Fun things to do in Ocean Beach, San Diego - Just Chasing Sunsets (2023)

As a Northern California girl, I think of San Diego when I think of Southern California. A laid-back seaside town with palm trees, good food and beautiful beaches. In recent years I've had the opportunity to spend a lot of time in San Diego thanks to my work and a good friend who lives here. That's when I really fell in love with the hippie district of Ocean Beach. I love the quirky shops, cafes and of course the beach. In this post, I share with you my favorite things to do in Ocean Beach, San Diego that must be on your San Diego itinerary.

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How much time should you spend in Ocean Beach?

When my Uber driver found out I was from San Francisco on my recent trip to Ocean Beach, he said that Ocean Beach looks very similarHaight-Ashbury in San Francisco.So if you like quirky shops, hippie vibes and street art, then Ocean Beach will definitely please you. I suggest spending half a day to a full day exploring this enchanting corner of this beautiful west coast city.

You can easily combine a morning at Ocean Beach with an afternoon at Pacific Beach or La Jolla.

Ocean beach - where is this?

Ocean Beach is northwest of San Diego Airport between Mission Beach and Point Loma.

The main street with the most shops, breweries and restaurants is Newport Avenue.

However, I realized too late that there was another street, Voltaire. In the Uber back to my hotel we walked down Voltaire and I noticed that this street also has great boutiques and restaurants. Probably even better shops and restaurants to be honest as it seemed to have more of a local flavor. I will definitely check out this OB truck area on my next trip!

How to get to the sea beach

The best way to get around San Diego is generally by car. Parking lots and street parking are available. It can be difficult to find on weekends, so patience is key. me usuallydiscover carsfor rental cars if you are looking for a solid rental car source.

If you don't rent a car, Uber/Lyft are available throughout the city. It's the most efficient way to get there without your own car, but also the most expensive.

Alternatively, there are two bus routes that serve Ocean Beach. Route 923 runs from downtown San Diego and the airport to Ocean Beach. Line 35's route runs between Ocean Beach and Old Town. Both stop at Cable St. and Newport Ave.

Things to do in Ocean Beach San Diego

If you're ready for a neighborhood with an eccentric vibe, great food, and friendly people, let's explore the best things to do in Ocean Beach.

To go to the beach

First things first, let's go to the beach! At the foot of Newport Avenue there is direct access to the beach where you can practice any water sports you desire. There are several surf shops in the neighborhood if you want to rent gear. Or if you just want to chill on a sunny day (San Diego has plenty of those), then the beach is the place to be.

If you have a furry four-legged friend with you, head to Dog Beach at the north end of Ocean Beach. Here is the original dog beach in the United States where dogs can play off leash. Even if you don't have a dog, it's fun to watch them run and play in the Pacific Ocean!

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Check out the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier

You really can't miss the Ocean Beach Pier as it is said to be the longest concrete pier in the world! OB Pier is popular with anglers as no license is required to fish from the pier. If you're not a fisherman, don't worry. Stroll to the café at the end of the pier, the Walking on Water Café. They are open from 8am to 8pm and serve a wide variety of food.

The pier would be a great place to watch the sunset, whether enjoying the view from the pier or eating at the cafe.

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Explore Ocean Beach's tide pools

Just below and south of Ocean Beach Pier are tide pools that can be explored at low tide. I've missed the low tide every time I've been there, but it sure would be fun to spend some time looking for hermit crabs and other marine life.

enjoy street art

A local artist started theWall project OB in 1999as a way to bring beauty to the neighborhood and build community pride. Since then, the walls of shops have been adorned with a variety of street art and murals. You'll see underwater scenes, vintage cars and, of course, Jimi Hendrix (a nod to the neighborhood's hippie past).

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Shop at the fancy stores

While there may be a small target on Newport Ave now, most of the businesses are small, local businesses. Here you will find surf shops, antique and thrift stores, fashion boutiques and cute plant shops. I love visiting Vignette's antique and grocery store. It may seem strange, but I love a local grocery store and Krisp fits the bill.

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Relax in a coffee shop

There are many great cafes in this area of ​​San Diego. If you're new to this blog, you might know that I'm not a coffee drinker, but I love matcha lattes. Every city I go to, I always try to findI'm my favorite matcha latteand share it with you because they are too expensive not to get a good drink!

OB Beans coffee roaster

OB Beans coffee roasterIt's a large cafe with plenty of seating and a camp atmosphere. And the matcha is 10/10. I've been to this cafe several times and each time the matcha latte is thick and creamy and you can really taste the matcha flavor. They also have really good matcha and strong wifi if you're looking for a place to work or check out social media for a while.

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to plant

to plantIt's a quirky cafe with live music, open mic nights and other events. It's just down the road from the pier, making it a great place to stop before or after your tour. I recommend getting their Matcha Rose Latte. It's a unique and flavorful twist on the traditional Matcha Latte.

There are definitely other cafes in the area that you can try, like OB Java, where you can enjoy your drink in a garden setting.

Ocean Beach Farmers Market

If you're in the OB neighborhood on a Wednesday afternoon, stop byfarmers marketbetween cable street and Speckstr. from 4 p.m. m. at 20:00. Of course they will have fresh produce and fresh fruit as well as local artists and their crafts.

