Isle of Palms Rules for the Beach That You Need to Know

Your vacation on Isle of Palms is going to be fabulous!! We can’t wait for you to get here! However, before you arrive, we think you need to know a few local Isle of Palms rules.

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SC beach rules vary from city to city, but they all exist to protect people, pets, property, and nature. We want you and your family to have the best beach experience possible. With over seven miles of gorgeous beaches and 57 public beach accesses, we promise there is more fun in the sun than rules! Review the following ordinances and guidelines, which apply to the beach and beach accesses, for a safe and enjoyable getaway to our coastal paradise.

Rules to Keep the Beach Clean & Beautiful

  • No littering! There are recycling and trash receptacles at each beach access. Please place your discarded items in the can or carry them with you. Before leaving the beach, please ensure no litter has been left behind.
  • Prohibited Items:
    • Single-use plastic bags
    • Plastic straws
    • Polystyrene (Styrofoam) coolers, cups, food containers
    • Balloons
  • No personal items are permitted to be left overnight, including chairs, tents, coolers, toys, umbrellas, etc. Items left on the beach after sunset will be removed.

Beach Rules for Safety

  • No smoking – This includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, e-cigarettes, and vaping.
  • No motorized vehicles or golf carts.
  • No electric vehicles, skateboards, or bikes are allowed between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
  • Jet skis and motorized boats are prohibited from operating inside designated swimming areas.
  • No alcoholic beverages.
  • No glass containers.
  • No overnight sleeping or camping.
  • No fireworks.
  • No open fires.
  • Directions from lifeguards must be adhered to. From May 27th to mid-August, lifeguards are on duty at the County Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. They are on duty on weekends only in May and September. No lifeguards are on duty outside of the county park.

Regulations to Protect Wildlife and the Beachscape

  • No interference with Sea Turtles. All sea turtles and their nests are protected. It is prohibited to interfere with them in any way.
  • Fill in holes dug in the sand. Holes dug during the day can be dangerous for people and wildlife.
  • Stay off the dunes! Sand dunes are a unique, fragile, and protected ecosystem. Use the designated walkways to help us preserve them.
  • No gatherings of groups of over 50 people without the required permit.

Rules for Our Furry Friends

  • Dogs must be on a leash except during designated times.
  • Dogs on public beaches must be vaccinated against rabies.
  • Pet owners must clean up all pet waste and dispose of it properly.


We hope that these Isle of Palms rules make you feel prepared and comfortable with your upcoming vacation. With miles of beautiful beaches just a stone’s throw from our IOP vacation rentals, it would be our pleasure to assist you in finding the rental home of your dreams. Browse the incredible selection of beachfront homes that could be your next vacation oasis!

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