About Our Beaches

Horry County is responsible for approximately 14 miles of public beaches along the Grand Strand. Our portions include the beaches:

  • Just south of the town limits of North Myrtle Beach to the Dunes Club in Myrtle Beach (includes Shore Drive, but excludes the town of Briarcliff Acres); 
  • South of Springmaid Pier to the town limits of Surfside Beach (includes the Myrtle Beach State Park and the campgrounds);
  • South of the town limits of Surfside Beach through Garden City Beach to the Georgetown county line.

Lifeguards are required to be stationed along parts of these beaches from May 15 through September 15. 

Beach Rules & Regulations

Beach Rules & Regulations

  • Alcohol is prohibited on the beach and beach accesses.
  • Fires, including grills and the releasing of Chinese lanterns, are prohibited on the beach and beach accesses.
  • No vehicles are allowed on the beach.
  • No glass allowed on the beach.
  • No sleeping on the beach or beach accesses from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m.
  • No diving or jumping from piers.
  • Animals
    • No animals are permitted on the beach from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., from May 1 through Labor Day.
    • Must be on a hand held leash no longer than 7-feet.
    • Owners must clean up after their animals.
    • Prohibited animals include reptiles and exotic animals.
  • Destruction of sea oats, beach grass/vegetation, and sand fencing is unlawful.
  • No littering on the beach or the ocean.
  • Nudity is prohibited including thong bathing suits.
  • Solicitation and commercial activities are prohibited.
  • Fireworks are prohibited on the beach and oceanfront properties that have been deemed and posted as a Firework Prohibited Zone.
  • Bicycles
    • Not permitted on the beach between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. from May 1 through Labor Day.
  • Fishing
    • Shark fishing from any pier, the beach and shore is prohibited.
      • At the time of recognition, fishermen must release sharks and any other dangerous marine animals.
    • Anyone surf fishing must obtain a valid South Carolina issued Surf Fishing License in accordance with State Law. http://www.dnr.sc.gov/fishing.html
  • Horses
    • Horses are only allowed on the beach from November 1 through February 28 in the designated equestrian zone, which is the central portion of the beach and is south of Myrtle Beach and north of Surfside Beach.
    • Horse owners must pick up after their animals.
  • Swimming
    • Swimmers are not allowed more than 50-yards from shore or less depending on conditions.
    • Swimmers are not allowed to be more than chest deep or less depending on conditions.
    • Swimmers must obey all lifeguard directions at all times.
  • Flotation devices
    • Are allowed if they are fabric covered, have a 360-degree rope with a 10 percent slack, or must be a U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation device.
    • This section does not apply to surfboards, paddleboards and skimboards.
  • Golf Carts
  • Surfing
    • Surfing is allowed anywhere along our beaches from sunrise to sunset.
    • No surfing allowed within 75-yards of any pier.
    • All surfers must wear a surfing leash with a maximum length of 7-feet at all times.
  • Shading devices
    • Approved beach franchise holders will establish the locations of their life guard stands and umbrellas.
      • Any shading devices that impede the lifeguard's view/area of responsibility, may be asked to move.
      • No shading device may be placed within 10-feet of any established umbrella line by the beach franchise holders and must be in line with or landward of the established umbrella line.
    • Shading devices, other than circular umbrellas with a circular shade no greater than seven feet six inches (7’6”) in diameter and small pop-up/blow-up cabanas for infants and very small children, 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.
    • Shading devices of any kind cannot be tied, bound, or connected in any manner.
    • All shading devices must be secured.
    • No items (shading devices, floats, chairs, etc.) can be left on the beach between the hours of 7 p.m. and 8 a.m. Items will be removed.
  • Watercraft restrictions
    • Sailboats, boats, jet skis, or other watercraft cannot be left on the beach anytime after sunset or before sunrise or left unattended.
    • Motorboats may not be operated, except jet skis or similar vessel, in the ocean within 400-yards of shore.
    • 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.

Beach Wheelchairs

Visitors can call (843) 381-8000 Monday through Friday 8am-5pm (excluding Holidays) or send an email anytime tobeachwheelchair@horrycounty.org to request a beach wheelchair.  The service is free of charge but requests must be made at least two (2) days in advance.  The number of chairs is limited so they are available on a first-come, first-serve basis only.  Usage time may be limited to two (2) days during peak demand.  Reservations can be made up to one (1) month in advance.  This service is only available for the unincorporated beaches of Horry County.  It is not available in North Myrtle Beach, Atlantic Beach, Briarcliff Acres, Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach, or the Georgetown County portion of Garden City.  For services in those areas please contact the local municipality for information.   Please include the following information in your email request:

1. Location of use (Name, address, and telephone number of Hotel)

2. Full Name

3. Home address

4. Mobile Phone Number

5. Home Phone Number

6. Home Address

7. Driver’s License Number

8. Email address

9. Any special notes or information.

When request has been received you will receive a telephone call and/or email to confirm receipt of the request within 24 hours.

Beach Weddings

Most beach weddings will not require the issuance of a Special Event Permit. However, it is conceivable that a wedding could exceed the Special Event Permit threshold, and a permit would be necessary. The threshold for requiring a Special Event Permit is listed below:

  • Weddings with 500 or more participants.
  • Weddings with 101 or more chairs.
  • Weddings utilizing a tent.
  • Weddings that do not meet the standards listed below.

General guidelines for wedding requiring no permit are as follows:

  • The beach is considered a public area, and no one has exclusive use of any section of the beach. With this in mind, the following location issues are applicable:
    • No activities are allowed on the beach dunes.
    • No activities are allowed to block an emergency beach access.
    • Wedding must be conducted behind any established lifeguard umbrella lines.
    • Parking is allowed only in appropriate parking areas.
    • During the busiest beach season, May 1 through Labor Day, the following rules apply:
      • Weddings without chairs or other props, such as arbors, flower stands, arches, platforms, PA systems, etc. are allowed at any other time.
      • Weddings with chairs or other props, such as arbors, flower stands, arches, platforms, PA systems, etc., are allowed after 5:00 p.m. Setup is not allowed before 5:00 p.m.
      • Amplified sound is restricted to a portable system for use in the wedding ceremony.
      • All other federal, state, and local laws and ordinances must be adhered to.
    • A Horry County Business License is required for anyone who performs a service within the unincorporated areas of Horry County.
    • It is recommended that you not throw rice on the beach. There is also a county ordinance about feeding wild fowl, so throwing bird seed is also prohibited.
    • The releasing of Chinese lanterns is prohibited.
    • If you have additional questions, please contact Horry County Police Beach Patrol at (843) 915-7953.

Marriage Licenses – A South Carolina marriage license can be obtained from Horry County Probate Court. They can be reached at (843) 915-5370 or visit them at http://www.horrycounty.org/Departments/ProbateCourt.aspx