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Q: Are pop-up shade tops allowed on Virginia Beach? No sides, just a sunshade 8ftx8ft

Asked by: Judy A.


Hi Julie,

Yes, pop-up shades and umbrellas are allowed on the beach at the oceanfront as well as the bay.  At the oceanfront, pop-up tents must be no bigger than 10ft x 10ft in size and you must be able to see “through” them from all sides.



On hot, popular days at the oceanfront the beach can get fairly crowded so I would suggest that you be respectful to other beach-goers and find a place that won’t interfere with the people around you.

Lastly, if a lifeguard feels that your pop-up shade is interfering with their ability to safely monitor the water for swimmers in distress, you may be asked to remove the pop-up shade or at least move it to a location that does not present a safety hazard or obstruction to the lifeguards.

Another word of advice:  Please be sure to anchor your umbrella or pop-up shade securely.  The wind at the oceanfront can gust hard at times.  The last thing you want to be doing is chasing your umbrella or tent down the beach or ruining someone else’s vacation because your shade hit them.

Just be courteous and all is good at the beach!

NOTE: We will repeat an important comment that can be seen below:

there are no “hard rules” written anywhere regarding this. The Virginia Beach Visitors Center guidance is that all beach tents must be “open” and no larger than approximately 10’x10′. Please understand that this is more about the intent of the rule as opposed to the actual written rule or guidance. The lifeguards and other beach patrols are not there to ruin anyone’s vacation because that have a tent that might be “slightly larger” than the guidance suggests or is slightly out of compliance.

You will most likely not have any issues unless the beach tent is
1) considered a danger on the beach (ex: a hindrance to visibility for lifeguards and beach patrols providing safety to swimmers and beachgoers, or a small child is stuck inside the enclosed tent in the heat, etc…)
2) the beach tent is an unfair nuisance or distraction or interfering with another beachgoers enjoyment of the beach.

The beach is a big place. 🙂 As long as everyone is getting along and not causing safety issues or problems for other beachgoers, you should be OK with your tent.



Virginia Beach, VA
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