What does your perfect Disney World vacation look like?
For some, it might be a full week exploring the parks, while for others maybe it’s a quick weekend trip followed by a Disney cruise. But, if your perfect Disney World vacation also involves spending time at any of Florida’s gorgeous beaches, there’s some important info you should remember. Here are five laws you need to know before you travel to Florida beaches.
If you’re thinking about stopping by one of Florida’s many beaches, check out these five laws you need to know!
It’s Illegal To Tamper With Sea Turtle Nests
Forget hurricane season, we’re all about sea turtle nesting season now. This annual event runs from March through October all along the Florida coastline at several beaches throughout the state. Sea turtles will come out of the ocean to lay their eggs on the beach, and typically wildlife officials will mark off the nests when they can.
It’s important to stay away from these nests and leave them undisturbed so that the eggs are able to hatch and eventually the turtles can make their way to the water. Not only that, but if you touch or disturb a sea turtle nest — you could be looking at a third-degree felony.
It’s Illegal To Leave Lights on During Certain Times of Year
Depending on which Florida beach you’re visiting and during which time of year, it may be illegal for you to keep your lights on at night! This is because of the sea turtles — they use the moon to find the ocean once they hatch, and can potentially get confused by lights on at beach houses or hotels.
Quite a few counties along the coast have Sea Turtle Lighting Ordinances, so make sure you check the particular laws for the county you’ll be staying in. Don’t leave those beach house lights on at night and let those little turtles make it out to sea!
You Have To Stay Within Certain Boundaries
In 2018, Florida adopted a new statute that designated certain areas of beaches public versus private. The law states that “the land between the mean high-water mark and the surf, along with the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, are public lands for the use and enjoyment of the citizens of Florida.”
However, the other side, “the land side of the mean high-water mark, is private beachfront property.” Make sure you pay attention to the mean high-water mark posted along the beach so you know whether or not you’re accidentally on someone’s private property.
You Need a License To Fish
Thinking about bringing your fishing pole to the beach? Make sure you’ve got a Florida saltwater fishing license! Florida residents and visitors must have a Florida fishing license in order to engage in those activities.
The law is the same whether or not you actually catch anything — it states that if you cast a line or catch and release, you still need a license. There are certain exceptions to the rule, but for the most part you’ll need to have the proper qualifications if you want to see what Nemo has been up to.
It’s Illegal To Have an Open Container of Alcohol
This is another one that varies depending on which beach you’re at, but for the most part it’s illegal to have open containers of alcohols at Florida beaches — and it’s especially true if you’re at a beach that’s technically part of a State Park! You could be cited for consuming alcohol or even having it in your possession.
Double-check the open container laws at the beach you’re planning on visiting, and you might still be able to bring some brews with ya!
Traveling to Disney World soon and looking for more resources to help plan your trip? Check these articles out below:
- The Planning Tips You Need to Know About Before Your Next Disney World Trip
- 5 Laws You Need To Know Before Traveling to Orlando
- A Step-By-Step Guide to Using Disney Genie+
- 10 Rides to AVOID in Disney World if You Struggle with Motion Sickness
- A Full List of Disney World’s Cancellation Policies
- 5 Places You Don’t Want to Walk After Dark in Disney World
Stay tuned to DFB for the latest news and travel tips!
Did you know about these Florida beach laws? Let us know in the comments!