A beach bonfire is a time-honored tradition that California residents and visitors have enjoyed for years. Despite a recent backlash from various groups, bonfires are still permitted at many beaches in California. See the complete list below.
Typically, fires must be limited to official fire pits, which are formed by large concrete rings in the sand, though in places such as Oceano Dunes Vehicle Recreation Area where cars can drive right on the 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.
Some beaches provide fire rings for free, first come-first served. Other beaches, including quite a few 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 beaches during summer months, on weekend evenings, over the 4th of July holiday 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 most accurate, up-to-date information. Don’t count on a ring being there until you speak with the official beach agency. Many beaches have seasonal rules and, therefore, rings will be installed and removed throughout the year.
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.
This list below is ordered north to south