2023 Beach Rules for North Myrtle Beach

Summer is fast approaching, and you’re likely counting the days til the next time you can park your toes in the sand. If you’re headed to the shores of North Myrtle Beach, you need to know a few things before visiting.  

Similar to other beach communities, the city of North Myrtle Beach has passed ordinances and laws that encompass its f main beach areas: Windy Hill, Cherry Grove, Crescent Beach, Ocean Drive, and Atlantic Beach. These rules are in place to preserve the beautiful Grand Strand coastline and keep this family-fun destination safe. 

To help you make the most of your beach trip, we’ve compiled some helpful information about North Myrtle Beach beach laws, rules, and regulations. 

Parking at North Myrtle Beaches

Photo Credit: GagliardiPhotography

North Myrtle has over 50 year-round parking locations in the city limits with public beach access. Parking is free in the off-season, but from March to October will cost you around $3 an hour. There are pay stations located in the lots and an app available for online payment. The city provides access to an interactive parking map that provides specific parking locations. 

No parking is permitted beyond the posted beach access sign, and doing so will risk you a swift towing! 

Parking can be a big hassle on a beach vacation; staying on the beach eliminates that issue! Of course, parking is not an issue if you’re staying in an oceanfront condo or rental home. You have instant walk-out access to the beach!

Beach Shade

Photo Credit: StacieStauffSmith Photos

If you’re spending the day on the beach, you’re going to need some shade. Be aware of the following requirements and restrictions for the use of shading devices around North Myrtle Beach. 

Summer gets busy, so no tents, cabanas, canopies, sports umbrellas, tarps, pavilions, or other large shading devices are allowed during peak season (May 15 to September 15). You are permitted to use round umbrellas with circular shades. The center pole of the umbrella may not be more than 7 ft 6 inches tall and no more than 9 feet in diameter. 

If you’re traveling with younger children, baby beach tents are permitted. They must be less than 36 inches tall and wide to be allowed. 

Please be mindful of the placement of your shading devices. They must not be in the way of any emergency personnel needing access to the beach. 

You can find the full North Myrtle Beach shading law here

Dogs and Pets on North Myrtles Beaches

Photo Credit: LisaCarter

Sometimes vacations are better with your best furry friend. North Myrtle is a pretty dog-friendly beach, but you need to be mindful of some restrictions. During the peak season (May 15 to September 15), dogs are not allowed on the beach from 9 am to 5 pm. North Myrtle does have a leash law that must be followed. Leashes may not be longer than 7 feet. 

Always keep an eye on your pup and potential distractions. Keep a bag handy. Pet waste must be picked up and properly disposed of. 

Swimming on North Myrtle Beaches

There are 54 lifeguard towers that span the 10 miles of coastline on North Myrtle Beach. During peak season, the city tries to keep the towers fully staffed. Please be mindful of any swim advisories and check the lifeguard stands to see if any flags are displayed. These flags can indicate whether swimming is safe currently. 

North Myrtle Beach displays different colors of beach lifeguard flags to indicate different situations. 

  • Green – low hazard.
  • Yellow – moderate hazard. Moderate surf and or currents are present. 
  • Red Flag – High hazard. Swimming is strongly discouraged.
  • Double Red Flag – the beach is closed.
  • Purple Flag – dangerous marine life is present. This flag does not indicate the presence of sharks. Instead, it advises that jellyfish, stingrays, or other marine life have been spotted.

Always be aware of your surroundings when swimming. You may not swim beyond 50 yards of the shore or where the water is deeper than shoulder height. 

In addition to lifeguards, the police department patrols the area regularly.  


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As eager as you may be to grab your board and catch a big wave, you’ll have to wait until evening. Surfing and skimboarding are prohibited between the hours of 9 am to 4 pm. All surfers at North Myrtle Beach are required to wear a surfing leash at all times. This helps surfers stay safe and keeps the ocean clear of lost boards.  

Surfing on North Myrtle’s beaches is not permitted within 300 feet of the pier due to the danger of collision. There are a few other restrictions as to where you can and cannot specifically surf. You can find more information on the North Myrtle Beach Ocean Rescue website. 


Around North Myrtle Beach, you’ll find lots of areas to take a boat tour or rent a watercraft. From a leisurely paddle board ride to a jet ski flying across the white caps, you’ll find no shortage of opportunities for fun ON the ocean. 

If you’re taking a boat or other water vehicle out in North Myrtle, you’ll need to observe their watercraft perimeter. All motorized watercraft must be at least 100 yards from shore. Only ages 16 and older may drive a boat in South Carolina. Most places require an adult aged 18+ for a rental.  Minors must have signed parental consent to ride along. 

Surf Fishing

The shores of North Myrtle Beach are a great place to cast a line. You can catch redfish, seatrout, and lots of other types of fish, all while offshore fishing.

When you’re surf fishing off the coast of South Carolina, you are required to have a fishing license. You can purchase a fishing license online through the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

When fishing from the shore, be sure to find a spot with no swimmers in the area. Bait can attract all sorts of marine life, and swimmers can easily become tangled in lines. 

Prohibited items

  • Possession or consumption of alcohol on the beach is not allowed.
  • Fireworks are prohibited on the beach. 
  • Glass containers are not permitted on the beach. 
  • It is illegal to pick sea oats or remove sand fencing from the sand dunes. 
  • Littering is illegal. Carry a trash bag with you to contain your waste until you leave the beach. 

General Beach Safety Tips

  • Choose a spot close to the lifeguard. Ensure all family members know how to signal a lifeguard if they need help. 
  • When traveling with children, always keep a close eye on them. Accidents happen quickly on the beach and without warning. 
  • Re-apply sunscreen frequently, even on cloudy days. Sometimes, the worst sunburns happen when the sun isn’t even out. 
  • Always avoid swimming near someone who is fishing. The bait on their line can draw in predators, including sharks. 
  • Stay hydrated. The heat, extra activity, and saltwater can cause dehydration quickly. Be sure to take and consume lots of water throughout your day. 
  • Know how to identify rip currents. These fast currents of water flow from the beach back out to the ocean and often take swimmers by surprise. You can usually spot rip currents by looking for areas where waves aren’t breaking. You may also see foam or sand being pulled back away from the ocean shore. Lifeguards should update their flags if strong rip currents have been noted in the area. 

Safe Lounging at North Myrtle Beach 

Beach days are the best days, but the best beach days are safe ones when you stay at a North Myrtle Beach vacation home rental. So be sure to come prepared and abide by North Myrtle Beach’s rules for the best day on the sand! 

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