Edisto Island Rules and Laws

Every year thousands of people make their way to Edisto Beach for a good time, but not everybody knows the rules. (Right now you’re probably thinking ‘Rules? What rules? I’m going on vacation!’). Thankfully, the rules are far more laid back on Edisto than many nearby beaches and are in place for the safety of visitors, marine life, and vegetation, so they still allow for plenty of good times to be had.

Here’s a list of what is not allowed on Edisto Beach:

  • Absolutely no glass containers. That means no beer bottles, too.
  • Bonfires are prohibited.
  • Littering is prohibited and strongly enforced not necessarily by law enforcement, but by other beachgoers. This includes picking up cigarette butts and dog waste.
  • No motorized vehicles or watercraft allowed on the beach. The beach patrol makes rounds up and down the beach on a motorized ATV, but that is the only exception to the rule. Golf carts are not allowed on the beach.
  • Sailboats are not permitted on the sand dunes or grassy areas near or on the dunes.
  • Parking on sand dunes is prohibited. The sea oats and sand dunes are protected because they help prevent beach erosion. Wild sea oat plants are endangered, so do not disturb them.
  • Dogs are welcome on Edisto Beach as long as they are on a leash from May 1 to October 31. Doggy-waste bags are available at almost every beach access. Dogs are allowed off leash Nov 1 to April 30.
  • Digging holes and building sand castles are permitted at the beach as long as they are filled in or pushed over afterward. This is done to protect the Loggerhead sea turtles that nest on Edisto Beach. Any obstacles on the beach prevent the sea turtles from nesting and further endanger the species.
  • Fireworks are not permitted anywhere on the beach or within the town of Edisto Beach.

Remember that there are no lifeguards on Edisto Beach. Be mindful of strong currents and rip tides. Many times the local weather channel will post bulletins when rip tides are occurring. Visitors should also note that the grains found up and down the coast of Edisto Beach are not to be walked or played upon and should not be used for fishing. Swimming next to the groins can be dangerous as the current and waves could get swimmers too close to the barnacle-covered rocks, which could result in injury. Other than that, Edisto Beach is a carefree place full of beach-lovers soaking up the sun, riding the waves, playing a little volleyball, and having a good time.