Hilton Head Island has 13 miles of pristine beach that runs along the Atlantic Coast. Though the entire beach, from the ocean to the high water mark is public, access remains private for many sections of the beach. Hilton Head Island beaches offer many great water sport activities, and you’ll also find the perfect stretch for an early morning jog or afternoon spent building sandcastles with the family. Listed below you will find several important pieces of information, including beach public access points and beach rules.
Public Access to Hilton Head Island Beaches:
The Town of Hilton Head Island provides five (5) Public Beach Accesses as follows:
• Alder Lane Beach Access off South Forest Beach Drive – Parking available.
• Beachfront at Coligny Circle – Parking available.
• Driessen Beach Park at the end of Bradley Beach Road – Parking available.
• Folly Field Beach Park off Folly Field Road – Parking available.
• Fish Haul Creek Park off Beach City Road – Parking available.
• Islander Beach Park at the end of Folly Field Road. The Beach Park is for Property Owners on Hilton Head Island and all cars parking there must have a beach bumper sticker obtained from the Town of Hilton Head Island. The annual cost is $15 per car. Beach Parking Application – Residents (click) Actual Town of Hilton Head Application
• All Plantations with beaches have numerous beach access points for their guests.
• All major Island Hotels have beach access for their guests.
Monthly Average Air and Ocean Temperatures:
Prohibited at the Beach all year long:
• Liquor, beer or wine.
• All forms of glassware.
• Shark fishing.
• Sleeping on the beach after midnight.
• The operation, launching or landing of motorized watercraft.
Seasonal Rules from April – September:
• No Stunt Kites between 10 A.M. – 6 P.M.
• No sand-sailing between 10 A.M. – 6 P.M.
• No fishing or surf casting in designated swimming areas.
• No surfboards, boogie boards or other articles to ride the surf in designated swimming areas.
• No frisbees or other team sports involving a ball in designated swimming areas.
• No games with metal components (such as metal horseshoes) in designated swimming areas.
• October – March: No leashes required at any time. The animal IS required to be under positive voice control.
• April – May: Animals must be on a leash between 10 A.M. – 5 P.M.
• The Friday before Memorial Day until Monday of Labor Day weekend: NO animals allowed on the beach between 10 A.M. – 5 P.M.
• Tuesday after Labor Day – September: Animals must be on a leash from 10 A.M. – 5 P.M.
• October – March: No leashes required at any time. Animal IS required to be under positive voice control.
On the beach or not, local law requires owners to clean up after their pets.
TOURISTS BEWARE – FISHING IS NOT FREE
In July of 2009, our legislature made a big change to our saltwater fishing regulations by requiring that all shore based fishermen, residents and tourists alike must buy a South Carolina saltwater fishing license.
• “This act requires all individuals (16 and over) to have a saltwater recreational fishing license when harvesting marine resources, including finfish, oysters, clams, shrimp and crab.”
• The license process is easy and cheap. An annual resident SC saltwater fishing license is just $10 (14 day license for a SC resident license is $5). A non-resident can purchase a 14 day saltwater fishing license for $11 ($35 for the year). Licenses can be purchased 24/7 by phone at 1-888-714-3611 or online at www.sc.dnr.gov. You can do it in the car on the way to your fishing spot or buy it at Wal-Mart. A copy of South Carolina’s fishing rules and regulations can be found at most of the fishing tackle stores in our area or on the SCDNR website.