Beach

Kiawah Island boasts 10 miles of pristine beach and is comprised of two areas commonly referred to as East Beach and West Beach. Besides the many private beach accesses available to property owners, Beachwalker County Park, located on the west end (West Beach) of Kiawah Island, offers ocean frontage and a river view, along with the only public beach access on Island.

 

The park is operated through a cooperative agreement between Kiawah Development Partners, Charleston County Council, and the Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission. Lifeguards are on duty seasonally along a beachfront designated swimming area.

Dog Laws

Dogs are allowed on the beach year round, however, there are rules and regulations regarding four-legged friends.  (*Kiawah is a private gated community with the only public beach access through Beachwalker Park on Beachwalker Drive.)

Pets must be leashed at all times when they are outside unless they are in an enclosed area (pen, fence, etc.). The only exception to this rule is on the beach where there is a designated year-round dog off leash area and seasonal leash restrictions for the remainder of the beach. Leash ordinances are enforced by Beach Patrol and/or Town Code Enforcement officers who are authorized to ticket offenders including fines up to $465. Anyone experiencing problems regarding noncompliance should notify the Town immediately. Beach incidents should be reported to Beach Patrol at 843-518-2880. Off beach incidents should be reported to Code Enforcement at 843-768-9166.

Areas defined below:

  • Critical Habitat Area: Dogs are prohibited year-round in critical habitat areas located on each end of the island.
  • Dog Use Area: Between the eastern boundary of the Beach Club and the Ocean Course Clubhouse allows dogs off leash under control year-round from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pets must be leashed in this area from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Electronic leashes are prohibited. Owners must remain with their pet, have the pet under control, and have in their possession a leash in the event that there is a need to leash their pet, or if requested by other beachgoers or by Beach Patrol. Electronic leashes are prohibited.
  • Remainder of the Beach (Seasonal):
    March 16 – October 31 – Pets must be leashed at all times.
    November 1 – March 15 – Pets are allowed to be off leash from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. everywhere on the beach except in the critical habitat area. Pets must be leashed from 7 p.m. – 7 a.m. Owners must remain with their pet, have the pet under control, and have in their possession a leash in the event that there is a need to leash their pet, or if requested by other beachgoers or by Beach Patrol. Electronic leashes are prohibited.
Pet Restraint Map

Beach Rules and Regulations

Beach Ordinances are enforced by the Town of Kiawah Island Beach Patrol. Beach Patrol can be contacted at 843-518-2880 or info@beachpatrolsc.org

  • Strong rip currents are common. Swim with caution. Charleston County Parks and Recreation provides lifeguards at Beachwalker County Park.
  • Swimming and wading is prohibited at Captain Sam’s Inlet.
  • No glass is allowed on the beach.
  • No open fires or fireworks are allowed at any time except ones permitted by the Town. Fireworks are subject to confiscation.
  • No littering. Use containers found at beach accesses.
  • No vehicles allowed on the beach except emergency and authorized vehicles.
  • Overnight storage of beach equipment (tents, chairs, toys, etc.) is prohibited.
  • Public nudity strictly prohibited.
  • No sleeping on the beach after dark.
  • Motorized vessels: Launching, retrieving, and beaching of motorized vessels including jet skis is prohibited except for authorized vessels.
  • Bikes are allowed on the beach, but must be walked across boardwalks. Reckless operation is prohibited.
  • Commercial business is prohibited on the beach except under license from the Town.
  • Fishing is allowed on the beach but a saltwater fishing license is required for ages 16 and above. Licenses can be obtained at Seacoast Sports and Outfitters 843-768-8486 (Freshfields Village), Bohicket Marina 843-768-1280 or online at the Department of Natural Resources website 843-762-5000.
  • Clean up after your pets. There are dog bag receptacles at most of the boardwalks.
  • Sea turtles are an endangered species. Do not interfere with them in any way. No lights are allowed that illuminate the front beach between 10 pm and dawn from May 1st to October 31st. Hatchling turtles are disorientated by artificial light. Fill holes dug in sand before you leave the beach. If you see any adult sea turtles or hatchings call 843-768-9166 to report your sighting.
  • Sand dunes are protected and fragile. Beach Sea Oats and grass help protect the dunes. Stay off the dunes and use public walkovers, located at every block, to access the beach.