Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Myrtle Beach Public Beach Access

Tourism News
Myrtle Beach Public Beach Access

Public beaches in Myrtle Beach and the surrounding areas are all open post-COVID, so you can hit the sand and surf for a day of fun at any of these accesses. City beaches are free for anyone to enjoy, and some offer nearby restrooms and other amenities. But there are a few things you should know before heading to these popular spots, including when the beaches are open, what to bring and what’s not allowed, where to park, and which public accesses are worth checking out.

Public Beaches in Myrtle Beach

The city of Myrtle Beach has 114 public beach accesses, with a variety of accessible beach entry options so everyone may enjoy time by the ocean. Venturing beyond the beachfront at your oceanfront hotel will afford you access to some of the best beaches around that many feel are worth the drive and parking. There are many metered spots near beach accesses for anyone to use. The cost varies depending on how heavy the traffic in the area, and whether there are fixed-rate all-day meters available. These spots accept a variety of payments via the app, at pay stations, or directly at the meters to make it easy for beachgoers to park, pay, and hit the sand. 

When Does Myrtle Beach Open?

If you’re wondering if Myrtle Beach beaches are open today or any day you visit, the answer is: Yes! The accesses for Myrtle Beach public beaches are open every day and never completely close, but no personal items may be set up on the beach before 8:00 a.m. and everything must be removed from the shore by 7:00 p.m. Visitors age 17 and under must also abide by the city’s curfew rules and may not be on the beach after midnight or before 6:00 a.m. unless accompanied by an adult. 

Beach Access Rules in Myrtle Beach

Public beaches in Myrtle Beach and other areas are governed by beach laws to protect beachgoers and the environment. Before heading to the Grand Strand, look up what’s allowed on the beach (towels and toys), what’s not (alcoholic beverages), and what restrictions exist (“thong” swimwear) so you know what to pack for your beach trip, and what to leave at home. Which items are allowed on public beaches depends upon the time of year you visit Myrtle Beach, as restrictions for beach tents or umbrellas, dog-friendly hours, and other rules change during the off-season.

Beach Access for Areas Near Myrtle Beach

Surrounding towns and the county also have public beach accesses to enjoy near Myrtle Beach. These areas often have quieter shorelines compared to those on the Myrtle Beach strip. Public beach accesses are open in all of the nearby towns, and many visitors to Myrtle Beach enjoy venturing to other cities to see what these lively local areas have to offer. We’ve gathered some basics to keep in mind about other beaches as you visit any of these public accesses.

Horry County Beach Access

Horry County maintains all the public beach accesses in Garden City Beach, one access by Myrtle Beach State Park, and five public beach accesses in the Arcadian Shores community off Shore Drive. Use of these beach accesses is not restricted so anyone may spend the day lounging on the sand or enjoying the view, but no one is allowed to sleep on the beach between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. Similar to the beach laws in Myrtle Beach, Horry County enforces restrictions on swimming, surfing, watercraft use, and shading devices, so look up the county-specific laws before setting out for the day.

Public Beaches in North Myrtle Beach

The city of North Myrtle Beach is known for its family resorts and kid-friendly beach areas, and all 240 beach accesses are open and welcome visitors to enjoy a day in the sun. The city offers more than 50 public parking locations for beachgoers, and many of these are free to use during certain hours and during the off-season. Some parking areas offer special amenities like restrooms and handicap accessibility. The beaches here are open to the public 24/7, but surfers and visitors with dogs have designated hours that vary seasonally. 

Public Beach Access in Surfside Beach 

All 36 public beach access points in Surfside Beach are open for visitors wanting to spend a day on the sand. This city offers beach wheelchairs and has three accessible beach entry points. Restrooms, showers, and foot showers can be found at many of Surfside Beach’s public access points. This city’s beach laws prohibit fires, smoking, and alcoholic beverages, but the tent rules are relatively lax compared to larger cities like Myrtle Beach. Parking for beachgoers includes 12 area lots, and new parking enforcement and pay stations are taking effect this year, so be sure to look up which permits or decals are needed to park in the city lots. 

Pawleys Island Beach Access

Pawleys Island has eight public access points for anyone wanting to enjoy this town’s out-of-the-way beaches. Pawleys Island is free of the large crowds you’ll find at Myrtle Beach, including at the public beach accesses. Unlike most beaches in the Grand Strand, Pawleys Island does not have lifeguards on duty, so you’ll swim at your own risk. Beach rules that prohibit littering, digging large holes, and overnight camping are similar to those in most of the nearby cities, but the beaches in Pawleys Island are more relaxed regarding beach tents and pets. Thanks to the largest free public beach access lot in Georgetown County, beachgoers headed to Pawleys Island will have no trouble finding parking. Beach access parking lots here are closed between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

Now that everything is open in Myrtle Beach after COVID, you’ll find endless options for resorts, restaurants, shops, and beaches to visit to make your dream trip a reality. Use this guide and our other beach access resources to plan a getaway during your vacation, and find area beach accesses in Myrtle Beach and beyond.