What Not To Bring to the Beach

What Not To Bring to the Beach


Read about what not to bring to the beach before you enter full vacation mode to save yourself from fines or other trouble once you arrive in Myrtle Beach. While it’s normal to check your airline for baggage rules to avoid fines and confirm the hotel’s policies and check-in times, we’re guessing you rarely research the laws that govern your destination beach.

Once you’ve reserved your hotel or resort for vacation and found all the best places to eat and drink, it’s time to do the real research: learning the beach laws. If you saunter onto the sand wearing your new thong bikini, hauling a huge tent and a cooler full of brews, you’re not paying close enough attention to what not to bring to the beach. While the decision to fly versus drive might help you weed out some of these prohibited items, knowing what’s legal, illegal, and frowned upon at your beach destination can save you embarrassment, money, and hassle. 

Consider this your reminder that what might be allowed at home may not be here in Myrtle Beach. If these rules seem like common sense, that’s great! But they can also vary from beach to beach and by county, so the safest bet is to not bet and instead follow this basic guide.

What Items Are Not Allowed on Myrtle Beach?

For the most part, vacationers have free reign on the beaches to enjoy the sun, play in the sand, socialize, and swim. But if you’re used to hanging by the water in your own city, you might find the rules here are quite different. Bringing the items on this no-no list can even result in misdemeanor charges and hefty fines, turning one of the best free things to do in Myrtle Beach into an expensive disappointment.


Possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages on beaches are strictly forbidden. Many people do not know that alcohol is not allowed on Myrtle Beach. This is not an easy rule to sneak around, due to law enforcement actively patrolling on four-wheelers. Save yourself a lot of hassle, money, and legal woes, and leave the drinks at your hotel. You can always grab a cocktail at a beach bar after you finish your day in the sand.


This is a public service if there ever was one. The no-glass rule has been saving feet from cuts and scrapes since its inception. Use plastic bottles and containers or aluminum cans on the beach—and be extra thoughtful and recycle them when you’re done.


There are very specific, seasonal rules for umbrellas and tents on beaches. Myrtle Beach bans large-canopy tents for safety reasons (they create an obstacle for law enforcement and lifeguards reaching those in need), so forgo the expensive, bulky tent and take a beach umbrella instead. Or, better yet, rent your chairs and umbrellas and let someone else set them up and take them down for you!


From 10 a.m. to 5 a.m. from May 1 through Labor Day, bicycles (and tricycles) are prohibited from the beaches. During the off-season, bikes are allowed at any time. To be fair, this rule shouldn’t upset anyone because bikes are cumbersome to pack in the first place.


Don’t bring your dog to the beach, even if you really want to: Your pup isn’t allowed between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the summer months. After Labor Day (and before May 1) dogs may accompany you any time, but must be leashed and poops must be scooped. If you’re traveling with cats, reptiles, or exotic animals, keep in mind they are never allowed on the beach—we have an ecosystem to protect. (As you may imagine, service animals are exempt from the prohibited list). Note: Hot sand can burn paw pads! Be aware of the temperature before visiting the beach with your dog during the hours dogs are welcome.


Independence Day revelers will have to cede to the authorities on this one. Fireworks are both a nuisance and a hazard. Don’t do it. Leave the fireworks shows to us—we’re experts and you can see them many times during the summer at Barefoot Landing, Broadway at the Beach, and Myrtle Beach Pelicans games.


Starting a fire is never allowed on the beaches. This includes barbecues and bonfires, and the rule stands even if you get hungry or cold. Save yourself the work and fines, pull on a sweater, and leave the cooking to these burger restaurants.


This is one of the ways Myrtle Beach beats Daytona Beach: No cars are allowed on the Grand Strand beaches! File this rule under “well, duh.” But know that this eye-opening beach law also applies to golf carts, ATVs, motorcycles, and similar motorized transport, which all fall under the umbrella of “vehicles.” 

Thong Bathing Suits

In case you read this while finalizing your packing list, leave your thong-style swimsuits at home. These are prohibited in public in Myrtle Beach. You’ll need to spring for something with a little more coverage before you hit these family-friendly pools and beaches. 

Items That Don’t Belong on the Beach

This category of items has no business on the beach and you shouldn’t need us to tell you, but for the sake of transparency, we’re including no-brainers below. Please, don’t bring these to the beach. We realize they aren’t totally illegal, but they are totally unnecessary:


Not necessary, folks. This is a happy place.

Plastic Bags

There are no laws against these (yet) but they’re a blight to beaches. They’re the first things to blow away from you and usually head straight for the water, where they disrupt ecosystems and kill animals. And once the bag has been lost to the wind, you’ve effectively littered, which is illegal. Tote your belongings and snacks in canvas bags and reusable plastic containers instead.

Loud Music

Tunes make everything better, usually, but not when cranked up to ear-splitting levels. If you insist on bringing a small stereo, keep the volume at a level that won’t disturb the people next to you. And for the sake of the kids, keep the content clean.

Surfboards / Kayaks

While surfboards and kayaks are not prohibited outright, their use is governed by a few rules, as are flotation devices. Take a look at the city’s laws before hanging ten.

Frequently Asked Questions

What shouldn’t you do on the beach?

When headed to the beach, do not disrupt fellow visitors with loud music or wear inappropriate beachwear, and do not consume alcohol, or set up camp with your bike, dog, or beach tent during the busy summer season. 

Can you have alcohol on Myrtle Beach?

No. We can’t answer the question, “Is alcohol allowed on Myrtle Beach?” enough. But many visitors, most of whom are surprised alcohol is prohibited on our beaches, ask time and again.

Can you bring coolers to the beach at Myrtle Beach?

Yes, coolers are allowed on the beaches as long as they do not contain alcohol or glass, as both of those items are prohibited. Snacks, soda or water, and even a tube or can of sunscreen (pro tip!) can be brought to the beach in a cooler.

Myrtle Beach Hotel Deals & Specials

Myrtle Beach Hotel Deals & Specials