What You Need to Know About Bonfires on Charleston Beaches

Bonfires are featured in almost every TV show and movie set on the beach. They are an iconic, romantic, and youthful symbol of beach vacations and summertime. However, bonfires on Charleston beaches are less common than you may think.

Due to safety, most towns in and around Charleston, SC, have prohibited bonfires on the beach. Municipal ordinances have been put in place to keep visitors and locals safe. These safety regulations have also been set to protect wildlife and private property.

We understand that planning and hosting a bonfire on Charleston Beaches while on vacation is a fun and exciting activity to add to your vacation itinerary. However, we hope you will be a responsible traveler when you visit the area and abide by all local rules and regulations.

Here is a list of the beaches in the area that DO NOT allow bonfires and which do. Keep reading to learn how to obtain a beach bonfire permit, how to have a beach fire safely, and what you need to bring to enjoy a firey night on the sand.

Where Bonfires are Prohibited

  • Edisto Beach
  • Folly Beach
  • Isle of Palms
  • Kiawah Island – Beachwalker County Park (Fires allowed in approved cooking grills only)

Where Beach Fires are Allowed

  • Sullivan’s Island

Sullivan’s Island is the only beach in the area that allows bonfires. To have a beach fire, you must submit a permit application to the town of Sullivan’s Island at the Town Hall.

Applications must be submitted in person by the permit holder. Applicants must be 21 or older and agree to be present during the entire bonfire event. The permit fee for non-residents is $100, with a $500 check deposit. For residents of Sullivan’s Island, the fee is $25 with a $250 check deposit.

Some planning needs to go into applying for a beach bonfire permit, and we have a few items from the Town of Sullivan’s Island for you to consider.

  • Applications must be approved at least 24 hours and, at most, two weeks in advance.
  • Fires are not allowed during most holiday weekends.
  • Fires are subject to cancellation at any time.
  • Permit holds must call the fire department (843-883-9944) for final verification on the day of their scheduled fire.
  • All events on the beach must comply with all Town Ordinances and beach rules and regulations, including alcohol, glass, parking, noise, etc.
  • Failure to follow all rules and regulations may result in the applicant or any other party member receiving a citation, fine, and/or forfeiture of deposit.
  • Consult the town for directions on where fires can be built and the proper procedure for putting out fires.

For a successful night of bonfire fun, you will need to bring a shovel, firewood, and a lighter. All fire safety protocols should be observed. Of course, no bonfire would be complete without hotdogs and marshmallows! Don’t forget to bring sticks for roasting your treats.

If you would like to inquire about bonfire date availability or have any other questions, call 843-883-3198 or email frontdesk@sullivansisland.sc.gov.

Planning your beach vacation to the Isle of Palms is fun and easy when you book a vacation rental with East Islands Rentals. Not only do we offer an incredible selection of rentals, we also have a plethora of information to make planning a breeze! Our blog is full of useful information. Take your planning to the next level when you download our carefully curated Vacation Guide!

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