South Carolina is a beautiful state with over 180 miles of picturesque coastlines. The beaches in South Carolina are popular with locals and tourists alike. As such, these are fantastic areas to metal detect. If you are planning a trip to South Carolina, or are a local of The Palmetto State, you will have an exciting time metal detecting along the beaches.
Remember when detecting on a beach, you may have issues with some metal detectors due to the presence of saltwater. Ensure you have the proper equipment when heading out to detect on South Carolina’s beautiful beaches. Metal detecting South Carolina’s beaches is the perfect opportunity to get out of the house and enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in the country!
Metal Detecting Tip: Treasure hunting doesn’t mean making a mess, digging holes and destroying historic sites. Use some ethics and preserve history. Sharing pictures and documenting the location and researching the back story is the most important part of finding treasure. Read my article 👉 Metal Detecting Rules, Ethics and Laws
1. Myrtle Beach – Popular beach
Myrtle Beach is a picturesque 60 miles of Atlantic coastline. Myrtle Beach is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and metal detecting. This area is popular with visitors and locals alike, meaning you will likely find buried treasures here! (Source)
Myrtle Beach has passed new guidelines as of 2021 making it illegal to dig any hole deeper than 2 feet on beaches. You will also be fined if you do not refill any holes you dig. Metal shovels are not allowed but you can use a sand scoop. You may not metal detect or walk on the sand dunes in the area. Sand dunes are protected areas throughout the state.
I put together a complete guide to searching on Myrtle Beach. Here’s a short cut link – Can I Metal Detect on Myrtle Beach?
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Metal Detecting and Beaches are a perfect match. To search a beach you’ve GOT TO HAVE A SAND SCOOP. CKG Sand Scoops are heavy duty and able to be used as a shovel.
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Where to Metal Detect on Myrtle Beach
The entire beach from 82nd Avenue North south to Myrtle Beach State Park allows metal detecting. You may also metal detect within the Myrtle Beach State Park after obtaining a permit. You must metal detect on the sandy beach only.
Myrtle Beach has a lot of coastline. It runs through South Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach. You have many opportunities to find buried treasure along Myrtle Beach’s extensive 60-mile coastline.
2. Folly Beach
Folly Beach is a wide, 6 miles of beach fantastic for metal detecting, surfing, biking, and fishing. This area is home to many endangered species, including Wilson’s plover. You must always stay off the sand dunes when metal detecting on Folly Beach.
Folly Beach is known for its breathtaking sunsets, so if you metal detect at dusk, be prepared for some spectacular scenery! This beach is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, so you have a great chance of finding some lost jewelry or coins. Civil War cannon balls have also been found on Folly Beach.
Metal Detecting Tip: South Carolina is a metal detectorist paradise. Check out the other places to go through out the state in this Article -> Where to Metal Detect in South Carolina
Where to Metal Detect on Folly Beach
The towel line on any beach is one of the best places to metal detect. Look for areas where people have set themselves up for the day. These areas have a higher likelihood of having dropped items.
Try detecting near the waterline, too. The sea is constantly changing the shoreline and depositing and uncovering buried treasure. Avoid the Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve, as metal detecting is off limits here.
3. Edisto Beach
Edisto Beach is a wonderful place for metal detectorists. It is just a quick drive from Charleston and has 5 miles of beach with 37 public access points. This beach is commonly used for bicycling, swimming, photography, boat tours, and spectacular fishing.
Edisto beach is lined with restaurants and seafood markets. It is commonly used by tourists and locals and has lots of foot traffic. This makes it a perfect spot to find lost treasures!
Where to Metal Detect on Edisto Beach
Metal detectors are prohibited in the Edisto Beach Spanish Mount Shell Mound, but the rest of the beach is open to detectorists. Remember, you are not allowed to disturb any portion of the dunes, wildlife, sea grass, or any historical area within Edisto Beach. Stay on the sandy beach for the best hunt and to keep yourself out of trouble.
Metal Detecting Tip: Metal detecting is not allowed in all of South Carolina’s State Parks. Those deemed historically or archaeologically important will be off limits. Learn more here: HERE
4. Isle of Palms Beach
North of Charleston is Isle of Palms Beach. Isle of Palms can be accessed from Mount Pleasant by using the Isle of Palms Connector Bridge. Isle of Palms beach features an Intercoastal Waterway for people to enjoy watersports and is home to Wild Dunes. Wild Dunes is 1,000 acres of beautiful scenery and accommodations.
This beach is 6 miles of pristine white sands. This is a barrier island off the coast with clear water, wildlife, resorts, shops, and restaurants. This area is a popular destination for tourism and was voted #6 in the top 10 islands in America. This means the likelihood of lost treasure is high!
Where to Metal Detect on Isle of Palms Beach
As with all beaches in South Carolina, avoid any areas with sand dunes and historical areas. Stick to the sandy areas of the beach. Check near the waterline, and as always, the towel line. Find walking and biking paths and parking areas and detect near those to find dropped loot!
Famous gangster Trigger Burke lived on Isle of Palms, and purportedly left buried loot on the Isle of Palms beach area somewhere.
