Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Your guide to Myrtle Beach tent rules & regulations for the 2022 season
Downtown Myrtle Beach remains free of large beach tents and canopies due to regulations passed by the city in 2014.

The Myrtle Beach Area
Your guide to Myrtle Beach tent rules & regulations for the 2022 season

Myrtle Beach-area beaches have been restricting the size and type of shade coverings permitted during the busy spring and summer season since 2014. Although some rules have been amended to allow for tents for babies and small children, the original laws are still largely in place for 2022. 

When determining what beach tent rules and regulations apply to you, it’s important to understand which municipality you’re visiting and what the rules are in that area. 

Here’s a closer look at all the area’s beach tent laws, as they currently stand:

Horry County

Although much of the Grand Strand is referred to as “Myrtle Beach,” most of the actual beach is in Horry County, not the city limits. Horry County is responsible for the beach tent rules for about 14 miles of public beach, which includes:

– From the North Myrtle Beach town limit south to the Dunes Club in Myrtle Beach (excludes the town of Briarcliffe Acres)

– South of Springmaid Pier to the town limits of Surfside Beach (including Myrtle Beach State Park and campgrounds) 

– South of the town limit of Surfside Beach through Garden City Beach to the Georgetown County line. 

Horry County’s tent rules prohibit tents or cabanas on the beach year-round. Circular umbrellas with a shade no greater than 7 feet 6 inches in diameter are permitted as are small pop-up tents for babies and children, which can be no larger than 4 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet. 

Shading items may not impede the views of lifeguards, and they may not be tied to connected to each other in any manner. Items may not be left on the beach between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m. Umbrellas cannot be placed within 10 feet of the umbrella line established by the beach franchise holders. 

Myrtle Beach

The city of Myrtle Beach has banned the use of large beach canopies between Memorial Day and Labor Day, with relaxed regulations after Labor Day and throughout the offseason. 

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, only circular umbrellas with a maximum diameter of 7 feet 6 inches are allowed. From the day after Labor Day until Memorial Day, tents and canopies are allowed with a maximum size of 12 feet by 12 feet. Umbrellas must be in line with or behind the lifeguards’ established umbrella line. When allowed, the tents and canopies must be 10 feet behind the lifeguards’ line of umbrellas. 

Infant tents or canopies are allowed year-round, but they must be no larger than four feet wide by three feet tall by three feet deep. 

North Myrtle Beach

The city of North Myrtle Beach allows umbrellas only during the busy summer season with more relaxed rules after Sept. 15. From May 15 through Sept. 15, only umbrellas with a center pole no taller than 7 feet 6 inches and a diameter no wider than 9 feet in diameter are allowed on the beach. 

No shading devices are allowed within the emergency vehicle access lane, which is about 20 to 25 feet seaward of the dune line. City trash cans, pylons or flags should mark this area. No items are to be left on the beach from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. 

Surfside Beach

The town of Surfside Beach allows tents and canopies year-round with a few restrictions. Tents and canopies must be no larger than 10 feet by 10 feet, and umbrellas must be no taller than 7 feet 6 inches with a diameter no greater than 9 feet. All shading devices must be positioned so as not to impede the view of emergency personnel.

Beach umbrellas and shading devices must be in a location behind lifeguards’ stands and must move westward as lifeguards move their positions with the changing tide. Tents must be spaced at least 10 feet apart with no beach paraphernalia in between tents. A single row of tents from Melody Lane to 17th Avenue North is allowed with space allotted for emergency access at various points. 

No items may be left on the beach overnight (7:30 p.m. to 9 a.m.) or left unattended.