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San Diego Beaches with Fire Pits Where You Can Make Bonfires

Can you think of a better way of wrapping up a day at the seaside than cozying up with family and friends in the warm, toasty glow of a beach bonfire? If you are looking for the perfect location for this outdoor activity in America’s Finest City, there are several San Diego beaches with fire pits along its 70-mile-long coastline where you can enjoy this timeless pastime.

Anett Victoria - Author of SeaSpiration

Written by Anett Victoria

When it comes to a beach vacation, Anett is the person who certainly has tips on where to go and what to do no matter it is a luxury tropical holiday, a romantic seaside getaway, or a fun family trip to the ocean. As a world traveler with years of experience in exploring tropical countries and a water sports fan, she creates this inspiring site where she writes travel guides, reviews and recommends beach gear, and gives travel tips to make planning your trip quicker and easier! Are you curious about where She wanders now? Follow her adventures on IG too!

Can I have a fire on the beach in San Diego?

When planning to hit the beach with the purpose of enjoying a bonfire, you need to be aware of San Diego fire pit rules. For instance, you cannot bring your own portable fire pit to most places and need use the designated ones.

Also, reserving a fire pit is not possible. They’re available on a first-come, first-served basis between 5 am and midnight, so arrive early and secure yours as soon as possible when planning a San Diego beach fire night with your loved ones. Large bonfire gatherings require a special permit you can get from the appropriate Park and Recreation Department.

Group of friends having fun at beach bonfire

You can burn only paper, wood and charcoal, and be mindful that your fuel source is below a foot from the top rim of the fire pit. Last but not the least, make sure to snuff out the fire completely before you go home. If you use coal, dispose them off in hot coal containers.

Best San Diego Beaches with Fire Pits

Moonlight State Beach

This beautiful seaside destination in Encinitas is especially enchanting at night with a beach bonfire. Moonlight State Beach got its name from the fact that it was a late-night picnic spot in the early 1900s. Today, this pretty place boasts several fire pits so you can keep up the after-dark-fun tradition and have your own evening picnic and bonfire under the stars!

Moonlight beach at blue hour

With soft sand, clear water and beautiful views, this place is perfect for daylight adventures as well: thanks to its gradual slope and a designated swimming-only zone, it is excellent for young children. These features along with access to extensive amenities such as lifeguards, restrooms, showers, playground, and picnic areas make it one of the best family beaches in Southern California where you can make a bonfire too.

La Jolla Shores Beach

It’s hard to resist the call of La Jolla Shores fire pits as they beckon you to lounge fireside for an evening of toasty treats and laughter. But be sure to stake a claim on yours early since this location is very popular though! If you can, come during the week so you can enjoy this beach when it is relatively quiet.

Lifeguard tower La Jolla shores beach

This crescent-shaped beach in northern La Jolla is also perfect to test your surfing and standup paddle boarding skills because of its sandy bottom and ease of getting into the ocean. Gentle waves, sea caves, and underwater canyon make it a great launching ground for scuba diving and kayaking too. For kids, the playground at Kellogg Park offers a break from the beach while you enjoy a picnic.

Tourmaline Surfing Park

Swing by this vast sandy stretch north of Pacific Beach neighborhood if you’re looking for one of the beaches that allow bonfires in San Diego. Considered a surfers’ mecca for good reason, beginners and seasoned surfers alike can get their surf fix on the swells at this fairly secluded San Diego beach.

Tourmaline beach - San Diego

If the wind is high, you can go windsurfing or kiteboarding too. Swimming is largely prohibited here, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy sunbathing. Or picnic in the picnic area. As dusk nears, gather around a beach bonfire with family and friends. Just be sure to snag a fire pit early because they are first-come, first-served.

Mission Beach

Located south of Pacific Beach Drive in Mission Beach area, this shoreline is one of the popular San Diego beaches with fire pits. The long expanse of Mission Beach provides a perfect canvas for an outing with your special one. Cap off your day with gooey s’mores cooked over a fire pit as you watch the sun go down at this romantic California beach!

Sunset at Mission Beach - San Diego

For more action, you can do water sports such as swimming, surfing, kayaking, and jet skiing or just walk, bike, or skate down the Ocean Front Walk pathway. If you’d like to relax, there’s plenty of room to plop down on the sand and kick back. A visit to Mission Beach would not be complete without a ride on the iconic Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster at the oceanfront Belmont Park that has kid-friendly activities too.

Fiesta Island

Fun times lie ahead for everyone at this sandy peninsular island located within Mission Bay.

With a continuous beach around its perimeter, Fiesta Island offers a plethora of aquatic activities such as swimming, windsurfing, and kiteboarding. Bring along a paddle board to go standup paddleboarding. You can even launch your watercraft right from the beach!

The mostly flat paved trail at Fiesta Island makes for a great hike and bike ride too. What’s more, your canine companion can join you at this place. And the best is, that there are plenty of fire rings, so you don’t have to rush to get one compared to other popular places. If you are looking for the perfect spot where you can have a fire on the beach in San Diego, Fiesta Island must be in your list!

Oceanside City Beach

Look no further than Oceanside City Beach if want to have a beach bonfire in San Diego with your family. With a multitude of amenities such as lifeguard towers, picnic tables, barbeque spots, vending machines, and a kid’s play area, this beach in Oceanside is waterfront bliss for a visit with the kids.

Oceanside City Beach aerial photo

Take a dip in the ocean, go surfing, or enjoy some great surf fishing. Then head over to the longest wooden pier on the west coast that stretches a whopping 1,942 feet into the ocean. Stroll the pier, fish, or simply take in awe-inspiring views of the coastline. In the evening, a bonfire along the beach with the backdrop of the Oceanside Beach Pier is the icing on the cake!

Coronado Beach

Head to this veritable oasis by the water whether you’re looking for a beach vacation retreat in California. Often voted one of the top beaches in America, Coronado lies across the bay from downtown San Diego and is known for its shimmering sand and breathtaking scenery.

Coronado beach view - San Diego

There are many things to do at Coronado beach both for young and old! Swim the calm waters, go skimboarding, surfing, build sand sculptures with your kids or go tide pooling. With luck, you may even spot a sunken ship along the shores that becomes visible at low tide. To end the day, catch a mesmerizing sunset as you snuggle with your near and dear ones around a beach bonfire.

Glorietta Bay Park

Imagine breathtaking views of the city skyline as you bask in the glow of a bonfire! One of the best spots for a beach bonfire in San Diego, this strip of sand is located across the San Diego Bay and perfect to gather around a toasty fire at sunset.

The waters here are calm and ideal for swimming. If you want to go kayaking, rentals and lessons are available within the park. You can even go for a ride along the paved bike trail down the coast. Abundant on-site facilities such as restrooms, showers, picnic tables, and a playground make Glorietta a great family-friendly destination.

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