Ocean Beach Is an Eclectic & Casual Beach Town (2023)

Ocean Beach Is an Eclectic & Casual Beach Town (1)

Ocean Beach Pier at Sunset is breathtaking.

Ocean Beach is the authentic beach town. Palm trees line the streets of this historical Southern California community. It’s kissed by the sun, romanced by the Pacific Ocean and has a personality all its own. A good reason for discovering Ocean Beach is its casual, small-town charm with its diagonally parked cars along the main street of Newport Avenue. This centrally located three-block-long shopping district has much to offer—and has no parking meters!

Ocean Beach Is an Eclectic & Casual Beach Town (2)

Ocean Beach has a lot to offer. If shopping is your way to relax, take a walk down Newport Avenue and browse through one unique shop after another offering TONS of microbreweries, surfboards, shells, beads, boutiques, unusual resale treasures and one of the large antique zone. Plus, the majority of merchants are residents, so expect to receive a friendly smile and good old-fashioned service.

Hungry for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Ocean Beach delivers whether it’s a first-class meal with an ocean view or a simple bite to eat.

The streets of Ocean Beach are also dotted with friendly pubs. They are ideal for catching the sunset from a deck, watching your favorite sporting event or celebrating with a friend over a house specialty. You’ll definitely feel like a native at one of these relaxed, friendly establishments. Most of these places are in the third block of downtown Ocean Beach, which is nearest to the ocean.

Here too is Hodad’s (5) at 5010 Newport Ave. (619-224-4623). They claim to have the world’s best burgers. They’re also proud to announce that they have served under 99 gazillion. Yes, you’ll find plenty to do on Newport Avenue.

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If it’s action you want, swim or surf in Ocean Beach’s big blue backyard. Ocean Beach is proud of its beautiful main beach, which is patrolled year-round by San Diego City Lifeguards. Plus, there are designated areas along the beach specifically designated for swimmers, dogs and for surfing.

If you want to buy a surfboard, there are several shops near the beach including South Coast Surf Shop (6) at 5023 Newport Ave. (619-223-7017). You can also find a good selection of Hawaiian shirts and swimsuits here too.

You can also stroll the 1,971-foot landmark Ocean Beach Pier (4), which is the longest concrete fishing pier on the West Coast. There is a bait-and-tackle shop here where you can rent a pole, bait, tackle, net and expert advice. Then you can dangle a fishing line and catch some fish while enjoying the ocean air and great coastal views. While on the pier have a bite to eat at the Walking on Water Cafe (4).

Plus, at low tide you can spend literally hours just discovering the many tide pools south of the pier. For low and high tide information, call (619-221-8824). The tide pools are at the foot of the pier.

You can also rent a bike or a pair of rollerblades, jog or just enjoy walking on the miles of sandy beaches. End a perfect day by watching the sun melt into the horizon from beautiful Sunset Cliffs near Hill Street (see map).

Tennis, soccer and baseball enthusiasts will be happy to discover Robb Field (1) (619-531-1563), an expansive recreation center. It comes complete with a fee based weight room and fitness center. This all-purpose athletic park also boasts Robb Field Skate Park (1) with 40,000 square feet of curves, bowls, jumps and rails. Admission is free to the park. Robb Field is where I-8 ends and Ocean Beach meet.


Ocean Beach also has a quarter mile of beach dedicated to your furry four-legged friends. It’s the world famous Dog Beach (3), where you can bring your canine companion for a walk on the beach with or without a leash. It’s located next to the jetty at the foot of the San Diego river.

In addition to Dog Beach, Ocean Beach abounds with pet-friendly hotels, dog washes and a lot of businesses will leave water bowls out for your pooch.

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This is the 24th year for O.B.’s Farmers Market (8) on the 4900 block of Newport Ave. Open every Wednesday from 4 p.m.–8 p.m. in Summer, and till 7 p.m. in the Winter. Pick up sunflowers and sample exotic fruit, vegetables, breads, pasta or wonderful desserts at this award-winning certified farmers market. Where else can you ride a llama, listen to live music, enjoy a fresh crêpe or have your child’s birthday party?


Newport Avenue is also home to many antique dealers (9), which comprise thousands of square feet of space, making Ocean Beach the largest antique district in SanDiego County. Simply park your car along Newport Avenue and start browsing. Most stores are open 10 a.m.–6 p.m. daily and all accept credit cards.

For starters, it’s not your traditional stereotype grandmother’s antique store, yet you’ll find some classic antiques from that era. The selection is much greater and all-encompassing with lots of classic trends such as mid-century modern, shabby sheik, retro (which is very popular these days), industrial, primitive, Indian artifacts and the list goes on and on.

