Designed with safety in mind, most of the rules apply only to the summer months (between May 1 and Labor Day, Sept. 4), and some were recently enacted and altered. Here's a look at the updated beach laws for 2017:
* Beach Tents: Citing safety issues for blocking the view of lifeguards and passage by emergency vehicles, the City of Myrtle Beach recently banned large beach tents in favor of smaller umbrellas and other shading devices between Memorial Day (May 29) and Labor Day (Sept. 4). The new rules require that all shading devices be placed along or behind the established umbrella lines, just above the high-tide mark. The maximum umbrella diameter is 7 1/2 feet.
* Bicycles: There's nothing like a bike ride on the beach, but cyclists need to know when it's safe to go for a spin in the sand. The use of bicycles and other man-powered, wheeled vehicles is prohibited on the beach from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. between May 1 and Sept. 4. However, the City of Myrtle Beach recently installed bike lanes along Ocean Boulevard, where you can enjoy the ocean view and the easier-pedaling pavement.
* Contraband: Of course, anything that is illegal on dry land is also forbidden on the beach. But there are a few other no-nos you can add to the list of items and actions banned from the beach, including alcoholic beverages, glass containers, campfires, fireworks, littering, and the destruction of sea oats and sand dunes.
* Dogs: The legal language of the law applies to “animals,” but mostly we're talking about dogs. Fido is allowed on the beach with a leash of a maximum length of 7 feet, and owners are required to clean up after them. There are further restrictions during the summer months, as animals are not allowed on the beach between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., from May 1 to Sept. 4. Another recent rule change prohibits horseback riding in the city limits year-round.
* Surf Zones: In order to avoid any safety issues between surfers and swimmers, the City of Myrtle Beach has established five “surf zones” where it's OK to hang 10 during the summer months from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The surf zones are located from 29th Avenue South to the southernmost city limits; from 34th to 47th Avenue North; from 62nd to 68th Avenue North; from 78th to 81st Avenue North; and from 87th Avenue North to the northernmost city limits.
* Watercraft: The law puts restrictions on the use of jet-skis, sailboats, sailboards, kite-surfing boards and similar devices from May 1 to Sept. 4. Such watercraft are not allowed within 100 yards of the beach to avoid any encounters with swimmers and surfers. Of course, the outfitters who rent such equipment have specific instructions on where you can operate. Paddleboarding, however, is permitted beyond the breakers.
Now that you know the rules, prepare to have a great vacation in sunny Myrtle Beach while also keeping the party within legal bounds. Bay View on the Boardwalk, which is located directly on the oceanfront in the heart of the downtown district, looks forward to showing our guests a wonderful and safe vacation.