Top Dog Friendly Beaches in South Carolina

Dog friendly beaches are heaven on earth for Fido. And since sandy paws equal happy dogs, we’ve sniffed out the best beaches in South Carolina where dogs can run, swim, and frolic in the sand. Use the links/map below to find a dog-friendly beach in South Carolina.

Myrtle Beach (Dogs on Beach Policy)

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Most public beaches in the Myrtle Beach area are pet friendly during early morning hours or during late evenings year-round. From May 1 through Labor Day, dogs are allowed on the beach only before 10 am and after 5 pm. Dogs and bicycles are allowed on the boardwalk only between 5am to 10am from May 1 through Labor Day. From the day after Labor Day to April 30 each year, dogs are allowed on the beach at any time of day. At all times when dogs are allowed on the beach, they must be on a leash that is seven feet or shorter, and dog owners must pick up and properly dispose of the droppings.

Alder Lane Beach Access

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Alder Lane Beach is a great, quiet getaway from the typical beach scene since its crowd size is much smaller than that of the surrounding area beaches. It's located off of South Forest Beach drive, next to the Marriott Grande Ocean Resort, and amenities include Beach Matting, Restrooms, Outdoor Showers, 22 Metered Parking Spaces, and Seasonal Lifeguards. Animals are permitted on the beach during the official beach season, April 1st through September 30th before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m, or anytime in the off season. They must be on a leash or under positive voice control at all times. Owner's are also required to remove and properly dispose of the animal's excrement as well.

Burkes Beach

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Very nice beach, metered spaces, dog friendly before 10am and after 5pm Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends, walking distance (for those who like to walk) to the Chaplain Community Park which includes the Best Friends Dog Park, and if you don't like to walk, there are parking spaces in both areas. Parking is free at the Community Park, and metered at the beach access point.

Myrtle Beach State Park

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Leashed dogs are permitted on the trails and in most of the outdoor areas of Myrtle Beach State Park. However, dogs are not permitted on any beaches in the park from 10:00 am-5:00 pm, May 1-Labor Day. Dogs must be leashed at all times, and humans must always clean up after their pets.

Beach at Sullivans Island

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Off-leash dogs are welcome to enjoy the beautiful beach on Sullivan's Island from 5:00 am to 10:00 am and leashed dogs are welcome on the beach from 6:00 pm to 5:00 am. Dogs are not permitted on the beach between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm. All dogs on Sullivan Island, including day visitors and vacation renters, must have a town-issued dog permit to visit the island, including the beach. Town Hall (located at 2050-B Middle Street) issues annual permits for $35 per dog. Completed applications and proof of valid rabies vaccination are required for permit.

Isle of Palm Beaches

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From 5:00AM until 8:00AM April 1st through September 14th and 4:00PM until 10:00AM September 15th through March 31st. Dog owners must have leash in hand, have their dog under voice command and must clean up excrement. At all other times, dogs must be on leash and under complete control, even in the water.

Morris Island

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Morris Island is an undeveloped island at the mouth of Charleston Harbor that's only accessible by private boats. It is a fantastic place for long, off-leash beach strolls, dolphin-watching, and hunting for shells and fossilized shark teeth. Put on sunscreen and bring plenty of water for you and your pup. No boat? No problem! Adventure Harbor Tours offers 3-hour dog friendly tours of the island for $50 per adult and $30 per child (dogs free). Call (843) 442-9455 for more information.

Surfside Beach Bark Park

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Nice spot to bring Fido for a little exercise. Dogs must have current rabies vaccinations and wear current Town of Surfside Beach license tags. Tags can be purchased for $10 at Town Hall 115 US Highway 17 N.

Hunting Island State Park

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Hunting Island is South Carolina’s single most popular state park, attracting more than a million visitors a year, as well as a vast array of land and marine wildlife. 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.

