It’s officially summertime in Southern California! Most Californians love to spend a Sunday afternoon sunbathing or tossing a Frisbee while foamy ocean waves churn in the background. However, the magic of Orange County’s best beaches is also truly alive even after sunset. Imagine the salty ocean air breezing through your hair while the comforting smell of burning wood floats up from a glowing fire pit. You’ve roasted the marshmallow for your S’more to the perfect golden brown texture, and as you take that first delicious bite you can’t help but admire the natural beauty of the stars twinkling above you. Sounds pretty good, right?
To help you achieve this level of summer nirvana, we’ve put together a list of our favorite Orange County beaches that offer fire pits for visitors to use. Pick out one (or a few!) and get glowing!
Located in Dana Point, Doheny State Beach is one of California’s most popular beaches, attracting nearly a million visitors per year. The northern end of California’s first state beach features a five acre lawn with picnic facilities and volleyball courts. Tide pools and a visitor’s center with several aquariums can be found on the southern end of the state beach, making Doheny a great place to view California’s native wildlife up close. Campers and motorhomes are also welcome at the beach’s campground sites, several of which are only steps away from the sand.
Located just south of Sunset Beach, Bolsa Chica is a perfect place to play volleyball, surf, and watch the legendary oceanfront sunsets. Bolsa Chica State Beach is a famous surf fishing destination for several local species. Wildlife and bird watching are also popular, as the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is located directly across Pacific Coast Highway from the beach. A paved beachside trail runs for nearly 9 miles between Bolsa Chica and Huntington State Beaches, and you can expect to find runners, bikers, and skaters enjoying the view while they cruise the paths from sun up to sun down.
With the landmark Huntington Beach pier and close proximity to downtown Huntington, this state beach is the hub of Surf City’s summertime experience. Thanks to the world renowned waves stretching down Pacific Coast Highway, the US Open of Surfing and several annual beach events are hosted here each summer. Besides the fire rings open to the public from 5 am to 10 pm daily, there are several beach volleyball courts for visitors to use. On the city’s adjacent historic landmark pier, visitors may fish without a license and Ruby’s Diner offers great views and classic American fare. Trust us, you should definitely splurge and order that milkshake!
Corona del Mar’s half mile stretch of beach is a very popular spot for swimmers, surfers, and divers. The tranquil beach is framed by cliffs and a rock jetty, forming the east end of Newport Harbor. The beach’s surrounding area is simply gorgeous, and checking out local hiking trails or window shopping in boutiques is a great way to spend a few leisurely hours. Of course, fire pits are first come, first serve so be prepared to get there early or make new friends! You’ll definitely want to pack a picnic and blankets for this beach trip so you can fully enjoy taking in some of Southern California’s most breathtaking sunset views.