Pacific Beach, San Diego
Activities at Pacific Beach, Pacific Beach Hotels, Travel Tips
Pacific Beach exudes the essence of a true California beach town with its brilliant, year-round sunshine and blue ocean swells that greet its sand and boardwalks. This small, colorful community blends an eccentric mix of surfers, local beach bums, college students, professionals, and families. A few blocks west of Pacific Beach, you’ll find a fun jumble of surf shops, taco stands, craft galleries, hotels and smoke shops flavored with a hint of tie-dye. Activities at Pacific Beach San Diego for the entire family.
The architecture here is varied, with 30s-style beachfront cottages next to large, upscale, earth-toned hotels and condos. Expect ultra casual and zero attitude in Pacific Beach. For a less crowded alternative, try the more protected waters of Mission Bay, located just four blocks east of the south end of Pacific Beach.
Pacific Beach San Diego Recreations
Between the ocean, the bay, and nearly 3 miles of bike paths — not to mention year-round sunshine — Pacific Beach offers a myriad of recreational activities for families, weekend warriors, and outdoor enthusiasts. Surf, swim, kayak, or body board in the blue waters of the ocean. Bicyclists, skaters, walkers, and joggers have miles of paved paths winding between the ocean and Mission Bay.
The paths afford spectacular views of the beach and bay; they also offer up a slice of local life at Pacific Beach, including neighborhood basketball games, family picnics, Frisbee, and kite activities, and lots of outdoor barbecues. Sunbathing opportunities abound on the ocean, the bay, or a quiet grassy knoll.
You can rent surfboards, body boards, rollerblades, and bicycles at shops located near Crystal Pier. Lifeguards are stationed at Pacific Beach year-round. Pets are permitted from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and must be on a leash. Parking at Pacific Beach is easy most weekdays during the winter. However, it will be challenging on weekends and on any day during the summer. We advise arriving early for the best selection. Unmetered street parking is available but fills up quickly. Better yet, stay at one of Pacific Beach’s awesome hotels for the ultimate vacation convenience.
Please be aware--alcohol consumption and smoking are now banned at all City of San Diego beaches along with most beaches in San Diego County. The ban extends to beachfront and nearby parks such as Mission Bay.
Pacific Beach Children's Activities
With the endless supply of ocean and sand at Pacific Beach, parents will never hear the words “I’m bored” from their kids. Pacific Beach is a saltwater playground offering all the activities kids love — building sand castles, splashing in the ocean, or (for bigger kids) romping through the waves on a body board.
Pacific Beach Shopping
The beach isn’t the only happening scene in Pacific Beach. Shoppers will find dozens of funky, eclectic surf shops, clothing stores, smoke shops, and craft galleries along Mission Boulevard and on Grand and Garnet Avenues.
Getting to Pacific Beach San Diego
From I-5 north or south, exit at Grand-Garnet and head west to the ocean.