Your Complete Guide to Swimming in Myrtle Beach in May: Tips and Precautions

Wondering if you can swim in Myrtle Beach in May? Well, you’re in the right spot. This question pops up as travelers start planning their spring vacations.

Myrtle Beach, known for its beautiful coastline and warm weather, attracts millions of visitors yearly. But is May a good time to dive in? Let’s dive into the details and find out.

The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. It depends on a few factors, including the water temperature and your personal comfort level. So, stick around as we unravel the mystery of swimming in Myrtle Beach in May.

Key Takeaways

  • May is generally a good time to visit and swim in Myrtle Beach, with average air temperatures of around 76°F and ocean temperatures at 70°F.
  • The weather during this period creates comfortable conditions for both swimming and sunbathing.
  • Although the water temperature might seem chilly to some, many swimmers find it refreshing, and it becomes comfortable once you acclimate.
  • However, one must always be aware of the changing ocean and weather conditions due to the onset of the hurricane season in May.
  • The presence of jellyfish in May warrants extra caution when swimming. It’s important to know how to react in case of a sting.
  • As May is relatively relaxed compared with the peak summer crowd, visitors can enjoy a quiet beach experience, punctuated with local events like Myrtle Beach Bike Week and the Blue Crab Festival.

Swimming in Myrtle Beach during May offers a delightful experience, but it requires awareness of safety tips and precautions. The official Myrtle Beach area tourism website provides comprehensive beach safety tips, such as avoiding diving into shallow waters and being cautious of rip currents, to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit. A YouTube guide on beach safety further emphasizes the importance of staying informed about local conditions and regulations for a worry-free beach experience. Additionally, SC’s Beach Access & Water Quality Guide highlights the significance of monitoring water quality for swimming advisories, ensuring visitors can make informed decisions about when and where to swim safely.

Exploring Myrtle Beach in May

Before planning to dive into the tantalizing waves, it’s essential to understand what the month of May looks like in Myrtle Beach. May in Myrtle Beach provides all the elements necessary to kickstart your summer vibes.

You’ll find an average air temperature hovering around 76°F, leading up to the summer peak. While on some days you might need a light sweater for cooler mornings, by noon you’re likely to be basking in true, blissful beach weather. So pack a range of outfits—shorts, t-shirts, and your favorite swimwear.

Here is a quick snapshot of May’s average temperatures:


As regards the ocean, the temperature is typically around 70°F. While not as warm as later in the summer, it’s still comfortable for many to enjoy a refreshing dip. Be aware that ocean conditions can vary and it’s always important to heed any posted warning signs on the beach.

May is also a time when Myrtle Beach springs to life with a plethora of outdoor festivals. The World Famous Blue Crab Festival takes place in May, boasting a seafood extravaganza that’s a delight for your taste buds and a cultural feast for your soul. Other popular events include Myrtle Beach Bike Week, and Mayfest On Main, filling the air with the hum of engines and the rhythm of local music.

Looking for some fun out of the water? Don’t forget to check out Myrtle Beach’s impressive variety of attractions. From the thrilling twists and turns of roller coasters at Family Kingdom amusement park to an enchanted evening at one of the live performance venues, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

In short, when planning a trip to Myrtle Beach in May, embrace the anticipation and gear-up for an adventure that melds sun, sand, sea, and an array of activities that make this destination one of the East Coast’s best beach locales.

Factors Affecting Swimming Conditions

Weather plays a critical role in the swimming conditions at Myrtle Beach, especially in May. It’s crucial to understand these different factors to make sure you’re prepared for a safe and enjoyable dip in the ocean.

Two significant factors include the air and ocean temperatures. As mentioned earlier, the average air temperature in May is a warm and welcoming 76°F. This pleasantly mild weather creates perfect conditions for spending a day lounging by the water or taking a refreshing swim.

The ocean temperature is another critical factor. In May, the sea temperature averages around 70°F. This might seem a little chilling to some, but many swimmers find it invigorating. This warm ocean temperature combined with the blissful air temperature provides an ideal environment for swimming.

Besides temperatures, the jellyfish presence determines swimming conditions. Jellyfish are common in the Myrtle Beach area, especially during warmer months. In May, you might spot a few of these marine creatures, but they’re usually not a major problem. Keeping an eye out and knowing how to react if stung are crucial safety measures.

May is also the start of the hurricane season, which can affect ocean conditions. Hurricanes and tropical storms are unpredictable and can make the seas rough and unsafe for swimming. It’s always wise to monitor the weather frequently and heed local beach warnings.

