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How to Barbecue Near the Beach: Places and Tips for Grilling in OC

How to Barbecue Near the Beach: Places and Tips for Grilling in OC

The first thing on my list every summer is to find places to barbecue near the beach.  

The list is shorter than I first expected, but there are still plenty of places to “grill out,” “cook out,” or “BBQ” and be near the beach.

 Just keep it really simple and it should be possible to to head out on a moment’s notice for an impromptu meal by the waves.

Picnic table and grill at Pines Park overlooking the ocean

Where Are Grills Near the Beach in Orange County?

Starting from south county to north county, here are a few suggestions:

I always recommend previewing before you decide to go.

Most of these places have only 2 or 3 grills – so get there early to get a spot.

Doheny Barbecue Near the Beach and Picnic Area in Dana Point

What to Bring for an Outdoor Barbecue Picnic

  • Charcoal – recommend buying the bag that you can light (that way you don’t need lighter fluid or any other starters). Here’s an example of the product I’m talking about: Kingsford BBQ Bag
  • Grill brush for cleaning the existing grill – or a grill mat that lays over the existing grill grate
  • Lighter or long matches
  • Long spatula and/or tongs
  • Olive oil spray (like Pam)
  • Tablecloth and maybe towels for the benches of the picnic table
  • Mess kit and cloth napkins (for each member of the family)
  • Paper towels and wipes
  • Pie tins or serving plates
  • Cooler with food: main course for grilling, pre-prepped side salads or fruit, s’mores ingredients, drinks
  • Roasting sticks for the s’mores
Shaded picnic table and grill at Pines Park in Capo Beach

What to Cook on the Grill When You Barbecue Near the Beach

  • Grilled veggies
  • Grilled fruits
  • Pizza on the grill
  • Foil packets of potatoes and/or veggies
  • Corn
  • Burgers, hot dogs, steak, chicken, brats/sausages, carne asada, kebabs, fish

Recipe Ideas for the Grill

Picnic area in Dana Point with grills at Baby Beach

How to Barbecue Near the Beach (or Anywhere There’s a Grill)

  1. Adjust the height of the grill so that you get the desired heat (lower=high heat, middle=medium heat, highest level=low heat)
  2. Place bag in grill and light both ends (ONLY on the bags that are designed for this). Usually a small bag is plenty.
  3. Start grilling when the coals start to glow — after the active flame has died down
  4. When you are done cooking, with your tongs, try to spread out the coals flat so they are dying out individually (save for s’mores if you are making them). If you are ready to go before the coals have completely died out – put it out with water.

And there are many more options when you look at parks inland from the beach. I can think of tons of parks with barbecue grills.  

Enjoy your weekend and consider making this a family tradition.

Photo locations (links above under Where Are Grills Near the Beach in Orange County? heading):

  1. Doheny Beach
  2. Pines Park
  3. Doheny Beach
  4. Pines Park
  5. Baby Beach

Originally published in May 2013.


Thursday 29th of May 2014

I would like to know where those picture were taken.

Michele Whiteaker

Saturday 31st of May 2014

I just added the locations to the end of the post!

Doheny Beach Pines Park Doheny Beach Pines Park Baby Beach

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