Our Week on Folly Beach :: Activities and Photos

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Dolphin Watching on Folly Beach

As many of you know, our family spent this past week on Folly Beach.

(We’ve been going to Folly almost every year since Maia was two. And usually share a beach house with friends for double the fun.)

It’s been such a wonderful vacation!

A week of soaking up the warm sun, breathing in the salty sea air, splashing in the waves, exploring the island, and lots of ocean-inspired creativity.

Today, I thought I’d share a few of the Folly Beach activities we’ve been enjoying and more than a few photos.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have gotten a sneak peek, but I just downloaded the photos from my camera and have more to share with you.

Folly Beach near the pier

First of all, where is Folly Beach, you might ask? 

Folly Beach is on a barrier island just 15 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina. (It’s a short drive if you want to go into Charleston for dinner, the aquarium, or sightseeing.)

Our Favorite Folly Beach Activities

Sunrise over the Folly Beach Pier

Watching the Sun Rise and Set

Looking back, my favorite parts were my morning walks on the beach to see the sunrise—sometimes with Maia, sometimes with the whole family, sometimes with our friends. The light was so beautiful! And it was a lovely, peaceful time to be on the beach.

Loggerhead Turtle Nesting Areas on Folly Beach

We also took a nice sunset beach walk (to check on the loggerhead turtle nesting sites) and wished we had done more evening beach walks.

(Note: If you have kids, bring along glow sticks or necklaces to hand out once it gets dark. They love them and it makes it much easier to keep track of the kiddos running around in the dark.)

Folly Beach Trip 2014 Playing on the Beach

Playing on the Beach (of course!)

We spent many lovely hours out on the beach every day, playing in the water and the sand…

Folly Beach Trip 2014 Body Boards

…”surfing” with body boards…

Folly Beach Trip 2014 Collecting Sea Shells

…collecting sea shells, sorting them, trading them, and making things with them…

(That shell collecting bag is one that I bought from Pure Play Kids last year, btw. Works great! If you want a cheap, DIY version, a reader shared that you can make one out of a mesh onion bag with a duct tape rim and handle.)

Folly Beach Trip 2014 Stomp Rockets

…playing with the stomp rocket (it’s perfect as a beach toy!), watching for dolphins, making moats and sandcastles, doing yet another round of sandcasting with plaster of Paris, walking, and wave jumping.


Folly Beach Trip 2014 Lighthouse

Visiting the Morris Island Lighthouse

We drove (and then walked) to the point to see the lighthouse one morning.

Folly Beach Trip 2014 Tree Graveyard

It was a magical walk and beach area with a sun bleached graveyard of trees on the beach, dark storm clouds above, and the lighthouse a beacon out on the water. We were hit by heavy rain and winds on our walk back (that quickly turned into a mad dash) but it still remains one of my favorite memories and images of the beach.

Folly Beach Trip 2014 The Lighthouse

I especially enjoyed the contrast of the natural beach with the bright graffiti art on a couple of the remaining building foundations.

Crabs and Wildlife on Folly Beach

Observing and Learning about Ocean and Beach Life

Daphne found a crab shell (or rather, a whole dried up crab), Maia later found a large Horseshoe crab shell, and we often saw lots of little (living) crabs near our beach house.

We observed pelicans and other shore birds, watched for dolphins (we usually see some in the morning along Folly Beach, but didn’t on this trip), and wanted very much to see newly-hatched Loggerhead turtles.

Folly Beach Trip 2014 Out on the Pier

The Folly Beach Pier

The Folly Beach Pier is a great place for a family stroll, people watching, fishing, and getting out over the water.

Folly Beach Trip 2014 Family Photo

We also used it for an impromptu photo shoot and our two families took turns capturing family pics. Even the kids got in on the action, although I think I’ll save those photos for a different post.

Charleston Water Taxi with Kids

Day Trip to Charleston

On our last day, we spent an afternoon in Charleston, first at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry (the kids had lots of fun but I didn’t think it compared all that favorably to other children’s museums we’ve been to) and then taking the water taxi as a boat tour of the harbor, with a jump-off at Market Street for pizza, ice cream, and people watching.

The best part?

Watching a pod of dolphins swim and jump close by as the boat left Market Street! I would highly recommend the water taxi to anyone visiting Charleston (with or without children).

Barefoot on Folly Beach

More of what we did during our week at Folly Beach

We swapped date nights with our friends during the week and got in a lovely fish dinner at the Crab Shack followed by another walk out on the Folly Beach Pier afterward.

I stayed back at the beach house one morning to participate in my first podcastWhile She Naps by Abby Glassenberg. The episode will air on August 18th and also includes Amie Plumley of Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids will Love to Make. So mark your calendar to tune in if you want to hear about creativity with kids, my all-time fave art material, and great tips on sewing with kids.

When not in the water or exploring the island, we read books, cooked, watched our butterflies hatch, played some of our favorite games (Color Go Fish and Catan, Jr.) and learned a couple of new ones our friends brought—Suspend (awesome! just ordered a set for ourselves), and Gobblet Gobblers, which the kids loved but I didn’t get a chance to try.

And, of course, we tried our hand at a variety of ocean arts and crafts activities (which I’ll share with you in my next post!).

How about you? Have you been to Folly Beach? What are your favorite family beach activities (on Folly or any beach)?

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  1. Tanya says

    Looks wonderful!
    I’m off this week to the family cottage at Cameron’s Beach on the Northumberland Strait in Nova Scotia. Red sands, lots of wildlife, and warmest waters north of the Carolinas. We love to walk and explore when the tide is out. The sand goes
    for miles!

  2. says

    I love this post and some of your ideas (like the water taxi), we vacationed in Charleston (Isle of Palms) for spring break. It’s beautiful there, but I found it tricky to find things to do with the kids on days when the water was too cold to swim (though Charlestown Landing was a huge hit). Here are some pics – http://bedtimemonsters.blogspot.com/search/label/Charleston%202014.

    I keep reading your blog and thinking about how I need to art more with the kids this summer. You always inspire me.

  3. molly says

    I’ve not been on the computer much this summer but seeing your pictures on Instagram (on my phone) made me want to visit the beach in the worst way. Lake Superior is my favorite but you can’t see dolphins or other sea life there! We may have to visit Folly Beach at some point, it looks lovely. Thanks for sharing. :)

  4. says

    We just keft the Folly Beach area and loved it as well. We stay at the Isle of Plams and. He de used to check out Folly Beach and the lighthouse. So glad we did. Everywhere you looked there was an opportunity to take amazing photos. So sad to leave that wonderful place!

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