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Be safe, have fun and follow the law!

State and Local Laws

Help us maintain a safe family resort by obeying the following state and local laws. For your convenience, we've compiled a quick link reference below of beach regulations for local municipalities.

Beaches/Ocean

Swimming

Swimming is not permitted beyond 50 yards from the beach or over shoulder depth, unless otherwise stated by lifeguard. Jumping or diving from piers is prohibited. Swimming within 75 yards of a pier is prohibited. Only canvas rafts may be used in the ocean, and rafts must have safety ropes. Swimwear is subject to city ordinances in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and Surfside Beach. It is illegal for anyone to wear a thong bathing suit.

Umbrellas

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, only circular umbrellas, up to seven-and-a-half feet in diameter, are allowed. From the day after Labor Day until Memorial Day, tents and canopies up to 12-by-12 square feet are allowed. Umbrellas must be in line with or behind the lifeguards' line of umbrellas or landward of the mean high tide line. Tents and canopies, when allowed, must be 10 feet behind the established umbrella line.

Sea Oats

It is illegal to cut, break, or otherwise destroy sea oat plants, beach grass or sand fencing.

Sleeping on the Beach

Sleeping on the beach or at a beach access is not allowed between 9 p.m. and sunrise.

Campfires

It is illegal to build a fire or use a propane-fired grill or other cooker on the beach.

Soliciting on the Beach

Soliciting on the beach or other public property is illegal.

Alcoholic Beverages

It is unlawful for any person under 21 to buy, possess or consume alcoholic beverages.

Open containers of beer, wine or liquor are prohibited in any public place including streets, sidewalks and beach areas.

Glass Containers

Glass containers are prohibited on the beach.

Fireworks

Discharging of fireworks is illegal within the city limits of municipalities along the Grand Strand. Establishments that sell fireworks within Horry County are required to post in a conspicuous location rules and regulations regarding fireworks.

Litter

Disposing of litter or solid waste is illegal on public and private property and in S.C. waters. Cigarette butts are considered litter. The court may impose fines, litter cleanup hours, and jail time.

Driving on the Beach

It is unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle on the beach or within public marsh areas.

Boating/Surfing

Horry County

It is illegal to use any equipment in a manner that would endanger bathers, swimmers, surfers, or others in the water. Sailboats, motorboats and Jet skis (or other personal watercraft) must remain at least 400 feet from the shoreline and 500 feet from any fishing pier, with the exception of entering or exiting the ocean. Sailboats, motorboats and Jet skis may not be launched or retrieved within 50 yards of a lifeguard stand, unless otherwise designated.

Myrtle Beach

All aquatic activity within 150 feet of a pier is illegal. Boats and Jet skis (or other personal watercraft) may not be operated within 100 yards of shore April 15-Sept. 15; however, Jet skis may be launched and returned to the beach on a course perpendicular to the beach. Boats and Jet skis may not be launched from the beach or returned to the beach April 15-Sept. 15 in the area from 29th Ave. S. to 31st Ave. N., and from 69th Ave. N. to 77th Ave. N.

Surfing and kayaking are restricted to certain areas April 15-Sept. 15. During those dates, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., surfing and kayaking are allowed only in these areas: from 29th Ave. S. to the southern city limits at Springmaid Pier, from 39th Ave. N. to 47th Ave. N., from 62nd Ave. N. to 68th Ave. N., and from 82nd Ave. N. to the northern city limits. The area from the south side of 8th Ave. N. to the north end of the public boardwalk may be used for surfing or kayaking Oct. 1-April 15. Kayaks launched and returned to the beach on a course perpendicular to the beach for use out of the surf zone are not subject to the previously mentioned time and area restrictions.

North Myrtle Beach

Motorized watercraft may not be launched from the beach from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 15-Sept. 15. Jet skis, catamarans, sailboats or other watercraft may not operate within 100 yards of the shoreline or within 50 yards of any swimmer. Surfing is not allowed from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 15-Sept. 15, except in these designated areas: Cherry Grove Pier, 13th Ave. S., 28th Ave. S., 38th Ave. S. and 6th Ave. N.

Surfside Beach

Access to the beach for motorized or nonmotorized boats or Jet skis is limited to the designated ramp at 4th Ave. S. No motorized vehicle may be used to transport watercraft across the ramp and onto the beach. Watercraft must remain a minimum of 50 yards offshore.

Surfing is not allowed between 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 15-Sept. 15, except in an area beginning 270 feet south of 12th Ave. N. and extending north to 14th Ave. N., and in an area beginning 300 feet north of 13th Ave. S. and extending south into Garden City Beach. All surfers are required to wear a surfing leash at all times.

Animals

Owners are responsible for the removal of pet waste on beaches and other public property.

Horry County

Any animal on the beach must be on a hand-held leash not to exceed six feet in length and under the control of the person having custody of the animal. Animals are not allowed on the beach from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 1-Sept. 1. It is unlawful to ride a horse or other animal on the public beach or within public marsh areas within the county limits March 1-Oct. 31.

Myrtle Beach

From May 1 through Labor Day, dogs are allowed on the beach only before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m.  From the day after Labor Day to April 30 each year, dogs are allowed on the beach at any time of day. (Note: At all times, dogs must be on a leash seven feet or shorter, and you must pick up and properly dispose of droppings.)

Dogs and bicycles are allowed on the boardwalk only between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. from May 1 through Labor Day.  From the day after Labor Day through April 30 each year, dogs and bicycles are allowed on the boardwalk at any time. (Note: At all times, dogs must be on a leash seven feet or shorter, and you must pick up and properly dispose of droppings.)

North Myrtle Beach

Dogs in public must be on a leash at all times. No dogs are allowed on the beach from
9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 15-Sept. 15.

Surfside Beach

Dogs are not allowed on the beach at any time May 15-Sept. 15. Riding horses on the beach is prohibited.

Georgetown County

Dogs are allowed on public beaches if accompanied by the owner or keeper and under the physical control by means of a leash or similar restraining device, or under the control of a responsible person to whom the dog is obedient on command. On Pawleys Island beach, dogs must be on a leash May-October. At Huntington Beach State Park, dogs must be on a leash at all times. In areas designated for the protection of endangered species, dogs and cats must be on a leash at all times. Horses are not allowed on the beach March 15-Sept. 15. Riding horses on Pawleys Island or Huntington Beach State Park is prohibited year round.

Roads/Highways

Highways

  • Seat belts must be worn at all times in a moving vehicle.
  • Children 17 and younger in moving vehicles must be restrained at all times by means appropriate for child's age and seating location (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
  • Open containers of beer, wine or liquor are prohibited in vehicles.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal; penalties include a fine of more than $750 and loss of driver's license in South Carolina or driver's home state.
  • Vehicle headlights must be on if operating windshield wipers due to rain or poor road conditions.
  • Motorcyclists are required to use headlights at all times.
  • Right turns may be made on a red light throughout the state, except where a sign denotes "No Right on Red." Stop before turning and give way to traffic already in intersection.
     

Cruising

Cruising is regulated by the Myrtle Beach Police Department between 3rd Ave. S. and 21st Ave. N. on Ocean Boulevard from 2 a.m.-6 a.m. March 1-Oct. 1.

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