Experience the sunset at Sunset Cliffs Nature Park

While anywhere along the San Diego shoreline is a great spot for a sunset,Cliffs at Sunsetit has that name for a reason. These dramatic cliffs crash into the waves and are a perfect place to watch the sunset. You can of course walk in the park, but there are beautiful views anywhere along Sunset Cliffs Boulevard.

There are also rock formations, pinnacles, caves and beaches along the way. I recommend parking at Sunset Cliffs Nature Park or the Sunset Cliffs car park and walking along the coastal path. Just be careful especially after heavy rain as the area can be unstable.

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Although this is a very popular sunset spot, there are so many places to watch the sunset that you won't feel like it's too crowded. Just walk around until you find a relaxing area and enjoy!

In the main Ocean Beach area, you can walk to the cliffs at sunset. It takes about 45 minutes on foot, one way. If you don't have a car, I recommend driving to Sunset Cliffs Nature Park and walking back to Ocean Beach at sunset. I did and it was the highlight of my last trip.

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Where to eat in Ocean Beach

While Little Italy seems to draw more attention to where to eat when in San Diego, I honestly enjoyed my meals a lot more in Ocean Beach. I think they are a bit cheaper and a lot tastier!

breakfast republic

Himbreakfast republicis a popular local breakfast chain. There are several places in San Diego and I ended up eating at Ocean Beach. As I've come to expect from San Diego restaurants, the interior is incredibly well done with motivational quotes throughout the restaurant, a van exterior that serves as the entrance to the kitchen, and a solid bar counter.

I chose to eat in a high ceiling overlooking Newport Ave, which allowed me to do some people watching, one of my favorite things to do when eating alone. There was no wait when I went, but it was late afternoon and a holiday. Maybe I missed the rush!

Anyway, I ordered Eggs Benedict and upgraded the potatoes with Brussels sprouts and bacon. I don't care what you get for an entree, but 100% makes potatoes better. I will dream of these potatoes for a long time.

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OB trust house

OB trust houseIt's an incredibly popular spot for Asian fusion cuisine. While in town for a friend's wedding, I went to the OB Noodle House and waited about 30 minutes while stalking the bar to get a seat. Eventually a seat at the bar opened up and I had the house fried rice which was delicious.

If you like whiskey, you should try it.Walnuss Whiskywhile you're here It's a peanut butter whiskey that's taken the country by storm, but it was created at the OB Noodle House. Sounds weird I know so when in doubt ask the bartender to make a cocktail out of it.

Es Raw Poke Shop

I love stumbling across places like thisEs Raw Poke Shop. This little place is a Hawaiian food and poke place. You can choose from a variety of yellowfin tuna for your poke bowl or try a traditional Hawaiian dish for lunch. I got the poke bowl and it hit the spot. Plus it's cheap!

Mikes Taco Club

I pride myself on being honest and transparent in my blog posts. I went toMikes Taco Clubbecause every other blog I read said it was a must. I also checked the reviews and Yelp reviewers said they had the best fish tacos there.

So after sunset on the cliffs I was hungry and had two spots left on my "places to eat in OB" list; Mike's Taco Club andby Hodad. Since it was a Tuesday, I figured tacos would be the most appropriate choice.

To be honest, these are the least memorable fish tacos I've ever had. I had fresh breaded fish (salmon) and there was so much coleslaw in the taco I couldn't even taste the fish! I noticed a lot of people around me were eating roast beef fries, so maybe that's a better option. I do not know. But the tacos were only $10 and they came with avocado, so there were some redeeming qualities.

Where to stay in Ocean Beach

My absolute favorite hotel I've stayed in is thisCarta Hotel by Hiltonin Little Italy. The amenities at this hotel are top notch, there is a great rooftop restaurant for sunset viewing, and the gym is out of this world. The pool also has cabanas and a fire pit. I really love staying here when in San Diego. If it fits your budget, I recommend staying here in San Diego.

Check Carte by Hilton rates and availability here.

That being said, there are great options for accommodation in Ocean Beach. While there aren't any branded hotels in Ocean Beach, there are plenty nearby at Point Loma and Liberty Station. Both are just a short drive from Ocean Beach.

Samesun sea beach

If you are looking for a budget option and don't mind sharing a room,Samesun Ocean Beach HostelIt's a solid choice. As a solo traveler I like to stay in hostels because it's greatway to meet new people. I stayed here the night before a wedding and found it incredibly clean, safe and fun. Plus, it's right in the heart of Ocean Beach. You can't go wrong.

Check prices and availability for Samesun Ocean Beach here.

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The inn on the Sunset Cliffs

Looking for an oceanfront hotel with breathtaking views, a private deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and a pool? consider staying withThe inn on the Sunset Cliffs. Rooms have a real beach vibe, and it's a short walk to OB's bars and restaurants.

Check rates and availability for the Sunset Cliffs Inn here.

Strandhotel am Meer

Another oceanfront hotel right in the center of Ocean Beach is the aptly named Ocean Beach Hotel. While not rated as highly as the Sunset Cliffs Inn, it's still a solid lodging option.

Check Ocean Beach Hotel rates and availability here.

Ocean Beach Vacation Rentals

There are also a number of vacation rentals that you can find on if you want to go that route.

I hope you enjoy exploring my favorite things to do in Ocean Beach, San Diego. I always encourage you to do your journey your way. Use this route through San Diego as a base to explore Ocean Beach. If you find something I need to try on my next trip please let me know!


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