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The City of Myrtle Beach has made several changes to beach ordinances in recent years in an effort to create a safe, happy and healthy environment for everyone to enjoy. Here's an updated list of the local beach laws for the summer of 2017:
* Beach Tents: Shading devices can come in handy on the beach, but only umbrellas are allowed between Memorial Day (May 29) and Labor Day (Sept. 4) per a new City of Myrtle Beach law. In order to provide lifeguards with unimpeded sight lines and to allow emergency vehicles easy access, all shading devices must be set up along or behind the high-tide mark. Furthermore, the maximum size for umbrellas is 7 1/2 feet in diameter, and shading devices may not be left on the beach overnight.
* Bicycles: Bikes and other pedal-powered vehicles are fun to ride on the beach, but they can create a safety concern due to the increased foot traffic on the beach during the summer months. For this reason, bikes are prohibited on the beach between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., from May 1 through Sept. 4. However, cyclists can go for a spin on the beachfront by using the recently installed bike lanes and paths along Ocean Boulevard. Caribbean guests can hang a left on the Boulevard to go through the downtown district, or a right to bike along Myrtle Beach's famous Golden Mile stretch of historic beach homes.
* Dogs: The City of Myrtle Beach requires owners to keep their dogs on a leash of no more than 7 feet at all times, and dogs are allowed on the beach only during certain hours in the summer months. From May 1 to Sept. 4, four-legged friends can enjoy the beach before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. Owners are required to clean up after their dogs, and there are baggie stations and trash cans located at every public beach access.
* Forbidden Items: There are year-round rules of the beach that everyone should know and follow, such as a ban on alcoholic beverages, campfires, glass containers, fireworks, and the destruction of sea oats and sand dunes. Another good rule of thumb is that if it is illegal on dry land, it is also illegal in the surf and on the sand. Littering is an extra no-no in order to protect the environment and the beauty of our beaches, so please pack a trash bag in your beach tote for easy cleanup.
* Surf Zones: To avoid dangerous encounters between surfers and swimmers, the City of Myrtle Beach has set up five "surf zones" for certain water sports, such as surfing, kiteboarding, jet-skiing and windsurfing, for use between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the summer months. Guests at The Caribbean Resort & Villas are only a short walk from the nearest surf zone between 34th and 47th Avenues North. Other surf zones are located from 29th Avenue South to the southernmost city limits; between 62nd and 68th Avenues North; between 78th and 81st Avenues North; and from 87th Avenue North to the northernmost city limits.
* Watercraft: The use of jet-skis, sailboats, sailboards, kite-surfing boards and similar devices is restricted from May 1 to Sept. 4. These watercraft are not permitted within 100 yards of the beach to avoid any encounters with swimmers. Of course, the outfitters who rent such equipment have specific instructions on when and where you can safely operate.
Of course, the No. 1 rule at the oceanfront Caribbean Resort & Villas is to have fun, and we have all the great amenities to make it happen. Book your vacation plans today, and get ready for a memorable summer.