Ocean Isle Beach Rules and Regulations

Ocean Isle Beach Rules and Regulations

When can you walk your dog on the beach?

Do you need a leash? What about fireworks?

Get the answers here:
Click here to download a PDF of Ocean Isle Beach’s rules and regulations

Important Rules and Regulations

We welcome you and hope you will have an enjoyable vacation.
In order to assure that you have a safe and secure visit, the Town of Ocean Isle Beach wishes to inform you of several important Town ordinances.

PLEASE STAY OFF THE DUNES! Help us preserve fragile dune vegetation. This ordinance is strictly enforced. ($100 fine)

  • For the safety of our residents, guests and endangered nesting sea turtles, NO CABANAS, TENTS, OR AWNINGS are allowed on the beach at any time. Umbrellas, as well as *infant pop-up tents, are permissible. (*no larger than 46”L x 36” D x 36”H) All beach equipment and personal items must be removed from the beach strand on a daily basis. In order to keep our beach safe and clean, all items left unattended and remaining on the beach between the hours of 7 pm-7:30 am will be classified as abandoned and removed & disposed of by the Town. Please remember that all beach equipment shall be placed at least ten feet from sea turtle nest or dune vegetation and cannot be seaward of the nest. Failure to comply with regulation will result in a civil penalty of $50 for each offense.
  • Be sure to use our designated PUBLIC ACCESS WALKWAYS; all other areas are private property.
  • NO LITTERING and remember glass containers are not allowed on the strand.
  • All dogs must be on a leash, contained or fenced at all times. NO DOGS allowed on the beach strand from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM from Memorial Day to Labor Day. No Dogs allowed at any time in Public Access/Parking Areas. The Town does have a Pooper Scooper Ordinance. For your convenience, waste bag receptacles are located along the streets and near public access areas.
  • NO FEEDING OF ANIMALS allowed at any time in Public Access Areas.
  • No motor vehicles, battery-powered or wind-powered vehicles on the dunes or strand. NO BICYCLES ON STRAND from April 30 to October 1.
  • Absolutely no charcoal grilling, or other types of open fire on porches, decks, patios, or landings above ground level. ONLY COOK/GRILL ON GROUND LEVEL. Strictly enforced by the police. Electric and gas grills are permitted only if permanently attached to landing and not covered by any type of roof or awning.
  • No consumption or serving of alcoholic beverages in public places or within the passenger area of a motor vehicle.
  • QUIET PLEASE! No unreasonably loud, disturbing, and unnecessary noise, particularly between 10:30 PM -7:30 AM. No construction activity shall take place before the hours of 8:00 AM and after the hours of 8:00 PM unless specific permission has been granted by Town officials to waive restrictions in order to allow contractors to perform emergency repairs or take mitigating action to secure the property from additional damage.
  • ABSOLUTELY NO FIREWORKS – N.C. State Law $500 fine. As an exception to this provision, a permit may be obtained for a fireworks exhibition or display from the Town provided the display is designed and performed by a company that specializes in the performance of firework displays, the display area adheres to or exceeds applicable National Fire Protection Association standards and insurance is provided. Sky Lanterns are also PROHIBITED!
  • For the safety of our swimmers AND surfers, NO SURFING ALLOWED WITHIN 1000 FEET OF PIER. Surfing permitted in the areas east of Monroe Street and west of Oxford Street.
  • No Skate Boarding, Roller Skating, Roller Blading or Scooters allowed on public streets.
  • No parking overnight within the public access areas or parking lots. Do not block public or private accessways. NO PARKING ON SIDEWALKS. PARKING PERMITTED IN DESIGNATED AREAS ONLY.
  • No camping and no camping vehicles (except when used for transportation only). No sleeping in vehicles or campers.
  • BE FIRE SAFE! No fire on strand, dunes and other public places.
  • Please observe “No Wake” speed in all canals. Boats and Jet Skis must operate at “Idle Speed” in canals.
  • Please remember the Town does not have lifeguards on duty. The SAFETY OF YOUR CHILDREN WHILE SWIMMING IS ENTIRELY YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
  • You MUST have a valid Driver’s License to operate a Golf Cart. Please contact the Police IMMEDIATELY if you see a minor driving a golf cart on the island. (910) 579-4221
  • No digging holes on beach strand larger than 16” deep x 5’ wide. Shovels (other than toy shovels intended for use by children) are prohibited on beach strand. Holes must be attended AT ALL TIMES and filled back in before leaving the beach strand or 7 pm, whichever occurs first.

