Beach Information for Hilton Head Island, SC

General Beach Information

Animal Regulations

  • April – May: Animals must be on a leash between 10 A.M. and 5 P.M.
  • The Friday before Memorial Day until Monday of Labor Day weekend – NO animals allowed on the beach between 10 A.M. – 5 P.M.
  • Tuesday after Labor Day – Animals must be on a leash from 10 A.M. – 5 P.M.
  • October – March – No leashes required at any time. Animal IS required to be under positive voice control.
  • On the beach or not, local law requires owners to clean up after their pets.

Seasonal Rules from April – September

  • No Stunt Kites between 10 A.M. – 6 P.M.
  • No sand-sailing between 10 A.M. – 6 P.M.
  • No fishing or surf casting in designated swimming areas.
  • No surfboards, boogie boards or other articles to ride the surf in designated swimming areas.
  • No frisbees or other team sports involving a ball in designated swimming areas.
  • No games with metal components (such as metal horseshoes) in designated swimming areas.

Prohibited at the Beach all year long

  • Liquor, beer or wine.
  • All forms of glassware.
  • Shark fishing.
  • Horses.
  • Sleeping on the beach after midnight.
  • The operation, launching or landing of motorized watercraft (except in emergencies).

Public Access to Hilton Head Island Beaches

The Town of Hilton Head Island provides four (4) Public Beach Accesses as follows:

  • Alder Lane Beach Access off South Forest Beach Drive – Parking available.
  • Beachfront at Coligny Circle – Parking available.
  • Driessen Beach Park at the end of Bradley Beach Road – Parking available.
  • Folly Field Beach Park off Folly Field Road – Parking available.
  • All Plantations with beaches have numerous beach access points for their guests.
  • All major Island Hotels have beach access for their guests.

Note: Islander Beach Park at the end of Folly Field Road opened in early 1999. The Beach Park is for Property Owners on Hilton Head Island and all cars parking there must have a beach bumper sticker obtained from the Town of Hilton Head Island. The annual cost is $30 per car.
The newest beach access opened 4/7/05 at Fish Hall Creek Park located on 31 acres next to Fish Haul Creek at 284 Beach City Road. Facilities include a bathroom, picnic pavilion, trails leading to Port Royal Sound ad an observation deck overlooking the marshes.

Monthly Average Air & Ocean Temperatures

  • January • Air 59 • Ocean 52
  • February • Air 61 • Ocean 54
  • March • Air 67 • Ocean 59
  • April • Air 76 • Ocean 67
  • May • Air 82 • Ocean 75
  • June • Air 86 • Ocean 82
  • July • Air 89 • Ocean 84
  • August • Air 89 • Ocean 84
  • September • Air 84 • Ocean 80
  • October • Air 77 • Ocean 73
  • November • Air 69 • Ocean 63
  • December • Air 61 • Ocean 54

Personal Watercraft Rules

  • The Rules are contained in the South Carolina Personal Watercraft and Boating Safety Act of 1996.
  • No personal Watercraft may be operated at night.
  • All passengers on the craft must wear an approved flotation device.
  • People under 16 who want to ride a watercraft of 15 horsepower or more without an adult must first pass a safety training course.
  • The craft must be equipped to circle or shut off if the rider falls off.
  • No vessel may exceed idle speed within 50 feet of a moored vessel or other fixed object or person, NOR WITHIN 100 YARDS OF THE ATLANTIC COAST.
  • No one may jump a wake within 200 feet of the vessel creating it.
  • Anyone younger than 12 in a boat must wear a flotation device.
  • No boater may harass wildlife.

Specific Beach Information

Fishing Cost

TOURISTS BEWARE – FISHING IS NOT FREE:

In July of 2009, our legislature made a big change to our saltwater fishing regulations by requiring that all shore based fishermen, residents and tourists alike must buy a South Carolina saltwater fishing license. Up until then only boat fishermen were required to have a license. In a nutshell the new law reads:
“This act requires all individuals (16 and over) to have a saltwater recreational fishing license when harvesting marine resources, including finfish, oysters, clams, shrimp and crab.”

