Dog-Friendly Beaches in South Carolina 2022

Top 11 Dog-Friendly Beaches in South Carolina:

  1. Hilton Head Island Beach
  2. Alder Lane Beach
  3. Coligny Beach Park
  4. Kiawah Beachwalker Park
  5. Surfside Beach
  6. Folly Beach
  7. North Myrtle Beach
  8. Burkes Beach
  9. Litchfield Beach
  10. Isle of Palms County Park Beach
  11. Morris Island Beach

South Carolina is a popular destination for pet-friendly beaches. With more than 30 million visitors every year, Myrtle Beach is one of the state’s most popular destinations. The Grand Strand coastline extends for 100 miles along the Atlantic coast and features dozens of pet-friendly beach towns and sea islands.

Remember to keep your dog safe with a life jacket or other flotation device when participating in any water activities.

Dog-Friendly Beaches in SC

Choose one of these top pet-friendly beaches in South Carolina for your next visit with your furry friends:

Hilton Head Island Beach

Dog-Friendly Beaches in South Carolina
Photo from (IG) @jdmaurojr
  • Sandy beach
  • 40 Folly Field Rd, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29928, US

Driving Time

  • 4 hours 15 minutes from Atlanta, GA
  • 3 hours 55 minutes from Charlotte, NC
  • 2 hours 5 minutes from Charleston, SC

Hilton Head Island Beach has more than 12 miles of public beach available for swimming, sunbathing, and other activities. The number of beachgoers and facilities accessible varies based on the access point you choose. Some areas are more commercialized while others are more tranquil.

For example, while Coligny Beach Park is very popular, Driessen Beach Park or Bradley Beach are quieter. Choose the area you enjoy the most and settle in for a relaxing stay on the lovely Hilton Head Island!

Location and Access

The beach is open to the public from the ocean to the high watermark. However, there are many private access points. 

The following public access points have parking: Alder Lane Beach Access, Burkes Beach Access, Chaplin Community Park, Driessen Beach Park, Folly Field Beach Park, Islands Beach Park, Mitchelville Freedom Park, Coligny Beach Park, and Mitchelville Beach Park. The last three beaches provide free parking. 

There is no entrance fee for the beach.

Dog Policies

  • Dogs are allowed on Hilton Head beaches, but must be kept on a leash between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm from April 1 through the Thursday before Memorial Day. 
  • Dogs must also be leashed between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm the Tuesday after Labor Day through September 30. 
  • At all other times, dogs must be either be leashed or under positive voice control. 
  • On Fish Haul and Mitchelville beaches, dogs must be leashed at all times. They are not allowed between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm from the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day. 
  • Anyone with an animal on the beach is responsible for removing and properly disposing of the animal’s excrement. 
  • Note that the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department patrols the beaches and enforces all regulations. Those who violate beach regulations may be fined up to $500 per offense. For more information, call (843) 341-4600.

Alder Lane Beach

  • White sand beach
  • 51 S Forest Beach Dr, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29928, US
Dog-Friendly Beaches in South Carolina
Alder Lane Beach Photo from (IG) @ary.and.rollo.frenchtons

Driving Time

  • 4 hours 20 minutes from Atlanta, GA
  • 4 hours from Charlotte, NC
  • 2 hours 15 minutes from Charleston, SC

Alder Lane Beach Access is a beach access point on Hilton Head Island that is equipped with wheelchair-friendly features, metered parking spaces, restroom and shower facilities, and a lifeguarded swimming area. It is a secluded spot that provides a reprieve from the more commercialized and crowded beaches in the vicinity.

Location, Access, and Parking

The Alder Lane Beach Access is near the Marriott Grand Ocean Resort on South Forest Beach Drive. Finding the beach may be difficult, so follow the specific directions carefully.  

The hours the beach is open vary, depending on the season- in summer, it is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., and in winter, it is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The beach is also open every day throughout the year. 

If going by car, there are 22 metered parking spaces available across the street from the entrance. However, cards are not accepted, so bring quarters There is free parking about a 15-minute walk from the beach at the start of the road. Be aware that any cars illegally parked along the road or in unmarked areas will be towed away.

The Alder Lane Beach is a wheelchair accessible destination with beach matting that extends down to the water.

Dog Policies

Pets are allowed on the beach during the off-season (from October to April) and before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. during the official beach season (from April to September), as long as they are leashed, under voice control, and their excrement is properly disposed of.

