Beach Laws - Myrtle Beach
and the Grand Strand Area
You also may be interested in Myrtle Beach Parking meters and beach access parking

Alcoholic Beverages - Drug Possession

It is unlawful for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, possess, or consume alcoholic beverages. See this WMBF News story
Open cntainers of beer, wine and liquor are prohibited in any public place including streets, sidewalks and beach areas.

The Grand Strand has zero tolerance for drug possession and related crimes.


Owners are responsible for removing pert waste on the beaches and other public property.

Horry County laws:
Dogs in public must be on a leash at all times. Dogs are allowed on the beach only before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. each day through Labor Day

Myrtle Beach City Laws :

Dogs and bicycles are allowed on the beach only before10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. each day through Labor Day.

At all times when dogs are allowed, they must be on a leash of seven feet or shorter, and you must pick up and properly dispose of your pet's droppings.

On the Boardwalk - dogs and bicycles May 1st through Labor Day, pets are allowed on the beach only before 10:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m.  At all times, pets must be on a leash of seven feet or shorter, and owners must pick up and properly dispose of any droppings.  Bicycles also must observe the “before 10:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m.” rule for the beach.  However, on the boardwalk, pets and bicycles are allowed only in the mornings, from 5:00 to 10:00 a.m., during the May-Labor Day window.  Pets still must be leashed, of course, and droppings properly removed.

North Myrtle Beach laws:
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 laws:
Dogs are not allowed on the beach at anytime May 15 - Sept. 15. Riding horses on the beach is prohibited.

Georgetown County laws
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.

Beach Tents

Tent laws are NEW!

Shading devices, other than circular umbrellas with a circular shade no greater than seven feet six inches (7’6”) in diameter, are not permitted on the beach (year-round).  This includes, but is not limited to, tents, tarps, cabanas, pavilions, sports-brellas, or similar devices.  An umbrella is defined as a collapsible circular shade consisting of a natural or synthetic fabric shade stretched over hinged ribs radiating from a central pole without grounding lines or ropes.



Riding Horses on the Beach

Horseback riding on the beach is allowed from the third Saturday in November until the end of February each year, subject to the rules listed below. No permit is needed.

1. Not more than 6 horses and riders on a single group at one time.

2. Riding across or on any of the sand dune is prohibited.

3. Access to the beach will be from Myrtle Beach State Park.

4. There will be no parking of horse trailers on the public right-of-ways.

5. All riders will be required to clean up after their horses in all areas landward of the mean tide line.

There is a $25.00 per horse fee.

Phone: (843) 238-5325 for more information.

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. Sailboard, motor boats,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 5-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 non-motorized 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 rquired to wear a surfing leash at all times


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

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.


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 rules and regulations regarding fireworks in a conspicuous location

Glass Containers

Glass containers are prohibited on the beach.


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.


Seat belts must be worn at all times in a moving vehicle.
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 $200 and loss of driver's license in South Carolina and 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.

Children 17 or younger in a moving vehicle must be restrained at all times by means appropriate for child's age and seating location (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

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.

Motorcycle operators and passengers under 21 must wear an approved helmet under South Carolina law

Cruising in Myrtle Beach. 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.

Sea Oats

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

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

Soliciting on the Beach
Soliciting on the beach or other public property is illegal.

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 50 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.

Thanks for this information: Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. and the City of Myrtle Beach.

Got questions? Visit our Myrtle Beach Message Board

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