If you want to book an accommodation, go to our accommodation guide, want to dine out, go to our restaurant guide, want to play golf, book it on line at our golf guide or need to find a business, they are all in our yellow pages. But if you want to know anything else, read on because visitors have questions; residents have questions. North Myrtle Beach Online.Com puts the answers in simple, easy to understand language.
Yes, North Myrtle Beach does prohibit smoking – in some areas. The city’s non-smoking regulations are rather commonsense; smoking is not allowed in enclosed spaces where the public is invited. Therefore:
Smoking is not allowed in restaurants anymore but you can smoke in outdoor cafés if allowed by the operator. You can smoke along the streets and sidewalks but not inside stores or bars.
You can smoke in any rental facility (like a beach house for example) if allowed by the proprietor but only in your room in a hotel or inn as allowed by the operator. You cannot smoke in the common, public areas of hotels or inns.
There is one set of exceptions to the enclosed space framework and that is in public parks, ball parks, and the like. If you want to smoke, you have to go to a designated smoking area.
Good news for you smokers, there is no prohibition to smoking on the beach.
You would think that once at the beach, a golf cart would get you anywhere you wanted to go. Well, they are fun and easy to drive but….. It’s not that simple.
If you bring your own cart, recognize that the State of South Carolina sees it as a road vehicle and it must be permitted – not licensed like a car, but permitted. It will cost you five bucks at the nearest DMV.
The operator of the cart must be licensed and, like when driving a car, must be at least 16 and have his or her license and registration with them.
As much as you would like to run out at night with the kids to the ice cream shop, you will have to take your car; a golf cart can be operated during daylight hours only. And, even if it is daytime, that shop better be within four miles of the registered address and you must be able to get to it by driving only on a secondary street with a speed limit of 35 mph or less or, again, you better take the car.
Beyond those broad boundaries, the city has put additional restriction on where golf carts can be driven. They are not allowed on Highway 17, 27th Avenue South, Ocean Boulevard and Sea Mountain Highway. However, golf carts may cross these roads to go from one secondary street to another and must cross at a crosswalk.
With the flap of the last few years, when neighboring Myrtle Beach enacted laws in 2009 designed to discourage motorcyclists, North Myrtle Beach Online. Com receives many questions about North Myrtle Beach’s attitude about bikers.
The answer is North Myrtle Beach is bike friendly. At the time Myrtle Beach was enacting new laws, the North Myrtle Beach Chamber issued a press release titled, “Bikers welcome in North Myrtle Beach.” The chamber sent this communication to its entire visitor and media database. The announcement also included a statement from the North Myrtle Beach City Manager stating, “We welcome you and every other visitor with open arms, but ask, in return, that you abide by the City's laws and be courteous of residents and guests of North Myrtle Beach.”
In further evidence of being friendly to bikers, recently, in April, 2012 officials announced the city will sponsor the Harley Owners Group fall rally drawing around 4000 bikers to the area October 4 – 6.
Many bikers are concerned about how the city regulates bike noise. The ordinance leaves it up to a police officer to determine whether bike noise is excessive. The officer only need to decide that the noise is plainly audible fifty feet from its source and annoys, disturbs or injures the peace.
In 2011 the city issued less than 200 citations in some form (citations, warrants, warnings, etc.) duriing the tourist season. However, over 65 percent occured during May when both the Harley and the Atlantic Beach rallies occur.
Fireworks at the beach
It’s a tradition. You go to the beach; you shoot off fireworks – from roman candles, fountains, spinners, firecrackers to sparklers. Or you watch from the hotel balcony while others set them off.
There is a rite of passage with firework. When very young, parents would only let children have sparklers. Remember – you would stand there looking pleased, waving the sparkler around, maybe making figure eights and feeling very daring. Then a little older, they would entrust to us the string of firecrackers. Our choice - light them one at a time or an entire bundle. Made you feel really grown up. But then you were regarded as responsible when you were the one lighting the roman candles and mortars.
But they are illegal. The law simply and clearly states it “shall be unlawful for any person to use, fire, shoot, discharge, burn or in any manner ignite or activate any fireworks.” Not ambiguous at all.