Coligny Beach Park

Photo from (IG) @129dunelane Coligny Beach Park
  • White sand beach
  • 1 Coligny Circle, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Driving Time

  • 4 hours 20 minutes from Atlanta, GA
  • 4 hours from Charlotte, NC
  • 2 hours 15 minutes from Charleston, SC

The Coligny Beach Park is a beautiful and popular beach on Hilton Head Island. It is also an excellent place for pets to enjoy the sand and water. The beach is wide, giving pets plenty of space to run and play. And the shallow waters make it safe for swimming.

The landscaped walking and biking paths are perfect for a leisurely stroll, and there’s plenty of sand for your pup to enjoy. Plus, the park is full of other people and their pets, so your dog will have plenty of chances to socialize.

Location and Access

  • The beach parking lot fills up quickly, but there is a large paid parking lot nearby.
  • The park is open every day from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., with shorter winter hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • The beach in the park is wheelchair accessible.

Dog Policies

  • Visitors to Coligny Beach Park are welcome to bring their pets with them, but there are some restrictions in place. 
  • Pets are not allowed on the beach from 10am to 5pm from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. 
  • Dogs must also be kept on a leash at all other times. 
  • People in control of animals on the beach are required to clean up after them
  • Dogs is illegal to allow pets to chase or harass wildlife.

Kiawah Beachwalker Park

Kiawah Beachwalker Park dog friendly
Kiawah Beachwalker Park Photo from (IG) @miknski
  • Sandy beach
  • 3000 Southern Pines Ln, Kiawah Island, South Carolina 29455, US

Driving Time

  • 3 hours 40 minutes from Charlotte, NC
  • 2 hours 5 minutes from Savannah, GA
  • 40 minutes from Charleston, SC

Kiawah Island is a great destination for anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. The clean, pristine beaches are perfect for swimming or biking, and there are plenty of golfing opportunities. 

Nature trails can be found at various locations around the island, and the wildlife is abundant. The views from the beach are stunning, and the sunsets are simply breathtaking. 

Kiawah Beachwalker Park is a great getaway for the whole family, including pets.

Location and Access

Kiawah Island is a picturesque barrier island located about 25 miles of Charleston. The island’s beach is accessible without charge. Visitors can enjoy stunning views and plenty of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and more.

Dog Policies

  • Dogs are allowed on the Kiawah Beachwalker Park at certain times of year, with some restrictions in place. 
  • Dogs must be leashed at all times from March 16 to October 31. 
  • From November 1 to March 15, dogs are allowed off leash from 7pm to 7am. 
  • Owners must always remain with their pet and have a leash on hand in case they need to leash their pet. Electronic leashes are not allowed.

Surfside Beach

  • Sandy beach
  • 11 South Ocean Blvd., Surfside Beach, South Carolina, US
Surfside Beach dog friendly
Surfside Beach Photo from (IG) @familymoneyadventure

Driving Time

  • 3 hours 35 minutes from Charlotte, NC
  • 1 hour 50 minutes from Charleston, SC
  • 1 hour 45 minutes from Wilmington, NC

Surfside Beach is a great place for a pet-friendly vacation. There are several hotels and rentals in the area that welcome dogs with open arms. You and your furry friend can enjoy a pawfect beach vacation at Surfside Beach.

The best time to enjoy the lovely beach weather with your pet is in spring, before the seasonal deadline of May 15-September 15. There are plenty of water activities for you and your furry family members to enjoy at this time.

The Frothy waves from the Atlantic Ocean wash onto the beige sand coastline extending two miles. Pets have access to it all, so long as they are kept on a leash and have any mandatory vaccinations. You will find several dog parents going for a walk along the beach until their pets get tired. 

Then, while someone sits back with them on the beach to rest, humans can participate in popular activities like surfing, kayaking, jet skiing, banana boat rides, and other water sports. 

Location and Access

Surfside Beach is located in Horry County, South Carolina and has 36 beach access points. Wheelchair access is available at 13th Avenue South, Surfside Pier, 3rd Avenue North, and Melody Lane.

Please contact the Surfside Beach Public Safety Department at 811 Pine Drive or call 888-744-9367 for more information. For additional beach wheelchairs, please visit the Surfside Beach Public Safety Department at 811 Pine Drive or call 888-744-9367.

The Surfside Pier is another one of the town’s most popular beach access points, located at 11 Ocean Boulevard South. It’s reasonably priced and there is parking available. On Halloween (October 31), parking is free! There are 11 additional beach area parking lots with pay-station or metered parking spaces accessible from other areas in addition to the pier.

Dog Policies

  • May 15 – September 15: dogs and other domestic pets are not permitted on the public.
  • September 16 – May 14: leashed dogs are allowed on the beach.