Also see the Ocean Beach Antique Association page and video.

If you need a break from antiquing, stop in at Culture Brewing Co, at 4845 Newport Ave., a popular brewery that showcases local artists on their walls.

If you prefer, sample some wines across the street at Gianni Buonomo Vintners Winery and Tasting Room (9) at 4836 Newport Ave. (608-212-8551) [gbvintners.com]. This award winning winery is open Wed. and Thurs. 2 p.m.– 9 p.m., Fri. 2 p.m.– 10 p.m., Sat. 1 p.m.– 10 p.m. and Sun. 1 p.m.– 7 p.m. Also ask them about joining their wine club because once you’ve samped their wine and don’t live nearby, you can have their wine shipped you.

The Sunset Cliffs Inn (7) at 1370 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. (619-222-7901) [the Innatsunsetcliffs.com} is at the south end of Ocean Beach at the foot of Pt. Loma Avenue right at the water’s edge. So, expect the crashing waves to put you to sleep. Most definitely, plan to take a walk south along Sunset Cliffs Boulevard at sunset, which is a favorite pastime for locals living in the Pt. Loma area. Besides discovering Ocean Beach, must visits should be to Cabrillo Monument, Shelter Island and Liberty Station discovered by reading the Pt. Loma Chapter.


Ocean Beach is home to American, Chinese, German, Greek, Irish, Italian, Japanese and Mexican restaurants. Three have ocean views and offer romantic sunsets.

(Video) Ocean Beach's Cottage Antiques

A landmark restaurant celebrating over 50 years in business isPoma’s Italian Deli (12) at 1846 Bacon St. (619-223-3027). For over 54 years, Poma’s has been serving the best subs and homemade Italian specialties you’ve ever tasted. Instead of eating in, most people take their sub and head up the street to the world famous Ocean Beach Pier at the end of the block. With the wind blowing thru their hair, they find a bench and sit out on the pier and watch the surfers glide under the pier, sunbathers on the beach and enjoy an Ocean Beach moment.

Adding to the laid-back atmosphere of Ocean Beach is Pizza Port (14) at 1956 Bacon St. (619-224-4700). It’s a popular microbrewery and pizza joint. Try their “Swami’s” India Pale Ale with a pepperoni pizza pie.

The South Beach Bar & Grille at 5059 Newport Ave. offers an incredible view of the pier and the ocean while you enjoy your favorite libation and tasty fare. The view is second to none.

Wonderland Restaurant at 5083 Santa Monica Ave. undoubtedly offers the best view of the Ocean Beach Pier. So grab a booth and enjoy a nice meal in a laid-back atmosphere that is vintage Ocean Beach.

San Diego’s County’s #1 ranked Award Winning German Restaurant is in Ocean Beach, too. Kaiserhof Restaurant (2) at 2253 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. (619-224-0606) is famous for its authentic German cuisine and popular biergarten. It’s open for lunch Fri. and Sat. 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.. and dinner Tues. – Sun. 5 p.m.–10 p.m. and closed Monday. Also popular is their Happy Hour Tues.–Fri., 4 p.m.–7 p.m. See Restaurants.


For more information on these events, call or visit the Ocean Beach Main Street Association at 1868 Bacon St. (619-224-4906) or [oceanbeachsandiego.com].

Every Wed.: O.B Farmers Market 4 p.m.

2nd Sat each mo.: Dog beach clean-up (9 a.m.–11 a.m.)


July 4: O.B. Fireworks off the Pier

Oct. 11-12: O.B. Oktoberfest

Oct. 29: O.B. Halloween Carnival

Nov. 12: O.B. Restaurant Walk 5 p.m.–9 p.m.

Dec. 12 Ocean Beach Holiday Parade

May 9 Ocean Beach Kite Festival

June 22: Annual Street Fair Chili Cook-Off



What is Ocean Beach known for? ›

Surfing & Nightlife in the Funky Beach Town of Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach offers plenty of things to do such as fishing off of the Ocean Beach Pier, skateboarding, strolling the famous farmers' market, hiking the trails on the cliffs, surfing the legendary waves or watching the sunset from a beachfront happy hour spot.

What is the vibe of Ocean Beach San Diego? ›

Ocean Beach is 7-miles northwest of San Diego's downtown. It has a relaxed vibe, with plenty of surf shops and casual restaurants along palm-lined Newport Avenue.

