A couple of minutes away from the hustle and bustle of the city, there is a little beachfront known as the Hippie Beach of San Diego. This neighborhood is filled with small businesses, shops, and restaurants that have a very laid-back and chill vibe. Ocean Beach San Diego is a lovely place to spend the day, and there’s plenty to do, so let me tell you all about it!
Things To Do in Ocean Beach San Diego
Tucked between Mission Bay and the north end of the OB jetty, there’s this neat beach where pets are encouraged to visit anytime. Leash-free, dogs can run absolutely everywhere at this fantastic dog beach.
Spending the evening playing fetch or even lounging on the beach with your dog brings magnificent vibes. You can also pick up food nearby, and if you’ve forgotten your doggy bags, they provide them on-site! As long as you clean up after yourself and your dog, you are welcome at the beach anytime.
Read about the perfect pet-friendly staycation in San Diego here.
Read about the 14 best beaches in San Diego here.
Walk Along Sunset Cliffs
If you’re one for nature hikes, perhaps this is for you. Sunset Cliffs is a natural park that spans up to 68 acres! The 18 acres are lush with parks for you to explore on foot. The remaining acres are the beautiful hills and cliffs that overlook the ocean.
The topography of the area is littered with arches, sea caves, and intricately carved coastal bluffs. The Point Loma Ecological Reserve is home to this awe-inspiring view. Hikes are gorgeous and picnics are like what dreams are made of. I fully suggest stopping by, even if just for a look-see.
Sunset Cliffs Caves
Remember when I mentioned the caves in the Sunset Cliffs area? Well, if you’re one for extra fun and adventurous activities, I think you’ll be quite fond of this area of the cliffs. I do caution you, though, the rocks are slippery, and getting wet is inevitable, so, unfortunately, this is not an accessible section of the cliffs. But for those who can go, it is a wonderful trail with beautiful ocean scenery.
IMPORTANT: This hike can be dangerous. People have been killed here when they were trapped by the incoming tide. You can only do this hike during a negative tide. I highly recommend going with someone who has done this hike before and knows the area and tide schedules very well!!!
Ocean Beach Pier
This is by far the most visited area of the village. The Municipal Pier was introduced and christened on July 2nd, 1966. At this event, over 7,000 San Diegans came to see it happen. Ever since people have been walking up and down doing a variety of things. It is the longest pier on the west coast with a little cafe at the very end of it.
People fish and chat and have picnics all over the pier. It’s a wonderful spot to take your dog on a walk or have a lovely stroll yourself. The energy absolutely buzzes on the pier. As you walk down the pier, no matter what time of day it is, the views of the ocean are gorgeous. You can always see the boats in the distance and late at night, you can see some of the stars. It’s really lovely.
Cabrillo National Monument
Location: 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, San Diego, CA, 92106, USA
Hours: Mon-Sun 9 am to 5 pm
Phone: +1 (619) 557-5450
Tickets: $10 to $100
The Cabrillo National Monument is the site of an old lighthouse that was built in 1854. Along with the lighthouse, visitors can take a look at the historical coastal defense as well as the rich world war history that has taken place at the monument.
For veterans and military history buffs this is a great beginning to looking into the history involved with the world wars as well as Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who led the first European expedition to explore what’s now the colonized west coast of the United States. Visiting this monument is definitely a start to researching the history of this land. Though I would advise that you look into the Indigenous Peoples that lived here before this land’s colonization.
Farmers Market at Ocean Beach San Diego
Location: 4900 Newport Avenue, San Diego, CA, 92107, USA
Hours: Wednesday 4 pm to 8 pm
Phone: +1 (619) 279-0032
I’ve said it before and I will keep saying it, farmer’s markets are amazing. This one is no different either. Every Wednesday, there’s a night market with dozens of vendors selling art, food, and so much more. It’s like a little party for the community every week, celebrating the uniqueness of their little beach town.
Keep in mind that backpacks and dogs beside service animals are not allowed. But please, feel free to get your produce or even meals at the market. You’ll be supporting small local businesses and artists, which is really amazing.
Read about San Diego’s amazing Farmer Markets here.
