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3 reasons why Bolsa Chica is a great bonfire beach

A bonfire at Bolsa Chica around sunset
A bonfire at Bolsa Chica around sunset
Photo by Emma Stewart

Though we only get glimpses of it through the June gloom, summer is in fact here and it’s time to start soaking in the sun. On top of surfing, sun tanning and getting sand in strange places, standing around a bonfire with a group of friends just roasting hotdogs or s’mores is a great way to enjoy the beach. Unfortunately bonfires have been banned in most beaches so finding the right place is difficult. Unless you’re looking at Bolsa Chica State Beach which you really should be. Here’s why;

Space- 3 miles doesn’t seem like much comapred to most beaches, but it’s the way that Bolsa Chica is shaped that gives it the advantage. It’s a long strip of beach reaching from Sunset Beach to Seapoint Avenue. This is actually a rather nice setup, everything is stretched out so people have more space to set up around their bonfire pit, you don’t have to walk too far to get from even the furthest sandy point of the beach down to the water and it means the parking lot behind it is much more accommodating.

Surf- For some reason the ocean is just a bit warmer over there. Most times it seems to take ages to acclimate to the chill of the water, to the point where some people would rather not bother. At Bolsa Chica the sand isn’t too hot and the water isn’t too cold. And if it is, as mentioned before, there isn’t much space between the two so you can run back and forth all day without it feeling like a marathon.

Friends, food and fire- It looks like these are three reasons crammed in one but they all rely on each other to be one really good reason. Friends are always important, you need them to validate getting that sand...just everywhere. Food is an important part of socializing with your friends and bringing food to them is a delicious show of consideration. Fire not only warms you and your friends as the sun goes down but also helps weed out the dangerous pyromaniacs, the chefs and the people who will or won’t help you do heavy labor (i.e., carrying wood to and from cars) for the sake of processed meats and sugar. And that last one is very important not just at the beach.

Admittedly the last one is a general fact but Bolsa Chica is a wonderful, sandy, sunny, beach babe infested place to apply that truth. So go swim and run in the sand, have a few oddly blackened hotdogs and perfectly toasted/nearly fallen into the fire marshmallows over there and watch the good times fall together better than a cheesy summer flick.


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