Beaches

BEACH ACCESS

  • Visitors may access the beach from any of the Town's 36 access points.
  • Wheelchair access is available at the 3rd Avenue North entrance, Surfside Pier, and Melody Lane accesses.
  • Special Beach wheelchairs are available through the Surfside Beach Public Safety Department.
  • Please visit the Department at 811 Pine Drive or call (843)913-6368 for more information.

BEACH SHADING DEVICES ALLOWED

 

NOTE: There have been many question from the public regarding possible repeal of this ordinance. Town Council has agreed to review the ordinance at the end of the season, possibly at the October 24, 2017 regular meeting or at the next regular meeting that falls 30 days after beach renourishment.  Until further action is taken by Town Council, the ordinance remains in full force and effect.

SUMMER 2017: 

8th Avenue South southwards to Melody Lane:  Only tents measuring approximately 3' x 3' that are commonly referred to as baby tents and umbrellas measuring no more than 9' in diameter are allowed.  Umbrellas must be situated west of the lifeguard's line of sight.  Umbrellas and other beach paraphernalia may not be placed within 8' of the dune line, i.e. the area just east of stairs and crosswalks, to create a straight way reserved for emergency vehicles.

8th Avenue South northwards to 17th Avenue North:  Beach tents and canopies measuring 10' x 10' or less, and umbrellas no larger than 9' in diameter are allowed. Tents and canopies must be situated west of the lifeguard's line of sight. Tents, canopies and other beach paraphernalia may not be placed within 8' feet of the dune line, i.e. the area just east of stairs and crosswalks, to create a straight way reserved for emergency vehicles. 

 

Effective January 1, 2018: Only tents measuring approximately 3' x 3' that are commonly referred to as baby tents and umbrellas measuring no more than 9' in diameter are allowed.  Umbrellas must be situated west of the lifeguard's line of sight.  Umbrellas and other beach paraphernalia may not be placed within 8' of the dune line, i.e. the area just east of stairs and crosswalks, to create a straight way reserved for emergency vehicles.

Effective Immediately: No tents, umbrellas or other beach paraphernalia shall be left on the beach between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:30 a.m.  Any items on the beach during those times will be confiscated and disposed of appropriately.

Paraphernalia. Beach umbrellas and other beach paraphernalia shall not be placed in front of the lifeguard stands and shall be placed in a line generally parallel with the ocean strand on either side the lifeguard stands, and shall not be left unattended.

 


EMERGENCY LANE ON BEACH

 

**Note** The dune line is defined as that area just east of any  walkway, step or crossover.  The dune line is not the ‘base of the dunes’ as they now exist.  Placement of beach paraphernalia should be done in such a manner that the emergency lane should be a straight 8-foot path beginning at 17th Avenue North and extending to Melody Lane.

Ordinance 17-0842. Section 12-67 (F) Emergency Lane.  It shall be unlawful to place any beach paraphernalia within eight (8) feet of the dune line.  Said area shall remain open and free of any obstructions to provide a clear travel way for emergency vehicles, personnel and/or other emergency equipment to access the surf or other areas of the beach in the event of an emergency. Emergency access lanes perpendicular to the dune line shall remain open and unobstructed at all times. In the event of an emergency, the police chief or his designee shall direct that additional temporary emergency access lanes be created until no longer needed. (More details in Ordinance 17-0842.)


FIRES ON THE BEACH


Sec. 12-73. - Fires prohibited on the beach.

It shall be unlawful for any person to start, ignite, or maintain an open wood camp fire on any public beach, public beach access, street end adjacent to the beach, or any town-owned land immediately adjacent to the beach at any time, unless the fire is part of a town-sponsored event or by special permit for a sanctioned special event approved in advance by the administrator. Exception: Propane fired grills or other cookers heated by fire may be used for the purpose of food preparation

 


HOLES ON THE BEACH


It's a lot of fun to dig a hole on the beach, but you really can't dig to China!  Remember:

  • A cubic yard of sand (3' x 3' x 3') can weigh as much as 3,000 pounds - this is why people who are buried in sand cave-ins suffocate.
  • A hole no deeper than two feet can cause serious injury if someone accidentally steps in it, and if it contains water poses a drowning hazard for small children.
  • Sea Turtles, which are an endangered species, get trapped in holes and cannot get out to return to the sea.  Baby turtles would die overnight.
  • Town equipment used to clean the beach will be damaged in large holes.
So, please, fill in the holes you dig on the beach!  It's a safety thing.

