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A beach bonfire is a time-honored tradition California residents and visitors have enjoyed for years. Despite a recent backlash from environmentalists, governments, and coastal property owners, bonfires are still permitted at many beaches in California (see our California beach bonfires map).

Typically, fires must be limited to official fire pits, which are formed by large cement rings in the sand, though in places such as Oceano Dunes Vehicle Recreation Area where cars can drive right on the beach in Grover Beach, you can pull your car onto the sand and simply set the wood out on the beach and light it, or dig your own pit.

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Some beaches provide fire pits free, first come-first serve. Other beaches, including many state beaches, offer them to the campsite guests as part of their camping fee. The Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors maintains fire rings at Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey. At most beaches during summer, weekend evenings, 4th of July and other large beach attendance days, your chance of getting a fire pit is greatly diminished as some of the visitors go at the crack of dawn to stake out a claim on a pit.


Below is a list of beaches that allow bonfires. Please be sure to check the links listed to get the accurate, up-to-date information. Don’t count on a ring being there until you speak with the official beach agency.

Note: The information below is part of an ever-changing situation. If you see any that we missed, or that need to be removed, please let us know.

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