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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 May 15 through September 15, only circular umbrellas, up to seven-and-a-half feet in diameter, are allowed. From September 16 to May 14, tents and canopies up to 10-by-10 square feet are allowed at Surfside Beach, Myrtle Beach allows 12-by-12 feet. 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 midnight 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. Jet skis may not be operated in the ocean within 100-yards of shore from May 1 through Labor Day.  However, it is ok to launch and return jet skis from the beach. Sailboats, kite surfing, and like devices may not be operated in the ocean within 100-yards of shore from May 1 through Labor Day. However, it is ok to launch and return such devices from the beach.

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.

From May 1 through Labor Day, kayaks and surfboards are allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the following locations only: From 710 feet of the Center Line of the 29th Avenue South Street-End to the Southernmost End of City Limits, From 34th Avenue North to 47th Avenue North, From 78th Avenue North to 81st Avenue North, From 87th Avenue North to the Northernmost End of City Limits, From 62nd Avenue North to 68th Avenue North. 

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. Jet skis are not permitted to operate any closer than 150 yards from the shoreline between May 15 and September 15.

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. 

Operation of any watercraft in a reckless or negligent manner is strictly prohibited. Operation of any watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is unlawful.

Boat parking-storage is provided for at the designated parking facility located between 3rd Ave. and 4th Avenue South on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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 seven feet in length and under the control of the person having custody of the animal. Animals are not allowed on the beach from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., from May 1 through Labor Day. 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

May 15 through September 15: No dogs allowed on the beach 9 am to 5 pm. Surf only in designated areas 9 am to 4 pm. Leash law is in effect at all times; maximum leash length is 7 feet.

Surfside Beach

Dogs or other domestic pets are not permitted on the public beach between the hours of 10 am to 5 pm from May 1 through Labor Day. All other times leashed dogs are allowed on the beach. 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. Dogs must be leashed from 9 am to 7 pm. Dogs that are not leashed during other hours must be under voice control and owners must be able to demonstrate voice control to a law enforcement officer if asked. At Pawleys Island, All dogs must be on a leash from May 1 through Sept 30 from 8 am to 8 pm. 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. No horses on the beach from March 1 to October 31. 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.

Golf Carts

The golf cart must be insured, permitted, and registered with SCDMV using the following link. The golf cart must remain within 4 miles of your home, where it is legal to drive.The golf cart may be operated on roads with posted speeds of 35 mph or less. The golf cart may be operated during daylight hours only. The driver must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license.

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