Beach Sweep October 21, 2017

 

The 2017 Beach Sweep was held October 21, 2017 after being postponed in September because of Hurricane Irma.  122 volunteers worked for two hours picking up litter off the beach, including 508 cigarette butts, even though smoking is prohibited on the beach! By the way, that number is down from 3,689 cigarette butts collected in 2016!  Read the complete report at this link: Trash Collected

 


PARKING

The Town of Surfside Beach provides pay-station or metered parking spaces at the following 12 beach area parking lots:

  • 16th-17th Ave. North                   6th Ave. North
  • 3rd Ave. North                             Surfside Pier
  • Yaupon Drive                              3rd Ave. South
  • 4th Ave. South                            5th Ave. South
  • 6th Ave. South                          13th South & Ocean Blvd
  • 13th Ave. South                         Melody Lane

FACILITIES

Restroom facilities, showers, and foot-showers can be found at the following beach access points:

  • 1st Ave. North- Shower Tower                                  2nd Ave. North- Shower Tower
  • 3rd Ave. North- Shower Tower/Restrooms               8th Ave. North- Shower Tower
  • Surfside Pier- Shower Tower/Restrooms                 2nd Ave. South- Shower Tower
  • 3rd Ave. South- Shower Tower                                5th Ave. South- Shower Tower/Restrooms
  • 6th Ave. South- Shower Tower                                7th Ave. South- Shower Tower
  • 10th Ave. South- Shower Tower                              13th Ave. South- Shower Tower

RULES OF THE BEACH

To both ensure the safety of our residents and visitors and preserve the unique quality of life that gives our Town its charm, the Town asks all beachgoers to abide by the following rules:

  • Vehicles
    • No motor vehicles (cars, trucks,  golf carts, mopeds, etc.) other than those used by lifeguards, police, or other Town personnel, are permitted to operate on the beach at any time.
  • Animals
    • Dogs or other domestic pets are not permitted on the public beach during the period between May 15 and September 15.  Between September 16 and May 14 leashed dogs are allowed on the beach.
    • Horses and other large animals are not allowed on the beach.

BOATING AND FISHING

  • Operation of any watercraft in a reckless or negligent manner is strictly prohibited.
  • Operation of any watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is unlawful.
  • Launching of watercrafts is limited to the 4th Ave. South beach access only.
  • Boat parking-storage is provided for at the designated parking facility located between 3rd Ave. and 4th Avenue South on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Boats are not permitted to operate any closer than 50 yards from the shoreline.
  • Jet skis are not permitted to operate any closer than 150 yards from the shoreline between May 15 and September 15.
  • Shark fishing within the Town's limits is prohibited.
  • Commercial fishing on the public beach is not permitted.

SWIMMING, SURFING and SAFETY

Lifeguards, deputies, and other Town officials supervise and regulate surf fishing, swimming, and other activities on the Town's beach.

  • To report lost children please contact the Surfside Beach Police Department at (843) 913-6368.
  • Fireworks are not permitted on the public beach.
  • No alcoholic beverages are permitted on the beach.
  • Lifeguard instructions are to be obeyed AT ALL TIMES.
  • Swimmers are to venture into the water no deeper than chest-deep and no further than 50 yards from the shoreline.
  • Surfing is prohibited within 300 feet of the fishing pier.
  • Summer Season Surfing - During the period between May 15 and September 15, surfing is permitted only in designated areas between10:00 AM and 5:00 PM.
  • Off- Season Surfing - Between the periods of September 15 and May 15, surfing is allowed anywhere along the beach from sunup to sundown, except areas within 300 hundred feet of the fishing pier.
  • Surfers are required to wear surfing leashes at all times.
  • Umbrellas, tents, etc. must be placed 10' to the rear of guard stands.
  • Lifeguard stations can be found at the following locations:
    • Holiday Inn at 16th Ave. North                12th Ave. North
    • 6th Ave. North                                         3rd Ave. North
    • 1st Ave. North                                         Days Inn at Pier
    • 4th Ave. South                                        7th Ave. South
    • 10th Ave. South                                      13th Ave. South

WATER QUALITY

 

DHEC tests the ocean water on the Strand, in knee-deep water, once a week - from May to October. An explanation of the process is in this link:
http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Pollution/DHECPollutionMonitoringSe
rvices/BeachMonitoring/


They maintain a "Beach Access Guide" at:  https://gis.dhec.sc.gov/beachaccess/#

On this map, you can zoom in to Surfside Beach, and click on the little green and yellow circles on the beach (6 testing sites in Surfside Beach), and see the testing results so far this year. As far as bacteria, the
sources can be terrestrial, i.e. heavy rain pushes out stagnant water from the town's ditch system just prior to testing...this "first flush" effect can have elevated bacteria counts. Also the source can be something in the water for instance a large flock of birds have occupied the water just prior to DHEC testing.

Either way, one single high reading is not indicative of a  water quality problem.  If there is a chronic
problem, or a sewer break, you would have consistently high readings, and steps would have to be taken to repair the issue.


WEDDINGS ON THE BEACH


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

If you perform a simple ceremony on the beach (bride, groom, and a few friends) within the Surfside Beach town limits (17th Avenue North southward to Melody Lane), we ask that

          (a) you remove any items you take with you
          (b) allow the public to observe the ceremony, if they wish 
          (c) do not use any balloons, glass or plastics that could harm the wildlife
          (d) fill any holes that you dig
          (e) Wedding planners must have a Town of Surfside Beach business license.  Contact the business license office at 843.913.6339 or 843.913.6342.

Congratulations to the happy couple.