Are Canopies Allowed on Ocean Isle Beach, NC?

Published July 27th, 2022 by Allen Campbell

are canopies allowed on Ocean Isle Beach, NC

There’s no need to ask “Are canopies allowed on Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina?” – the answer is an unequivocal no. If you attempt to bring canopy tents to the beach are quickly met with enforcement from beach patrol officers.

The city of Ocean Isle Beach’s ordinance framework prohibits any type of canopy tent from being erected on the sand, in order to preserve the natural beauty of the shoreline and to keep the area open for everyone. But if you want to know the alternative options for sun protection on the beach, keep reading.

Are Canopies Allowed on Ocean Isle Beach, NC?: Summary

Rules and Regulation on Ocean Isle Beach, NC

Don't feed seagulls

You should avoid feeding the seagulls on Ocean Isle Beach because they can be quite messy. These creatures often leave behind a mess of half-eaten food, and this can spoil your enjoyment of the beach. 

Generally, seagulls are very well known as dirty animals that don’t often clean up after themselves. It would be much better for them and us if everyone just stop feeding them all together so they could go back into nature. 

Careful when riding the waves

Be aware of your surroundings at all times when surfing, in order to avoid collisions with other surfers, fishermen, or swimmers. On the other hand, if you are swimming, be aware that surfers and bodyboarders may not see you in the water, so avoid being in their line of sight.


You need to be responsible and clean up after your pets, especially when you’re at Ocean Isle Beach. Failing to do so can create an unpleasant experience for every person on the beach. 

Doing your part to clean up after your pets not only keeps the beaches clean and safe for everyone but also shows respect for those who use and enjoy them. Dogs must be leashed at all times while on the beach to ensure the safety of everyone.

Keep the surroundings clean

Make sure to properly dispose of all trash while at Ocean Isle Beach to help keep the beach clean and prevent getting fined by police. Littering is not allowed and there are many trash cans available for use. You should be courteous of others and the environment by not littering. Remember, you may be fined if caught littering on the beach.


There’s no need to worry about sun damage on Ocean Isle Beach, NC, because umbrellas, infant pop-up tents, and wind-powered sunshades are all allowed. But there are some important guidelines to use infant pop-up tents and Wind-powered sunshades.

  • Infant Pop-up tents should not exceed 46”L x 36”D x 36”H
  • The fabric of the Wind-powered sunshade should not be more than 160 sq. ft. and placed within 25 ft. of the dune line.

Note – The sunshades should be removed on a daily basis.

Turn down the volume on speakers

The music you play should be respectful of the people around you so that your beach vacation is enjoyable for everyone. Keep the volume of your speakers down, and choose songs that won’t be disruptive to those nearby visitors. Also, using earphones is a considerate way to make sure that every person can have their best time on the beach.

Fill in your holes

When you’re done digging your hole in the sand, be sure to fill it back up so that there is no trace left behind. This will prevent someone from accidentally falling into the hole and getting hurt. It is also ethical for the surroundings, as it helps keep beaches clean and healthy for sea turtles. Moreover, if a hole is left open, it can pose a serious threat to turtles, who may get stuck in the hole.

Maintain distance

When you arrive at the beach, be sure to pick a spot that won’t disturb others around you. It’s important to be considerate of others when choosing a location, as no one wants to be crowded or have sand kicked in their face. Maintain a respectful distance from others.

No Smoking

You’re not allowed to smoke on the beach because it can pollute the air and cause litter. It can also harm animals if they mistake cigarette butts for food. In order to prevent these issues, there are designated smoking areas away from the beach. Without worrying about bothering other beachgoers, you can smoke in these areas.

No Fireworks

You are not supposed to set off fireworks on the beach in North Carolina because it is against the law and you can be fined up to $500. Also, sky lanterns are not allowed for similar reasons. It can be a serious issue for animals if you fail to obey these orders.

Don't hurt sea turtles

If you see an adult sea turtle coming up on shore, it is best to stay silent without alerting it of your presence. Don’t turn on your flashlights or any type of light that may bother the turtle. 

It is because the female turtle may get confused while trying to lay her eggs if there is too much commotion or light. Also, avoid touching or stepping on the turtles’ nesting area, as this can damage their eggs and harm the turtles.

Golf Carts

You can operate a golf cart but according to North Carolina, you need to have a valid driver’s license and the golf cart needs to be registered with proper insurance. Golf carts are allowed only on designated roads and paths for ensuring the safety of other beachgoers.

Ocean Isle Beach Tent & Canopy Rules: Conclusion

The town of Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, has a clear policy when it comes to canopies on the beach. Canopies are not allowed and will be confiscated if brought to the beach. This policy is in place to ensure that everyone has access to the beach and can enjoy their time there. 

However, umbrellas, infant pop-up tents, and wind-powered sunshades are all permitted. If you’re looking for some shade while enjoying the beautiful North Carolina coastline, be sure to bring one of these items with you.

Allen Campbell with Master Canopies

Allen Campbell

Allen is a full time writer at and enjoys traveling around the United States and exploring nature. He enjoys writing about canopies as he believes they are extremely crucial in having a successful camping trip whether it be a trip to the beach, mountains, or the open plains.

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