The crowd size influences swimming conditions and the overall beach experience. May is a more relaxed period compared to the peak of summer, so you’re likely to have a more peaceful swim. Yet, it’s always good to take note of events in the area, like the Blue Crab Festival and Myrtle Beach Bike Week, which draw more visitors and make the beach more crowded.

Let’s look at the key information in a neat table for better comprehension:

Air temperatureOcean temperatureJellyfish activityHurricane seasonCrowd size
76°F70°FModerateStarts in MayModerate

Keep these factors in mind as you plan your trip to Myrtle Beach in May. Enjoy, stay safe, and make the most of your beach vacation.

Water Temperature in Myrtle Beach

Another major factor affecting your swimming experience is the water temperature. In May, Myrtle Beach’s water temperature averages around 70°F. For some, this might seem a bit chilly initially as you dip your toes, but it soon becomes comfortable once you’re acclimatized.

This temperature is quite conducive for swimming. It’s certainly warmer than the beginning of the year, making it a vastly different experience from taking an icy January plunge. The temperature is neither too hot nor too cold, striking a comfortable balance that allows you to spend extended periods in the water without discomfort.

It’s also important to note that water temperature can vary with depth and time of day. During the day, the shallow end of the beach is warmer, as sunlight heats the water. The deeper parts are colder due to less sunlight penetration. If you’re going for a swim early in the day or late in the evening, the water might be a bit colder.

Proper swimwear is recommended to make the swimming experience more enjoyable. A swimsuit, or a wetsuit for those staying in the water for longer periods, can help manage the transitional shock of getting into the water and maintain your body temperature.

While the water temperature is perfect for swimming, it’s also prime for jellyfish. Jellyfish prefer warm waters, and their presence is likely in Myrtle Beach in May.

MonthAverage Water Temperature(°F)

Yet, Myrtle Beach in May is a good time for a vacation with swimming included in your plans. But, staying aware of jellyfish and other maritime risk factors is crucial for a safe and enjoyable beach experience. Always remember to check for updated weather forecasts and ocean conditions before you decide to hit the beach.

Tips for Swimming in Myrtle Beach in May

If you’re planning a dip in the refreshing waters of Myrtle Beach in May, there are a few things you’d want to note to maximize your enjoyment and safety.

Knowing the Water Temperature
With an average temperature of 70°F in May, Myrtle Beach delivers a comfortable swimming experience for most visitors. However, the comfort level may vary based on your personal preferences and tolerance. Also, the water temperature can fluctuate with depth and time of day. It’s always a good idea to consult the daily water temperature forecast so you know what to expect.

Choosing the Right Swimwear
Don’t overlook the importance of the right swimwear. It plays a big role in making your swimming experience enjoyable. Swimwear with thermal protection can be a wise choice, especially for those who wish to stay longer in water. If you intend to swim in early morning or late evening hours when temperatures tend to be cooler, consider investing in gear that provides some added warmth.

Staying Alert to Marine Life
When the waters get warm, sightings of jellyfish and other marine creatures are common. Stay informed about current marine observations and forecasts concerning jellyfish. In case you happen to meet one underwater, remember not to touch or disturb them, avoid swimming as it may provoke them. Better to maintain distance and swim the other way.


So you’ve got the lowdown on swimming in Myrtle Beach in May. Armed with knowledge about the water temperature, the right swimwear, and marine life, you’re set for a safe and enjoyable swim. Remember, daily water temperature forecasts are your best friend for comfort, and thermal swimwear is a solid choice for those longer dips or cooler moments. Stay informed about jellyfish sightings too. Now, it’s time to dive into the adventure that Myrtle Beach awaits. Happy swimming!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to know the water temperature when planning to swim in Myrtle Beach in May?

Regularly consult daily water temperature forecasts. These are widely available online and provide accurate predictions that can help you gauge whether the water will be comfortable for swimming.

What kind of swimwear is the most suitable for a swim in May?

Choose swimwear that offers thermal protection. Even though May is fairly warm, water temperatures can drop during the early morning or late evening. Therefore, a wetsuit or a thermal swim cap might be beneficial for longer swims or when swimming at cooler times.

How can beachgoers avoid encounters with dangerous marine life like jellyfish?

Staying informed about local marine life is essential. Keep up-to-date with any reported jellyfish sightings or shark activity. Also, understand the sea’s current to remain in safer zones, typically closer to shore, and always swim in designated areas.