Ahh, the beach. So free and open, it’s almost like you can do anything you want and get away with it.
Not so fast.
All beaches have rules, and you may see some explicitly stated on signs with the common regulations: No littering, no vehicles, no pets, etc. But there are some hidden rules that, if you aren’t used to the area or to certain public indiscretions, may seem like head-scratchers.
We listed 10 of the strangest laws we’ve seen so you know what kinds of things to look for next time you hit the beach while visiting us at the Beso Del Sol Resort in Dunedin, Florida:
1. Fort Lauderdale, Florida – You can’t take trash out of a trashcan without a permit. It seems silly, but this is to detract from dumpster diving and creating more litter.
2. Ocean City, Maryland – If you’re at a beach that happens to be near a main shopping and entertainment district, you need to have acceptable clothing. Also, men need to be wearing shirts on the Boardwalk.
3. The Caribbean – Similar to the Ocean City, MD, many islands frown on or even punish those who walk around town wearing swim trunks or beach gear, so it’s always recommended to bring a presentable change of clothes.
4. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – No thong bathing suits. Wearers of this skimpy suit could be issued an indecent exposure warning and even a ticket from the police at the beach.
5. Virginia Beach, Virginia – It’s illegal to ride on the handlebars of a bicycle. Apparently this became such an issue that it warranted law enforcement to take charge.
6. Ocean City, Maryland – Being such a family friendly environment, Ocean City has discouraged the use of profanity with signs all around town. You’ll see this a lot in public areas, sometimes as law, but Ocean City is turning it into a widespread attitude.
7. Israel – It’s against the law to take a bear to the beach. Good luck breaking that one.
8. Los Angeles County – Many beaches have restrictions on games that can cause harm to other beachgoers, such as tossing footballs and flying kites. But if you want to throw a Frisbee at the beach in LA County, you need to physically ask a lifeguard for permission.
9. Assateague Island, Maryland – When you go shelling, it’s easy to forget that those pretty shells are actually homes for little crustaceans or gastropods. Assateague Island says you have to limit your shell collecting so that these beach dwellers have a healthy supply to choose from. Sounds like a just cause.
10. Fenwick Island, Delaware – It’s illegal to lie down on a beach at night. Really, they just don’t want you sleeping or attempting to sleep, as is the case with any park. This law just removes the temptation.
These are just a few of the laws we found, and many of them apply to many other beaches. So next time you visit a beach in Florida or elsewhere, remember to read the rules for the specific beach you will be visiting. You never know when you’ll have to leave the bear at home.
What’s the strangest beach rule you’ve come across? Let us know in the comments!