Are Fire Pits Allowed on the Beach? Can I Bring My Own?

Multicultural group of friends partying on the beach next to a fire pit on a summer day

Spending time on the beach is a great way to have fun with friends and family. But are you wondering whether making or bringing your own fire pit to the beach is okay? After all, beach bonfires are a time-honored tradition, right?

Fire pits are allowed on the beach in many areas in the US. However, not all municipalities allow beach bonfires for safety and environmental reasons. Some places allow beach fires at designated fire rings only, and you won’t be allowed to bring your own self-contained fire pit.

For the rest of this post, I’ll talk about beach fire rules and beach fire safety, and I’ll give you a list of some of the most beautiful beaches with fire pits in the US. You’ll also get tips on how to plan an enjoyable beach bonfire.

Beach Fire Rules and Beach Fire Safety

Not all county beaches have the same rules about fire safety. Before you build a beach fire, be sure to check local regulations first. Some counties prohibit all fires on county beaches, while others allow limited types of fires.

a lonely beach with a burning fire pit close to the ocean water

Why Do Some Municipalities Not Allow Fire Pits?

Municipalities don’t allow beach fires for various reasons, the most common of which is safety. Beach fires may turn into dangerous blazes that threaten both people and properties. 

Additionally, even a small beach fire can produce significant amounts of smoke that can be harmful to both humans and animals, which is why it’s important to use caution when having one.

Municipalities also ban beach fires for aesthetic reasons. Beaches that have been burned multiple times may look more like barren deserts than picturesque coasts. For this reason, some municipalities only allow fire pits in designated areas.

Which US Beaches Allow Bonfires?

To make sure you and your family have a fun time at the beach, be sure to check which beaches allow bonfires.

Here are some of the most popular beaches in the US with fire pits: 

The California Coast

California is home to some of the most beautiful beaches with fire pits, including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Doheny State Beach. This state is known for miles upon miles of sandy beaches with crystal clear waters that are perfect for swimming or surfing. All three of these beaches have fire pits perfect for enjoying an evening barbecue or relaxing around a campfire.

The Florida Coast

In Florida, you’ll find several beautiful beaches that are great places to relax and enjoy a beach bonfire. Panama City Beach, Jensen Beach, and Cocoa Beach allow you to enjoy beach bonfires in designated areas. These areas are perfect for enjoying a laid-back ocean experience. Be sure to check the local guidelines and get a permit if necessary.

The Massachusetts Coast

Are you looking for a beach with plenty of activities? Head over to Cape Cod and reserve a beach campfire permit. Clear waters and spectacular landscapes await you in Massachusetts. Permits are free, but there are limited slots. Cape Cod beaches don’t allow you to bring your own fire pit, but you can bring charcoal and gas-fueled grills.

How To Build Your Own Fire Pit

You may build a fire pit from scratch using sandbags or bricks placed in strategic locations around the perimeter of the pit.

Here’s a quick guide on how to assemble the perfect fire pit:

  1. Clear the area. Ensure the fire pit site is level and free of rocks or other debris that could start a wildfire. A sandy surface will work better than gravel because it doesn’t absorb heat as well.
  2. Collect kindling materials. Start by collecting small sticks and twigs from around the area. Anything less than 2 in (5 cm) in diameter will do. Once you have enough material, you may add larger chunks if desired. Larger pieces create more intense flames due to their greater wood content.
  3. Build up the base of your fire. You can build a base using smaller sticks and branches until it forms a mound about 4-6 in (10-15 cm) high. For stability, you can place heavier items like logs on top of this foundation. Don’t worry if things look messy at first! Keep building up until everything is covered except for an opening near the top.
  4. Add your fuel. Start by filling your fire pit with newspaper or other kindling material. Then, add larger pieces of wood until the pile is 2-3 ft (0.6 to 0.9 m) high. Make sure to place these items in a way that will allow air and flames to circulate freely – this is key for creating an intense blaze. Finally, light the tinder bundle and enjoy your cozy fire.

Should You Bring Your Own Self-Contained Fire Pit?

Some beaches allow visitors to bring their own fire pit. These portable fire pits are perfect for when you want to enjoy the warmth of a fire without having to worry about tending it or dealing with ashes. Plus, they make great places to gather around during warm weather months.

Here are four reasons why you should invest in a portable fire pit:

  • They’re easy and convenient. Most self-contained fire pits require just a few minutes of your time to set up. These pits are usually lightweight and can be used anywhere there’s enough room for them. Portable fire pits require propane tanks, while some only need dry wood and kindling.
  • They’re versatile. Portable fire pits are not just for outdoor or beach trips. You can also use them on your backyard patio. Some models use natural materials like wood chips and logs, so they’re environmentally friendly too!
  • They’re energy efficient. A good quality self-contained fire pit will give off plenty of heat. Even if it’s a bit chilly outside, you’ll enjoy the fire without having to wear a warm sweater. These fire pits are perfect for use in your backyard during summer months or on your porch during winter. 

What To Bring to a Beach Bonfire

When you head to the beach, don’t forget to bring plenty of supplies. Here are some items that will help make your trip more enjoyable:

  • Beach chairs. Beach bonfires are a fun way to socialize and relax after a long day at the beach. However, it can still be chilly, so you’ll need comfortable and cozy seating. Make sure to pack enough lawn chairs so everyone can join in.
  • Serveware. A beach bonfire is an outdoor event, and protecting your food from getting wet or sandy is necessary. Packing serving ware like plates, cups, and napkins will make your trip more convenient.
  • Firewood. Make sure to bring enough wood to keep the fire burning all night. Having at least two or more bundles of firewood is a good idea.
  • Flashlights. A beach bonfire is an excellent way to spend quality time in the dark. Pack some sturdy flashlights for when it starts getting dark or when you need some additional light.
  • Snacks and drinks. Nothing beats sipping on cold refreshments while chatting with friends on the beach. Bring along plenty of favorite candies for everyone to share!
  • An outdoor speaker system. If you or your friends love music, bring along portable speakers so you can play all your favorite songs. You may also bring instruments like a guitar. Playing music while you laugh and share stories with your friends will make the event memorable.


Depending on your location, there may be certain restrictions in place that you need to know about before enjoying a fire pit on the beach. So if you’re considering building a fire at the beach, don’t forget to check local regulations first!

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