Welcome to our beautiful beaches!

Did you know that your beach lifeguard services and water safety programs are solely funded by your umbrella rental contributions? Lack’s Beach Service lifeguards handle the umbrella rentals on a first come basis. Their office can be reached (843) 448-7741.

Learn about our beaches at checkmybeach.com.

Safety Rules to Remember

  1. Learn to swim. It’s Fun!
  2. Check with the lifeguard before entering the water.
  3. Swim near a lifeguard.
  4. Never swim alone.
  5. Join a Junior Lifeguard Program.
  6. Never dive head first into unknown waters or into shallow breaking waves.
  7. Don’t mix alcohol with swimming.
  8. Protect yourself from the sun. Use sunscreen.

Horry County Beach Ordinances

In May 2014, Horry County Council enacted significant changes to the regulation of activities on the beaches in the unincorporated areas of the County (Ordinance #27-11). See Horry County site here. The new regulations in their entirety are summarized as follows:

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

NOTE:  Ocean Lakes has several Beach Wheelchairs for their guests to use, simply sign one out in the Recreation Office.
Horry County visitors can call (843) 381-8000, M-F from 8a-5p,to request a beach wheelchair. Requests for a beach wheelchair are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Beach Weddings

NOTE: Ocean Lakes guests can coordinate a date with the Recreation team. Call (843) 238-0130.
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

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