Dockweiler State Beach

Best Family Beach Bonfire, August 2008

As one of only two L.A. County beaches that allow bonfires—the other is San Pedro’s Cabrillo Beach— Dockweiler State Beach can get busy with marshmallow-toasting children and their parents in the summer. Use is first come, first served. There’s plenty of space between the two-and-a-half-foot-wide pits should your party grow as the day goes on, unlike at Cabrillo, where the four pits are tightly grouped. At each site it’s bring-your-own-everything, except alcohol, which is banned. Cabrillo has better scenery, but Dockweiler has more privacy.