A Guide to South Carolina Beaches for Summer 2020

COVID-19 Advisement

June 9, 2020 DHEC, SCHA, SCMA and SCORH have come together to strongly urge all South Carolinians to actively help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save the lives of our fellow residents by practicing physical social distancing and properly using face masks. 

“There is rapidly growing medical evidence that the use of face masks along with social distancing can greatly reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in public spaces and places where people at higher risk of severe illness and death from this virus are likely to be present. We must all commit to wearing face masks in public spaces — if we all wear them, we’ll all be protected.” More here.

Be sure to also check with the town or city you are visiting beforehand for their specific ordinance ruling during this time.


All South Carolina beaches are within 2-3 hours of the Midlands

North Myrtle Beach

The City of North Myrtle Beach Parks and Grounds division manages over 240 beach accesses in North Myrtle Beach.  The City strives to provide access to all visitors and residents. 

  • Public beach crossovers, accesses, public showers, and bathroom amenities are available
  • Public beach access related parking lots open
  • North Myrtle’s Beach Laws
North Mystle beach

Cherry Grove Oceanfront Park

The latest addition to the City of North Myrtle Beach’s park system, this wonderful little park offers access to the beach as well as the comfort of restrooms and picnic and common areas. Parking is limited to two handicap spaces but off-site public parking can be found at and near the Sea Mountain street end. Park amenities include:
• Restrooms
• Beach showers
• Large, open lawn, 50 feet by 65 feet
• ADA Handicap beach access
• Picnic area with small tables under a gazebo
• Swings and benches
• Naturalized landscape

Ocean Park

This small ocean front park in North Myrtle Beach provides paved parking and access to the beach. Park amenities include:
• Ample restroom facilities
• Picnic shelter
• Beach showers
• Concessions (seasonal operation)


Folly Beach

Folly Island was named after its coastline, which was once densely packed with trees and undergrowth – as the Old English name for such an area was “Folly.”  Today, the trees and undergrowth are gone … Folly’s charming beaches capture the hearts of thousands of SC locals and tourists yearly.

Folly Beach at sunrise
Folly Beach at sunrise
  • In response to the rising cases and beach crowds, Emergency Orders have been extended to September 14.
  • For updated beach and parking restriction rules, click here. Also, check out the Emergency Ordinance Parking Map.
  • Folly Beach County Park – On the west end of the island, situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Folly River, beachgoers will find Folly Beach County Park. Skimmer Flats, a major Eastern Brown Pelican rookery, is visible at the west end of the park. Parking is limited. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early; when park capacity is reached, cars will be admitted on a one-in, one-out basis.
  • Folly Beach Pier is also open
  • Dogs not allowed on the beach from 10 am to 6 pm May 1st to September 30th, and no pets are allowed on the pier at any time
  • Open restaurants in Folly

Hilton Head Island Beaches

All of the beach is public, from the ocean to the high water mark. Access to the beach, however, is often private. The Town of Hilton Head Island provides beach accesses at these locations.

Hilton Head Island Colginy Beach Park
  • All recreational parks are reopened, along with their bathrooms, picnic shelters, and playgrounds.
  • View the Town of Hilton Head Island’s beach regulations

Huntington Beach State Park

A sweeping Grand Strand beach, pristine and wide open, stands as one of the most recognizable South Carolina landmarks. Revel in sea-breeze camping, the finest surf fishing South Carolina has to offer, and some of the top bird-watching on the East Coast.

Huntington Beach State Park
16148 Ocean HWY Murrells Inlet, SC 29576
  • Huntington Beach is a favorite recreational spot outdoors, so parking is limited. The best way to check for parking availability is by calling the park ahead of time, but nothing is guaranteed. Arrive early – park opens at 6am and closes at 10pm (summer hours)
  • Boardwalks over tidal ponds where alligators are often spotted
  • Dogs are to remain on a leash and are only allowed on the south end of the beach
  • Park admission can be purchased online to limit contact with park staff. Please purchase the same day you plan on visiting. Present receipt at the park gate for entry. If you purchase in advance, you are not guaranteed entry.

Hunting Island State Park

Five miles of pristine South Carolina beaches, thousands of acres of marsh and maritime forest, a saltwater lagoon and ocean inlet are all part of the park’s natural allure. Home to the only publicly accessible lighthouse in the state and one of its most popular parks!

