Beach Guide

The Grand Strand contains over 50 miles of beach along the Atlantic Coast from Little River to Georgetown, South Carolina. With so many different beaches for tourists and locals to visit, different sections of beaches have their own rules & regulations regarding swimming, boating, surfing, animals, fishing, etc.

General Beach Rules

The following rules apply when visiting beaches in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, and Surfside Beach.

  • Swimming is not permitted beyond 50 yards from the beach or over shoulder depth; lifeguards can change this rule depending on rough water conditions
  • No vehicles (except emergency & lifeguard vehicles) are to be driven on the beach
  • Fireworks are not allowed on the beach; fireworks are only permitted at private residences in the unincorporated areas of Horry County
  • No solicitation or passing out promotional flyers/items is allowed on the beach
  • No glass containers are permitted on the beach
  • Alcohol is prohibited on all beaches in Horry County
  • No open fires or grills are allowed on the beach
  • All beach umbrellas must be placed at least 10 feet to the rear of all lifeguard stands and chairs
  • Loud music is prohibited
  • Thong bathing suits are illegal to wear on the beach
  • Changing into bathing suits is not allowed in public bathrooms
  • No baiting, fishing for, or attracting sharks is allowed within half of a mile of the beach
  • No sleeping is allowed on the beach from 9 p.m. to sunrise
  • Littering is not tolerated; please throw away all of your trash
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Animal & Dog Public Beach Laws

In Horry County, whether at the beach or in residential areas, dogs must be on a leash at all times. Different public beaches have different rules regarding when dogs are welcome at the beach in Horry County. Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their dogs at the beach.

Myrtle Beach

  • May 15th - September 15th: no dogs are allowed on the beach from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except assistance dogs.
  • March 1st - September 30th: no dogs or animals are allowed between 21st Avenue North & 13th Avenue South whether on the beach or on Ocean Boulevard.

North Myrtle Beach

  • May 15th - September 15th: no dogs are allowed on the beach from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except assistance dogs.

Surfside Beach

  • May 15th - September 15th: no dogs are permitted on the beach.
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Jet Ski Rules & Regulations

Similar to general beach rules in Horry County, different beaches have different regulations that govern the use of jet skis & wave runners near beach areas. It is illegal to operate a jet ski or wave runner while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in all of Horry County.

Myrtle Beach

  • April 15th - September 15th: all jet skis & wave runners must remain 100 yards from all beach areas during this time frame; jet skis can be launched from and returned to the beach if they remain perpendicular to the beach. During launching & returning, all jet skis must be operated as slowly as surf conditions permit and must avoid all swimmers.
  • The exception to this rule is that jet skis are not allowed to launch or return to the beach in the area of 29th Avenue South to 31st Avenue North and 69th Avenue North to 77th Avenue North between April 15th and September 15th.

North Myrtle Beach

  • May 15th - September 15th: between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., no jet skis or wave runners can be returned or launched from any public beaches during these months.
  • All jet skis must remain 100 yards from the beach and 50 yards from swimmers except when returning or launching a jet ski.

Surfside Beach

  • May 15th - September 15th: all jet skis & wave runners must remain 150 yards from all beach areas during this time frame.
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Surfing Rules & Regulations

Individual beaches along the Grand Strand also have their own set of rules that apply to surfers.

Myrtle Beach

  • Surfing is prohibited within 150 feet of fishing piers
  • April 30thth - September 15th: no surfing is allowed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during this time period except in the following locations:
    • 37th Avenue North to 47th Avenue North
    • 82nd Avenue North to North city limits
    • 62nd Avenue North to 68th Avenue North
    • South side of 8th Avenue North to the north end of the public boardwalk - this location can only be used October 1st - March 15th
  • There are no restrictions on surfing after September 15th through April 29th.