Why is Ocean Beach called Ocean Beach? ›

Billy Carlson and Frank Higgins laid out streets in 1887 and sold lots at a big mussel roast on the beach. They named the new town "Ocean Beach." (Carlson went on to become mayor of San Diego and later an inmate of a federal prison on charges of land fraud.)

Is Ocean Beach a nice beach? ›

The beach is nice and there is a nice long pier, great for photos at sunset. There are lots of restaurants in the area. Very little parking.

What attracts people to the beach? ›

Coastal areas are often cooler than places inland. So, on hot days people go to the beach to cool off and swim in the sea. Many people enjoy relaxing on a beach. In the past sunbathing was very popular, although today tourists are more aware of the dangers of too much sun.

What are 3 facts about the beach? ›

Top 10 Facts About Beaches!
  • It can take thousands of years for a natural beach to be created. ...
  • Sand comes from broken down minerals and rocks! ...
  • Sand comes in lots of different colours. ...
  • The longest beach is Praia Do Cassino in Brazil! ...
  • The world's shortest beach is Playa de Gulpiyuri.

Is Ocean Beach San Diego a good place to stay? ›

Ocean Beach

OB is still near enough downtown that you can quickly visit many of the popular San Diego sites. It has tons of laid-back bars and restaurants and is great for people wanting a lively and unforgettable beach vacation on a budget, as there are more affordable hotels and hostels in OB.

Why is the ocean so captivating? ›

We're naturally drawn to aquatic hues and people associate this color with qualities like calm, openness, depth and wisdom. "We are beginning to learn that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what's broken.

What is the meaning of Ocean Beach? ›

: a beach lying along the sea.

What is the Ocean Beach? ›

Ocean Beach California is a beach city just outside of San Diego that is home to golden sunsets and hippie culture. Think of it as the Haight-Ashbury of Southern California. If you want some good vibes and fun in the sun, then check out our guide to Ocean Beach.

Who founded Ocean Beach? ›

One of the earliest residents of Ocean Beach was D. C. Collier, who bought oceanfront property there in 1887 when he was just 16. He later became one of the "fathers" of Ocean Beach, laying out streets, promoting sales, and building the Point Loma Railroad in 1909 to connect Ocean Beach with the rest of San Diego.

Why is the ocean so nice? ›

The Ocean Is The “Right Place”

Brain imaging research has shown that proximity to water is strongly linked to your brain releasing feel-good hormones, including dopamine and oxytocin.

What is the warmest beach in San Diego? ›

Soak Up the Sun at the Hottest San Diego Beaches
  • Mission Beach. The two-mile stretch of beach between Belmont Park and Pacific Beach is a thriving boardwalk with many, many attractions for travelers. ...
  • La Jolla. ...
  • Pac Beach. ...
  • Ocean Beach.
1 Apr 2018

Is Ocean Beach busy? ›

It's definitely busy with locals and tourists. It's definitely more of a hippie beach than Coronado too. There are fun cafes near the beach for snacks or a meal. The water is rougher here, so there's more surfing and not as much swimming.

Why is the beach my happy place? ›

The beach can help you disconnect and recharge

"Being outside is a symbol of freedom, of being able to move, appreciating the colors of nature, feeling a breath, and disconnecting from all situations that generate stress and anxiety."

Why do beaches make people happy? ›

The sunlight soaking into our skin at the beach spikes our bodies' production of Vitamin D and serotonin, releasing all kinds of feel-good chemicals in our brains.

What is an ocean lover called? ›

Thalassophile. If you're reading this, you're probably an ocean lover. Or in other words, you're a thalassophile, someone who loves the ocean. As a thalassophile, you can use these words to help you better connect to the beach and enjoy the beauty it has to offer even more.

What is a good sentence for beach? ›

Example Sentences

Noun We spent the day at the beach. she loves walking along the beach, looking for shells that the waves cast up Verb The pirates beached the ship on the island.

What makes a beautiful beach? ›

What is defines a beautiful beach? For some, it's the whiteness of the sand and the clarity of the water. For others, it's the ruggedness of the coast and the power of the waves. For others, it's the beauty of the people sitting along the shore.

Why is the beach interesting? ›

There is the sound of crashing waves and people laughing, the feel of the sand beneath your feet, the sight of the beautiful scenery and everyone having fun, and the smell and taste of the sea air. Because your senses are experiencing so much, you can slip into a state of mindfulness naturally.

Can you swim in Ocean Beach San Diego? ›

The Ocean Beach beaches offer a slight variety of styles depending on what you are looking for. The beach scene includes a secluded beach, a surfing-only beach, a swimming-only beach and a dog beach.

