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Everything you need to know about a Dockweiler Beach Bonfire Los Angeles style. Including what to pack, park rules, general information and must-know tips. Sponsored by Zappos.


“What’s close, warm and relaxing?” I asked him as I tried to get my friends together for a Saturday afternoon.
We were tired. We hadn’t seen each other in a long time and wanted to actually chat. Sometimes LA seems to be all booze, bites and beaches … how could we brighten up the experience?

A beach bonfire.

In this Post

– General information about hosting a beach bonfire Los Angeles style.
– Tips for a Dockweiler beach Bonfire.
– What to pack for a beach bonfire picnic.
– Dockweiler Beach directions.
– Dockweiler State Beach Reservations
– Dockweiler Beach Rules
– Dockweiler Beach Parking & Fees

General information about hosting a beach bonfire Los Angeles style.

In the city of Angeles, it seems like every one is out for the instagram moment. Joking, we’re all chasing the setting sun, in good company and great weather.

For a beach bonfire in the Los Angeles area, choose from these beaches:

  • Camarillo — Point Mugu State Beach
  • Malibu — Leo Carrillo State Park
  • Playa Del Rey — Dockweiler Beach
  • El Segundo — Recreation Park
  • San Pedro — Cabrillo Beach
  • Long Beach — Colorado Lagoon, Marine Stadium

We chose a Dockweiler Beach bonfire because it has more fire pits and less people.

Tips for a Dockweiler beach Bonfire.

1. Have someone in your group get there early. When we arrived at 5 PM, all of the pits had been reserved. The beach wasn’t too packed considering density, but we missed out on our opportunity to secure our own spot.

2. Share a pit. We had a group of ten and asked a group of three if we could post up near them and share the pit. They were all for it. A third group joined after us. We were able to do our own thing in separate groups, but share the fire.

3. Wrap up. Sure the fire is hot, but the beach is cold and you’re running around from the car and to/from the bathroom.

4. Get creative. We made traditional s’mores, but also made these S’more Cones. See the recipe under “What to Pack.”

5. Scout the surrounding groups. It might be a little difficult to gauge, but it’s worth a shot. Consider what other groups might have going on their night — loud music to party, perhaps loud church groups etc. Sit next to your vibe as sound surprisingly travels well on the beach.

What to pack for a beach bonfire picnic.

Don’t forget a bag to keep it all in. It became very humid and damp, so I suggest one that is water proof.


To experience the bonfire:

  • Wood
  • Starter Wood
  • Lighter
  • Throws to sit on
  • Blanket
  • Flashlight / Twinkle lights
  • Games (we brought a deck of cards, but couldn’t see much in the dark).


To eat and drink at a beach bonfire:

  • Beverages of your choice
  • Non-glass cups or bottles to serve
  • Napkins
  • Water
  • S’Mores — Kebab Picks, graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate
  • S’More Cones — marshmallows, chocolate, waffle cones, banana bites, aluminum foil. Stuff cone, wrap fully in aluminum and put in fire for 3-5 minutes (until melted).
  • Pre-packaged sandwiches — I do NOT recommend BBQing over the pit. There is too much going on and the heat was unpredictable. You could easily end up hungry and with a big mess.
  • Assorted fruit and veggies.


To wear at the beach bonfire

  • Hair tie (seriously, the humidity gets bad).
  • Warm shirt, sweater or vest. I wore the North Face Campshire Vest from Zappos, who has kindly partnered with me to show you their new line perfect for winter hiking and camping.
  • Comfy Pants
  • Flip flops
  • Extra socks to wear while sitting


Dockweiler Beach Directions

When you get to Dockewiler State Beach, at the center you see an entrance for parking.
Allow yourself up to 30 minutes of waiting to get into the park (we didn’t wait that long, but some of our friends did).
The section of the beach with the fire pits is on the right. 


Dockweiler State Beach Address:

12001 Vista Del Mar, Playa Del Rey 90293


Dockweiler State Beach Reservations

There aren’t any. You cannot reserve a pit, get there early and make new friends when someone arrives late and need a pit too :)


Dockweiler Beach Bonfire Rules

  • Pick up your trash. Seriously, you’re very close to the ocean — please weigh down any trash that could fly out of your reach.
  • Bring your own firewood.
  • Don’t use sand to put out the fire.
  • Grills and BBQs must fit within the 2 Ft Pit


Dockweiler Beach Parking & Fees

  • Anticipate a half hour wait into the parking lot if you arrive around sunset. To dodge the traffic, get there no later than four PM.
  • Parking fees vary, but we paid around $10.
  • Visa and Mastercard accepted
  • No change is given.
  • Display parking permit right-side up in driver’s dashboard.
  • You have to pay for parking if you arrive when there isn’t an attendant.
  • They cite parking tickets.



What tips would you add for a Dockweiler Beach Bonfire? What else would you pack for a Beach Bonfire Los Angeles style?



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