kiawah island beach

Folly Beach vs. Kiawah Island: Which Beach Is Right for You?

Charleston, SC, is, above all, a beachgoers paradise. Whether you’re looking for the best waves or the best place to lay out in the sun, the perfect beach for you is waiting to be discovered. For many, the choice boils down to one battle: Folly Beach vs Kiawah Island. Continue reading to learn more about what each area has to offer. After the beach, give yourself instant access to all of the Holy City’s best restaurants, attractions, and events by taking a look at our complimentary Destination Guide. With our guide, building an unforgettable getaway is always a breeze.

Everything You Need to Know About Folly Beach and Kiawah Island

Surfing on Folly

If you’re looking for the best waves, Folly Beach is the way to go. While Kiawah Island does have “surfable waves,” you won’t find anything quite as consistent as what you’ll find at The Washout on Folly Beach. Anyone that surfs in Charleston goes to Folly, and, as a result, Folly Beach is equipped with the area’s best surf shops, rentals, and lessons. The beach also features live surf cams, so you can check up on the waves before you head out!

What’s the Difference?

The deciding factor in the Folly Beach vs. Kiawah Island debate comes down to traffic. Folly Beach is in the center of it all, surrounded by great restaurants, bars, shops, and tons of hotels. There are a few secluded spots on Folly, but, on nicer days, you’re most likely going to be sharing the beach with large crowds of people. If you want more room and privacy, Kiawah, Tybee, or Sullivan’s Island are definitely the way to go. On nice days, it can take over an hour to get to Folly with traffic, so Kiawah is often even easier to get to, and it will be just you and the waves!

What to Do on Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island offers a getaway that is unlike your typical beach destination. Rather than crowded restaurants and overpriced beach shops, Kiawah Island is all about the natural environment and a sophisticated atmosphere. There aren’t even any fast-food restaurants on the island! If you’re looking for something with a lot of nightlife, you’re going to have to travel close to thirty minutes into Charleston, but the opportunity for exploration and outdoor adventure is well worth the trip.

Where to Stay Near Kiawah Island

If you’ve decided that the quiet beauty of Kiawah Island is perfect for your next beach getaway, the Andell Inn is the best places to stay. Escape the hustle and bustle of Charleston, skip the outrageous prices of Kiawah Island resort, and experience the comfort and sophistication of our Residence Inn.

Our Presidential Suite, for example, features artful decor, waterfront views, and spacious living areas. You can even redeem your Marriott Bonvoy points to save big on your next vacation! Make this summer an unforgettable one!

Presidential Suite