Where to Watch the Sunset on Folly Beach

Sunset at Folly Beach County Park. Photo by Robert Grooms.

Folly Beach is known for its natural beauty (just like all of Charleston’s beaches), and everyone knows that sunsets go hand-in-hand with natural beauty. There are several great places to catch a sunset on Folly Beach, and the reality is when you’re in such a beautiful place, it’s sometimes simply enough to look outside, no matter where you may find yourself at the time of the sunset.

However, if you want to actually watch the sun slip below the horizon, there are certain vantage points that offer a clear view. The key here is to find a spot with an unobstructed view of the horizon to the west, which in the case of Folly Beach means that you’re looking for a spot overlooking the salt marshes.

While popular spots like the Morris Island Lighthouse or the Folly Beach Pier may be nice at sunset, the lighthouse faces northeast and the pier faces southeast, so you can’t actually see the sunset from here. The sunset is blocked by trees at the lighthouse, and buildings at the pier, although these spots do offer clear views at sunrise.

The same is true for much of the beachfront, but rest assured there are still several great ways to catch a sunset at Folly Beach, after a long day spent exploring. Read on for a few of our favorites.

Folly Beach County Park

Sunset at Folly Beach County Park. Photo by Evan Cook.

Located at the western tip of Folly Beach is the Folly Beach County Park, one of the prime sunset viewing spots on the island. The beach here wraps around the southern tip of the island, so you can walk out and find a nice spot on the beach to sit and watch the day come to a close.

Other options for sunset viewing at the county park include watching from the open deck at the Dunes House, the main facility building for the park, or even sitting in your car in the parking lot. Keep in mind, though, that the park closes at sunset, so they will often stop letting cars in up to an hour prior, so get there early or be prepared for some walking.

Sunset Cay Marina

Sunset Cay Marina at sunset. Photo by Rob Hemker.

The aptly-named Sunset Cay Marina is another great spot to watch the sunset on Folly Beach. The marina has a bar upstairs in the main building that offers a fabulous marsh view, so you can enjoy a crispy adult beverage while mother nature gives her nightly performance.

Sunset Cay often has live music to accompany the sunset, and other times, making it a cool place to stop in while hanging out on Folly Beach, whether or not the sun is currently setting.

Bowens Island

Bowens Island at sunset. Photo by David Torman.

One of the coolest restaurants near Folly Beach, Bowens Island, also offers a fantastic marsh view of the sunset. While it is a bit of a drive down Folly Road from the beach, the winding dirt road that leads to the restaurant reveals an old wooden building with a dock overlooking the Folly Creek.

The marsh views alone make it worth the visit to Bowens Island, and the seafood is the icing on the cake. Order from the counter and find yourself a comfortable seat with a view, an ice cold beverage and the sun going down over creeks and marshes buzzing with dolphins and other marine life.

Bowens Island are closed every Sunday and Monday, and open from 11am to 9:30pm Tuesday thru Saturday.

Sail Folly

Photo by Zach Ubaldini, Treetop Drone Creations.

If you prefer to catch your sunset on the water, rather than just over it, book a sunset sail with Sail Folly. Spend some time exploring the rivers and creeks surrounding Folly Beach, and then enjoy a relaxing view of the sunset as the sea breeze settles down for the day.

Sail Folly sails daily during the warm weather months of the year, with sunset sails happening every night aboard one of their two 27-foot Stiletto catamarans. These lightweight, fast, stable boats offer an ideal way to explore the shallow and narrow waterways surrounding Folly Beach, with excellent sunset views and friendly captains providing local knowledge and conversation.

For bookings and more info, visit sailfolly.com. Use code ECHILL for $10 off your charter!

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