5. Seabrook Island Beach
Another of South Carolina’s barrier islands, Seabrook Island is an ideal place to metal detect. This area is 3.5 miles of beautiful, sandy beaches. Tourists and locals alike flock to this beach during the warmer months, so you have a good chance of finding dropped items when metal detecting Seabrook Island Beach.
Seabrook Island has been inhabited since the early 1400s BCE. English settlers also frequented the island, and British soldiers landed here during the Revolutionary War. This means you may even find some incredibly old and unique treasures when metal detecting Seabrook Island Beach!
Where to Metal Detect on Seabrook Island Beach
Some areas of Seabrook Island Beach are critical habitats for endangered species. These areas must be avoided when metal detecting. You must also avoid the sand dune areas, as these are protected. As with most beaches, stick to the sandy portion of the beach or near the shoreline for the best detecting opportunities. Try detecting near one of the 9 boardwalks that dot Seabrook Island Beach.
Metal Detecting Tip: Try using a sand scoop instead of a shovel when detecting on South Carolina beaches. Sand scoops help you filter the sand out while leaving the target inside the scoop. Learn more about sand scoops and other digging tools in -> A Guide to Metal Detecting Tools
6. Kiawah Beach
Kiawah Beach has 10 miles of beaches full of wildlife, sand dunes, shopping, restaurants, and a fantastic golf course. Be aware that no metal shovels are allowed on Kiawah Beach, so you will need to take a sand scoop with you while metal detecting. Try searching near the shoreline and along walking and biking paths.
Kiawah Beach is divided into East and West Beaches. There are also many private beach accesses. You may not trespass on these accesses as they are for use by the property owners only. You can search near the parking area of Kiawah Beach. This is a great place to search for dropped valuables.
7. Surfside Beach
Surfside Beach is known as a family beach and is an excellent place for metal detecting. The area was once a rice plantation known as “The Ark.” A recent ordinance was passed disallowing any hole over 2 feet deep to be dug. No one may use a metal shovel on the beach, unless you are metal detecting. Make sure you fill all holes you dig to avoid fines!
Surfside Beach takes pride in keeping their beaches neat and tidy. Therefore, they are cleaned daily. This does not mean they collect every dropped item! Items easily become lodged under sand. Scan the sandy areas of the beach to find buried items from recreators.
8. Garden City Beach
Garden City Beach is a popular destination for locals and tourists. This beach is immediately south of Surfside Beach and lies where the inlet meets the ocean. This makes it a hugely popular location for watersports and fishing. The area has shopping, restaurants, attractions, and beautiful views.
The pier is the center of the Garden City Beach and is a popular spot for people to walk around. This means you have a good chance of finding dropped items near the pier. There are also several arcades nearby. Arcades mean pocket change, so you have a good opportunity to find some more modern coins on this beach.
Metal Detecting Laws for South Carolina
In South Carolina, and all other states, you must follow the Archaeological Resources Protection Act while metal detecting. Historical or archaeologically important areas are completely off limits to detectorists. Many areas in South Carolina are protected environments for endangered species. These areas will be off limits to metal detectorists.
When metal detecting beaches, you must stay off the sand dunes, as they are protected areas. On DNR public lands, you must have a permit. Forest Service lands allow treasure trove hunting, prospecting, detecting for artifacts, and recreational detecting. Some require permits. Check with each city or county before metal detecting. Learn more here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/scnfs/home/?cid=stelprdb5312813
Metal Detecting Clubs in South Carolina
- The South Carolina Treasure & Artifact Association is in Greer, SC. Learn more here: http://sctaa.blogspot.com/
- Low Country Metal Detector Club focuses on South Carolina’s history while metal detecting. Read more about the club here: http://www.lcmd.club/
Metal Detecting Treasures Found in South Carolina
The most found treasure on South Carolina beaches for metal detectorists is jewelry. One detectorist has found hundreds of gold rings and other jewelry, including a diamond gold ring valued at over $6,000! A man in Myrtle Beach even found a rare Charleston Freedman’s badge. Learn more about South Carolina treasures found here: https://www.beachcombingmagazine.com/blogs/news/treasures-in-the-sands
Metal Detecting Resources in South Carolina
- MDHTALK is a great resource for those wanting to metal detect in South Carolina. They share information about laws, clubs, and where you can and cannot metal detect. Check them out here: https://www.mdhtalk.org/cf/city-regulation.cfm?st=SC
- Silver Recyclers is another valuable resource for information about metal detecting in South Carolina. They give information on the laws, history, best places to detect, and much more. Read more here: https://www.silverrecyclers.com/blog/metal-detecting-in-south-carolina.aspx
Metal Detector Stores in South Carolina for Expert Advice
- LMS Metal Detecting – https://lmsmetaldetecting.com/
- Kellyco Metal Detectors – https://www.kellycodetectors.com/
David Humphries, Writer and Creator of METAL DETECTING TIPS. After borrowing my son’s detector and finding $.25. I felt like a treasure hunter. FREE MONEY! I was seriously bitten by the metal detecting bug.