If you’re dreaming of enjoying a bonfire by the ocean, then look no further than these amazing beaches in Virginia. While some Virginia beaches do not allow bonfires, there are quite a few that only require a permit. The beautiful campsites on this list offer fire pits and allow open fires. Get ready for a beach trip filled with s’mores and warmth from toasty flames. When in doubt about whether or not a beach allows open fires, you can stick to the fire pit at your vacation rental for the safest and easiest bonfire experience. There are plenty of beachfront vacation rentals in Virginia that combine the beauty of beach and the comforts of your own home away from home. Check out the top beaches to enjoy a bonfire in Virginia.

1. Chesapeake Beach (Chick’s Beach)

This popular beach in Virginia Beach stretches for two miles between Lynnhaven Inlet to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and offers stunning views of the bridge and more. Quiet and non-touristy, Chesapeake Beach offers plenty of great budget and family-friendly beachfront vacation rental options. Your family will love the kinder, gentler waves of the Chesapeake Bay and can enjoy swimming, volleyball, and sandcastle making in addition to the ultimate beach bonfire at sunset.

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2. Sandbridge

Sandbridge is filled with family homes and vacation rentals and offers a beautiful and relaxing beach getaway. This white, sandy beach is unpretentious and uncrowded and offers the perfect combination of the sparkling Atlantic Ocean and the broad expanse of the Back Bay. For something fun to do with your family besides beach sand and sun, check out the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This wetlands refuge hosts thousands of migratory waterfowl, including snow geese and tundra swans.

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3. False Cape State Park

This is one of the only underdeveloped areas along the Virginia Atlantic coast left. The False Cape State Park is a beautiful oasis of untouched shoreline that’s perfect for coastal camping, including a beachfront fire, as the park is extremely popular for primitive camping, meaning no showers, electricity, or stall bathrooms. There are also extensive activities to choose from, like guided kayak trips, biking trails, and six miles of untouched beachfront for swimming and sunbathing. Pets are allowed in the campgrounds too. Just make sure they don’t get too close to the bonfire flames!

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4. First Landing State Park

First Landing State Park is just outside of Virginia Beach on the Chesapeake Bay. There are campsites available with water and electric hookups, access to restrooms and showers, and picnic sites. There are also shelters with tables, benches, grills, and a bonfire area, for those who aren’t camping. Bring the whole family along, including the dog! Pets are allowed, and there are even educational programs where your kids can learn about the rich nature and history of the Chesapeake. You’ll also find abundant wildlife, rare plants, and gorgeous scenery. No wonder First Landing State Park is the most visited state park in Virginia!

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5. New River Trail State Park

Who says you have to be by the ocean to find a beach? Here’s another great spot for primitive camping along New River. The truly rugged camper will love the Double Shoals and Baker Island sites. These sites are not for the faint of heart but are the perfect place for the nature enthusiast to enjoy the surrounding landscape. If you’re looking for a little more comfort, the campsites at Cliffview and Millrace have fire pits, lantern posts, and picnic tables. No matter what your style of camping is, all visitors will enjoy hiking, biking, fishing and horseback riding.

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6. Christopher Run Campground

Another great spot for inland Virginians to have a beach bonfire is the Christopher Run Campground in Mineral, Virginia. Sitting next to Lake Anna in Louisa County, Christopher Run Campground has over 200 campsites to choose from with water and electric hookups available at many of them. Here, you can rent canoes, rowboats and paddleboats, or bring your own. There are six boat ramps available for visitors. The campgrounds are also great for kids with its volleyball and basketball courts, horseshoes, shuffleboard, and a playground. What’s most unique about Christopher Run Campground? Staying here, you’ll be less than an hour away from many historic sites, including Montpelier, James Madison Museum, Monticello, Ash Lawn, and Shenandoah National Park.

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More tips on bonfires in Virginia

Recreational Fires are allowed within the City of Virginia Beach, but there are some rules and regulations to make note of. Pit fires and bonfires require a permit which can be applied for online. Furthermore, bonfires must be at least 50 feet away from any structure and can be no larger than 5’x5’x5′. Remember that fires must be attended at all times, and you should have a fire extinguisher on hand or sand available for instant use. Also keep in mind that the Fire Department has the authority to extinguish any fire, permitted or not. For more information, please visit the Virginia Beach Government website at www.vbgov.com.

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