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If you're visiting Myrtle Beach and planning to do some Beach Metal Detecting but not sure of the rules, we'll list some straight forward guidelines here as there has been some confusion about the "area" of Myrtle Beach. The City of Myrtle Beach has about 10 miles of shoreline and Metal Detecting on the Beach is permitted day or night. This does not include the dunes, always stay off the dunes. City Parks are also off limits. North Myrtle Beach is not a northern section of Myrtle Beach it is a complete different City with basically the same rules except for a few worth mentioning. If you dig a hole on the beach, you must fill it back in before leaving the area or you could be fined around $100, and smoking on the beach is prohibited, but I have not seen the smoking rule enforced.
Now let's address the area that some folks refer to as The Grand Strand. The term "The Grand Strand" refers to roughly 60 miles of uninterrupted beach land that extends along the eastern coast of the Carolinas and as you've already learned there are some differences in rules. You will not find a map precisely marking The Grand Strand or any kind of a clear measuring of it. The term was coined by a newspaper columnist in 1949 as he changed the name of his column "From The Grandstand" to "From The Grand Strand" and over the years the term has been lovingly adopted by folks while referring to the entire area surrounding Myrtle Beach. Some measure it as running from Little River to Georgetown, while others will consider the area as extending north into Brunswick County, NC to areas such as Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle Beach.
We'll start listing beaches from north to south in an area you might be interested in metal detecting while visiting Myrtle Beach SC.
Sunset Beach/Bird Island NC - (southern tip in SC) is part of the North Carolina Coastal Reserve & National Estuarine Research Reserve. Metal Detecting is permitted on the beach area only.
Cherry Grove Beach SC - Metal Detecting is permitted
North Myrtle Beach SC - Metal Detecting is permitted, $100 fine for not filling in any holes left open, and beach is smoke free (have not seen the smoking rule enforced)
Atlantic Beach SC - Metal Detecting is permitted
Briarcliffe Acres Beach SC - Metal Detecting is permitted
Apache Pier Area SC - Metal Detecting is permitted
Ocean Club Grande Dunes Beach Area (Myrtle Beach) SC access by 82nd Ave North - Metal Detecting is permitted
Everything south of 82nd Ave North (Myrtle Beach) all the way down to Myrtle Beach State Park - Metal Detecting is permitted. The State Park will permit metal detecting on the beach only.
Pirate Land Campground Beach Area and Ocean Lakes Campground Beach Area - Metal Detecting is permitted on the beach, but you will need to be a guest of the said facility for easy access to the beach. If not a guest you still may lawfully access the beach area only by walking up the beach/coastline from the south end or down the beach/coastline from the north end. You will be trespassing if you exit the beach and enter either campground. This can be quite a long walk, be sure to check some maps before doing this.
Surfside Beach - Metal Detecting is permitted, and there is a no smoking policy in public areas.
Garden City Beach - Metal Detecting is permitted
Huntington Beach State Park - Beach detecting only with special park authorization.
Litchfield by the Sea Beach - Metal Detecting is permitted
Pawleys Island - Metal Detecting is permitted. The north end of the Island has a gated community and the beach can be legally accessed by walking up the beach/coastline or if you're a guest of the community. If you enter the community from the beach you will be trespassing.
Parking at just about all of these locations can be difficult or even expensive in areas that have metered parking as well. You'll find early morning and late afternoon will be the best time for finding parking, not to mention beating the summer heat while metal detecting.
As always, be safe and happy hunting!.
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