Metal Detecting in Myrtle Beach
Whether you’re metal detecting in Myrtle Beach for artifacts, coins, or to find a lost ring, this activity can be fun to try on vacation. South Carolina’s beaches are popular areas for expert metal detectors to look for Revolutionary or Civil War artifacts and treasured old coins, but you don’t need to be a pro to enjoy this hobby. You do need to practice detecting safely and lawfully, though, so you’ll need to know the beach rules and city regulations before beginning. Follow along to learn the dos and don’ts in Myrtle Beach, the best spots for hunting treasure, and where to rent a metal detector while you’re in town.
Can you use metal detectors on Myrtle Beach?
Yes, metal detecting is legal and allowed on public beaches in Myrtle Beach as long as you follow the city’s rules and regulations. You can also obtain permission to bring a metal detector to a South Carolina state park, but be aware there are strict permit requirements and regulations to observe in order to search in those areas, and historic sites are always off-limits.
Metal Detecting Regulations for Beaches in Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach has metal detecting regulations in place to protect the natural environment from damage and preserve historic artifacts. Ignoring these regulations can result in fines from the city of Myrtle Beach. Be sure to avoid prohibited areas (city parks, public property other than beaches, street-ends, and dunes) and follow these rules:
- Disturbing or damaging the dunes, the sand fencing or the sea grass oats is illegal—stick to the boardwalks and marked paths.
- When you’ve uncovered a piece of trash, discard it in the trash and recycling containers provided at the beach. Not only is littering illegal, but this will prevent you from finding it again on your next pass.
- Digging holes deeper than two feet is prohibited, and all holes must be filled before leaving the beach. Metal shovels are not allowed for recreational digging.
- Metal detecting is NOT allowed in the dunes, the street-ends, or on any other public property in Myrtle Beach.
Metal Detecting Rules at State Parks in Myrtle Beach
Metal detecting at South Carolina’s state parks is much more regulated than it is at beaches. Prohibitions at historic sites and known archeological sites are in place to protect cultural resources and irreplaceable artifacts from disruption and incorrect handling. If you plan to hunt at Huntington Beach State Park or others, you’ll need prior approval from the park manager. Anyone with permission to use a detector in a state park must still follow these rules:
- Restrict detection to non-sensitive areas only, avoiding historic or delicate buildings, land formations/sand dunes, and areas with rare/endangered vegetation or habitats.
- Dig only in areas that will not be damaged; digging in forested and landscaped areas, erosion-prone locations, and places with buried utilities is prohibited.
- Obtain a signed permit from the Park Manager.
- Leave any historic or prehistoric artifacts where found and notify park staff upon discovery.
- Modern, personal items (wedding rings, class rings, jewelry) should be forfeited to the park manager when found.
Best Places for Metal Detecting in Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach allows metal detecting on most public beaches, so if you’re staying at an oceanfront resort, the nearby shore is a convenient place to start your hunt. These busier tourist areas are likely to have more items left behind to be found, so you can dial in your detector’s sensitivity and practice listening to the equipment signals. Because the Grand Strand has miles of public beaches, you can take your metal detector to other cities (check for specific guidelines first) to see what you can find and explore more of the beautiful coastline. Some good spots near Myrtle Beach for metal detecting are:
- North Myrtle Beach
- Cherry Grove
- Folly Beach
- Surfside Beach
- Garden City Beach
- Pawleys Island
Where To Find the Best Beach Treasures With a Metal Detector
Knowing where to begin looking can give you a head start on finding cool items in the sandy shores around Myrtle Beach. Start at the beach, as the rules are more clear-cut than at a state park and you won’t need permission before beginning, plus if you have family along, they’ll be able to explore, splash in the water, and enjoy themselves even if they aren’t interested in treasure hunting. Hit the beach with your metal detector either before or after the busiest times so you have room to walk the shore without stepping around sunbathers, and start your search in these areas:
- Areas where volleyball, cornhole, or other activities occur frequently.
- High-traffic paths and access points (where foot traffic is permitted).
- Wet sand and tidal pools at low tide where items are likely to wash ashore.
- Right at the water line where heavier objects (chains, jewels) have a tendency to be buried by the waves.
- Dry sand areas where the water doesn’t reach (where beachgoers often set up for the day).
Metal Detector Rentals in Myrtle Beach
If finding an elusive treasure sounds enticing, or you want to try a new hobby, there are a few places to rent metal detectors around Myrtle Beach. Sunbelt Rentals out of Myrtle Beach offers equipment at 4-hour, daily, and weekly rates from $17 to $67. LMS Metal Detecting leases sand scoops for $70 to $140, depending on the rental length, and also offers finding services starting at $30 if you need help locating a lost ring, car keys, or something else in the sand.
Whether you use them for fun or to find a lost object, your new metal detecting skills might unearth some unexpected treasures. Much like hunting for Myrtle Beach seashells, if you’re responsible and respectful of nature and follow the beach rules, you’re sure to have an enjoyable experience. Book your Myrtle Beach hotel today and give this new hobby a try. Even if you don’t find a one-of-a-kind coin or relic, exploring the gorgeous coastline is an excellent way to spend a vacation day.