Now that the weather has started to cool, you may have relegated your bathing suit to the back of the drawer. But for your pooch, fall is prime beach time. Communities up and down the coast from Hilton Head Island to Myrtle Beach have lifted their usual peak-hour canine restrictions, allowing dogs to stroll the shoreline 24/7.
South Carolina’s long stretches of beach are a favorite with Frisbee-catching dogs, fetch-aholics and any pup looking to burn some energy. So, grab your leash—and a few bags to clean up after your pet—and head to the shore for some fun with Fido!
Below is a rundown on the rules at some of South Carolina’s most popular beaches:
Hilton Head Island
Dogs are allowed on the beach any time of the day from Labor Day to the Friday before Memorial Day. You’ll need to keep them on a leash at all times at Fish Haul Beach Park and at all other Hilton Head beaches between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. from the Tuesday after Labor Day through Sept. 30. After that, they can run free as long as they are under positive voice control.
You’re welcome to bring pets to the beach year-round, provided you keep them under physical restraint or on a leash no longer than six feet. They are not permitted on the tip of North Beach past the posted markers to protect critical shorebird habitat.
You can walk your dog with a leash any time of the year. From Nov. 1 to April 30, leashes are not required, except on the shoreline within Edisto Beach State Park. Doggy waste bags are available at almost every beach access.
Public access to the beach is available only through Kiawah Beachwalker Park. Dogs must be leashed at all times.
From Oct. 1 through April 30, dogs are welcome to stroll the shoreline any time of day, but they need to be on a leash and under control. Pet waste bags are available at beach access points.
You may bring your four-legged friends to the beach year-round. The only time you’re required to have them on a leash is May 1 through September 30 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Like all other beach state parks, you’re required to keep your dog on a leash at all times. Walk them on the south end of the beach; they’re prohibited along the shore from the beach access at the north parking lot to the jetty.
Pups can romp in the sand any time from Labor Day through April 30 so long as they’re on a leash. The rest of the year, the beach is off-limits from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
North Myrtle Beach
Bring your leash because you’ll need it no matter when you visit. Here, dogs are welcome anytime except from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 15 through Sept. 15.
Dogs are not allowed on the beach from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. May 1 thru Labor Day. All dog owners are required to pick up after their animal.
No matter what beach you plan to visit, be sure to pick up after your pet. That’s a standing rule anywhere you take your canine companion.