Just seven miles west of downtown San Diego is Ocean Beach, which is a quintessential California beach complete with a pier, soft sand, and plenty of good sunsets. Commonly referred to simply as O.B., Ocean Beach in San Diego not only boasts a great sandy stretch, but also an eclectic oceanfront community, so there’s plenty more to do here than just soak up some sun, though that’s all some visitors hope to do. In addition to its pier, Ocean Beach California is also known for its award-winning Farmer’s Market and for its hippie history, which saw its heyday in the 1960s. Though hippies are mostly a thing of the past here, Ocean Beach still maintains a small beach town mentality that often clashes with corporate intentions. It’s a lively, intriguing, and simply fascinating place, and a destination that you’d be lucky to add to any southern California getaway.
As is the case with some of the other beach towns in California, Ocean Beach in San Diego once featured an oceanfront amusement park in the early twentieth century. Unfortunately for amusement park fans, the Wonderland Amusement Park was all but completely destroyed by waves in 1916. Surfers out there will be glad to know that big waves still sweep onto shore here once in a while, especially come the winter storms, and surfing is without question among the more popular things to do in Ocean Beach. It’s been that way since the mid-1960s, and in times gone by, shooting the pier on a surfboard was a verifiable rite of passage for area youth. Speaking of the pier in Ocean Beach California, it is the west coast’s largest concrete pier, and though it stretches an impressive 1,971 feet into the Pacific Ocean, it is not the longest. The Santa Cruz pier is actually longer at 2,745 feet. Originally built for fisherman, the Ocean Beach pier is still a great place to do some fishing, and to this day you don’t need a license to cast lines here. There is no limit to the amount of herring that one can bag, so bring a big sack if you’re interested.
If fishing isn’t exactly your thing, strolling along the pier and enjoying the fresh ocean air is also one of the more popular things to do in Ocean Beach, and there is even a café towards the end of it where you can enjoy great views, not to mention good prices on food and drink. In the near distance, Mission Bay, Point Loma, La Jolla, and the Sunset Cliffs are within sight, so you can take in quite a bit when spending time on the famed Ocean Beach pier. In addition to enjoying time spent on the beach and on the pier when visiting Ocean Beach California, visitors will not want to miss the Farmer’s Market, which is open on Wednesdays between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. A satisfying variety of local food bounties are on display at the Farmer’s Market, and you can also purchase flowers and works from local artists. There is also live music to enjoy, which only helps to add to the market’s already colorful atmosphere. In addition to shopping at the Farmer’s Market, perusing the goods at the antique stores on Newport Avenue is a fun pursuit. For those who really like antique shopping, the Oktoberfest Sales Event in the city’s antique district is sure to please. It’s only a two-day affair, however, so you’ll have to plan accordingly.
In addition to area vacation rentals, those looking to stay at Ocean Beach in San Diego can choose from about half a dozen hotels. Of course, there are plenty of good San Diego hotels close by as well, and wherever you are in the city, you’re never too far from Ocean Beach. Also helping to make Ocean Beach California vacations so rewarding are the number of restaurants in town. From pizza and tacos, to barbecue and Japanese fare, the Ocean Beach restaurants can satisfy a range of tastes and preferences, so you can add enjoyable dining experiences to the already rich list of things to do in Ocean Beach.