Ocean Beach, known as 'OB' to locals, has some great beaches and plenty of ocean, but there’s a lot more to it than just sunning, swimming, and surfing. There are hidden gem eateries, fantastic breweries, unique shops, and more. Get out there and explore the neighborhood. You’ll have a lot of fun doing it. And to help you get started, here are the top things to do in Ocean Beach.
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Take an Outdoor Art Walk
Ocean Beach is almost as famous for its murals as it is for its beaches. Starting back in 1999, members of the community have been coming together to beautify the neighborhood by painting murals on its buildings. There are all kinds of art styles on display. The pictures reflect the spirit of Ocean Beach and capture moments in its history. A tour of Ocean Beach’s murals is more than just an art walk, it’s a trip through its community history. And a bit of a scavenger hunt. Check out the map of murals which can be found on oceanbeachsandiego.com
Learn How to Surf
Of course, a famous beach destination like Ocean Beach has plenty of places you can go to learn how to surf. Learning how to surf can be a lot of fun, especially if you learn along with a friend. And once you’ve learned how to surf, you’ll spend the rest of your life having even more fun by actually going surfing. Don’t rush into it, though. You should take the time to find the right instructor. There are a lot of them out there. Read some online reviews, ask locals for recommendations, and then go get started!
Unleash your inner Tony Hawk at Robb Field Skate Park
📍2525 Bacon St, San Diego, CA 92107
In the heart of Ocean Beach, the Robb Field Skate Park is an absolute must-visit, not just for skaters but also for anyone seeking a slice of SoCal culture. The park boasts an impressive 40,000 square feet of concrete for both street and transition-style skateboarding, making it a top choice for local talent and visiting pros alike. The skate park, which is free to the public, is teeming with energy and talent, bringing to life the vibrant skateboarding scene that San Diego is known for.
There are a surprising amount places to buy antiques in Ocean Beach. You could literally spend days exploring them all. Some of them specialize in handmade or unique items. Some of them sell vintage jewelry. Some of them are huge. Each of them holds a chance of holding surprising and delightful discoveries. Whether you’re looking for unique decorations to express your unique personality or for a special gift for that special person, you can find what you’re looking for in Ocean Beach’s antique shops. And probably a lot more, as well.
Tour Ocean Beach’s Breweries
San Diego is known for its vast number of local breweries. Ocean Beach has some great breweries, and until you’ve sampled them, you can’t say that you really know the neighborhood. You can taste all kinds of interesting beers, including some really exotic flavors like chocolate or pumpkin spice. A lot of these places serve food along with their drinks so you don't have to drink on an empty stomach.
See the Sunset from the Sunset Cliffs
Head on down Sunset Cliffs Boulevard all the way to the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park a little before sunset. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate or maybe a little snack, and settle in to enjoy a spectacular sunset over the ocean from a great vantage point. For best results, bike to the cliffs instead of driving. The extra time and effort you put into the trip will make the reward seem even more worthwhile. If you go there during the day at low tide and are feeling a little adventurous, you can even go see the enormous sea cave at the base of the cliff. Just take the stairs down from Luscomb Point, wade through some pools, climb over some rocks, and you’re there.
Take a Stroll Down Newport Avenue
Newport Avenue is really the heart of Ocean Beach. This palm-tree-lined street is where you can go to find rare classic records, vintage outfits, obscure artwork, and a wide variety of souvenirs. It’s also got some interesting little eateries and some very interesting bars and pubs. The thrift stores are well worth checking out if you’re hunting for a bargain. And of course, it's OB so Newport Ave is full of high-quality tattoo parlors if you’re looking for a permanent change to your look.
Shop at the Ocean Beach Farmers Market
Speaking of Newport Avenue, if you go to the 4900 block on any Wednesday, you’ll get the chance to shop at the Ocean Beach Farmer’s Market. There are more than 100 vendors, each with their own stall. You can buy fresh local produce, handmade soaps, unique artwork, candles, burgers, haute cuisine from around the world, and much more. You can eat healthy while supporting local businesses. You can even talk to the farmers who grow your food and get to know undiscovered local artists.
Go Fishing off the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier
Update: Unfortunately, on Jan. 6, 2023, the Ocean Beach Pier was closed due to storm damage. The pier will be updated so it is safe for the visitors. Construction of the pier is expected to start in 2026.
This is the longest pier on the West Coast, stretching 1,971 feet out into the ocean. It’s also a great fishing spot. The herring are plentiful around the pier, and there is no catch limit on them.
Go to the Beach
Of course, if you’re going to get to know Ocean Beach, you should really go spend some time on the beach. Whether you’re looking for fun swimming spaces, plentiful volleyball courts, or great surfing spaces, Ocean Beach’s beaches have what you’re looking for. In fact, Ocean Beach’s reliably rolling waves have something to offer every level of surfer from novices to experts. The tide pools around the popular swimming areas are endlessly fascinating to little kids. There are seals and seabirds everywhere. There’s even a whole beach that’s open to dogs.