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Making the most of your beach trip with Charleston County Parks – tips to ensure fun all summer



By: Charleston County Parks

With beach season in full swing, many locals and tourists will flock to beaches to enjoy the scenic Lowcountry and soak up the Charleston weather. Charleston County Parks operates Folly Beach County Park (FBCP), Isle of Palms County Park (IOPCP), and Kiawah Beachwalker Park (BWP).

While it’s time for summer fun, it is crucial for all beachgoers to familiarize themselves with important tips and practices to have the most enjoyable and safe time at the beaches of the Lowcountry.

To make the most of your beach outing, Charleston County Parks advises guests to arrive at the beach parks early or later in the day. Mornings and late afternoons are great times to take in the scenic Carolina coastline. Weekends tend to be the busiest times for the beach parks, but nice weather weekdays and long holiday weekends have the potential to become very busy as well.

As large numbers of people head out to the beaches, guests should create an alternate plan just in case the park is full. Charleston County Parks also strongly encourages guests to carpool to our beach parks to help maximize parking availability. Have payment ready to help reduce wait times at park gates and be sure to only use one parking spot. The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments developed an app, Beach Reach to make planning a beach trip as easy as possible. To monitor live beach traffic cameras and to get information on parking and local rules and policies, download and use the Beach Reach app today!

Charleston County Parks’ beach parks all offer seasonally lifeguarded areas. Even with highly trained lifeguard staff on hand, it is crucial for beach-goers to familiarize themselves with important beach and water safety tips.

Charleston County Parks offers the only public guarded beaches in Charleston County and recommends always swimming under the careful watch of these ocean lifeguards. Guests should always observe and obey all lifeguard commands and warning flags and signs. Lifeguards are on duty at all three beach parks 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. weekends only May 1 – 30, daily May 31 – Aug. 13 and weekends only Aug. 14 – Sept. 26.

Parents are strongly advised to keep a constant watch on their children at all times. Charleston County Parks recommends that parents teach their children to always look for the lifeguards in the event that they get separated from their parents or caregiver. Parents should report missing children to the lifeguard staff immediately so that the search process can begin. Taking a photo of your child when you arrive at the beach can help with the search in the event your child becomes lost.

It is essential for beach-goers to learn how to identify rip currents and be able to escape from them. Rip currents are identified by choppy and different colored water, a break in a wave pattern or foam and seaweed moving out towards the sea. Charleston County Parks advises swimmers not to panic or swim against the current if you are caught in one. The best way to escape is to swim parallel to the shoreline and swim back to the shore in a diagonal direction to move away from the rip current. In addition, swimmers are urged to wave to get the lifeguards’ attention so they can assist in a rescue.

When storms arise at the beach, lightning strikes are possible. If lightning is spotted within 10 miles of a county beach park, everyone should seek shelter.

For more information on Charleston County Parks beach parks and summer safety, call 843-795-4386 or visit

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