What is the least crowded beach in San Diego? ›

The least crowded beaches in San Diego are San Onofre State Beach, areas of Torrey Pines State Beach, and Black's Beach. These beaches tend to receive fewer visitors because access requires some walking, hiking, and/or an entrance fee.

Which is better Pacific beach or Ocean Beach? ›

Pacific Beach has more to do than Ocean Beach. And if you stay in PB you can walk, bike, rollerblade on the boardwalk to Mission Beach. You can also have access to Mission Bay Park. There are also restaurants / bars right on the boardwalk where you can sit with a meal or beverage watching the beach / ocean activities.

What is the most popular beach in San Diego? ›

Coronado is one of San Diego's most popular beaches with soft white sand, many watersports, and the iconic Hotel Del Coronado as the backdrop.

How would you describe ocean? ›

The ocean is a huge body of saltwater that covers about 71 percent of Earth's surface. The planet has one global ocean, though oceanographers and the countries of the world have traditionally divided it into four distinct regions: the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic oceans.

How do you describe the ocean in a story? ›

The lapping waves entranced us. The murmuring of the waves was hypnotic. The waves were oozing onto the beach. The palpitating pulse of the sea was steady and peaceful.

What is inspiring about the ocean? ›

The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.” “Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.” “For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it's always our self we find in the sea.”

What is ocean easy words? ›

ˈō-shən. : the whole body of salt water that covers nearly three fourths of the surface of the earth. : one of the large bodies of water into which the ocean is divided.

How many types of beaches are there? ›

There are four main types of beaches. Barrier island beaches are beaches that start and end in the water and cover vast portions of our world's coasts. These shifting shoals of sand are generally migrating towards the mainland around the world, possibly due to sea level rise.

What is ocean and types? ›

Historically, there are four named oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic. However, most countries - including the United States - now recognize the Southern (Antarctic) as the fifth ocean. The Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian are the most commonly known. The Southern Ocean is the 'newest' named ocean.

Which part of Ocean City beach is best? ›

Running along the entire 10-mile-long east coast of the island, the beach offers the perfect spot to spread your towel. If you're looking for a rowdier atmosphere, recent travelers recommend sticking to the southern end of Ocean City, where the neighboring boardwalk makes for great people-watching and seafront dining.

How does an Ocean Beach form? ›

Tides and currents are the main way beaches are created, changed, and even destroyed, as the currents move sediment and debris from one place to another. Beaches are constantly changing. Tides and weather can alter beaches every day, bringing new materials and taking away others.

Can you swim in Ocean Beach? ›

Ocean Safety

It's never safe to swim at Ocean Beach and even wading is dangerous. Unpredictable tides and rip currents (strong, swift-moving channels of water) can pull swimmers offshore. If you're caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the beach until you're free of it, then swim toward shore with incoming waves.

When did Ocean Beach close? ›

In the 1970s, Ocean Beach was the first works to employ women in New Zealand and for decades it attracted people to Bluff, generating local income. Unfortunately, due to financial pressures, in 1991 The Beach closed resulting in the loss of 1450 jobs.

What is the oldest beach in the world? ›

The study reveals that the first continents on earth were formed 3.2 billion years ago, instead of the earlier prediction of 2.5 billion years. But the most fascinating part of the research states that the world's first beach arose out of Singhbhum district in Jharkhand, India.

Are ocean beaches man made? ›

Many popular beaches around the world are not only a result of natural forces, but are actually to some degree man-made.

Why is the beach a relaxing place? ›

Being in nature, a place you feel safe, can lower your blood pressure and stress hormone levels. Likewise, spending time at the beach can lessen anxiety and nervous system arousal, which is what makes you feel stressed and anxious. It lifts your mood.

How the beach makes you feel? ›

The beach always gives you the feeling of being relaxed and satisfied. Have you ever wondered why? Research finds that spending time at the beach reduces stress levels and has a profound impact on your brain and mental health.

How do you enjoy the ocean? ›

Below are five ways that you can learn about, enjoy, and support the ocean without ever having to leave home.
  1. Download free ocean conservation lesson plans, games, and crafts for kids. ...
  2. Try a new sustainable seafood recipe. ...
  3. Be inspired by incredible marine life. ...
  4. Dive into an ocean-themed book. ...
  5. Get involved.
2 Apr 2020

Is Coronado better than La Jolla? ›

But one thing they have in common: Both are perennial picks for Tripadvisor's Best Beaches Awards (and plenty of other similar lists besides). That holds true for '22, too: TripAdvisor has just put La Jolla Cove at No. 9 on its tally of top beaches in the U.S., and Coronado at No. 15.