Sea Turtles – You Can Help
Guidelines to follow in the event that you see an adult, hatchlings, or an unmarked or marked nest:

To report any sea turtle activity on Ocean Isle Beach, call: 704-607-2027 or the Ocean Isle Beach Police Department @ 910-579-4221

*Do not disturb. If you see an adult sea turtle coming up on shore, stay quiet and keep your distance. Otherwise, the turtle may become frightened and return to the ocean without nesting. Sea Turtles are a threatened species and federal laws prevent harassment of these animals.

*Turn off all flashlights. Lights may confuse the adult female and prevent her from nesting.

*Lights cause hatchlings to go in the wrong direction. Please turn off all outside lights (porch, pool, etc.) each night. Also, close curtains or blinds at night in order to prevent indoor lights from leading the hatchlings away from the ocean.

*Never pick up a hatchling that is crawling towards the ocean. It is critical that they crawl on their own.

*Do not disturb the nest area. Watch for the nest markers.

*Stay off sand dunes and do not disturb sea oats. Sand dunes provide critical habitat for sea turtles and help prevent flooding during times of extreme tides and storms. Foot traffic kills plants and severely damages the sand dunes. The penalty for failure to adhere to this requirement is $100 per violation.

*Help us keep our beaches clean. Sea turtles may mistake a plastic bag or other forms of litter for a jellyfish.

*All personal items and equipment must be removed from the beach each day. Turtles may become entangled in these items causing injuries to the turtle.

*Please fill in all holes on the beach before you leave. Holes can trap turtles and are a safety hazard to humans.

*Keep dogs on leashes at all times. No dogs shall be permitted on the beach strand between the hours of 9:00 am and 6:00 pm during the period of Memorial Day through Labor Day regardless of whether they are leashed or not.

*Fireworks can frighten nesting sea turtles and leave behind trash that may be mistaken for food by marine wildlife. Discharge of fireworks is not permitted per North Carolina state laws.

*Please report all sightings of nesting turtles, dead turtles, unmarked nests, or crawls (looks like a bulldozer came out of the water) to the following organization:

To report any sea turtle activity on Ocean Isle Beach, call: 704-607-2027 or the Ocean Isle Beach Police Department @ 910-579-4221

How to Get a Beach Wheelchair on Ocean Isle Beach & Handicap Beach Accesses

Beach wheelchairs are available at no charge on a first come first serve basis and may be checked out from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm daily.

The beach wheelchairs can be picked up and returned to the Ocean Isle Beach Planning and Inspections Department located at 3 West Third Street. On weekends and holidays, the beach wheelchairs can be picked up at the Ocean Isle Beach Police Department located at 2 West Third Street.

Please be advised the beach wheelchairs are large items and will not fit in a car or a small SUV. Dimensions are 36″ Wide, 49 ” Long, and 48″ Tall.

For any additional information contact the Ocean Isle Beach Planning and Inspections Department on Weekdays at 910-579-3469 or on Weekends at 910-579-4221.

Click here to download a pdf map of all beach access points with handicap accessible access points noted.

  1. You will Need a Valid Drivers License to rent a beach wheelchair.
  2. Wheelchairs can not leave the Island.
  3. You can check out beach wheelchairs for up to 3 days.


Ocean Isle Beach Town Hall is Located at 3 West 3rd Street, Ocean Isle Beach. See Map Below.