Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Ocean Beach, San Diego

  • Published 2022/02/09

There are plenty of cities and neighborhoods with fun names, and one of them is Ocean Beach.

Located in San Diego, California and recognized as a fun bohemian neighborhood, Ocean Beach holds a variety of spots and attractions for you to explore.

From the name, you’re sure to get your fill of fun by the beach along with some gorgeous views.

When exploring this neighborhood, you’ll also find a variety of shops and eateries to enjoy.

Ocean Beach also has a few hidden gems you need to check out.

With that said, here are the 15 best things to do in Ocean Beach:

Take Your Pet to Dog Beach

A bunch of dogs and their owners playing at the shore of dog beach.

Sherry V Smith /

If you happen to have your pet with you or just love dogs, you need to visit Dog Beach.

Dog Beach is the prime spot to visit for anyone who wants to enjoy some beach activities with your canine companion.

Giant paw print on the ground of dog beach.

hakkun, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This beach is also one of the rare spots where you can let your dog loose and provides you the chance to meet a variety of dogs.

While Dog Beach may seem simple as a spot to visit in Ocean Beach, it’s still a fun place to experience.

Search Marine Life at the Ocean Beach Tide Pools

Beneath the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier, you can find a set of tidepools where different marine life settle.

While tide pools are only available at certain times, there is plenty to see when checking out this area.

Among the different things you can find when exploring this area, there are various plants and shells, to name a few.

While the tide pools are not available all the time, it is still a top spot to explore when visiting Ocean Beach.

If you are interested in finding certain species, you can check out the Ocean Beach website for more information.

Enjoy View, Coffee, and More at the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier

Blue body of water near the ocean beach municipal pier.

Rosamar /

As a neighborhood by the beach, one of the first places you need to visit in Ocean Beach is the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier.

The Ocean Beach Municipal Pier spans half a mile to the ocean and provides a prime fishing spot for any fishing enthusiasts.

First built in 1996 and extending towards the north and south with its unique T-shape, the pier offers plenty of sights for you to admire.

One thing you can look out for when visiting this pier is the chance to see sea lions.

Aside from this, you can check out the nearby cafe and enjoy a warm cup of coffee while watching a beautiful sunset.

The sun shining down the ocean beach.

Rosamar /

Explore the Ocean Beach Murals

There are plenty of gorgeous views you can find when exploring the various top spots in Ocean Beach, but one of the most prominent sights to see is the Ocean Beach Murals.

The Ocean Beach Murals are a set of murals created by the community and have been around since 1999.

You can find different murals scattered throughout the neighborhood, each depicting different styles and imagery to admire.

If you want to see all the murals available in the neighborhood, you can find a self-tour guide on the Ocean Beach website.

Whatever way you decide to check out the Ocean Beach murals, you’re sure to get plenty of artistic photos.

Stroll through the History of Ocean Beach

Every town and neighborhood has its share of history, and Ocean Beach is no different.

Ocean Beach’s history dates back to 1887 and currently holds several structures going as far back as the 1900s.

When it comes to exploring the different historical sites available in this neighborhood, there are plenty of spots you can check out.

If you are interested in finding all of the history stories in Ocean Beach, there is a tour guide available on the Ocean Beach website.

You also have the option to get more information by visiting the Ocean Beach Historical Society or checking out their website.

Find Gorgeous Views at the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

Sunset cliffs natural park sign post.

RightCowLeftCoast, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You can find plenty of views to admire when visiting Ocean Beach, but one of the best places you can go to for gorgeous natural sights is the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park.

The Sunset Cliffs Natural Park spans close to seventy acres in size.

It also features a set of cliffs that appeals to those interested in cliff diving.

People admiring the sunset at the sunset cliffs national park.

Tuxyso / Wikimedia Commons

Aside from this, the natural park features different spots for outdoor fans to explore and offers the chance to spot whales.

There is no shortage of sights to admire and photograph when visiting Sunset Cliffs Natural Park.

Buy Produce and Fresh Treats at the Ocean Beach Farmer’s Market

Get to know the local delights by heading to the Ocean Beach Farmer’s Market.

You can only visit this market on Wednesdays, but there is plenty to see when you do.

There are plenty of options you can find at this market, and some of the products available at this market range from fresh produce to baked goods.

The market also has a few vendors that offer you food you can take back to where you’re staying.

By visiting this market, you’re sure to find your share of products to enjoy.

Check Out the Drinks and Art at Kilowatt Brewing

Just as there are plenty of attractions and shops you can explore in Ocean Beach, there are several pubs and bars where you can enjoy a selection of delicious drinks and mixes.

One of the popular dives you can visit in Ocean Beach is Kilowatt Brewing.

Kilowatt Brewing offers a wide range of rink options for you to try, and many of them have fun flavors for you to test out, such as chocolate and pumpkin spice.

Along with multiple alcoholic drinks you can test out, there is a selection of bites you can pair with them.

You can also get pick-up orders or purchase online via their website.

Take a Stroll around Newport Avenue

Cars parked along the road of newport avenue.

Harun Ozmen /

Newport Avenue is known as Ocean Beach’s main street, and when visiting this area, there is no shortage of shops you can peruse.

Spanning around three blocks and featuring shops that range from antique stores to eateries and bars, you’re sure to get your fill of window shopping.