North Myrtle Beach

  • Surfing is prohibited within 300 feet of any fishing pier
  • All surfers must wear a surfing leash at all times
  • May 15th - September 15th: no surfing is allowed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during this period except in the following locations:
    • Beginning 300 feet north of Cherry Grove Pier and ending 600 feet north of the point of beginning
    • 13th Avenue South
    • 27th Avenue South
    • 38th Avenue South
    • Beginning 150 feet south of 6th Avenue North and ending 900 feet north of the point of beginning

Surfside Beach

  • Surfing is prohibited within 300 feet of the fishing pier
  • All surfers must wear a surfing leash at all times
  • May 15th - September 15th: surfing is allowed only in designated surfing areas between 10 a.m. & 5 p.m.
  • After September 15th through May 14th, surfing is allowed anywhere along the beach from sunup to sundown; surfers must still stay 300 feet from the fishing pier and wear leashes

For more information regarding any of the rules listed in this guide, please visit the City of Myrtle Beach, City of North Myrtle Beach, or City of Surfside Beach websites for a detailed listing of all beach ordinances. Each city has a detailed list of all of their ordinances regarding beach activities.

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Beach Parking

Parking is available near most beach areas along the Grand Strand. Since a lot of parking is metered, remember to bring quarters when heading out to the beach.

Myrtle Beach

  • March 15th - September 15th: meters are enforced during this time period; be sure to check each individual meter, hours of operation and enforcement vary by area
    • Meters with green stickers allow 24-hour parking ($6/day), red stickers allow up to three hours of parking, and blue stickers allow up to two hours of parking
    • All meters accept U.S. coins and pay-stations accept U.S. bills (up to $10), coins, debit cards, and credit cards
    • Be sure to feed the meters, parking tickets begin at $20 in Myrtle Beach
    • For parking related questions in Myrtle Beach, call 843-626-PARK
  • Pavilion Parking Garage - rates vary by season; daily, nightly, weekly, and monthly parking options are available

Surfside Beach

  • Metered parking is available in 12 different locations around Surfside Beach; meters accept quarters
  • Parking is enforced throughout Surfside Beach, cars will be ticketed
    • 16th - 17th Avenue North
    • 6th Avenue North
    • 3rd Avenue South
    • Surfside Pier
    • Yaupon Avenue
    • 3rd - 6th Avenue South
    • 13th Avenue South
    • Melody Lane
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Piers

There are eight piers located along the Grand Strand. Listed below are the locations and a brief description of each pier. Many of the piers operate on a seasonal schedule so pay close attention to each pier’s operating hours. A South Carolina fishing permit is not required to fish from the piers since a fishing fee is charged to each individual. Deposits are required for piers offering rod rentals. No shark fishing is permitted from the piers.

Garden City Beach

The Pier At Garden City

110 South Waccamaw Drive
843-651-9700

Admission: $9 for adult fishers, $4.50 for children fishers 12 & under, free admission for walkers/spectators
Peak Season Hours: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. (Sun-Thur) & 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. (Fri & Sat)

The Pier At Garden City is open from March through December and features fishing, a bait shop, arcade, and a cafe. The café and bar typically close during the winter months. Weekly and season tickets for fishing from the pier are available along with rod rentals.

North Myrtle Beach

Cherry Grove Pier

3500 North Ocean Boulevard
843-249-1625

Admission: $1.50 for walkers/spectators, $1.50 admission plus $6/rod for fishers
Summer Hours: 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. (Sun-Thurs.) & 6 a.m. - Midnight (Fri & Sat)

The Cherry Grove Pier is 985 feet in length and features fishing, a gift shop, tackle shop, and a restaurant. Rod rentals are available for $20/day or $13 for half-day rentals (after 3 p.m.). King Mackerel passes are $16/day. Season passes for walkers are available.

Myrtle Beach

Apache Pier

9700 Kings Road
843-497-6486

Hours: for current hours & admission prices, call the above phone number

The Apache Pier is the longest pier along the East Coast and measures 1,220 feet in length. Unlike other piers in the Myrtle Beach area, this pier is open all year. The pier features fishing, a bait shop, an indoor arcade, and nightly entertainment during the summer. To access the pier, visitors must enter through the main gate of the Apache Family Campground. Parking is $2/car.

