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The State.com published a story by Joey Holleman on Friday, May 25, 2007 regarding the beaches in South Carolina and the rules and regulations. I found it an interesting (and funny!) article. The link to the story no longer works, so I’ve pasted the article below. By the way, the title of the article is:

“The Beach Rules! Before going to the S.C. coast, find out what could get you arrested.”

Dozens of stories in this newspaper each year and hundreds of Web sites focus on things you can do at South Carolina’s beaches. Seldom discussed is the other side: what you CAN’T do. At least, what you can’t do legally.

For instance:

  • You can’t drive on South Carolina’s beaches. Head to Florida’s Daytona Beach if you must drive on the sand.
  • You can’t sleep overnight on South Carolina’s beaches, though the campsites at Edisto Beach State Park are mighty close.
  • You can’t strip naked on South Carolina’s beaches. A few localities (Myrtle Beach and Isle of Palms) are even more restrictive, specifically outlawing the exposure of buttocks. That means no thongs.

We examined the rules and regulations of the state’s various beach communities to help you know what not to do on your vacation this summer.

Drinking alcoholic beverages is illegal on all beaches (though the law is seldom enforced), and almost all communities outlaw bottles of any kind on the beach.

Open fires are prohibited on all beaches, but some (Surfside, Hilton Head Island) allow cooking on propane grills.

Swimming and boating regulations vary slightly, but in general you are not supposed to swim too far from shore (can’t go deeper than your head at North Myrtle Beach) and you are not supposed to drive a boat or personal watercraft too close to shore (100 yards from shore at North Myrtle, 400 yards for unincorporated Horry County areas).

Shark fishing is banned in areas where people generally swim. But just try to find somebody who surf fishes for any other species without hooking small sharks.

Shining lights directly on the beach during loggerhead turtle season is a no-no. Nearly every beach south of Horry County has specific regulations against it. Non-natural lights confuse the turtles, which are used to navigating by moonlight.

Dogs are banned from most beaches during the busiest hours of the busiest months, but the hours and months vary tremendously among beaches. Most allow dogs on a leash early in the morning or late in the evening. A few beaches allow unleashed dogs during cooler months. (See accompanying box for beach-by-beach dog and horse details.)

Hilton Head Island has the most restrictive regulations overall. In designated swimming areas, the city bans Frisbees, horseshoes, surfing, stunt kites and any team sport involving a ball from April through September.
Apparently, even at Hilton Head, you are allowed to laze on the beach (at least during the day) and swim in the surf (as long as you don’t venture out too far).

If you want to check out beach rules and regulations, a good place to start is a community’s municipal Web site. Another good resource: www.municode.com.
Reach Holleman at (803) 771-8366.

Among the more unusual rules:

Beaufort County: No dressing or undressing on the beach, except for swimsuit coverups

Edisto Beach: No lights powered by anything stronger than two D-cell batteries allowed on beach at night

Folly Beach: Can’t ride horses at night or on Center Street

Hilton Head Island: No Frisbees, horseshoes or team games involving balls on designated swimming beach April through September

Hilton Head Island: Can’t wear anything that might indicate you’re a lifeguard, unless you are a working lifeguard

Myrtle Beach: Can’t change clothes in public lavatories

North Myrtle Beach: Can’t jump off piers

Sullivan’s Island: No horses (or donkeys or elephants or Gamecocks or Tigers)

Sullivan’s Island: Need a permit to have a picnic with more than 10 people

DOGGONE IT! Beach-by-beach regulations:

Beaufort County: Dogs must be on leash

Edisto Beach: Must be on leash May through October

Folly Beach: Not allowed on beach 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May through September; otherwise must be on leash

Georgetown County: Must be on leash

Hilton Head Island: Not allowed on beach 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day; otherwise must be on leash or under voice control

Horry County: Not allowed on beach 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 1-Sept. 1; at other times, must be on leash

Isle of Palms: Allowed 5 to 10 a.m. November through March, 5 to 8 a.m. April through October; must be on leash

Kiawah: Must be on leash March 16 through October

Myrtle Beach: Not allowed on beach 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 15-Sept. 15

North Myrtle Beach: Not allowed May 15-Sept. 15; must be on leash otherwise

Sullivan’s Island: Not allowed 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April through October; must be on leash after 6 p.m.

Surfside: Not allowed on beach May 15-Sept. 15; must be on leash otherwise


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