Why is the ocean in San Diego so cold? ›

The reason is a process called upwelling. It's a pretty simple idea. Wind and currents pull the warmer water at the top (warmed by the famous San Diego sunshine of course) away from the beach and that water is replaced by colder water from the bottom of the ocean floor.

What is the safest beach in San Diego? ›

Hands-down, Mission Beach is the go-to San Diego beach for families. You've got it all here, including a 2-mile long boardwalk for walking or biking, an amusement park and plenty of sand and water!

Is Ocean Beach cash only? ›

As far as I know it is cash only. over a year ago.

Is Ocean Beach a good neighborhood? ›

Ocean Beach is a neighborhood in San Diego, California with a population of 13,429. Ocean Beach is in San Diego County and is one of the best places to live in California.

Is Ocean Beach safe to live? ›

But more than just sun and sand, this is one of the best beach towns for raising your family. Ocean Beach offers some of the best schools, the safest neighborhoods, and plenty of activities.

What is Ocean City NJ known for? ›

Ocean City, "America's Greatest Family Resort". Ocean City has been a popular, family oriented sea-side resort for over a century. Vacationers can be assured that their visit to Ocean City, New Jersey will be perfect from start to finish.

Why is Ocean Beach sand black? ›

Black sand comes from eroded volcanic material such as lava, basalt rocks, and other dark-colored rocks and minerals, and is typically found on beaches near volcanic activity. Black-sand beaches are common in Hawaii, the Canary Islands, and the Aleutians.

What is the World's Most Famous beach? ›

Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Perhaps the most famous beach in the world, glam Copacabana Beach has just about everything going for it: three miles of glorious golden sand, a party-like vibe, and a dazzling skyline of jagged mountains and Art Deco and modernist architecture.

What is the nicest area in Ocean City MD? ›

Boardwalk / Downtown, the best area to stay in Ocean City

This three mile long strip simply has it all: from designer hotels to excellent restaurants and outdoor activities. It is without doubt the most popular touristy area in Ocean City and the best place to stay.

What is the safest Florida beach town? ›

1. Sanibel Island
  • Safety: Sanibel Island is undoubtedly the safest beach town in Florida. ...
  • Also, if you want to enjoy a romantic Florida beach vacation with your partner, then you should not miss Captiva island.
  • Population: Being the principal city of Naples- Marco island, Naples is quite a populous city.

Is Ocean City a party town? ›

You'll find plenty of live music in Ocean City, Maryland's bars and nightclubs. Hang out, chat with friends, or dance the night away. Plus, our famous boardwalk is three miles of pure evening entertainment. So put your party shoes on!

Is Ocean City LGBT friendly? ›

Ocean City gay resorts and hotels welcome you with open arms and are focused on meeting the travel concerns and expectations of the LGBTQIA community. Diversity is celebrated in these gay-and-lesbian-welcoming hotels, where you can relax and enjoy your well-deserved vacation.

Is Ocean City NJ a party town? ›

Ocean City may be known for its boardwalk and beach, but after the sun sets, the bayside beach town comes alive with an epic nightlife all its own.

What is Florida's most visited beach? ›

South Beach, Miami

Beautiful people, flashy cars, skimpy bathing suits, Art Deco architecture: It's all here on the 2.2-mile white sand stretch that makes up Florida's most famous beach.

What is ocean sand made of? ›

Most beach sand is made up of quartz, “silicon dioxide, natural glass,” explained Leatherman. Rocks in rivers and streams erode slowly over time as they are carried to the ocean, where rolling waves and tides bombard them into even smaller particles. The finer the sand, the older it is.

Why is ocean sand white? ›

Beach sand has different colors because there are many different minerals that make up sand. In California, our sand usually looks white because it has minerals like quartz and pieces of shells that are made of calcium carbonate.

Which is the world first beach? ›

Beaches Were Formed 3.3 Billion Years Ago

The team realised that the earth's most ancient rocks rose from the first-ever beach. This study was concluded that the Singhbhum craton of Jharkhand first came above sea around 3.3 billion years ago and is one of the most ancient beaches on earth.

Which is the 2 largest beach in the world? ›

Marina beach in Chennai along the Bay of Bengal is India's longest and world's second longest beach. This predominantly sandy of nearly 12 kilometers extends from Beasant Nagar in the south to Fort St. George in the north. Chennai Marina beach was renovated by Governor Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant Duff in 1880s.


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