Myrtle Beach State Park Pier

4401 South Kings Highway
843-238-5326

Admission: $4/adult, $2.50 for SC senior citizens, and $1.50 for children ages 6-15
Hours: 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. (March - November) & 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. (December - February)

Located inside Myrtle Beach State Park, this pier features fishing, a bait shop, and gift shop. Admission prices are also for entrance into the park. For more information about Myrtle Beach State Park, see the section entitled State Parks & Private Beach Access below.

Pier 14 Restaurant, Lounge, & Fishing Pier

1306 North Ocean Boulevard
843-448-6500

Admission: $6/person to fish, free admission to walk the pier
Hours: for seasonal hours, call the above phone number

Pier 14 features a gift shop, restaurant & lounge, a bait shop, outdoor patio and fishing. Rod rentals are available at the pier. The restaurant opens at 11:30 a.m. for lunch and dinner begins at 4:30 p.m. Sleeved shirts required for men during dinner. The lounge opens at 11:30 a.m.

Second Avenue Pier & Restaurant

200 North Ocean Boulevard
843-626-8480

Admission: $8/person to fish, $1 for walkers/spectators
Peak Season Hours: 7 a.m. - 11 p.m. (hours may vary during the offseason)

The Second Avenue Pier has been a part of Myrtle Beach history since the 1930’s and is over 900 feet in length. The pier features fishing, a bait shop, gift shop, restaurant (open for breakfast, lunch & dinner), and arcade. Rod rentals are available at the pier. The pier closes between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day.

Springmaid Pier

3200 South Ocean Boulevard
843-315-7500

Admission: $6.50/person to fish, $1 for walkers/spectators

Open year-round, Springmaid Pier features fishing and a bait shop.

Surfside Beach

Surfside Pier

11 South Ocean Boulevard
843-238-0121

Admission: $1 for walkers/spectators, $9.50/person for bottom fishing, and $12.50/person for king fishing.

The Surfside Pier is over 800 feet and length and features a bait shop, fishing, and a gift shop. The pier was originally built in the 1950’s and has been re-built several times. Rod rentals are available at the pier and weekly and annual fishing passes are also available. Annual spectator passes can be purchased for $20.

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State Parks & Private Beach Access

 

There are two conveniently located state parks along the Grand Strand where tourists and locals can enjoy access to private beaches.

Huntington Beach State Park

16148 Ocean Highway
Murrells Inlet
843-237-4400

Located in Georgetown County, this state park is 2,500 acres in size and is home to a environmental education center, salt marshes, Atalaya’s Castle, a freshwater lake where alligators reside, over 300 species of birds, a three-mile stretch of beach and more. Admission is $5/adult and $3.25 for South Carolina senior citizens. Admission is $3 for children ages 6-15 and is free for children ages 5 & younger. Season passes to the park are available for purchase. An additional $1 fee applies for those ages 6 & older touring Atalaya’s Castle. The park is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The castle is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Picnic shelters are also available to rent.

Another benefit of visiting Huntington Beach State Park is that dogs are allowed in the park and on the beaches in the park as long as they are kept on a leash at all times.

Myrtle Beach State Park

4401 South Kings Highway
843-238-5325

Myrtle Beach State Park was developed in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps under FDR’s New Deal Program. Over 300 acres in size, the park contains a nature center, fishing pier, cabins, campgrounds, nature trail, playground and more. Admission is $4/adult and $2.50 for South Carolina senior citizens. Admission is $1.50 for children ages 6-15 and is free for children 5 & younger. Season passes are also available. The park is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. March-November and from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. December-February.

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Beach Fishing

 

As of July 1st, 2009, anyone fishing from a South Carolina beach will need to purchase a saltwater fishing license. Annual licenses are $10 for residents and $35 for non-residents. Temporary 14-day licenses are $5 for residents and $11 for non-residents. The license is not required if fishing from a public fishing pier.

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