Cars parked near the sidewalks of newport avenue.

Jamie Lantzy, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When visiting Newport Avenue, you also need to check out Newport Avenue beach for a chance to try some surfing or find photo-worthy scenery.

You can also have fun swimming or picnicking in the nearby grassy areas.

If there’s one thing for sure when it comes to visiting Newport Avenue, you’re sure to have a packed list of choices.

Indulge Yourself at The 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro

If you’re looking to enjoy wine and a meal, then you need to head over to the 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro.

At the 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro, you have the chance to not only indulge in a selection of wines but also feel fancy while dining.

The bistro offers a selection of menus to accommodate different dining experiences for varying times.

You also have the option to get a to-go wine and meal to enjoy a unique dining experience at home.

If you want to see what the wine shop and bistro have to offer, you can check out their website for more details.

Drink Beers and Listen to Music at Winston’s Beach Club

Enjoy drinks and a show by visiting Winston’s Beach Club.

Winston’s Beach Club is a music venue where you can enjoy live concerts and get drinks on the tap while you watch a show.

Different shows happen at Winston’s Beach Club throughout the year, and you can check out the club’s event schedule on their website.

Aside from checking out the event schedule, you can also check out what tickets are available and book your choice of event.

You also have the option to check out Winston’s Beach Club’s social media page for any updates and announcements.

Taste the Burgers at Hodad’s

Exterior of Hodad's burger with the name sign and delivery number on top.

TonelsonProductions /

You can explore plenty of eateries at Ocean beach, but if you’re craving a hearty meal, check out Hodad’s.

Hodad’s is an eatery that offers a selection of delicious burgers and sandwiches to try.

A hodad's burger with a patty, pickles, greens and tomato.

Fanfo /

More than this, the eater also offers a list of beers and milkshakes you can pair with your meal.

Aside from trying out their burgers, beers, and milkshakes, you can also check out the different events held at the eatery.

To see what kind of dishes you can look forward to when visiting this eatery and the other services available at Hodad’s, you can check out their website.

Closeup of something filled with hodad's stickers.

TonelsonProductions /

Grab a Sweet Treat at the Lighthouse Ice Cream

Treat your sweet tooth by making a stop at the Lighthouse Ice Cream.

The Lighthouse Ice Cream is the prime spot in Ocean Beach if you’re looking to enjoy ice cream.

When visiting this shop, you’ll find a large variety of ice cream flavors and products for you to try.

From sundaes to sandwiches, you’ll get spoiled for choice at this sweet shop.

The ice cream shop is also very accommodating, as they provide sugar-free and dairy-free options to enjoy.

Lighthouse Ice Cream also has premium options you can learn about on their website.

By visiting Lighthouse Ice Cream, you’re sure to get your fill of ice cream and ice cream-related and paired desserts.

Treat Yourself to Selfcare at The Hidden Spa

The Hidden Spa is a prime spot to visit for some skin pampering.

At this spa, you can choose among a variety of facials and waxing treatments to indulge in or check out the other available facilities.

A few of the facilities you can enjoy in this spa include a body contouring room.

You also have the option to enjoy a massage and check out available products.

You can find this spa at Santa Monica Avenue or visit their website to see what services you can book.

Paint Pottery at Claytime Ceramics

If you’re looking to try out an activity unrelated to the beach, check out Claytime Ceramics.

At Claytime Ceramics, you can try out different pottery-related options.

Some of these options include ceramic painting and clay building.

More than clay-related options, the studio also offers henna tattoos and other art activities you can test out.

You also have the option to check out different classes and camps or explore the Claytime Ceramics website for other available services.

There is also an online shop available and features sets you can bring home.

The studio also has a social media page you can visit for any updates and announcements.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Ocean Beach has great options for you to try, but there are also places that are close by offering you sights and activities you can try.

From Point Loma to Liberty Station, plenty of neighboring areas has something you can choose to do.

Below are some of them.

Get Photos of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse

Exterior view of the old point loma lighthouse with an american flag outside.

Lucky-photographer /

At the very base of Point Loma, you will find the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.

It takes less than twenty minutes to visit this landmark from Ocean Beach, and you’ll find that this structure stands at 462 feet in height.

Once a lighthouse, this landmark now stands as a museum and features different displays.

When visiting this play, you’re sure to get plenty of gorgeous photos.

Spiral staircase inside the old point loma lighthouse.

DLe /

Ride the Rollercoaster at Bellmont Park

Aerial view of the belmont night

Manuela Durson /

Head over to Bellmont Park and get your fill of thrills with the various rides available there.

It can take up to six minutes to travel to this location by car from Ocean Beach.

Inside the belmont park with part of a roller coaster behind a ticket booth.

Sherry V Smith /

Whether you choose to try the rollercoaster or shop for treats, you’re sure to get plenty of excitement at this amusement park.

If you want to know everything this park has, you can also check out the Bellmont Park website and book tickets.

The belmont park entrance with its name written in red.

Conchi Martinez /

Final Thoughts

Ocean Beach is a uniquely named neighborhood that features plenty of charm and hidden gems you can find.

Some places you will find in this neighborhood include fun eateries and shops for different experiences.

Whether you choose to go swimming or shopping, there’s no shortage of options in this neighborhood or nearby areas.

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