Find Orange County fire pits for a beach bonfire with friends and family, including free and paid options. When you think of Southern California, you probably think of sunshine and beaches. Which is a pretty accurate thing to think of, because Orange County has a whole number of incredible beaches for you to explore. If you’ve never been to one of these beaches, or are simply looking for a new one to visit besides your usual stomping grounds, the overall number of beaches to choose from can seem overwhelming. You just want the perfect bonfire, but might not be sure how to get to the beach or where to go. Get an overview of which beach seems right for you, and start planning that beach bonfire today.
Aliso Beach Fire Pits
This smaller beach is located in Laguna, with a paid parking lot directly in front of beach access. There’s also a park within walking distance, so it’s a perfect place to bring your family for a day of playgrounds and surf. Like most beaches, it gets busy on the weekends, so you’re going to want to get there early if you’re setting up your bonfire. This is the only beach in Laguna with bonfire pits, so they tend to be in high demand – and there are only about ten available daily. But once you get your bonfire all set, you can enjoy the views of sandy cliffs and the beautiful houses overlooking the beach as you watch the sunset.
Bolsa Chica State Beach Fire Pits
Bolsa Chica is a popular surfing spot because the surf breaks in more shallow water, which allows inbound waved to curl when they crest. If you didn’t get any of that and just want to make a bonfire, Bolsa Chica is still a good pick for you. They have over 200 fire pits and, like most other fire pits, they’re first come, first serve. This is also a popular location to watch grunion runs. So set up a bonfire – come fairly early, but don’t sweat it too much – and surf a little, watch the fish, and roast some weenies.
Corona Del Mar State Beach Fire Pits
Corona Del Mar is one of the hidden gems of Orange County – but not too hidden, so if you want to snag a bonfire pit, you’re probably going to have to have a designated person willing to go grab one for you very early. Park in the designated parking at the bottom of the big hill, or try to find a spot for free in the residential area. If you choose to park here, you’re going to have to lug your stuff down the hill, but hey, free parking. There are sixteen fire pits here, but they go very quickly.
Crystal Cove State Beach Fire Pits
When you go here, visit the Beachcomber Cafe and eat overlooking the ocean. But since you’re probably planning a bonfire, you can make that happen too. You can actually rent a fire pit here. You have to be eighteen years of age to rent a fire pit, and standard pit is $65 for rental, which will get you two hours of fire pit use. You can also choose other packages that come with food and beach chairs.
Huntington Beach is one of the largest and most popular places to go for a bonfire. Luckily, they’ve got a large amount of fire pits for you to choose from. Parking is fairly simple. Depending on where you choose to settle down, you can park along metered parking or inside the parking lots. Some pits are located near volleyball nets, so bring a ball and get your game on before you set up your fire. Be sure to check your calendar – this beach tends to host festivals and events, so might be more busy on certain specific dates.
Newport Dunes Fire Pits along the beach
You’ve got eight bonfire rings to choose from here, so an early arrival time might be in your best interest. For a more clear picture of where the fire pits are in this lesser known area, you can go to this photo. Newport Dunes is technically a resort, but you’re free to come build a fire at the firepits. You might just want to drop by some of the nearby restaurants, but roasting marshmallows is pretty fun too.
Newport State Beach Fire Pits East of Balboa Pier
Another extremely popular beach in Orange County, Newport has bonfire pits scattered throughout the coast. Before you start up your fire for the day, you can take a stroll along the pier or grab a snack at one of them any restaurants lining the beachfront. Get to ‘em while you can, along the Balboa area, because local residents have been fighting for removal because of air pollution. But as of now, that hasn’t happened yet – so go ahead and get your bonfire on.
San Clemente State Beach Fire Pits
This beach is more removed from the others on this list, which may be good news for you if you’re trying to plan a bonfire and not worry too much about grabbing a pit. You can enjoy your walk along the pier, or visit some cute shops around the area before you get your fire going. Don’t leave without taking a walk down T-street and visit the mini-bridge that leads down to the sand.
Dana Point – Capistrano Beach Fire Pits
Unfortunately due to public safety concerns and the increasing cost of maintenance, the fire pits at Capistrano Beach have been removed. The rising tides routinely flooded the fire pits, causing nails and screws from fire remains to be dispersed throughout the area. Removal began in July 2018.
How to Get a Beach Fire Pit & Other Tips
From Memorial Day to Labor Day claiming a fire pit in Orange County can be daunting. Here are some tips to getting a fire pit in Orange County.
- Arrive early in the morning and stay all day on the weekends.
- How early depends on the number of available fire pits on the beach. Less than 10 might mean 6 am or even earlier.
- Weekdays during the summer you might be lucky to grab one up until 3 pm or 4 pm.
- Designate a pit person who gets there in the morning and holds the pit.
- Take turns during the day holding your pit.
- Never leave the ring unattended. People will remove your belongings and claim the fire pit leading to potential altercations. Many pits state “Must be present to hold.”
- Share the rings, with two or more groups sitting near the flames. Never hurts to ask a group if they’ll share.
- Some rings only allow wood and others only allow charcoal.
- No alcohol allowed. Red cups are the biggest red flag. Coffees cups like the ones you can buy at Costco are not as obvious.
- Always clean up.
There are less fire rings in Orange County every year because of shrinking sand so it gets harder and harder to claim a fire pit.
- Riviera Beach in San Clemente – The one ring is no longer.
- San Onofre State Beach – Down to five from 12 fire rings.
- Doheny State Beach – Down to 14 from 33 fire rings.
- San Clemente City Beach – Down to 8 from 16 fire rings.
- Huntington State Beach – Less than 250 where there were over 500 in the early 2000s.