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Using Umbrellas or Tents on the Beach


Tents restricted Memorial Day through Labor Day


The flyer pictured here is available as a three-up, print-on-demand .pdf handout for businesses to provide to customers and guests.  Remember to set "page scaling" to "none" before printing, so that the handout will be full-sized and properly formatted. 


Tents are convenient, but their use had become so plentiful at peak times and locations that they blocked access and visibility to the water's edge, affecting public safety and enjoyment of our beautiful beach.  For this reason, the City of Myrtle Beach has restricted the use of tents and other shading devices, except umbrellas, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. 


During summer months, umbrellas up to seven-and-a-half feet in diameter are allowed in line with or behind the established umbrella line, but no other shading devices are permitted.  Tents up to 12-by-12 feet square and less than nine feet tall may be used from the day after Labor Day until Memorial Day, behind the umbrella line and 10 feet apart.  Here is the relevant City Code:

Sec. 5-4.  Lifeguard stands' access, egress and line of sight protected.

a.   Through the use of “Beach Franchise Agreements,” the City has  established the time and placement of lifeguard stands to establish and preserve public safety.

b.   Lifeguard stands' access, egress and line of sight are to remain unobstructed. Any umbrellas, shading devices, or other obstructions shall not impede upon the franchise’s line of sight or access or egress for purposes of public safety. 

c.   Umbrellas and Shading Devices must be placed above the high-tide line.

d.   Established umbrella lines.  Any shading devices, or other obstructions that impeded upon the franchisee's established umbrella line may be moved landward of the established umbrella line.  Any umbrellas, shading devices, or other obstructions cannot obstruct the view of the lifeguard's area of responsibility and may be removed.  No shading devices or other obstructions may be placed within ten (10) feet of any established umbrella line.  Shading devices must be placed outside of the established umbrella line and shall remain in-line or landward of the established umbrella line. 

e.   Shading devices. Shading devices shall not exceed the maximum size of twelve (12) feet by twelve (12) feet or 144 square feet and the maximum height of any shading device shall not exceed nine (9) feet installed. Shading devices, other than circular umbrellas with a diameter of 7.5’ or less, shall not be placed within 10’ of any other shading device. All shading devices are prohibited from being tied, bound, joined, or connected in any manner. Excluding umbrellas, all shading devices shall be secured in such fashion to restrict uncontrolled movement of the device and secured with fasteners, stakes, weights, or the like that will not endanger beach patrons. Anchoring lines, tethers, or the like shall not extend beyond the perimeter of the shading device.  Shading devices, other than circular umbrellas with a diameter of seven and one-half feet or less, shall not be allowed on the beach between Memorial Day through Labor Day; provided, however, baby tents no larger than 36" high by 36" wide by 36" deep may be used year-round on the beach to shade infants and small children.

f.   It shall be unlawful for any person to place any shading device or umbrella so as to impede lifeguard line of sight, access or egress from the lifeguard stand.

(Ordinance 2012-35, June 12, 2012; Ordinance 2014-19, March 25, 2014; and Ordinance 2016-37, May 24, 2016)


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City Hall
937 Broadway Street
P.O. Box 2468, Myrtle Beach, SC 29578
(843) 918-1000   Fax: (843) 918-1028
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