10 Laws To Know If You’re Visiting Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach has some of the strictest beach laws in South Carolina…..

Summertime has arrived in South Carolina — which means thousands of tourists are invading Myrtle Beach every week.

Like every vacation destination in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach has its own set of unique laws that might be surprising to those who are visiting. Actually, Myrtle Beach has some of the strictest beach laws in South Carolina.

Myrtle Beach Police do enforce these laws (last year, cops detained a woman for wearing a thong bikini, for instance), so it’s best to know the rules ahead of time.

This year, Myrtle Beach officials added two new laws on digging holes and surf fishing, My Horry News first reported.

Here are 10 laws to know if you’re visiting Myrtle Beach and hitting the beaches.

Don’t dig holes deeper than 2 feet and fill in any holes you dig.

shovel digging GIF by Hunter Gatherer

No metal shovels are allowed either. This is a new law this year.

“To help prevent personal injury and to allow public safety, emergency and beach cleaning vehicles to conduct necessary activities on the beach while minimizing the risk of damage to equipment, it shall be unlawful for any person to dig a hole or trench on the beach and then depart the area of digging without having first filled such hole or trench.   No hole or trench on the beach shall be deeper than two feet.”

People who surf fish must stay 50 feet from swimmers.

water beach GIF by Outside TV

“It shall be the responsibility of the person fishing to maintain a minimum distance of 50 feet from per-sons in the water. Persons in the water shall have the right-of-way….  Fishing shall not be permitted in front of any franchisee’s established umbrella line.”  (The state requires a fishing license when fishing from the surf, but not when fishing from an ocean pier.)  

No tents, cabanas and umbrellas over 7 feet

sunny day beach GIF by Ovation TV

They are banned from the beach Memorial Day Through Labor Day.

No public nudity….

funk kondzilla GIF by MC Kevinho

This one is tricky. According to Myrtle Beach laws, it’s illegal “for any person to intentionally appear in any public place in such a state of dress or undress so as to expose to the view of others the human male or female genitals, pubic area, pubic hair, buttocks, anus, vulva or any portion of the female breast at or below the areola thereof.”

One city vacation booking website has interpreted this latter ordinance as making it “illegal for anyone to wear a thong bathing suit.”

No alcohol.

SissaAdv  GIF

Possessing/ consuming alcohol is illegal on the beach. Glass bottles are also prohibited. You could be find $200.

No littering.

Celebration Beach GIF by 4ocean

“Offenders may be required by law to assist officials in cleaning up the litter. All glass containers are prohibited on the beach.”

No dogs on the beach from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 1- Labor Day. 

Dog Sunbathing GIF by MOODMAN

Sorry, pups.

No fireworks or campfires.

fire night GIF

You can’t build a fire on a beach or use a propane grill/ any other cookers on the beach. And fireworks are illegal throughout the Grand Stand.

No driving on the beach OR destroying sea oats.

Sunrise- Hilton Head Island-South Carolina

“It is unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle on the beach or within public marsh areas.” And leave the sea oats alone.

No sleeping on the beach at night.

Sleeping on the beach between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. is illegal.



Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an investigative journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Mandy also hosts the Murdaugh Murders podcast. Want to contact Mandy? Send your tips to



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