Hilton Head Beach Rules & Laws

Hilton Head has some of the best and most beautiful beaches on the East Coast. There’s over 12 miles of coast to explore and the island’s sandy shores beckon about 2.5 million people annually. The peak season begins in April and ends in September. The Beaufort County Police department regularly inspect Hilton Head’s beaches and those visiting and living here have to abide by Hilton Head beach rules (fines up to $500 can apply to each offense). The purpose is to protect Hilton Head’s unique marine life as well as keeping the beaches and beach parks clean and pristine for everyone.

Hilton Head beach dog rules vary with the season. If you decide to bring your pet, you’ll need to make sure you follow the rules so that you, your family and your beloved pets can enjoy all those long sunrise and sunset walks along the shores. During peak season, Hilton Head beaches are manned by lifeguards who are stationed in each of the designated swimming areas and heavily populated beach spots.

All of Hilton Head beaches are public but some beaches only have private access. The town provides access to nine beaches and parks.

Hilton Head Beach Rules – Seasonal – April 1 – September 30

Between the hours of of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. in designated swimming areas the following is prohibited:

• Fishing, surfcasting
• Surfboards and boogie boards
• Frisbees and sports involving a ball
• Games with metal components

Rules all year long

• No alcoholic beverages
• No glass contents and/or littering
• No nudity or indecent exposure
• No disorderly conduct or disturbing the peaceful enjoyment of others
• No unauthorized vehicles on the beach
• No unauthorized commercial activity or operation, latching or landing of unauthorized motorized water craft
• No unauthorized wearing of lifeguard emblems
• No solicitation
• No kites not under manual control and no stunt kites between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. during peak season
• No sand sailing and no shark fishing
• No removal, damage, harassment or alteration of any live beach fauna or beach life
• No sleeping on the beaches between midnight and 6 a.m.
• No fires or fireworks

Hilton Head Beach Dog Rules

You can take your pet on the beach all year long, but during peak season there are stricter rules since Hilton Head’s population swells significantly.

• No pets on the beaches between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day
• *Pets must be on a leash between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. April 1 through Thursday before Memorial AND between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday after Labor Day through September 30
• Pets must be on leash or under “positive voice control” at all other times
• Owners must dispose of pet waste and clean up after their pets at all times any time of year
• Owners are responsible for the behavior of their pets including not allowing pets to chase or harass wildlife any time of year.

*Fish Haul Beach – must be on a leash at all times.

For more information about Hilton Head beach rules, visit the official Hilton Head Island Municipal Codes regarding beaches or call the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office at 843-255-3200.

Most of Condo World’s Hilton Head condos have easy access to the island’s gorgeous beaches.