ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – Aside from making sure you have beach essentials like sunblock and shades, beach visits around Charleston require a bit of strategic planning, especially during the July Fourth weekend when crowds will descend on the Lowcountry.
Visitors looking to relax and take-in the coast should be aware of certain rules at Sullivan’s Island, Folly Beach and the Isle of Palms. Each beach is unique and attracts thousands of visitors during the summer.
Isle of Palms Mayor Richard Cronin said his beach offers some of the areas most family-friendly shores. He cautioned that beachgoers need to plan ahead and noted alcohol isn’t allowed, neither of course, is littering.
“We are a barrier island that loves to see people having a good time,” said Cronin. “Alcohol is not permitted, it’s not permitted on any South Carolina beach, ours in particular.”
He added dogs are welcome, but are required to be on a leash at all times. Without a leash, pet-owners are vulnerable to citations as the beach is monitored by public safety officers.
“It’s fun to see other people just feel a total sense of relief when they come over the connector and see the ocean in front of them,” said Cronin.
Strict rules aren’t putting a damper on Folly Beach, known for its fun festivals each year. The main drag for restaurants and bars is Center Street, which attracts a younger crowd.
When on Folly outings, take note of where you discard trash to avoid a littering ticket. Dogs are not allowed on the beach from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from May 1st to Sept. 30th. At all other times, dogs must be leashed and under control. No pets are ever allowed on the Folly pier.
Alcohol is no longer allowed on the beach, A change in recent years, along with glass, plastic and styrofoam. Still, Folly is known for its let loose and live free culture.
With pristine beach paths and plenty of history, Sullivan’s Island is another relaxing destination. It is bordered by Charleston Harbor, where Fort Moultrie, which dates back to the 1700’s, overlooks the water.
Middle Street is a retail block with outdoor dining and restaurants like Home Team BBQ and Poe’s Tavern, named for Edgar Allan Poe, who served for part of his career at the fort.
All dogs must have a Sullivan’s Island permit, which is obtained at Town Hall. From May 1 through Sept. 30, dogs are allowed on the beach off-leash at certain times, but must be on a leash from 6 p.m.-5 a.m. Breaking leash laws cost more than $1,000.
One commonality of Charleston-area beaches: bumper to bumper traffic when traveling to the coast at certain times of the day. City planners warn you should check out traffic cameras before venturing out to any point.
Traffic cameras to help you avoid congestion are available online, courtesy of the South Carolina Department of Transportation. Click here for more: