Charleston South Carolina Beaches and their Laws
Summer is not over yet. There is still time to plan a Charleston, SC getaway. Here are some things you need to know before you head down to the coast.
Charleston, SC Beaches and their Laws
Every summer tourists from near and far flock to Charleston. Charleston, SC is home to not only three beautiful beaches, but also a lively downtown area. Downtown Charleston is home to many bars for the younger and older crowds alike.
If you are planning on a night out in downtown Charleston, remember these tips:
- Leave your children at home. After 9 pm, most places Downtown become limited to those 21 years and up.
- Because it is an older city, parking is limited. Garage parking can be expensive in some areas so you may want to consider taking a cab.
- Cabs are also helpful in preventing DUI’s. If you plan to indulge in a few drinks, always take a cab. It is better to be safe than sorry.
- Keep your drinks inside the bar or on the patio of the bar. Drinks are not permitted on the streets in Charleston. If you are caught with an alcoholic on the streets of Charleston, you may be subject to an open container ticket, which carries a hefty fine.
- All bars in Charleston close at 2 AM. Do not yell at your bartenders or bouncers when the lights come on and you are booted out.
After your night out, you can spend the next day relaxing on the beach. Charleston’s three main beaches are Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms and Folly Beach. Each beach has its own rules and regulations regarding alcohol and other policies.
Sullivan’s Island is home to Fort Moultrie. Fort Moultrie was the site of a major battle in the American Revolution. Edgar Allan Poe lived on Sullivan’s for a short period. Poe credits Sullivan’s Island as his inspiration for the short story, The Gold Bug. A favorite and popular burger joint on the island is called Poe’s.
Here are some tips to make your day at Sullivan’s Island a success.
- Parking is limited on the island. You will most likely have to park on the roadside. Remember to keep your tires off the road when parked. If not, you may find a ticket waiting for you on your windshield.
- Alcohol is prohibited on the beach and the streets of Sullivan’s Island. You may drink at restaurants on the island, but the drink cannot leave the restaurant.
- Dogs are prohibited on the beach during the summer months between the hours of 10 am and 6 pm. Dogs may be on the beach and off a leash from the hours of 5-10 am, only if they are licensed with the Island. To license your dog with Sullivan’s Island it costs $25 a year. Licensed dogs may also be on the beach between 6 pm and 5 am but must be leashed.
Isle of Palms
The Isle of Palms, located next to Sullivan’s Island, is the most commercialized of the three beaches. IOP, the name most locals use to refer to Isle of Palms, is home to a large sea turtle nesting area. Two of the preferred hotspots on the Isle of Palms are the beach fronting Windjammer and Morgan Creek Grille, which overlooks the Isle of Palms Marina on the intercoastal waterway. During the day both places offer dining areas where you can consume cold adult beverages and food while watching beach-goers or boaters. Morgan Creek’s fare varies from fine dining to bar-side snacks; the Windjammer’s food is more casual. The Windjammer has a beach volleyball court and Morgan Creek has a courtyard where you can play “Corn Hole.” Live music is offered almost nightly at either venue.
If you are planning to visit the Isle of Palms, it is important to remember:
- Like Sullivan’s Island, alcohol is prohibited from the beach. It is not unheard of for an officer to approach a group of young people or people who seem to be causing a disturbance and check their coolers. If you would like to enjoy an adult beverage, your best option is to go to a local watering hole.
- Parking is more readily available on the Isle of Palms but remember to bring cash. You can park in a lot all day for $7, use metered parking if you only plan to stay a short while, or park roadside near the beach in the more residential part of the island.
- Isle of Palms requires dogs to be licensed and leashed during certain times. If you plan on taking your dog out on the beach, read the signs, and know the rules ahead of time. Otherwise, you may be subject to a hefty fine.
If you are looking to mingle with a younger adult crowd, Folly Beach may be the place to go. Home to numerous bars and restaurants, Folley is the most laid-back beach of the three. If you love to fish, Folly has a fishing pier where you can do just that. If surfing is more your thing, then head up to Washout, located near 10th street.
Here are some tips for your Folly Beach trip:
- Alcohol is now banned temporarily on the beach after a July 4th riot. On Wednesday, July 18, 2012, Folly Beach City Council gave approval for a second reading on whether to permanently ban alcohol on the beach. The referendum will be up for final approval on Tuesday, July 24th. You can still enjoy libations at any one of the numerous bars, including Blu, which is located beachside.
- If you plan a trip to Folly and are not staying on the island, it is important that you head to the island early in the day. There is only one roadway leading to Folly. Traffic gets congested during peak hours.
- Parking is also better earlier in the day. There are a few lots maintained by residents. Parking in these lots can get pricey and go fast. There are also a limited number of lots maintained by the city. These lots are small and require cash. Other than that, it is important to know the parking laws if you park street side. Keep your tires off the road and do not park near a driveway, intersection or fire hydrant. Parking tickets in the City of Folly Beach carry a stiff penalty.
- If you want to take your dog on the beach, you have to take them leashed either before May 1st or after September 30th, other than that there is a strict no dog policy.
The Strom Law Firm hopes you have a safe and enjoyable beach trip. Try Charleston, SC, where the livin’ is easy! If you do find yourself in trouble, do not hesitate to contact the South Carolina lawyers at the Strom Law Firm. Contact us at 803.252.4800.