Folly Beach

  • White sand beach
  • 22 Sand Dollar Rd, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29928, US
Folly Beach dog friendly
Folly Beach Photo from (IG) @latestinspiration67

Folly Beach is the perfect place for beach-loving dogs and their owners. With its close proximity to Folly Island, Folly Beach offers dog-friendly restaurants, pet-friendly accommodations, and parks that will make your furry friend feel right at home.

Although it doesn’t have as many amenities as some of the other beach parks in the area, Folly Field Beach is a very popular place for dogs and their owners to enjoy the beach lifestyle.

Driving Time

  • 4 hours 25 minutes from Atlanta, GA
  • 4 hours from Charlotte, NC
  • 2 hours 15 minutes from Charleston, SC

Location and Access

Folly Beach is on Folly Field, which runs parallel to Hilton Head East Boulevard. It’s next to Port Royal and near Starfish Drive and Sand Dollar Road. This parking area has a limited supply of spaces that must be paid for (coins and bills) in cash.

The park is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily throughout the year, with the exception of Christmas Day, when it closes at 8 p.m. 

There’s a wooden boardwalk bridge and grass on the sand making it wheelchair accessible.

Dog Policies

  • The beach is more pet-friendly during certain hours, with many dog owners letting their pets run off-leash.
  • Dogs are allowed on the beach from October 1 to April 30, but they must be leashed at all times.
  • Between May 1 and September 30, dogs are not allowed on the beach from 10:00am to 6:00pm.

North Myrtle Beach

  • White sand beach
  • Pier, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29577, US
North Myrtle Beach Photo from (IG) @cherrygrovebeachgear

The North Myrtle Beach area is a popular destination for pet owners, as it offers several dog-friendly beaches. In the North Myrtle Beach area and Myrtle Beach State Park, pets are allowed on the beach and there are no restrictions on leash length. These beach areas are well-maintained and provide a great experience for both pet owners and their pets.

Myrtle Beach State Park is located just off South Kings Highway and is often used by tourists as a launching point for visiting other Myrtle Beach attractions. However, the park has a variety of entertainment options to offer, including hiking, biking, strolling, camping, picnicking, sunbathing, swimming in the ocean and spending time with families and four-legged friends.

Driving Time

  • 3 hours 25 minutes from Charlotte, NC
  • 1 hour 50 minutes from Charleston, SC
  • 1 hour 35 minutes from Wilmington, NC

Location and Access

The Myrtle Beach State Park is a great place to take your dog for a walk or run. It is located near the Myrtle Beach Airport and is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. from March through November and from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. from December through February.

The standard entrance fee for adults is $8, for senior citizens (65 and older) – $5, and for children (6 to 15) – $4. Small children of 5 and younger can enter for free.

Dog Policies

  • During mid-day hours and late evening hours throughout the year, most public beaches in North Myrtle Beach are pet-friendly. 
  • From May 1 through Labor Day, dogs are permitted on the beach only before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. 
  • From May 1 through Labor Day, dogs and bicycles are allowed on the boardwalk between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. 
  • Dogs are welcome on the beach at any time of day from the day after Labor Day to April 30 each year. 
  • At all times, dogs must be on a leash that is no more than seven feet long while on the beach. 
  • Dog owners must collect and dispose of the excrement in a timely manner.

Burkes Beach

  • Sandy beach
  • 60 Burkes Beach Rd, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29928, US

Burkes Beach is a beautiful public beach on Hilton Head Island. Burkes Beach, maintained by the town of Hilton Head Island, offers access to a peaceful stretch of public beach with parking and facilities. 

There are additional paved pathways that lead to a park where you may find basketball and tennis courts, spacious fields, and a fenced dog park where you can let your furry friend run off-leash.

The beach is open from sunrise to sunset. The best time to visit is during the week when it’s less crowded. Overall, Burkes Beach is a lovely spot to walk, picnic, sunbathe, swim, and enjoy stunning vistas!

Driving Time

  • 4 hours 15 minutes from Atlanta, GA
  • 3 hours 55 minutes from Charlotte, NC
  • 2 hours 5 minutes from Charleston, SC

Location and Access

Burkes Beach is located at the end of Burkes Beach Road, just off of William Hilton Parkway (there is a sandy path that leads to the beach). The beach is close by the Chaplin Community Park and it’s easy to get there on bike (if your bike can ride through loose sand).

In the wake of street parking and meter spots being taken off limits for the time being, Burkes Beach visitors are required to park at the Chaplin Community Park (11 Cast Net Drive). Keep in mind that if you illegally park in an unnoticeable space, your car will be towed.

