Ocean Beach first appeared on a map in 1887 when entrepreneurs William H. “Billy” Carlson and Frank J. Higgins bought 600 acres of Pueblo lots and named their new acquisition Ocean Beach. However, it wasn’t until 1907 when “D.C.” Collier bought some acreage, promoted the area as a resort town, and made Ocean Beach a livable community.
Located at the mouth of the San Diego River, Ocean Beach became a focal point in San Diego, attracting crowds looking for a good time at a great stretch of the beach anchored by a magnificent amusement park called Wonderland and lots of bustling bars and nightclubs. Over the years, Ocean Beach has mellowed a bit, but it is still a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike.
Today, OB, as it’s commonly referred to is a low-key hangout but still brimming with unique character. It’s anchored by the Ocean Beach Pier, stretching 1,971 feet into the ocean, making it the longest concrete pier on the West Coast. It’s a great place for a stroll or to dip a line in the water, especially since no fishing license is required on the pier.
The base of the pier is where you’ll find Ocean Beach’s famous tidepools. On any given day at low tide, you’ll find dozens of people gently taking in a variety of coastal marine life.
Ocean Beach is a place where people come to chill, hang out at the beaches, soak up lots of food, drinks, and music at iconic restaurants, and poke around on Newport Avenue. It’s the main strip in Ocean Beach and is lined with dozens of boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and an assortment of eclectic adventures well worth exploring. Voltaire Street is another lively commercial zone with a great mix of shops, restaurants, and pubs.
Far and away, the single biggest attraction in Ocean Beach is the beaches. There are several to choose from, each offering soft sand, million-dollar views, fire pits, sand volleyball courts, and a place to spread a blanket for the day. Depending on which stretch of sand you choose, you can either spend the day swimming, surfing, kayaking, or paddleboarding to your heart’s content.
One of Ocean Beach’s claims to fame is the home of the Original Dog Beach, one of the first official off-leash dog beaches in the United States. Located at the mouth of the San Diego River, where it meets the Pacific Ocean, you’ll find dogs of every shape and kind roaming the sandy beaches or playing in the water, living out their best doggo lives! Be aware that seasonal leash restrictions apply to the rest of Ocean Beach’s shores.