Ocean Beach, CA is on the southern west coast of San Diego between Point Loma and Pacific Beach. Established in 1887 this area is well known for its diverse occupants and breathtaking scenery. It’s a great place to spend a day sunbathing, shopping, or just hanging out.
In a word Ocean Beach is eclectic. The people of Ocean Beach are a mismatched collection of rich and poor, young and old, trendy and old school, hippie and biker. One consistency though is that everyone you run into is grateful for their life, location, and happiness. Visiting Newport Ave, the main drag of OB, you might see a Porsche, a Honda Street Bike, or someone’s own version of the Star Trek Enterprise (no, seriously). You may see someone wearing Armani, or a bikini, or rags. The houses in the area are gorgeous like mansions you see on TV, but the neighbors may live in a run-down beach shack. There are churches and bars on the same block, thrift stores and boutiques across the street from one another. I’ve truly never seen a community that compares, even among the other beach communities in San Diego.
PICTURESQUE VIEWS are everywhere.
The Ocean Beach Pier sits high above the waves that crash on the beach. You’ll find a fisherman of every size who fish for sport and income alike, at all hours of the night. If you’re there at the right time you can see the filled cages pulled up during lobster season. Just below the pier is a great place to partake in the Grunion Run, a semi-annual even during which the bio-luminescent Grunion find their way to the shore. It’s breathtaking to see the glow at night.
DRINKS AND DINNING
There are plenty of spots for drinks and dining. Some of my personal favorites are Tower Two Beach Cafe, the best brunch spot in town. Pizza Port where you can watch your beer being brewed as you eat the best pizza in town. And lastly, the Sunshine Co Salon where you can get an inexpensive pitcher and sit on the rooftop deck to recount the day’s adventure with your group of friends.
Shopping is everywhere. There are several San Diego standard boutiques such as The Closet and Wings which carry super cute clothing year round for *cheap* and even active wear for a just a few dollars a piece. There’s also quite a few thrift and consignment stores that offer vintage pieces curated by the surrounding community over generations of family.
is the crown jewel of OB. You can follow and park along Sunset Cliffs Blvd to watch the most beautiful sunset of your life.
There’s even a few SECRET spots*
if you know were to look. These areas don’t really have an official name, but the first I call the Sea Walk and it is on the left side of the pier. There’s a small staircase that leads down to a small rock shelf that stretches for several blocks.
There are carvings in the rocks that I love to look at and think about who put them there. At the end of the shelf is a small hidden beach that is usually fairly empty, there’s almost always a group of teenagers cliff jumping into the water from here.
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*Please know the secret spots mentioned in this post are near or in the area of high tides and cliffs. I am by no means recommending any one visit these areas, simply sharing my journeys there.*