The blaze of a crackling fire on a cool summer night provides affordable entertainment for those seeking a fun event to enjoy and cherish. Most everybody loves the bonfire gathering and the fun to be had, cooking over a fire, playing in the sand, enjoying friends and family, and trying to stay warm near the fire without getting too hot.
The beach bonfire is a beloved tradition for many families, but as you head for your favorite California beach to build your bonfire, it's wise to check ahead before going these days. In places where nearly anything goes (or used to) such as San Diego beaches, alcoholic beverages have been banned, and now the council and city are discussing ways to save money by removing bonfire rings and pits.
Another favorite place to enjoy the pits has long been Newport Beach. The same discussion is going on there, and the city is threatening to remove the bonfire pits from its beaches if they haven't done so already. Again, call before going to confirm they still exist at Newport City beaches and Corona del Mar State Beach.
In Huntington Beach the same budget-cutting discussions have occurred. The result was that many bonfire rings are removed during the winter months, then brought back into position for the summer beach crowds. Recently a couple filed a lawsuit against the City of Huntington Beach for their negligence in allowing the couple's 7-year old to fall into a fire pit when flying a kite. The child suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns. The couple said the city didn't have proper warnings about the fire rings, and didn't maintain them.This sort of occurrance and potential increase in lawsuits may fan the flames of yet another city deciding that allowing people to build fires has too much expense attached to it. The fires rings are still open at Huntington City Beach, Huntington State Beach, and Bolsa Chica State Beach. You don't need to call ahead to confirm, though you do need to come early to stake a claim on busy summer days and nights.
Going up coast, the pickings are slim between Orange County and Central Coast for beach bonfire activities. When you get to Pismo Beach region, bonfires are still allowed on the Oceano Dunes Recreation Area beaches.
Carmel removed their bonfire pits so there's nothing available till you get to San Francisco, where several beaches still allow them.
California beach bonfires rank as one of the most popular beach activities. However, with cities looking for ways to cut costs, with people suing over the safety of them, and with residents crying "foul" over air pollution caused by these fires, you may eventually see the dying embers of a beloved activity associated with the California lifestyle and beaches.