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Cape May, a picturesque coastal town located at the southern tip of New Jersey, is known for its beautiful beaches and charming Victorian architecture. As the summer season approaches, many visitors and locals alike may wonder if bonfires are allowed on Cape May beaches. In this article, we will explore the regulations and guidelines surrounding bonfires in Cape May, providing you with the information you need to know.

Regulations and Permits

Before you start gathering firewood and marshmallows, it is important to understand the regulations and obtain any necessary permits for having a bonfire on Cape May beaches. The Cape May City government has specific rules in place to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all beachgoers.

1. Check with the City

The first step is to check with the Cape May City government to find out if bonfires are allowed on the beaches. You can visit the official website or contact the local authorities to get the most up-to-date information regarding bonfire regulations.

2. Apply for a Permit

If bonfires are permitted, you will likely need to apply for a permit. The permit will outline the specific guidelines and restrictions for having a bonfire on the beach. It is important to follow these guidelines to ensure the safety of yourself and others.

Guidelines and Safety Measures

Once you have obtained the necessary permits, it is important to follow the guidelines and safety measures set forth by the Cape May City government. These measures are in place to prevent accidents and preserve the beauty of the beaches.

1. Choose the Right Location

When having a bonfire on Cape May beaches, it is crucial to choose the right location. Make sure you are in an area designated for bonfires and that you are a safe distance away from any vegetation or structures. Keep in mind that the beach is a public space, so be considerate of others when selecting a location.

2. Use Approved Fire Pits

To prevent the risk of spreading fire, it is recommended to use approved fire pits or containers for your bonfire. These fire pits should be made of non-combustible materials and have a secure bottom to contain the fire. Do not use any makeshift fire pits that can easily tip over or spread embers.

3. Bring the Right Supplies

When planning a bonfire on Cape May beaches, make sure to bring the right supplies. This includes firewood, kindling, matches or a lighter, and fire extinguishing equipment. It is essential to have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher readily available to extinguish the fire if necessary.

4. Respect the Environment

While enjoying a bonfire on the beach, it is important to respect the environment and leave no trace behind. Clean up all trash, including any leftover firewood or ashes, and dispose of them properly. Leave the beach in the same condition as you found it, so that others can continue to enjoy its beauty.


In conclusion, bonfires are permitted on Cape May beaches, but they must be done in accordance with the regulations and guidelines set forth by the Cape May City government. By checking with the city, obtaining the necessary permits, and following the safety measures, you can enjoy a memorable bonfire experience while respecting the beach and its surroundings. So gather your friends and family, and head to Cape May for a beach bonfire that will create lasting memories.

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