Public Beaches at Folly Beach

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Public beach access points can be found at the end of every block, meaning you and your pup can easily head to the beach for some fun in the sand and surf. Dogs are allowed on the beach throughout the year, however between May 1 and September 30, dogs are not permitted on the beach from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Dogs must be leashed while on the beach and pet waste must be picked up immediately.

Folly Beach

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Folly Beach is one of Charleston's more pet-friendly beaches. Dogs are allowed on the beach any time from October 1 to April 30. Between May 1 and September 30, dogs are not allowed on the beach from 10:00 am-6:00 pm. Dogs must be leashed at all times, no matter the time of year.

Hilton Head Island Beaches

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Dogs are allowed on Hilton Head beaches and must be on a leash between 10 am and 5 pm from April 1 through the Thursday before Memorial Day, and must be leashed between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm the Tuesday after Labor Day through September 30. Dogs must be on leash or under positive voice control at all other times. Dogs not permitted between 10 am and 5 pm from the Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day. Persons in control of animals on the beach are required to remove and properly dispose of the animal's excrement. Please note that the Beaufort County Sheriff's Department patrols the beaches and enforces all regulations. Violators of beach regulations are subject to fines up to $500 per each offense. Call (843) 341-4600 for more information.

Kiawah Beachwalker Park

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Kiawah Beachwalker Park, located on the west end of Kiawah Island, offers ocean frontage and a river view, along with the only public beach access on beautiful Kiawah Island. The park is operated through a cooperative agreement between Kiawah Development Partners, Charleston County Council, and the Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission. Lifeguards are on duty seasonally along a beachfront designated swimming area. Dogs must be leashed at all times.

Edisto Beach

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There’s nothing like going down to the beach, splashing in the waves, digging in the sand, and rolling on top of whatever has the most pungent scent. At least that’s how it is for dogs. Edisto Beach is a dog-friendly beach provided pet parents abide by the rules set forth in the town’s ordinances. From May 1 to Oct. 31, all dogs must be on a leash at all times. Owners are required to clean up after their pets as well and there are waste bags available on the beach. In the off-season, dogs should be on a leash, although it isn’t a requirement. Pet parents should always make sure their dogs are in control if they are off a leash. It is also important to make sure you and your pets are familiar with the beach as there are significant drop-offs on either side of the groins lining the beach. This could provide an opportunity for pets to take an unexpected plummet. Additionally, the surf can be strong and smaller dogs could potentially lose their footing, so pet parents should be cautious. But for the most part, dogs love the beach and have a great time playing on it just like their human counterparts. It’s a rare day on Edisto to not come across at least one dog on the beach. Edisto Beach is great for dogs that love swimming, jumping over waves, playing an aquatic version of fetch, digging in the sand, battling unexpected sand crabs, and going on jaunts down the shoreline. For pet parents who enjoy an easier walk with their pets, the area of the beach down around the sound is flatter and the surf is gentler. It’s also usually rife with small tidal pools that provide tons of fun for pooches. Many of the rental homes offer vacationers the option to pay a pet fee so that beloved pets can enjoy an Edisto vacation along with their families, so be sure to bring your pet along the next time you make your way to Edisto Beach.

Huntington Beach State Park

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Leashed dogs are welcome in the park year round, and on the south end of the beach. The north end of the beach prohibits pets.

Isle Of Palms

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Dogs are welcome off-leash on Isle of Palm Beaches during the following times of year: 5am until 9am - April 1st through September 14th; 4pm until 10am - September 15th through March 31st. At all other times, dogs must be on leash and under complete control, even in the water.

Edisto Island

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Ordinances - The ordinances regarding dogs at Edisto Beach are as follows; They must be on a leash on the sandy beach from May 1 through October 31. Otherwise, dogs must be within verbal command of owner, on a leash, or in a secure area within the town limits. For everyone’s convenience, the town just installed some new receptacles for pet waste in higher traffic areas. (Special Note – the above laws pertain to the Town of Edisto Beach. If you will be on State Park property, state law requires that dogs be on a leash year round.)