Are Canopies Allowed on Virginia Beach, VA? Beach Rules & Regulations

Published July 29th, 2022 by Allen Campbell

are canopies allowed on Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Beach has numerous beaches that are perfect for surfing, kite flying, and spending time with family. Do you love spending time at the beach but don’t know if canopies are allowed? 

Wonder no more! Here I’ll break down everything you need to know about canopy usage in Virginia Beach so you can plan your next trip accordingly. Spoiler alert: yes, you are allowed to bring a canopy! But there are some vital considerations you should take into account before packing it up and hitting the sand. Keep reading for all the details.

Are Canopies Allowed on Virginia Beach, VA? Beach Rules & Regulations: Summary

Rules and Regulations of Virginia Beach, VA

Alcohol is prohibited

The authority in Virginia Beach is committed to keeping the beaches safe and clean by prohibiting alcohol in all public areas. This is because alcohol consumption can cause people to behave in a disruptive and messy way, which can ruin the experience for others. 

This is the primary reason why alcohol is not allowed on public beaches of Virginia Beach. Also, if you’re caught with alcohol on a public beach, you can expect to be fined.

Glass containers

The beach authorities prohibit glass on the beach in order to keep everyone safe. This is because glass can easily break into small pieces which may not be possible to see and could potentially cause injuries when they get mixed with sand or water. 

You can opt to use plastic or paper cups to minimize the risk of injury when enjoying your juice at the beach. You can dispose of it properly in nearby garbage bins after use.

Littering is not allowed

Litterers not only harm the environment but also spoil the experience for others. When litter is left on the ground, it can eventually blow into the water where it will pollute water. Animals can also be attracted to the litter, which can result in them getting sick or even dying.


Canopies are allowed in Virginia Beach, but there are certain rules and regulations that must be followed in order to ensure public safety. For example, canopies must be a maximum of 10 feet by 10 feet and cannot have any sidewalls in order to maximize visibility from all angles.

Also, if the lifeguards feel that your canopy is unsafe or obstructing their ability to do their job, they may ask you to remove it or move it to a different location. It is necessary to secure your canopy properly in order to avoid any hazards posed by the wind because the oceanfront can have gusts of wind that can change quickly.

Overnight camping

Camping overnight on the Virginia Beach shoreline is not allowed in order to protect both the animals that live there and the delicate ecosystems. The protection of both wildlife and human being is important, and beach authorities need to respect the delicate ecosystems. I hope you can understand and appreciate the beauty of this place even if you don’t get to camp overnight.

Driving a motorized or electric vehicle is strictly prohibited

Operating any type of powered vehicle in Virginia Beach is strictly prohibited by city policy. You are not allowed to drive electric cars, gas-powered vehicles, or any other type of motorized vehicle onto the beach. This is to help secure the surroundings and keep noise pollution down.

If you want to enjoy a nice walk on the beach, please follow these rules. But, the disabled person or any special event that has been approved by the City Manager is allowed to use powered vehicles on the beach. Similarly, riding horses on the beach is also allowed under the special event permit from the City Manager.

No public nudity

Don’t forget to be mindful of your behavior when you’re at the beach! There is a rule in Virginia Beach that warn visitors about indecent exposure and changing in public, so it’s best to avoid any trouble with the law by being discreet. It is very important that your bathing suit always stays on while you are in public.

Pet Guidelines

You can take your dog to Virginia beach any time from fall to spring. After Labor Day and before Memorial Day weekend is the only time when dogs are not allowed on the beach. The Broadwalk is a great place to walk your dog on a leash from 6 to 10 AM, and you can also off-leash your dog as long as you have tight control over him or her.

You should manage your dog’s waste by picking it up that may have been left behind. Keep in mind that dogs are not allowed on the beach north of 42nd Street or in Sandbridge after 10 am and before 6 pm.

Fires, including bonfires and grills

It seems a good idea to light up a bonfire on the beach to keep everyone warm, but in reality, it puts everyone at risk for injury or property damage. Litting up a fire including a grill and bonfires is restricted in Virginia beach to avoid any potential damage to property or injury to people. 

Additionally, the smoke is capable of being a nuisance to everyone around. So if you see a fire on the beach, please report it to your nearest lifeguard station.

Are Canopies allowed on Virginia Beach? - Conclusion

Canopies are allowed in Virginia Beach, VA as long as they are properly set up and taken down. The canopy must be free of any obstructions to the public right-of-way and cannot impede the experience of visitors. Also, the size is restricted to 10 feet by 10 feet and they cannot have any sidewalls to ensure maximum visibility.

As you can see, there are many regulations in place that dictate what is and isn’t allowed in Virginia Beach. It’s important to be aware of these rules before heading to the beach this summer so that you can enjoy your time without any issues. Thanks for reading and have an amazing beach season!

Allen Campbell with Master Canopies

Allen Campbell

Allen is a full time writer at and enjoys traveling around the United States and exploring nature. He enjoys writing about canopies as he believes they are extremely crucial in having a successful camping trip whether it be a trip to the beach, mountains, or the open plains.

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