Our friend, Tom Cattell, master sand castle builder, says the sand at Hunting Island is great!
Hunting Island's Lighthouse
Hunting Island State Park 2555 Sea Island PKWY Hunting Island, SC 29920
  • The Huntington Island lighthouse reopens; read its new guidelines
  • A section of the pier is open, but no fishing or crabbing is currently allowed.
  • Tours to St. Phillip’s Island from Hunting Island State Park resumes and is operating at 50% capacity; learn more
  • Check the park’s Twitter page to get updates on any full lots, park closures, and traffic delays.
  • Bathhouses will be open, and day-use picnic areas can be reserved here.
  • Park admission can be purchased online to limit contact with park staff. Please purchase the same day you plan on visiting. Present receipt at the park gate for entry. If you purchase in advance, you are not guaranteed entry.

Isle of Palms

Thought to be over 25,000 years old, this island holds great history and beautiful scenery.

Isle of Palsm at sunrise
  • Dogs are allowed to be off-leash from 5 am to 9 am until September 14th.
  • For parking information, visit IOP’s Beach Access Parking. Learn more about the most recent parking restrictions update.
  • Read Isle of Palm’s beach rules here.
  • Public restrooms on the Front Beach district (located on Ocean Boulevard from 10th Avenue to 14th Avenue) are open.
  • If interested in the Isle of Palms County Park, arrive early as cars will be admitted on a one-in, one-out basis once park capacity is met. Additional parking may be available in the Municipal parking lots.

Kiawah Beachwalker Park

Beach and waves
8 Beachwalker Dr, Kiawah Island, SC 29455
  • This is a very long way to drive with nothing else to do if you get there and its parking lot is full. It fills limits quickly (most often before the afternoon). If full, visitors can be added to wait-list . Best advice – go early! Park opens at 9am and closes at 8pm (summer hours)
  • No vehicles can park outside the entrance to the park
  • View Charleston County Park updates
  • Dogs must be leashed at all times within the park.
  • Restrooms, changing rooms, showers accessible

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach
Sunrise over Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA.

Myrtle Beach State Park

Along the far-reaching stretch of Grand Strand coastline, Myrtle Beach State Park sits nestled among oceanfront maritime forest. A quiet, and surprisingly green, escape from the otherwise bustling beach, the park provides educational opportunities, a nature trail and some of the best surf fishing South Carolina has to offer as well as stunning ocean views and another great fishing spot on Myrtle Beach pier. Park admission can be purchased online to limit contact with park staff. Please purchase the same day you plan on visiting. Present receipt at the park gate for entry. If you purchase in advance, you are not guaranteed entry. The park is requiring face coverings to be worn within the indoor spaces of the park as well, so don’t forget to pack masks for your visit.

Myrtle Beach State Park 4401 S Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, SC 29575

North Myrtle Beach

  • Public beach crossovers, accesses, public showers, and bathroom amenities are available
  • Public beach access related parking lots open
  • North Myrtle’s Beach Laws

Pawleys Island

This peaceful island beach is well-known for its enticing beach, foamy surf, and its welcoming atmosphere that so many families enjoy yearly.

Pawley's Island Beach
323 Myrtle Avenue Pawleys Island, SC 29585
  • Beach access adjacent parking lots are open to the public
  • Beach rules can be reviewed here
  • You can find an updated listed of Pawleys Island’s beach parking access by clicking here

Town of Edisto Beach

The serene landscape and beauty of Edisto Beach brings heaps of visitors in the summer months to behold its gorgeous views, connect with friends and family on the Edisto sand, and create memories of a lifetime.

Boardwalk to the beach
  • Dogs on a leash between May 1 through October 31
  • Parking allowed on beach accesses from 6am to 10pm
  • There are public beach accesses located at each intersection on Palmetto Boulevard, for more info click here
  • No golf carts allowed on Palmetto Boulevard

Edisto Beach State Park

As one of the few oceanfront parks in South Carolina, Edisto Beach State Park contains both a diverse salt marsh and a beautiful coastal forest in the mist of their popular campground area that gives access to the beach.

Edisto Beach State Park
8377 State Cabin Rd Edisto Island, SC 29438
  • Cabin and campsite rentals are open for overnight guests; make your reservations here.
  • Due to a high velocity of visitors, the best way to check for parking availability is by calling the park ahead of time, but nothing is guaranteed. Arrive early – park opens at 7am and closes at 8pm (summer hours).
  • Picnic shelters are not available at this time.

And one more thought…

Another helpful site is the SC Beach Guide, provided by the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). You can search 600 public access points to South Carolina’s 187 miles of beautiful beaches! Click here.