Newport Avenue is the spot for most bar crawls and overall fun times. The street is lined with shops and restaurants waiting for you to explore them. Newport Avenue’s shops are all small businesses and are all different.
There are locally owned smoke shops, boho clothing stores, and at least a dozen restaurants from dozens of different cuisines. I, personally, have a soft spot for Newport Pizza. You can see them making the pizzas and pouring your local craft beers. It’s truly a hoot.
Beach Restaurants at Ocean Beach San Diego
Location: 5010 Newport Avenue, San Diego, CA, 92107, USA
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 am to 8 pm; Fri-Sun 11 am to 9 pm
Phone: +1 (619) 224-4623
This is probably the most desired restaurant to dine at for tourists in San Diego. The burgers are stellar and the vibes are absolutely immaculate. It’s incredibly laid back, I definitely recommend it if you’ve never been. However, it does get crazy busy and the line can get super long. So if you plan on eating here, make a reservation or line up a few hours before opening.
OB Noodle House & Sake Bar
Location: 2218 Cable Street, San Diego, CA, 92107, USA
Hours: Mon-Sun 12 pm to 10 pm
Phone: +1 (619) 450-6868
As a personal fan of Pho and just noodles in general, I felt like I just had to write about the OB Noodle House. It is a bustling restaurant that specifically specializes in pho, a wide variety of sake drinks, and on-tap beer. This joint has been featured on Food Network’s Diners Drive-Ins and Dives. It can get pretty bumping so I would recommend calling ahead to see what the wait time is and if you can get a reservation. OB Noodle House is a great spot for couples, families, and just individuals looking for some delicious noodles to eat.
Soi OB – Thai Street Food
Location: 1916 Cable Street, San Diego, CA, 92107
Hours: Mon-Sun 12 pm to 9 pm
Phone: +1 (619) 230-5885
If you’re a fan of Thai food, then Soi is a great option for you. They serve up some fantastic Thai food suitable for every diet out there. The menu is clear about which items are vegetarian and vegan and which aren’t. No matter how you order your food, you’re guaranteed to get a delicious and culturally rich dish.
Blue Water Seafood Ocean Beach
Location: 5083 Santa Monica Avenue #1B, San Diego, CA, 92107, USA
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30 am to 8 pm
Phone: +1 (619) 255-8497
How could you not eat seafood near the beach? Well, you could not like seafood. But no matter, while this restaurant specializes in seafood, it does have food for non-fish eaters. The nice modern ambience really wets the appetite. I do, however, recommend calling ahead to get yourself a table.
Ocean Beach San Diego Hotels & Vacation Rentals
Ocean Beach Hotel San Diego
Location: 5080 Newport Avenue, San Diego, CA, 92107, USA
Phone: +1 (619) 223-7191
This hotel is situated near the beach and provides you with beautiful views of the ocean. Being on Newport Avenue also allows you access to all of the neat activities in the middle of town. The amenities provide you with all that you’ll need for a comfortable stay in Ocean Beach. Check for prices here>>
Read about the best places to stay in San Diego, according to a local here.
The Inn at Sunset Cliffs
Location: 1370 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, San Diego, CA, 92107, USA
Phone: +1 (619) 222-7901
Visitors insist that they will return soon. That’s how amazing this spot is. Not only are the rooms clean and the kitchenettes well-stocked, but the views from each room are stunning. This is the spot for couples to go away on their honeymoons or go on a romantic getaway. The Inn is also really great for families to have a nice beach getaway. With easy access to the Sunset Cliffs trail and just overall spectacular vibes, I would definitely set a reservation here. Check prices here>>
Ocean Villa Inn
Location: 5142 West Point Loma Boulevard, San Diego, CA, 92107, USA
Phone: +1 (619) 224-3481
A hotel filled with a nice, understanding crew and clean rooms with lovely amenities, what more could you want? This neighborhood is quiet and serene, with a friendly environment for dogs. There’s even a dog washing station for your sandy furry friend after you’ve run around the beach. Check for prices here>>
Location! Location! Location! Oceanfront 2 Bedroom Condo
This specific one offers stunning ocean views and sounds as well as some killer amenities. The condo is in the heart of Ocean Beach San Diego, so you won’t have to miss out on any of the action. Up to five people can stay in the unit with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths. Sorry, no pets are allowed.
