Posted on 7/1/2020

Beach Bonfires Now Permitted on Scenic 30A

A beautiful bonfire on a beach is something you may have seen in a heartwarming romantic movie, but have you ever had a chance to experience one first hand. Well, now you can! Southern Walton County is one of the few places in the entire state of Florida where you are permitted to have a fire on the beach at a private residence or public park. This includes Miramar Beach and all the coastal villages along Scenic 30A, where many of our Rivard vacation residences are located.

A beach bonfire provides an enchanting experience with friends and family members, fostering warm memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life, especially in SOWAL. Imagine sitting around the bonfire on the sugary white beach on an early evening while the soothing surf sounds murmur in the background, and the stars come out at night. This is particularly magical from mid-October thru late February when it coincides with heavenly sunsets that occur right over the gorgeous Gulf. In the summer months, you might have it coincide with the rise of a full moon over the Gulf and dance around the bonfire while the silvery orb lights up the beach! Such special times provide fun comradery with loved ones while having drinks, roasting marshmallows or hot dogs, and watching the flames' sparkling ever-changing glow. It gives a unique perfect experience for fun beach reunions, weddings, special anniversaries, and birthdays.

You may receive a one-night Bonfire Permit by applying at the South Walton Fire District for a $50 fee. They are located at 911 N. Highway 393 in Santa Rosa Beach, and available Mondays thru Fridays from 8am till 4pm. You may also apply in advance at 850-267-1298 and pay for the application via a PayPal Account. Beach bonfires are allowed 365 days per year, and permits are issued for a 24 hour period. Since there are no other time restrictions, you may have a bonfire all night long if you have enough firewood! Such permits are nonrefundable despite unforeseen inclement weather.

Specific rules do apply to protect the bright white beach which are as follows: Fires must be contained in a metal fire pit no larger than four feet in diameter and not permitted right on the sand; Bonfires must be no closer than 100' away from any vegetation, vehicles, structures or marked seasonal turtle nest sites; The fire must be wet down for physical disposal away from the beach and ashes may not be buried on or near the beach so only leave footprints behind. Both alcoholic and regular drinks are allowed with the use of plastic or paper cups, but you may not use glass for obvious reasons. Picnic items, hot dogs, marshmallows, and anything you want to grill are certainly permitted. You may also set up chairs, tables, tents, and Tiki torches, but they must be removed when you leave the beach.

You are allowed to use any public beach in South Walton, however, common sense would tell you to pick one near convenient parking and restroom facilities. Great locations that include both of these include the beach park near Pompano Joe's restaurant on Scenic Gulf Drive in Miramar Beach, the Dune Allen Beach access on Scenic 30A, the Ed Walline Access in Santa Rosa Beach right across from Gulf Place, the Santa Clara Access on Scenic 30A just east of Seagrove Beach and the Inlet Beach access at the end of Scenic 30A near Rosemary Beach at the end of Orange Street. The vast majority of our Rivard by Ocean Reef Vacation Rentals are very near these points.

You may also be fortunate enough to have a beach bonfire right at one of our 30A Gulf-front vacation rental homes along this stretch of sugary shore. Some of the current top picks for such bonfires include the following properties in Dune Allen and Santa Rosa Beach. (The owners already have the necessary paperwork in place)

Dune Allen Delight has four bedrooms that can accommodate fourteen beachgoers. It features two levels of beach balconies, cathedral ceilings, two living areas, a Wet Bar, an elegant spiral staircase, and even stained glass windows.

Santa Rosa Sunset has five bedrooms, which also accommodates fourteen guests. This home sits high upon a dune above the glittering Gulf, two covered beach balconies, two walls of windows with double views of the shore, and cheerful rainbow-colored bedrooms providing distinct fanciful Floridian flair.

A Suite Life is a two-bedroom home for more intimate gatherings that sleeps six. This place is literally perched right down on the beach, and you can't get much closer to the water than this. A beachfront balcony spans its width providing vivid gulf vistas and the ever-present sound of the sensual surf.

Splash has three bedrooms with the ability to sleep twelve with multiple beds, bunks, and a queen-sized sleeper sofa.  Double levels of gulf front verandas span its entire width from an open living area and all three bedrooms, which also include private en suite luxury baths. This home features fashionable Mid Century Vintage Modern and comfortable cottage styled furnishings.

Although anyone 18 years or older may get a permit and set up a beach bonfire on their own many folks choose to avoid the hassle of setups and opt one of the local companies that provide such services. They will get a paid permit for you as well as bring the fire pit, all the firewood, set it up for you, light the fire, dismantle the fire pit and dispose of it when you are finished. Depending upon the company or service package you choose, they also can include chairs, tables, marshmallows, S' more ingredients, hot dogs, Tiki torches, a Bluetooth Sound System, and even an attendant for a two to four-hour setup.

One of our affiliates, known as La Dolce Vita (The Good Life) offers these services. They often provide complimentary reduced rates for our guests through the complimentary Reef Rewards program for water recreational rentals, pontoon boats, kayaks, paddleboards, and jet skis.

The cost of their three-hour beach bonfires includes the permit, fire pit set up, 20 chairs, two tables, S' mores, Tiki torches, an attendant to tend the fire, dismantlement of the fire pit, clean up and disposal of the ashes.

Packages start at $250, and other option requests are available at extra cost. You may easily make arrangements 48 hours in advance of your beach bonfire date at La Dolce Vita or by calling 866-651-1869.

Getting excited? Begin to plan your beach reunion with a bonfire on our user-friendly Rivard website. It displays detailed descriptions, vivid property images, seasonal rates, dates of calendar availability for rental reservations, and satellite views of each locale. Choose a wonderful Gulf-front vacation rental home or get one near one of the listed convenient beach parks to host your own captivating beach bonfire. Have a glowing magical, memorable time!

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