There is no entrance fee to Burkes Beach, which is a public beach. It’s open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Dog Policies

  • Burkes Beach is pet-friendly, which is great news for dog lovers!
  • You can take your furry companion to the beach during the designated hours (until 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m.).
  • There’s also a dog park right near the sand dunes.

Litchfield Beach

  • Sandy beach
  • 178 Sea Oats Cir, Pawleys Island, South Carolina 29585, US

Litchfield Beach is a popular destination for both locals and tourists looking for a quiet, relaxing vacation. The beach town offers fine dining, world-class golfing, and a relaxed atmosphere. The beach is well-kept and relatively uncrowded, and there are plenty of shops and restaurants nearby. Plus, the beach is bike-friendly, so it’s easy to get around.

Driving Time

  • 1 hour 50 minutes from Wilmington, NC
  • 1 hour 30 minutes from Charleston, SC
  • 35 minutes from Myrtle Beach, SC

Location and Access

Litchfield Beach is a small beach community located three miles north of Pawleys Island and 30 minutes south of Myrtle Beach. Litchfield Beach is part of the Grand Strand. North Litchfield and Litchfield-By-The-Sea are within walking distance of the town.

With free entry and plenty of room for everyone, Litchfield Beach is a great spot to enjoy the waves and the sand. The beach is open from sunrise to sunset every day. Parking is available on-site for a fee.

Dog Policies

  • The beach is a great place to bring your dog, as long as you remember to clean up after them. 
  • The beach allows dogs to be off their leash at certain times of the day, so they can enjoy the refreshing ocean water. Just be sure to put them back on their leash during the hours of 9 AM to 7 PM. 
  • If your dog is trained for voice command, you can let them off the leash at other times. 
  • From April 15th to October 31st, dogs are not allowed after 10 PM until one hour before sunrise. 
  • From November 1st to April 14th, the prohibited period starts at 8 PM until one hour before sunrise.

Isle of Palms County Park Beach

  • Sandy beach
  • 5 Sand Dune Ln, Isle of Palms, South Carolina 29451, US

Isle of Palms Beach is the most commercialized in the Charleston region, with clean sand, peaceful seas, a ‘no alcohol’ policy, convenient accessibility, and access to all necessary services. It is also seldom crowded. Families with children should go to the lifeguard-protected swimming area near Isle of Palms County Park.

Driving Time

  • 3 hours 15 minutes from Charlotte, NC
  • 2 hours 10 minutes from Savannah, GA
  • 1 hour 50 minutes from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Location, Access, and Parking

25 minutes from downtown Charleston, the Isle of Palms Beach offers several entry points at various locations. There is no entrance fee to the beach and more parking than other beaches in the region. If there isn’t a “No Parking” sign on the road, you may park along any street for free, with two paid public lots nearby and meters along the main drag.

Dog Policies

  • Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round, as long as they remain on a leash. 
  • Between April 1st to September 14th, dogs are permitted to be off-leash in the morning from 5 AM to 9 AM. 
  • In the off-season, from September 15th to March 31st, these off-leash hours are expanded to 4 PM-10 AM.

Morris Island Beach

  • Sandy beach
  • 1750 E Ashley Ave, Folly Beach, South Carolina 29439, US

Morris Island Beach is the perfect place for a pet-friendly getaway. The beach is only accessible by boat, which makes it feel like a true escape from everyday life. Once on the island, visitors can explore the undeveloped beach area with their furry companion. The Morris Island Lighthouse provides a beautiful backdrop for a day spent at the beach. Although dogs must be kept on a leash during bird nesting season, they are free to roam and enjoy the sand and water at other times of the year.

Location, Access

An inaccessible island at the entrance to Charleston Harbor, Morris Island is only accessible by private vessels. It’s great for long off-leash beach walks, dolphin sightings, and looking for shells and fossilized shark teeth. Apply sunscreen and bring lots of water for you and your dog. If you don’t have a boat, that’s not an issue. You can charter a vessel from Folly Beach or Charleston.

Dog Policies

  • Dogs are allowed on the Morris Island Beach year-round, but they must be kept on a leash during bird nesting season (usually February 1st to September 30th).
  • At other times of the year, dogs can enjoy the sand and water off-leash.

As more and more beaches start to allow your furry friend, we’ll keep you posted so that way there is no need for worry:

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Conclusion

If you’re looking for a dog-friendly beaches in South Carolina, you can’t go wrong with any of the beaches on this list. From the Isle of Palms to Morris Island, there are plenty of options for a fun-filled day at the beach with your furry friend. Just be sure to follow the dog policies in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

We’ll keep you posted as more and more beaches start to allow your furry friend. As the list grows, we will continue updating this blog post with all of them:

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