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How To: 30A Beach Bonfire

by Adam Schlosser
30A Beach Bonfire Party

Guide to the Ultimate 30A Beach Bonfire Party

The freedom to host a beach bonfire party is just one of the many things that make South Walton such a unique place.  In fact, the beaches of 30A are one of the only locations in Florida where they are still legal.  Beach bonfires are a great way to bring your entire group together for a night of fun under the stars.  This guide will cover all of the important things you’ll need to know when planning a self hosted 30A beach bonfire party.

How to Organize a 30A Beach Bonfire Party

Step 1:  You’ll need to determine a specific 30A beach community and public beach access point in which to host your bonfire party.  You can choose any public SoWal access point but please remember you’ll have to carry your supplies down to the beach.  Therefore, choosing one with ramp access to the sand is ideal.  Also, you’ll most likely want to choose a Regional South Walton public access point as they have restrooms and plenty of parking.

In my opinion, some of the best regional 30A access points for beach bonfires (based on your location) are the following…

If you wish to host the party on a private beach, you’ll need to obtain written permission from the property owner and have it present during the bonfire permit application process.

Step 2:  You’ll need to purchase the 30A beach bonfire permit from the South Walton Fire Department.  The permit cost is $50 and the person that obtains it must be present for the full duration of the beach bonfire.  Also, make sure to have a printed out version of the bonfire permit with you in case an officer stops by your party.  You can learn more about how to purchase a beach bonfire permit on the South Walton Fire Department website here… swfd.org

Step 3:  You’re not allowed to simply dig a hole in the sand and start a fire.  The fire must be burned in a galvanized metal container and you need to use good firewood.  It cannot be treated lumber or wood with nails.  Publix and most of the Tom Thumb gas stations in South Walton sell wood perfect for beach bonfires.  Finally, please make sure you have a container to put the burned material in when the beach bonfire party is over.  South Walton’s “Leave No Trace” policy applies to beach bonfires meaning you’ll need to bring the burned wood home and properly dispose of it there.

Now that we’ve covered the important fundamentals of putting on a 30A beach bonfire, let’s talk about some of the other things you’ll need for a great party…

Essential Items to Bring when Hosting a 30A Beach Bonfire Party


What a day on 30A looks like… 😎 #30a #florida #InLove #Homemade

♬ Sun Is Shining – Bob Marley

  • Folding tables, beach chairs, and table covers are a must.  Ideally, you’ll want to bring at least 2 tables and plenty of beach chairs depending on the size of your group.  Also, you’ll want to bring table covers and weights (anything) to hold the corners down in case it is windy.
  • Tiki Torches are a fantastic addition to any 30A beach bonfire party as they provide light and help set the mood.
  • A cooler with plenty of beverages and ice are essential components to a successful beach bonfire party.
  • Paper towels, plates, eating utensils, and plastic cups are always a good idea.
  • Good tunes are essential so make sure to bring your Bluetooth speaker fully charged.
  • Bring your fishing gear as catching a big bull Red is sure to excite the party.
  • You’ll need at least one large trash can and plenty of garbage bags.
  • Hands free flashlights (the kind you wear on your head) are super key throughout the night.
  • Gloves and/or Oven Mitts and a bucket are must have items.  You’ll need to the bucket to put water on the fire and gloves to dispose of the burned material at the end of the night.

Popular Food Options for 30A Beach Bonfire Parties30A Beach Bonfire Party Food Options

  • S’mores
  • Pizza – many local 30A restaurants will deliver your pies directly to your beach bonfire.
  • Shrimp Boil – if you want to go big, then it’s impossible to beat a true southern style shrimp boil.  There are plenty of local caterers that specials in 30A beach bonfire party shrimp boils.
  • 30A Oyster brings the bar right to you!  They’re a fantastic option and “Always a great shuckin’ time”.

If organizing a 30A beach bonfire party sounds like too much work then you’re in luck!  There are plenty of South Walton based companies that specialize in this service.  All you’ll need to do is show up at the beach access of your choice and they’ll take care of the rest.  Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall Break on 30A are all great times of year for a beach bonfire party!

—–> 30A Beach Bonfire Companies <—–30A Florida Beach Bonfire Companies

Thanks for taking time to read our Guide to the Ultimate 30A Beach Bonfire Party!  If you feel we’ve left anything important out, please let us know in the comments below.  Also, if you’ve taken part in a South Walton beach bonfire party we’d love to hear all about that as well!

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