Seaside Stories

Beach Bonfires – Under a Dome of Stars

March 31, 2013 | by Nate Burke

It’s the first remarkably warm day since spring finally arrived, and boy, what a feeling. In Seaside, the sun is out in brilliant force at a balmy 70 degrees.  The wind is unusually still and the sky a flawless blue in every direction.  Last night in my back yard, the frogs were croaking their first spring ballads, celebrating the return of deliciously long days and fresh melodic nights.  Frogs and crickets chirping at dusk always remind me that the evenings are no longer for huddling inside and watching TV. The gorgeous evenings demand to be experienced firsthand and there’s no better way to than to host a classic bonfire on the beach.

I think the experience of sitting around a fire with friends and family, beneath a sparkling dome of stars, taps into a kind of primal joy that human beings can relate to. Ordinarily, in our modern age, it’s pretty much standard to retreat indoors when night comes. But it’s exhilarating to break this habit, get out on the beach at sunset, and watch the world transition to nighttime.  Sprawled around a beach bonfire, you can feel the pull of a timeless tradition.  Story-telling and conversation take on an enchanting glow and the fire seems to pull everyone together in a more intimate way (s‘mores really have a knack for enhancing the experience as well).

These days, in the U.S.A., there aren’t a whole lot of places left that allow bonfires on the beach. Luckily, the tradition is preserved here in Seaside and has become an important part of coastal culture. You’ll find that most people who visit Seaside have a warm nostalgia for bonfire nights. If this is your first bonfire on Seaside’s beach, remember to use small pieces of wood only (large logs are prohibited). The fire must always be west of (and well away from) the beach grass and vegetation line.  It’s also important to extinguish the fire with water (if a fire is merely buried, it will continue to smolder under the sand).

Now that winter is just a chilly memory, it’s time to get outside and reconnect with the rhythms of the outdoors. Grab your friends, pack up some snacks and firewood, and experience the coastal nights the way they were meant to be seen: around the dancing firelight and under the stars.

Do you have any special memories of bonfires on the beach? Share your stories with us here!

Leave a Reply

and so much more!

Seaside’s History is an Honored Guest in Its Present

There are many local landmarks that celebrate the rich history of Seaside, a town that has been enjoyed as a popular beach getaway...

Learn More
Let’s Fly a Kite

On the beach at Seaside is perfect for this. There are no overhead wires and the beach has few up or down wind drafts from the winds which move across the ocean. This makes kite flying easier and explains why kites are a common part of the Seaside landscape. Kite flying is for dry days as wet kite lines can act as a conductor for static electricity and lightning in a storm.

Learn More
Experience the King Tides in Seaside

Seaside Cove in stormy conditions (photo by Don Frank) The King Tides are coming to Oregon. As one of the most popular and easily ...

Learn More
“Fascinated” on Broadway

Fascination has been a staple in Seaside, Oregon since the 1950s.

Learn More
Life in the Fast Lane

Riding bikes in Seaside in 1897.

Learn More
Locals Weigh In on the Best Ways to Visit Seaside

Building a campfire on the beach is a special tradition in Seaside. Photo: Kimson Doan Maybe you’ve visited Seaside for decades,...

Learn More
Sweets in Seaside

Confections conjure up memories of visits to Seaside Oregon as a child.

Learn More
A Year in Seaside – Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall Tips

While Seaside is an enduring summertime destination, it increasingly draws visitors to its sandy shores throughout the year. Each ...

Learn More
A group of women prepare to learn surfing in Oswald West State Park. Photo by Justin Bailie.
New Year, New Adventures

Instead of starting the new year by committing to breaking bad habits — and then forgetting that you even made the resolution ...

Learn More
Everything but War

An image of a classic World War II sign that point from Seaside to all of the major conflicts raging around the world

Learn More
Family Reunion

Seaside is a hot spot for family reunion get-togethers.

Learn More
Seaside Downtown Wine Walk
Seaside’s Spring Downtown Wine Walk

A deeper look inside an annual spring event in Seaside

Learn More
Why This Family Comes Back To Seaside Year After Year

The calm waters of the Necanicum River in Seaside, Oregon. Photo: Alex Butterfield There’s something comfortingly classic about ...

Learn More
Riding the Streetcar in Seaside

Riding the streetcar in Seaside is a fun and affordable way to see the town.

Learn More
Seaside Art Scene

Seaside is well-known for its scenic coastline, color-drenched sunsets and abundant natural beauty, but this coastal town has an a...

Learn More
Enjoying the Breaks in Weather

Seaside and Oregon Coast offer unique setting for the rising and setting of the sun.

Learn More
How to Start Cycling In Seaside

Few places in the Pacific Northwest are as primed for pedal-powered exploration as Seaside. I should know since I’ve ridden abou...

Learn More
The Amazing and Colorful History of Seaside

The Lewis and Clark expedition reached the sea near Seaside. Seaside has one of the most compelling stories you’ll find anyw...

Learn More