If you are fishing on a licensed pier or with a licensed charter captain, you are covered under their permit. You don’t need a license if you are crabbing with 3 or less drop nets, fold up traps or hand lines. Fishermen need a license to crab with a crab trap or pot.
Most of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) Law Enforcement Officers have been very lenient when enforcing saltwater fishing license requirements. However, now is the time for all resident and guest fisherman to follow the rules.
The license process is easy and cheap. An annual resident SC saltwater fishing license is just $10 (14 day license for a SC resident license is $5). A non-resident can purchase a 14 day saltwater fishing license for $11 ($35 for the year). Licenses can be purchased 24/7 by phone at 1-888-714-3611 or online at www.sc.dnr.gov.
You can do it in the car on the way to your fishing spot or buy it at Wal-Mart. A copy of South Carolinas fishing rules and regulations can be found at most of the fishing tackle stores in our area or on the SCDNR website.
The minimum fine for not having a SC Saltwater Fishing License is $160 and each fisherman could be required to post a cash bond or go to jail. The maximum fine is more than $1,000. Saltwater fishing areas includes the beaches, all saltwater lagoons including those found in Palmetto Dunes and Sea Pines, public boat landings, and public and private docks and piers.
The SCDNR uses these license fees for fishery data collection and fishery management programs. In addition, SC receives federal excise tax revenues paid by fisherman and redistributed to the state based on the number of saltwater fishing licenses.
The SCDNR is doing everything it can to notify all fishermen that a SC Saltwater Fishing License is needed when fishing in saltwater. With the help of the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, the Hilton Head Island Sportfishing Club and the Town of Hilton Head, they will be launching an aggressive visitor information campaign so that everyone will have good time fishing in our local waters and avoid a trip to the local ATM.

First Aid Tips

We hope you don’t have any problems while visiting Hilton Head Island, or if you live on Hilton Head Island. But, if you do have any of the following problems, we offer some helpful hints for you:

  • Sunburn – Soak in cool water unless skin is broken or blistered. Ibuprofen may help.
  • Bee Stings – Apply a baking soda paste and ice. If allergic, seek medical help.
  • Jelly Fish Stings – Apply vinegar, sugar, salt or dry sand. After 20 min., rinse with salt water.
  • Crab Bites – rinse well, disinfect, and apply antibiotic ointment. May need stitches.
  • Tick Bites – DO NOT attempt to remove the tick. Cover with vaseline or a film of oil. When insect is free, remove with tweezers. Look for flu-like symptoms for up to two weeks. If this occurs, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Snake Bites – CALL 911. Use a compression dressing just above site, NOT a tourniquet.
  • Oyster Shells – cuts and abrasions can result in serious infections. Medical treatment advised.
  • Alligators – Do NOT go near alligators. They run very fast. Do NOT feed or tease!
  • Sting Ray – rinse with water and apply heat to neutralize sting. Seek medical attention.

Emergency Information

All Emergencies

  • Dial 9-1-1

Law Enforcement

  • Sheriff Beaufort County – Non-Emergency Dispatch 843-785-3618
  • Sheriff Beaufort County – Office 843-255-3300
  • SC Highway Patrol – 843-726-8076

Fire Department

  • Hilton Head Headquarters – 843-682-5100
  • Hilton Head Burn Day Info – 843-341-4714

Medical

  • Beaufort Memorial Hospital – 843-522-5200
  • Coastal Carolina Hospital – 843-784-8000
  • Hilton Head Island Hospital Medical Center & Clinics – 843-681-6122
  • Hilton Head Island Hospital Emergency Room – 843-689-8281
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital – 912-925-4100

Other Emergency Numbers

  • Bureau f Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives – 800-800-3855
  • Federal Burea of Investigation (Columbia) – 803-551-4200
  • South Carolina Poison Control Center – 800-222-1222

U.S. Coast Guard Marine & Air Emergencies

  • Charleston – 843-740-7050
  • Tybee Island, Georgia – 912-786-5440