It doesn't have to be summer to enjoy a relaxing day on the beach. In fact, many Myrtle Beach visitors have discovered that more moderate temperatures can be a better way of enjoying a day in the surf and the sand than during the dog days of summer.
And the milder weather isn't the only reason to check out the beach in the winter and summer months. Sure, you might need to wear a few more items of clothing to be comfortable, but the smaller crowds and more lax beach rules make it worth a trip.
The Grand Strand, the 60-mile stretch of coast that surrounds Myrtle Beach, is made up of several different municipalities with their own set of beach rules. Since Paradise Resort is within the city limits of Myrtle Beach, we will list the dates that apply, but be sure to check local beach rules if you travel outside of Myrtle Beach proper.
Here's a look at the Myrtle Beach regulations for visiting the beach in the offseason:
* Dogs: Our four-legged friends love to visit in the offseason, especially since they are allowed on the beach at any time of day or night as long as they are accompanied by+ an owner at the other end of their leashes. Beginning May 1 and running through Labor Day in September, dogs are not permitted on the beach from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Dogs are allowed the other 17 hours of the day as long as they are kept on a leash a maximum of 6 feet in length. Regardless of the calendar, dogs are required to be on a leash at all times and owners are required to curb their dogs. Trash cans and bags are located at virtually every beach access.
* Horses: If you are relaxing on the beach in the winter, don't be surprised to see folks riding horseback down the shoreline. Horses and riders are allowed on the beach within the city of Myrtle Beach from the third Saturday in November until the end of February, but only in groups of six or fewer. Horses must enter the beach at nearby Myrtle Beach State Park, just a mile south of Paradise Resort. Riders are required to clean up after their horses above the high-tide line. There are several special weekend events when horses and their owners gather at the park for group riding.
* Tents: Last summer was the city's first experiment in banning beach tents because the makeshift tent cities were creating problems for lifeguards' sightlines down the beach and preventing emergency vehicles and workers from being able to quickly respond to calls on the beach. But that rule doesn't apply during the offseason, so visitors are free to set up their beach tents in the winter and the spring. The tents not only come in handy for blocking the sun, but also the prevailing ocean breezes that can make it cooler on the beach in the offseason. The tents will be banned again beginning Memorial Day.
* Watersports: The ocean temperature may make these rules mum, but the city of Myrtle beach has strict guidelines about where and when these activities can take place. Boats, jet skis and other personal watercraft may not be operated within 100 yards of the shore line from April 15 to Sept. 15 and only in the areas from 29th Avenue South to 31st Avenue North, and from 69th Avenue North to 77th Avenue North. Surfing and kayaking are restricted to these same zones from April 30 to Sept. 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., so spring and winter watersports enthusiasts have their run of the beach. Surfing and kayaking are not permitted within 400 feet of any fishing pier.