my baby to the IOP. There is no way I would expose a child to the ripe currents that are so prevalent on Folly Beach & Sullivan's Island.

Hey, it's not Miami. The beaches are not THAT crowded. We are just partial to the Isle of Palms.

Sullivan's Island Warning



Isle of Palms at Sunrise - 2009


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Old 08-30-2009, 05:27 AM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
1,889 posts, read 4,823,554 times
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I also have a three year old ( and 1 year old) and we go to IOP or Sullivans. Folly usually has much stronger waves and rip currents. Plus IOP and Sullivans are more kid friendly.
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Old 08-30-2009, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
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The County Park at Folly is very kid friendly....it's all families. The beach at the Washout is mostly surfers and the beach near the pier has a lot of teenagers, but the County Park is all familes. Beachwalker County Park at Kiawah is the only beach I go to nowadays.....it is the least crowded, the cleanest, and the widest stretch of beach....also the boardwalk going out to it is beautiful, because you have both marsh views and ocean. Lots of photo ops at Beachwalker.
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Old 08-30-2009, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Cape Coral
180 posts, read 381,592 times
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IOP is the best beach to go to. And I hate the beach.
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Old 08-30-2009, 02:41 PM
 
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We go to Folly Beach just about every year since our daughter was 9 months old.. she is almost nine now.. we LOVE Folly.. it's so laid back and everyone is so friendly and everything is within walking distance. We have never had a problem with the currents.. sometimes the water can be a little rough but we never have really had a problem with it... of couse we always keep an eye on our daughter and she never goes out without one of us and is always within arms reach.. that goes for any beach.. we went to Oahu this sumemr and the water was so calm... hardly ever moved and we stayed right on top of her... you just never know when it comes to the ocean! We love walking on the pier at night and fishing there in the morning... the sunrise you see there is awesome! We are coming back next summer and ca't wait....
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Charleston, SC
83 posts, read 201,139 times
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Beach preferences of Charleston come from the heart! Those that grew up on or closer to one or the other will usually lean towards that as a favorite.

It was mentioned earlier about Folly being more "hippie" or "eclectic" and IOP more "yuppie." Both do have an ambiance that reflects these descriptions. Sullivans is the least crowded of all, but as another post mentioned... this is not Miami. A crowded beach here is only felt at a high tide in high season if at all.

Currents... they all have them, especially if a storm is brewing out at sea. Sullivan's has it pretty bad however out of the three.

Best kid places are at the parks, or in front of the hotels where lifeguards are on duty.

Both Folly and IOP have options for shopping and dining. Sullivan's has a small strip of bars and restaurants so is more geared towards adult entertainment.

All three are great. My personal favorite is Folly (but again... I live right down the street!)
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