Are Tents Allowed On The Beach?

A visit to the beach can be exciting but stressful, especially if you have to think about the amount of stuff you have to pack. I would have been happy to carry an umbrella and some camp chairs, but my kids insisted on carrying a tent. Which left me with the question Are Tents Allowed On The Beach?

Tents are allowed on the beach for the day as long as pitching a tent in that area is permissible. There are, however, specifications on the size of the tent and the distance between other umbrellas. In the case of camping on a beach, this is only allowed if it is a campground.

Everyone loves the idea of pitching a tent in the sand; it’s fun and can be seen as an adventure for the kids. However, it can be quite a mission to carry your tent to the beach, only to find that your tent is not allowed at that spot. That can shift your mood. Let’s explore the specifications that need to be followed and the beaches that allow tents.

Can You Use A Camping Tent On The Beach?

A camping tent is a versatile camping gear that you can use on the beach. The question is, are you planning to pitch the tent for a day on the beach, or are you planning to camp on the beach? I will explore both options so that you can make an informed decision.

Can A Tent Be Pitched On The Beach For The Day?

Although there is no law against pitching a tent to enjoy a day on a beach, other factors need to be taken into consideration. Not all beaches allow the pitching of tents on the beach, and for those that do, they would probably only allocate a specific area for tent pitching. It is often an area not close to the shoreline and away from other beachgoers.

There are also specifications on the size of the tent, and there may also be restrictions depending on the season in question. During holiday seasons, the beaches tend to get quite busy; during this period, beaches that normally allow tent pitching might reserve the right only to allow umbrellas.

Is It A Good Idea To Pitch A Tent On The Beach?

Carrying a tent to the beach can be a cumbersome exercise, especially if only for a day’s visit. Although smaller tents are quite compact, there is the added stress of dealing with the harsh elements of nature, like wind, the sun, and rain.

Since larger pegged tents generally handle wind much better are not allowed on the beach because of the amount of space it takes up. You are left with having to pitch a small camp tent or a beach-style tent that does not handle wind well, especially since it is difficult to pitch a tent on loose soil. So you have to ensure that it is pinned and tied down well.

On my last visit to the beach, we carried a tent, not expecting the wind to pick up so drastically, and with my limited knowledge on pitching a tent within a few minutes, we were all trying to delegate who would run after the tent. We were forced to pick up speed as the wind picked up. What was meant to be relaxing soon became exhausting?

The quality of most of the smaller camp tents is thinner and just designed for a night under the stars. Unless you plan to pitch the tent under a tree, the tent will not provide ample shade from the sun. The sun rays generally penetrate through the tent; the heat exposure often ends, making the tent’s inside much hotter.

Alternatively, you can pack a tarp which you can put over the tent to provide more shade. Ensure that you carry a good quality tent that meets the size requirements. The tent will soak within a few minutes if it starts to rain, making it difficult to pack away. It is also difficult to secure a tent on loose soil, so it often becomes a chore.

10 Popular Beaches That Allowing Camping

  • Padre Island National Seashore, Texas
  • Bahia Honda State Park, Florida
  • Grand Isle State Park, Louisiana
  • South Beach Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Dear Island, Mississippi
  • Hammocks Beach State Park, North Carolina
  • Long Key State Park, Florida
  • Brazoria Beach Surfside Beach, Texas
  • Sandy Neck Beach Park, Massachusetts
  • Olympic National Park Beaches, Washington
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What To Consider Before Opting To Pitch A Tent?

Most beaches do not allow the pitching of tents on beaches; however, some will allow, lookout for signs that will generally be displayed on the beach if tents are allowed or not. You will need to consider the below when pitching a tent;

Are Tents Allowed And The Type Of Tent?

Amazon has a large variety of affordable beach tents that can provide some shelter and fit into your bag, making it compact and easy to carry around. It also takes up less space as compared to the standard camping tents.

The Season

Most beaches do not allow tents during busy periods when holidaymakers flock to beaches.

The Location

You will have to consider the spot where you are allowed to pitch the tent and the distance from the shoreline; most beaches do not allow pitching of tents close to the shoreline, which means someone has to be left guarding the tent, which will take away from the beach family bonding experience.

Ensure that you carry adequate pegs, use rocks and even sandbags to avoid your tent flying away.

The Size And Specifications Of The Tent

The size and specifications of the tent need to be adhered to; different beaches have different specifications. However, the standard camping tent or beach-style tent is allowed at most beaches for a day’s visit.

The Time Restrictions

There is often a time restriction for the pitching of tents, and some beaches even issue fines for leaving tents unattended.

In the case of camping, the pitching of tents has a lot more restrictions; you will need to consider the campsite’s rules.

What Are The Best Options For Securing A Tent On Beach?

If you have found a beach that allows a tent to be pitched, you will have to consider that pitching a tent on loose sand is often a challenge. The loose sand does not provide enough resistance or firmness to hold a standard camping peg. So if you are not camping on firm soil, you might want to consider investing in some good quality pegs.


With so many restrictions on pitching a tent at a beach, one must wonder if it is worth carrying one just for a day visit. If you have persistent children like mine, then it might be worth a quick online search on the rules and regulations of the beach you are planning to visit.

If you plan to do a camp out at the beach, make sure you take careful note of the regulations; besides, you don’t want to carry all your camping gear only to realize that you have the wrong size tent.   In the end, it is just about making beautiful memories, even if it means you are running after a tent-like I did. So get those tents out and start pitching!