Growing up in Southern California I spent a lot of time on the beach. And this sounds so cliché, but one of the electives my hippie high school offered was surfing. So even though I wasn’t taking that particular class, I spent more than a few of my ‘free’ periods hanging out watching classmates surf while I pretended to be working on my photography assignment nearby. In fact, most of the school found some reason to be at the beach for at least part of the school day – I remember quite a few term papers written on the observation of bogus species of sand crabs. It’s a wonder any of us graduated and went on to become anything other than hair-braiders.
But one of my fondest memories of my beach-going teen years is sitting around a bonfire with my classmates and friends after school and on weekends. Back then pretty much all of the beaches had fire rings for making bonfires. (Saying ‘back then’ makes it sound like ancient history, but I’m really not that old. Although we did lay down on woolly mammoth pelts instead of beach towels.)
Now it’s not so easy to find those once ubiquitous cement rings – in fact the only beach in Los Angeles that still allows bonfires is Dockweiler State Beach in Playa Del Rey. Many beaches in Orange County have fire pits, but I’ll be steering my teen daughters towards Dockweiler where I spent many hours with my friends, our faces lit by the light of flickering orange flames. Besides, I think there might be some sand crabs that need cataloging.
Here are some LA-area beaches that allow bonfires. Check with the individual locations, as some laws may have changed.
Dockweiler State Beach
Bolsa Chica State Beach
Corona Del Mar State Beach
Crystal Cove State Beach
Newport Beach west of Balboa Pier
Newport Beach east of Balboa Pier
The original posting can be found here: UpTake Getaway Crew: LA