Removal, harming , or harassment of any live beach fauna (sea turtles, sand dollars, conchs, starfish, etc.)
Removal, alteration, or damage to dunes, sea oats, or other dune flora
Operation, launching, or landing of unauthorized motorized watercraft
Unauthorized commercial activity
Sleeping on the beach between midnight and 6 a.m.
Unauthorized wearing of lifeguard emblems, insignias, etc.
Solicitation or distribution of handouts
Kites not under manual control
Stunt kites 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. April 1 through September 30
Public Access to Hilton Head Island Beaches
All of the beach is public, from the ocean to the high water mark. Access to the beach, however, is often private. The Town of Hilton Head Island provides beach accesses at the following locations:
Alder Lane Beach Access off South Forest Beach Drive – Parking available.
Burkes Beach Access, at the end of Burkes Beach Road – Parking available.
Chaplin Community Park, off of William Hilton Parkway – Parking available.
Beachfront at Coligny Circle – Parking available.
Driessen Beach Park at the end of Bradley Beach Road – Parking available.
Fish Haul Park, at the end of Beach City Road – Parking available.
Folly Field Beach Park off Folly Field Road – Parking available.
Islanders Beach Park, off Folly Field Road – Parking available.
Mitchelville Beach Park, off Beach City 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.
Parking & Facilities
There are 23 metered spaces at Alder Lane; 54 metered spaces at Folly Field and 13 metered spaces at Burkes Beach Road. The parking fee for metered spaces is a quarter for each fifteen minutes.
Additionally, there are 207 spaces at Driessen Beach Park for long term parking. The fee is a quarter for each thirty minutes during the week.
Parking spaces at Islanders Beach Park are always reserved for annual beach passes. Parking at Driessen Beach Parks for annual beach passes is reserved from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Parking is free at Fish Haul Park, Mitchelville Park and Coligny Beach Park. Handicap parking is available at no fee at all beach parks.
Designated Swimming Areas
Official swimming areas have been designated for the Alder, Coligny, Driessen, Folly Field, and Islanders beaches. The boundaries of these areas will be clearly marked on the beach and in the water.
During the beach season lifeguards are stationed in each of the designated swimming areas and other heavily populated beach areas for assistance and beach information. Please ask a lifeguard before entering the water if the yellow caution flag is flying.
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
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.
Sheriff Beaufort County – Non-Emergency Dispatch 843-785-3618
Sheriff Beaufort County – Office 843-255-3300
SC Highway Patrol – 843-726-8076
Hilton Head Headquarters – 843-682-5100
Hilton Head Burn Day Info – 843-341-4714
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