Where the Boys and Girls Are

There’s still plenty of late sum­mer and early fall to pack those blan­kets and chairs and en­joy these four Low­coun­try beaches.

Where Charleston - - Charleston | Summer/ Fall 2014 -

FOLLY BEACH

Once a pop­u­lar spot for pi­rates and a strong­hold for Union soldiers, Folly to­day is one of the Low­coun­try’s more pop­u­lar beaches— among fam­i­lies and surfers alike. The county park of­fers life­guards on duty sea­son­ally, and an East­ern Brown Pel­i­can rook­ery known as Skim­mer Flats is vis­i­ble on its west end. Park­ing fees at Folly—as well as Isle of Palms and Ki­awah Beach­walker parks—are $7 per ve­hi­cle Mon-Fri and $10 Sat-Sun, May through La­bor Day, and $7 daily MarchApril and Sept.- Oct. Park­ing is free Novem­ber through Fe­bru­ary. 1100 W. Ash­ley Ave., Folly Beach, ccprc.com, 843.588.2426 or 843.795.4386

ISLE OF PALMS IOP

IOP was de­vel­oped in the lat­ter ’90s by the Charleston County Park & Re­cre­ation Com­mis­sion be­cause of pub­lic de­mand for im­proved beach ac­cess in the East Cooper/Mount Pleas­ant area. Vis­i­tors can stay and play golf at Wild Dunes Re­sort, and sev­eral other ho­tels and a num­ber of va­ca­tion rentals are of­fered on the is­land.In the midst of that re­sort at­mos­phere is the Isle of Palms County Park, which of­fers white, sandy ocean frontage and mod­ern-day ameni­ties, in­clud­ing a chil­dren’s play area. Life­guards are on duty sea­son­ally. 1 14th Ave., Isle of Palms, ccprc.com, 843.886.3863 or 843.795.4386

KI­AWAH IS­LAND

Con­sis­tently ranked in Amer­ica’s “Top 10 Beaches” by pro­fes­sor Stephen P. “Dr. Beach” Leather­man (it’s No. 9 in his 2014 list), Ki­awah Beach­walker Park— on the west end of Ki­awah Is­land just a few miles south of Johns Is­land— of­fers both ocean frontage and a river view. It is the only pub­lic beach ac­cess on the mostly gated is­land, which also is home to the Ki­awah Is­land Golf Re­sort. Life­guards are on duty sea­son­ally at Beach­walker, and like the other county-run beaches listed here, al­co­hol is not per­mit­ted. 8 Beach­walker Drive , Ki­awah Is­land, ccprc.com, 843.768.2395 or 843.795.4386

SUL­LI­VAN’S IS­LAND

As op­posed to the other parks, which are coun­tyrun, this beach is op­er­ated by the Town of Sul­li­van’s Is­land. There are no chang­ing rooms, show­ers or re­strooms; thus, it’s the area’s most na­tive beach. With no life­guards, vis­i­tors must be ex­tra cau­tion­ary of rip tides and sand­bars. Fort Moul­trie was con­structed on the is­land in 1776, or the same year in which colo­nials dealt the Bri­tish a ma­jor de­feat. Fort tours and ex­hibits are avail­able at its vis­i­tors cen­ter. (Note: Beach park­ing is off-street only, no lots.) Sta­tions 9–22 1/2, Mid­dle Street, Sul­li­van’s Is­land, sul­li­van­sis­land-sc.com, 843.883.3198

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