The oceanfront condo gives you access to a shared community terrace overlooking the ocean. The perfect place to enjoy dinner, a glass of wine, and the company of your favorite people as you watch the sun go down. Check for prices here>>
1 Bedroom Beach Cottage
This super host wants all of their visitors to have a quality stay in little Ocean Beach. In this cottage, you’ll have the entire place to yourself and that includes a spacious bathroom, a comfy bed, and a stocked-up kitchen! On top of that, this cottage is close to downtown Ocean Beach so really you can walk everywhere. But make sure not to bring any pets or children. This is an adult-only zone. Check for prices here>>
Fully updated, colorful home with patio, WiFi, & great location – dogs welcome
Hosted by a premier host dedicated to making your stay special, this bright and vibrant apartment offers a perfect setting for those looking to experience Ocean Beach. It’s located about a block from the beach and allows long-term stays and dogs are welcome.
They’ve stocked up the apartment to provide visitors with the best quality stay. Up to 2 people can stay in this neat apartment with 1 bedroom and one bathroom that even has a really nice bathtub perfect for solo soaking. Check prices here>>
Ocean Beach San Diego Events
Ocean Beach Restaurant Walk
Date and Time: TBD
Foodies welcome to this awesome event! It is a 4-day food extravaganza. While enjoying the fantastic vibes of Ocean Beach you can go around sampling the foods from the several different restaurants that are part of the neighborhood. What’s more amazing is that all of the proceeds go to supporting the OB Food and Toy drive that assists over 100 local families and seniors who are in need, especially during the holidays.
Ocean Beach San Diego Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off
Location: Ocean Beach Mainstreet
Hours: 2023 TBD (subject to change) 10 am to 8 pm
Once a year, Ocean Beach throws this massive eclectic street fair and chili cook-off to kick off the summer. Over 70,000 people visit throughout the day to have fun in the sun. This event has been happening for 41 years and counting! The chili cook-off features amateur cooks all competing for the title of Hottest Chili and the Grand Prize: People’s Choice Award.
4th of July Fireworks
Date and Time: 4th of July 2023 at 9 pm
If you’re feeling patriotic, come on down to the Ocean Beach Pier for a spectacular fireworks display. Every year, it happens on the Fourth of July to commemorate the British colonizers gaining their freedom from the King of England. For most, it is a day for liberty. If you choose to celebrate it, celebrate it in style with maybe a slice of pizza or a bowl of noodles from a local restaurant nearby.
Ocean Beach San Diego Kite Festival
Location: 2525 Bacon Street, San Diego, CA, 92107, USA
Date and Time: May 10, 2023 am to 4 pm
For the last 72 years and counting, Ocean Beach has enjoyed the little things in life and that includes kites. This is the oldest running children’s fest in the entire USA. Professional kite fliers put on performances and you can enjoy some free kite decorating, making, and flying! There’s live music, and a delicious festival fair and it’s all for a ticket price of $0.
Ocean Beach San Diego Oktoberfest
Location: Foot of Ocean Beach Pier – 5099 Newport Avenue, San Diego, CA, 92107, USA
Date and Time: October 3, 2023 3 pm to 11 pm
Tickets: Free Entry – Beer Garden Entry: $5
What better way to kick off the fall season than to go ham in Oktoberfest? With live entertainment, scrumptious grub, sick merchandise, and of course the BEER, what more could you possibly ask for other than the company of friends and family? Support some local businesses, catch up with old friends, and make some new ones. The possibilities are endless at Ocean Beach Oktoberfest.
Read How San Diego Became the Unofficial Christmas Capital of America here
Overall, Ocean Beach San Diego is a great place to spend the day with its relaxed vibe and plenty of activities. With its laid-back atmosphere, myriad shops and restaurants, and beachfront views there are plenty of opportunities to relax and take in the beauty of the area.
Whether you’re looking to simply lounge around on the beach or enjoy some live music at one of the local venues, this neighborhood has something to offer everyone. So come out and explore what Ocean Beach San Diego has to offer – you won’t regret it!
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