One of my all-time favorite travel locations is San Diego, California. I have been road tripping there since high school, discovering anywhere from Mission Beach to Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach to Imperial Beach, and La Jolla to Coronado Island. Each area has a little something special about it, however Ocean Beach will always have a special part in my heart.
Ocean Beach, San Diego has a hippy vibe, peace signs and VW buses included. However, OB is growing quickly with breweries and tasting rooms, attracting people from all over. There are only a handful of actual motels in the area, but there are many beach houses for rent on VRBO.com. Whether it’s a family trip or girl’s trip, here are my favorite Ocean Beach spots:
One perk to Ocean Beach is a separate beach for dogs. In addition, a lot of the beach houses and motels allow dogs. Let your dog off their leash and get ready for laughs and a good time! Even if you didn’t bring your pooch, it is still great entertainment to watch the dogs run around throughout the sand and ocean. Side note, OB is a very dog-friendly community. From dog-friendly patios to randomly placed dog water bowls, dog washes to people walking dogs everywhere. If you are severely allergic to dogs, Ocean Beach may not be the place for you.
5010 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA
Hodad’s is iconic! If you are in the mood for a mouth-watering burger, this is a must-stop place! However, be prepared to wait in a line if you decide to eat at a typical dinner time in the busier season. But, the wait is well worth it! You know it’s good when Triple D’s Guy Fieri films a stop there! The Guido Burger is one of the best burgers you will try…a burger with Pastrami, ketchup, pickles, swiss cheese, grilled onions, and spicy brown mustard, which will make you want to come back for more!
5025 Newport Ave, San Diego, CA
From ribs to brisket, BBQ House in Ocean Beach, San Diego will satisfy your barbecue cravings. The onion rings are flaky and perfect, as the meat is tender and delicious. The barbecue aroma fills the air and draws you in! The craft beer selection is great as well. The fried Mac ‘n Cheese balls were melt-in-your-mouth amazing and a great starter. The Sloppy Joe, which consists of crispy burnt ends of pulled pork and beef brisket with sauce on a bun, is well-worth the mess!
Ocean Beach Pier
Whether you want to relax on the beach, walk the pier, or go surfing, Ocean Beach has it available to you. Take a stroll on the pier to the cafe or go fishing to add a little workout! Grab a towel, relax on the beach (because you deserve it!), and eat cake (pops) by the ocean! If you want to add a little adventure, Ocean Beach also has a separate area for surfing only near the pier, where some surfing competitions are also occasionally held. If you are staying until sundown, don’t forget to snap a photo of the breathtaking sunset above the Pacific Ocean.
Lighthouse Ice Cream
5059 Newport Ave #102, San Diego, CA
Ice cream, sorbets, cones, malts, waffle sandwiches, and more, this small ice cream shop has it all…even Dole Whip! Choose from a variety of toppings, jump into that small town ice cream shop-feel, and enjoy! After sundown during the busier seasons, the line may get a little long, however it goes quickly, and if Dole Whip doesn’t make you happy, you need to take another bite.
BONUS: Shades Oceanfront Bistro
5083 Santa Monica Ave #1f, San Diego, CA
Shades would be on the top of my list however, sadly, they will be closing their doors on September 5th. They are known for breakfasts and lunches, however the owners sold the business, and it will reopen to new owners as a Surf Lodge concept in late 2016/early 2017. So many memories surround this place, as I have been coming here since high school, up until taking my child there, and everyone I bring to Ocean Beach to visit.
Their Spinach and Chevre Omelet is my favorite, with goat cheese, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes, along with Homefries and an English muffin. They also make their own ketchup! The Crab Cake Benedict, with pan-fried Crab Cakes atop an English Muffin with poached eggs and their Hollandaise sauce. Although they are not open for much longer, it is a must-stop brunch spot.
— Nikki Fica (@NikkiFica) August 15, 2016
Although this list could continue (hint, stay tuned for future blogs), Ocean Beach, San Diego has a lot to offer. Avoiding most tourists, paying local prices, and experiencing the small-town community is a great getaway in itself. From local breweries and coffee shops, to strolling the beach and a Wednesday Farmer’s Market, Ocean Beach should go onto your vacation wishlist.