Grand Strand Beach Tent Ordinances

Recent policy changes regarding tents and shading devices on the beaches along the Grand Strand have many confused and upset. We would like to offer some clarification about the ordinances and encourage our guests to continue to visit North Myrtle Beach.

Photos courtesy of NMB Beach Patrol

Photos courtesy of NMB Beach Patrol

North Myrtle Beach

North Myrtle Beach City Council voted to ban shading devices other than umbrellas along the beach from May 15 to September 15. The law defines a beach umbrella as “a collapsible circular shade…radiating from a central pole without grounding lines or ropes” (Section 5-24, B). Umbrellas may not exceed 7’6” in height and 9’ in diameter (Section 5-24, B). Violators may be charged up to $500.

The change to the ordinance was spurred by safety concerns. Many emergency response teams have noted an increased difficulty in locating victims in recent years due to an increase in tents along the beach.  The city’s Beach Services department will continue to rent beach chairs and umbrellas. Visitors are welcome to bring their own chairs and umbrellas.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach City Council voted to ban oceanfront business license holders from providing or renting beach chairs and umbrellas (Ordinance No. 2014-14). This change was enacted because an oceanfront hotel was offering guests complementary beach chairs and umbrellas.  If a business violates this ordinance, the business may lose their license.

Also, Myrtle Beach City Council recently passed the first reading of their own tent ban last week. Myrtle Beach’s ordinance would prohibit tents from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It needs an additional reading to become a law.

Horry County

The county council will meet April 1 to discuss creating an ordinance to ban the use of tents year-round. Myrtle Beach council members indicated to local news channel WPDE that Myrtle Beach would follow the decision made by the county.

Our recommendation

We understand that many of our guests need a place to shelter from the sun during their time with us at the beach.  We truly appreciate your business and we are grateful you choose to visit North Myrtle Beach. Your concerns are very real and we take them to heart. We want to ensure that your family is able to enjoy the same vacation you have come to look forward to each and every year.  Please know that we think of our guests any time changes like this are proposed.

If you feel that you cannot enjoy the beach without a tent, you may cancel your reservation per our cancellation policy. Otherwise, we recommend enjoying the beach in the morning or late afternoon hours when the sun is less intense. Stay on the beach for a couple of hours before heading back indoors for a snack or other activity. Consider wearing clothing with built-in sun protection, such as a fishing shirt, rash guard or hat. Always wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water.  And of course, you can still bring along a reliable umbrella and set up for the day!

We want you to enjoy your North Myrtle Beach vacation and hope you will return. If you have any questions about these ordinances, your upcoming vacation please give us a call at 800-525-0225 and we will be happy to assist you. We will continue to update you on changes to local policies that may affect your vacation. Thank you for visiting the Grand Strand and staying with Elliott Beach Rentals. We hope to see you again this summer.

Update (March 27, 2014): Myrtle Beach City Council voted on Tuesday, March 25 to ban tents on the beach from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Umbrellas less than 7.5′ in diameter are allowed. Horry County Council will discuss a county-wide ban at their meeting on April 1.

avatar About Hilary

Hilary is from Conway, SC and has been a lifelong visitor to North Myrtle Beach. She has lived in North Myrtle Beach permanently since 2009. A graduate of CCU’s History program, Hilary enjoys the local history and legend of the low-country as well as the modern growth of the tourism industry in Myrtle Beach. She works as a Marketing and Guest Services Assistant for Elliott Beach Rentals where she has been given the freedom to express her love and enthusiasm for the Grand Strand.


  1. Morgan,
    There is no confusion. I understand North Myrtle is banning tents. I hope you understand that I and my family will be vacationing elsewhere after three decades of visiting North Myrtle (Cherry Grove).
    Enjoy your tent-free beach.

  2. beach umbrellas do not shade babies, toddlers or children.. this age group is very susceptible to sun BURN. are you going to ban this age group from the beach next??? i realize you are trying to make money.. but these children need to be protected…. do not ban the “tents” that are sold to protect this age group. discriminatory policy…

  3. As a 44 year old father of 4, NMB has been my vacation spot 42 summers in my life. All of my children have come to NMB every summer of their lives. As my sons get older, we’ve come down on 3 father-son golf trips and we’ve spent 25 of the last 26 Thanksgiving weeks at NMB. I’d confidently say that my family and immediate extended family have spent well in excess of $100k in vacation rentals during those trips. My kids have been asking for us to look at another beach to vacation at for several years. I’ve avoided it because we know MB and NMB like our own home town. But this ordinance probably ends our streak. In recent years, NMB has become less and less tourist friendly, with increases taxes on rentals, a virtual “speed trap” all over town and just a general reduction in “Southern Hospitality” (it just feels like a “money grab” for our standpoint). Thanks for all the great properties that you put us in, but I’d say we’ll look for another place to say. Our beach days consisted of going down at 9AM and setting up our “base camp” and going down and back from our condo all day before taking it down between 6-7PM. In recent years our kids have brought friends and we are routinely a party of 9 with 3 cars. I know that’s a drop in the bucket, but hopefully enough families like mine will feel the same way and your politicians will feel the financial impact of their stupidity. Best of luck and thanks for the memories NMB, but this is a little bit of business that you won’t be getting until you come to your senses!

  4. avatar ridiculous says:

    This is absolutely absurd! No way will I give any of my money for the umbrellas at North Myrtle. That has been our vacation spot for 30 years. Our family of about 35 get together and enjoy the beach under our tents each year. We will definitely cancel our reservations & look elsewhere where we can relax under out tents, I am sure we will not be the only family to do this. I feel that your greediness will cause you a huge money loss. Whoever came up with this, should be fired!

  5. avatar krishgeriko says:

    Too sad. But it is the correct decision. We could use chairs and umberallas. Thank you for sharing with us. Myrtle beach condos for sale

  6. I really appreciate you sharing this with the public. You could have not said anything and most people would have had no idea until they got to the beach. Thank you for all the many years you have provided, not only myself, but my whole family, nice places to stay. Please keep us informed if the Ban is lifted, or what we can do to help get the ruling changed. My family of over 40 will have to find a new place that allows tents.

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