San Diego has no shortage of beautiful oceanfront beaches and quaint neighborhoods, but Ocean Beach stands alone as one of the most laid-back and uncommercialized of them. Visitors can enjoy their vacation and avoid jostling elbow to elbow with other beachgoers or witnessing a swarm of vendors and salespeople at every corner. While some people enjoy the hustle and bustle of big cities, Ocean Beach is a great choice if you prefer a bit more space. Besides the main attraction of going to the beach, here’s what not to miss when visiting.
- Food and Drink
If you thought you’d just grab some hotel buffet breakfast and order pizza when you return, think again. Ocean Beach has some of the best dining in San Diego, from BBQ meats and California seafood to all types of vegan food. Pair your meal with an excellent California wine or craft beer for a truly unforgettable dining experience. This is definitely a place where you won’t go hungry.
- Ocean Beach Pier
- Galleries and Art Lessons
- Antiques and Hippy Shops
Take a leisurely walk down one of the West Coast’s longest ocean piers, the ideal spot for selfies and mandatory vacation photos. If you want, you can do some fishing from along the nearly 2,000-foot structure. For the best spot, head to the end of the pier where water depths are about 25 feet. Calico bass, white sea bass and yellowtail frequent the kelp forest at the end of the pier, while mackerel, bass and halibut are more common along the middle. Towards the shore, you’ll find perch and croakers.
Ocean Beach has a very artistic, hippy vibe that helps define the neighborhood. Check out one or two art galleries along Santa Monica or Newport Avenue for an idea of what the local art scene is producing. Find an awesome souvenir or admire the art while enjoying a cup of coffee and a pastry. If you start to feel inspired, sign up for some art lessons, and take the opportunity to get to know some Ocean Beach locals as you work.
Ocean Beach has a nice collection of antique stores along Newport Avenue, where you can find everything from chairs and lamps to garden statues. Many other little clothing and creative shops have a distinct 1960s and 1970s feel, as they feature glass beads, handmade clothing, woven items, records and smoking paraphernalia.