But does the city turn a blind eye? At the risk of seeming to encourage law breaking, I’ll simply lay out some observations. We’ve lived here 12 years, been coming down for over thirty and never seen any public official interfere with anyone setting off fireworks. We live close to the beach and every night for those twelve years during the tourist season, fireworks can be seen and heard going off on the beach. During 2011, the city issued only 51 citations, warrents or warnings concerning fireworks.
Going to get some rays? What you need to know about your visit to the beach.
As they became more popular and therefore more populous, those tents (the 10x10s or larger) beach-goers bring to the beach became a hassle and a safety issue for the city. Visitors were staking out claims when they arrived, leaving them up all week and, consequently, keeping the sand rakes from doing their job. At the end of a visitor’s stay, the tents were discarded and crammed the landfill. They blocked the views of the lifeguards and, in places, created an impenetrable barrier to safety vehicles. Sounds pretty ugly doesn’t it?
To get the situation under control, the city passed some commonsense regulations. Tents are capped at 12 ft x 12 ft - can’t be any larger than that and can’t be taller than 9 foot. Tents and umbrellas can’t be on the beach before 8 am and must be removed by 7 pm. After 7pm the city will remove them and the owner will have to pay to reclaim them.
To insure there is a travel lane, tents must be landward of the city umbrella line or if there isn’t one, landward of the high tide mark. Although umbrellas can be placed close to each other, tents can’t be closer than ten feet to another tent. Neither tents nor umbrellas can be closer than ten feet to a lifeguard stand. Moreover, both umbrellas and tents must be 20 to 25 feet seaward from the dune line. Anchoring lines must stay within the perimeter of the tent or umbrella.
Digging holes at the beach
It’s a lot of fun – burying someone in the sand or building an elaborate sand castle. But that sometimes means moving sand; creating a hole. No problem, enjoy. But when you are through, fill that hole back in if it is more than a foot deep. It’s the law. The city has determined the holes present a hazard to other beach goers, especially those that walk late in the evening or in the early morning hours, and to beach cleaning and patrol equipment. You could be fined.
Dining on the sand
Take your cooler. Put your favorite sandwiches on ice along with your favorite soft drink. But don’t pack your favorite brewski (or anything stronger). Alcohol is prohibited. So forget bringing that bottle of your favorite wine. You might just as well anyway. Wine tastes terrible out of a box and drank from a plastic cup which is the only way you can consume it since glass containers are prohibited.
Then, don’t forget to hold on to your napkins, wrappers and other things that will blow in the wind. Not cleaning up can be expensive. Littering on the beach can result in a fine of $1,000.
Dogs on the beach
He’s like one of the family and just has to come along on vacation, but the family dog cannot roam freely. Anywhere you are out and about in the city, he must be on a leash not to exceed 7 feet and that includes the beach. For those of you that have a dog that likes to chase and catch a freebee and can do that on a 7 foot leash, please send us the link to your youtube video.
If you are here during the prime tourism season, May 15 through September 15, Rover cannot be on the beach from 9 am to 5 pm. And, of course, if you take him for a walk outside of those hours, you have to clean up after your pooch. Keep North Myrtle Beach Beautiful has plastic bags for this purpose in many beach entry locations.
Ok. You have followed all the regulations. You have your tent legally set up. You built the sand castle and filled up the hole. You left Rover in the rental. You’ve dined (without alcohol) and now it’s time to test the water. You are an expert swimmer, swam competitively, done triathlons, maybe even coached a swim team, but it doesn’t matter. The city says you cannot swim in the ocean more than fifty yards from shore or be in water at a greater depth than shoulder height. No exceptions. Go figure.
If you are from an area where you can drive on the beach, forget it here. You can’t. Want to ride a horse? You can’t on the public beach but Inlet Point Plantation offers horseback rides on a private beach for about $100.
Want to skip the lodging costs and just sleep on the beach at night. It’s prohibited. Try it and you may find your free lodging in the city jail.
Need a wheelchair that can handle the sand. The city will provide you one. Read "Beach wheelchairs available."