You might not think a beach bonfire in Jacksonville is something that’s allowed, but it is! Have you ever been walking on the beach, on a chilly evening, wrapped up in a sweater and thought, “you know what would make this perfect? If we could have a bonfire. Oh well, fires aren’t allowed on the beach.” And then walked on, shivering, and also wishing you had a s’more. We have too!
Beach Bonfires are Permitted
Well, guess what? It turns out, that beach bonfires ARE PERMITTED IN ATLANTIC BEACH. Have our Atlantic Beach mamas been holding out on us?! When we found out this information, we quickly planned a birthday celebration on the beach. (After receiving the invitation, several people responded, “oh that sounds fun, but you can’t do that.”) As it turns out, yes you can!
The first step to start planning your beach bonfire is to obtain a permit from the City of Atlantic Beach. First, visit the City of Atlantic Beach website (click on the Recreation/Events tab at the top, then Permits/Rentals tab). You can also easily obtain a permit in person at the Parks & Rec Department, located in the Adele Grage Community Center (the adorable white building next to Bull Park). We applied for our permit in person, since it was our first time.
Quick Tips to Get a Permit
Here are some quick tips/regulations for planning your first beach bonfire in Atlantic Beach:
- Permits cost $25 + tax. Only adults 21 and older can obtain a permit.
- An important tip, after receiving your permit, snap a pic of it so you don’t have to carry the paper with you on the beach. Send the pic to a few friends who will be there.
- Beach bonfires are allowed from November through the end of February. They are NOT permitted March- October because of Sea Turtle Nesting.
- Keep your guest list to 20 or fewer.
- Fire pits must be 2x2x1. Bring a shovel!
- Finally, when finished, ashes must be removed from the beach and the fire pit must be completely filled in. Please be cleaned up by 10pm Sunday – Thursday & 11pm Friday & Saturday.
- Use common sense with regard to safety. Do not have a fire in windy conditions, do not set up near vegetation or dunes.
- Sparklers are permitted, however tiki torches are not.
- If you are not familiar with beach accesses in Atlantic Beach, check out a few that would work. If you have supplies to carry, some may be difficult to access with wagons due to steps or high dunes blocking the entryway.
- Glow stick necklaces helped us to keep track of the kids at our bonfire.
Are you ready to start planning your beach bonfire in Jacksonville?
Mattie Shepherd moved to Jax Beach from Cincinnati about 3 years ago. She was a school psychologist for 9 years and enjoys using behaviorism on her husband and 2 daughters (JK, kind of). Mattie co-leads a Daisy Troop, is very proud to be on PTA board and cheers LOUDLY watching her daughter play ALL the sports. Mattie loves exploring Jax, especially in search of parks, coffee, cocktails and delish food. At home, she likes baking with her girls, dreaming of buying a fixer upper and covering it with #shiplap, and cropping messes out of her Instagram shots.