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Pacific Beach

4500 Ocean Ave
San Diego, CA 92109

Region: Mission Bay and Beaches

A favorite spot amongst college students and young adults living the California Dream, Pacific Beach is the iconic Southern California beach town. With three miles of boardwalk and a lively atmosphere, P.B. (as the locals call it) is a great place to find fun in the sun, and pleasures after dark. From funky beach bars and taco stands that welcome sandy toes, to sleek modern hotels, sultry night clubs and fine dining establishments, Pacific Beach offers a variety of things to do beyond the miles of sandy beaches.

Where to go:

  • Tourmaline Surfing Park where the rugged headlands of La Jolla end abruptly, is a surfing-only beach popular with novice surfers. With slow, slopey waves, beginners, longboarders and (when the wind is up) windsurfers and kiteboarders favor this beach over other spots in the area. There's a medium-capacity parking lot here with bathrooms and a small picnic area.
  • North Pacific Beach from Tourmaline to Crystal Pier is the 'calm before the storm' that is P.B. proper. Families tend to prefer this quieter stretch of beach with its lifeguard supervised swimming areas and facilities at the ends of Law and Diamond Streets.
  • Pacific Beach from the Crystal Pier to Pacific Beach Drive offers bathrooms and pockets of dedicated parking at Grand Avenue and PB Drive. You can find anything from bicycle rentals to biker bars along the coast here, and more of the same as you head inland up Garnet Avenue for many blocks. Swimming and surfing are segregated throughout P.B., the latter being mediocre here at best. There's always a party on the beach and on the boardwalk, especially on any sunny summer afternoon.

Parking

  • Parking is a challenge throughout Pacific Beach, but not impossible. Best bets are the lot at Tourmaline Street, and side roads on the north side of the pier. There are also paid lots scattered throughout, which may be a good option if you’re staying for the whole day.

Bathrooms & Showers

  • There are plenty of bathroom and shower facilities around the pier at the end of Garnet Avenue, as well as around the lifeguard stand at the end of Grand Avenue

Lifeguards

  • Lifeguard stands are staffed year-around from North Pacific Beach, down to Mission Beach. The main lifeguard tower is located at the end of Grand Avenue

Directions

  • From the 5 Freeway take Garnet Avenue west all the way to Mission Blvd.

What to Love

  • Breakfast at Kono's Cafe at the end of Garnet Ave. for good food, large portions and local vibe.
  • Fishing on Crystal Pier - big your own tackle, bait and a fishing license and drop a line.
  • Watching the sun set into the Pacific Ocean.

What to Know

  • Alcohol it not permitted at any time.
  • There are plenty of good dining options on the boardwalk and within walking distance in the community.
  • The boardwalk here is very busy on summer weekends - be careful with children riding bikes or skates.

Browse the articles and listings below to learn more about this iconic Southern California beach town and plan your next trip to San Diego!

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The Beach Cottages
4255 Ocean Blvd
San Diego, CA 92109
858.483.7440
Region: Mission Bay and Beaches

We are one of the true beach locations in San Diego. The Beach Cottages are located right on the beach in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. Family...

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Atoll - Catamaran Resort Hotel
3999 Mission Blvd
San Diego, CA 92109
858.539.8635
Region: Mission Bay and Beaches

Surrounded by colorful artwork, etched glass and views that stretch across Mission Bay to the San Diego skyline, guests are tantalized by the...

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TOWER23 Hotel
723 Felspar St.
San Diego, CA 92109
866.869.3723
Region: Mission Bay and Beaches

Bold, white hot and linear, natural and unfiltered, TOWER23 Hotel is a translucent, exquisitely crafted glass box that is at once energetic, a...

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Baleen - Paradise Point Resort & Spa
1404 Vacation Rd
San Diego, CA 92109
858.490.6363
Region: Mission Bay and Beaches

Uniquely positioned, Baleen San Diego is a waterfront restaurant overlooking Mission Bay that has become a destination for fine dining. This seafood...

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Surfer Beach Hotel
711 Pacific Beach Dr
San Diego, CA 92109
800.787.3373
Region: Mission Bay and Beaches

Play and Stay! The Surfer Beach Hotel is your family destination, located right on the beach! The hotel features ocean view rooms, most with...

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Beach
Mission Beach
Region: Mission Bay and Beaches

Centrally located in San Diego, Mission Beach is the closest thing in San Diego to classic East Coast beaches like Atlantic City and Coney Island.

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Cafe Bahia - Bahia Resort Hotel
998 W Mission Bay Dr
San Diego, CA 92109
800.576.4229
Region: Mission Bay and Beaches

The Café Bahia offers a casual Mediterranean atmosphere and international cuisine. This tropical oasis is the perfect place for the whole...

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Mission Sands Vacation Rentals
804 San Luis Obispo Pl
San Diego, CA 92109
800.779.7263
Region: Mission Bay and Beaches

Mission Sands Vacation Rentals has been offering beach vacation rentals in the San Diego area since 1996. We have over 75 vacation rentals in the...

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Red Marlin Restaurant Bar & Terrace - Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina
1441 Quivira Rd
San Diego, CA 92109
619.224.1234
Region: Mission Bay and Beaches

Located on beautiful Mission Bay, Red Marlin Restaurant boasts some of the most amazing waterfront dining and views in all of San Diego, with a fresh...

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City Ballet

858.274.6058
Region: Mission Bay and Beaches

City Ballet under the direction of Steven and Elizabeth Wistrich, provides quality ballet productions and education programs for...

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Rodeway Inn - Pacific Beach
4345 Mission Bay Dr
Pacific Beach, CA 92109
619.273.1121
Region: Mission Bay and Beaches

The Rodeway Inn® Pacific Beach hotel is within walking distance to Mission Bay Park, Mission Beach and is minutes from all the best attractions...

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Best Western Mission Bay - SeaWorld Area
2575 Clairemont Dr
San Diego, CA 92117
800.457.8080
Region: Mission Bay and Beaches

The Best Western Mission Bay is centrally located in the heart of San Diego. It is within 5 minutes of all that San Diego has to offer, including...

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Bluewater Vacation Homes
926 Turquoise St
San Diego, CA 92109
800.243.3588
Region: Mission Bay and Beaches

From quaint beach front cottages to opulent luxury villas, Bluewater Vacation Homes is San Diego's trusted source for quality vacation rental homes....

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Pacific Terrace Hotel
610 Diamond St
San Diego, CA 92109
800.344.3370
Region: Mission Bay and Beaches

The Pacific Terrace Hotel is one of San Diego’s rare oceanfront luxury hotels. Located midway between La Jolla and Mission Bay, the Pac Terrace sits...

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Bahia Resort Hotel
998 W Mission Bay Dr
San Diego, CA 92109
800.576.4229
Region: Mission Bay and Beaches

The Bahia Resort Hotel is secluded on a sun-splashed 14-acre peninsula on the shores of Mission Bay just one block from Mission Beach and a...

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