Laid-back perhaps best describes Ocean Beach, an eclectic and cool beachfront town northwest of downtown San Diego. Famous for its half-mile-long pier, surfing mecca and annual street fair and chili cook-off, this hip community also attracts antique shoppers, artists and dogs!
One of the most relaxed places in Southern California, the beach in “O.B.” often finds friends enjoying oceanfront yoga or sunset gatherings. Surfers ride endless waves created by jetties and locals love the pier’s classic coffee shop. Dogs romp around leash-free at the beach’s northern end and a Dog Beach Committee preserves the peaceful co-existence of people and pooches.
In town (just steps away), main thoroughfare Newport Avenue is dominated by small, independent retail businesses. Restaurants, coffeehouses, bars, bike and surf shops dot the avenue, inviting those on a stroll inside. For a fun foodie experience, stop in at Hodad’s, a popular and lively beachside burger joint, whose first location opened in O.B. in 1969. At Hodad’s, patrons can dine inside restored cars or amid license plate-covered walls.
A few blocks away at Ocean Beach Antique District, locals and tourists alike will find the largest concentration of antique and collectible shops in San Diego County. Treasures include vintage jewelry, clocks and watches, doll houses, sports memorabilia and more.
Annual Ocean Beach events in this close-knit community include the aforementioned O.B. Street Fair and Chili Cookoff, the Ocean Beach Christmas Parade in early December, and the Ocean Beach Kite Festival on the first Saturday in March. On Wednesday afternoons, two blocks of Newport Avenue are closed for a farmers market. Take time to discover, or rediscover, this authentic beachside town.