Headed for the beach this summer? If you are, there are a few things that you should know about beach ordinances and parking fees in Myrtle Beach and the surrounding areas. All of these are designed to keep you safe while you’re enjoying the stunning beaches of the Grand Strand. Keep these things in mind when you’re ready for some sun and sand:

Parking: You probably already know that parking fees are changing. There is no longer free beach access along Myrtle Beach. If you don’t live within Myrtle Beach city limits, expect to pay $4 per hour, up to a total of $20 per day, to park in beach access areas. This could change, as this is a new ruling and is still under debate, but it's a good idea to plan ahead for parking fees for the immediate future.

Swimming: If you’re planning on getting in the water, remember that you must stay within 50 yards of the beach or within shoulder-depth water. Jumping and diving off piers is prohibited, as is swimming within 50 yards of those piers. If floating is more your style, only rafts made of canvas or fabric are allowed in the water. And remember that no thong swim-suits are allowed.

Tents & Umbrellas: The sun can be viscous during the summer. It’s always a good idea to bring along some portable shade, but remember that ordinances for tents and umbrellas change during the summer season (May 1 – Labor Day). Tents and pavilions are banned on all beaches during the summer season and for most beaches, umbrellas must be round and throw shade that is not more than 7.5 feet in diameter. The exception to this is on North Myrtle Beach where umbrellas are permitted to throw shade up to 9 feet in diameter.

In addition to these rules and guidelines, there are a few more you should keep in mind, as well:

The possession or consumption of alcohol is prohibited on all beaches, as are glass containers or bottles of any kind.

All dogs in public must be on a leash, and no dogs are allowed on the beaches during the summer season. Horses are also prohibited on most beaches year round, and on Pawley’s Island from March 15-Sept 15.

Possession and discharging of fireworks is illegal on the beaches and within the city limits of all municipalities along the Grand Strand.

On a final note, campfires and propane grills are prohibited on the beach, and littering is not only "trashy" but also illegal. Following these guidelines and ordinances keep our beaches safe, clean, and enjoyable for everyone all summer long.