Isle of Palms or Folly Beach: Everything You Need to Know

Choosing which South Carolina beach to visit on your next vacation can be a tough choice. At first glance, they look very similar, but we dive a little deeper under the surface in this blog to give you insider information on whether an Isle of Palms or Folly Beach trip best suits you and your family. Regardless of which spot you choose, there is plenty of sun, sand, and relaxation at the beach of your choice. If IOP ends up being your choice, you’ll need our handy Vacation Guide so you can explore all of the amazing activities, attractions, and places to eat near our gorgeous island.

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Isle of Palms or Folly Beach – Where Should You Vacation?


Isle of Palms

The vast, sandy stretches of the Isle of Palms beach is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. Swimming and watersports here are fantastic, and the area around the main strip hosts fun beach volleyball tournaments and live entertainment at The Windjammer during the day. With so much space up and down the beach, you won’t have a difficult time finding space to set up some beach chairs and read a book, sunbathe, or build sandcastles with the kids.

Folly Beach

While the ends of Folly Beach have places for people to put down a beach chair and relax, the center of the beach around the main strip holds beach volleyball, surfing, and other fun beach activities. The restaurants in the center of town turn into bars with solid nightlife when the sun goes down.

Family Activities

Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms draws a big family crowd during its peak seasons. Aside from relaxing and playing on the beach, there are plenty of kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, and biking opportunities around the island. IOP has an overall kid and family-friendly atmosphere that other places around Charleston lack. You can also go on a fascinating eco-tour to learn about the natural habitats in the surrounding waterways and barrier islands! Take the 30-minute drive to downtown Charleston to check out the aquarium!

Folly Beach

Although mostly catering to a younger crowd interested in entertainment and surfing, Folly Beach can still be a great vacation spot for families. You can fish off of the pier, kayak and paddleboard on the ocean, and spend some quality time at Folly Beach County Park. You can also take a quick drive over to downtown Charleston to explore some American history!


Isle of Palms

Looking for a place to enjoy some of the best food in the state of South Carolina? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Whether you sample one of our favorite places on IOP or head over to downtown Charleston for a nice date night, you can’t go wrong with any of the local options. Neighboring Sullivan’s Island also has an excellent selection of small, local restaurants that feature just about every type of tasty food possible.

Folly Beach

Seafood, classic American fare, and tacos – you name it, and Folly Beach has it. Chico Feo, Lost Dog Cafe, and Loggerhead’s Beach Grill are great places to grab a bite to eat. For a great selection of craft brews head over to The Barrel just off of the island for entertainment and furry friends at this unique dog park and outdoor bar.


Isle of Palms

Wild Dunes resort has some of the best golfing in the state at Wild Dunes Harbor and Links Courses and Dunes West Golf & River Club. The beautiful setting combined with accolades earned from the prestigious publication Golf Digest ensures that a round of golf at IOP is well worth your time.

Folly Beach

While Folly Beach doesn’t have any golf courses on the island, you can venture over to neighboring Kiawah Island for a fantastic golf experience. You’ll find five championship courses at one of the premier golfing destinations in the state.

Interested in an Isle of Palms Trip?

Does Isle of Palms sound like the ideal trip for you and your family? Take a look at our extensive list of luxury rentals that feature premium oceanfront homes! Step out of your property onto the beach to make the most of your trip. Our guest services can assist you in making reservations if you want to set up babysitting for a date night or beach rentals for a day of fun in the sun.

Ready to book your IOP trip? Don’t forget to check our vacation rentals to start planning your fun in the sun today! We look forward to meeting you!