San Diego Neighborhood Guide: Ocean Beach

    Located just north of Point Loma, Ocean Beach, or O.B., is a small beach town filled with a local and vintage vibe. Ocean Beach is home to surfer culture, local shops and restaurants, and plenty of things to do. Ocean Beach is a historical San Diego city with plenty of historic homes and landmarks any history buff would find interesting. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this historical beach town!

    History of Ocean Beach

    Ocean Beach Cliff House
    Ocean Beach Cliff House 1888 via sandiegoreader.com

    Originally named Mussel Beach for the large number of mussels available there, Ocean Beach was given its current name in 1887 by developers Albert E. Higgins and Billy Carlson. These developers built a resort hotel named the Cliff House and subdivided the area into different lots. In order to promote this subdivision, they hosted events and activities like mussel roasts and concerts. Unfortunately, this did not go well because it was a 2.5-hour carriage ride from Downtown San Diego. From there, they decided to invest in the Ocean Beach Railway, which was launched the following year. San Diego residents could take a ferry to Point Loma and then take the train to the Cliff House. Later that year, Higgins committed suicide and a fallen chandelier burnt down the Cliff House. Carlson sold off the Ocean Beach tract to a Russian financier.

    Wonderland Amusement Park Ocean Beach
    Wonderland Amusement Park 1913 via lostamusementparks.org

    There was another subdivision of Ocean Beach during the same time that was home to resident D.C. Collier. He bought his oceanfront property at just age 16 and was a huge contributor to the development of Ocean Beach. This included laying out streets, promoting sales and building the Point Loma Railroad in 1909. The railroad connected all of San Diego to Point Loma to Ocean Beach. By 1910, over 100 houses had been built as well as many schools.

    The northern end of Ocean Beach was greatly inhabited and sparked the construction of Wonderland Amusement Park which opened in 1913. This amusement park had a roller coaster, menagerie, merry-go-round, playground, petting zoo and dance pavilion. Unfortunately, the amusement park went bankrupt and a winter storm destroyed the roller coaster and they shut their doors in 1916. Surfing was introduced to the community in 1916 and by 1966, the World Surfing Championship was held in Ocean Beach. Today, O.B. is still home to many of San Diego’s surfers.

    Top Restaurants in Ocean Beach

    Hodads San Diego

    Ocean Beach has a high reputation for not allowing chains to establish a business in Ocean Beach. There are only a few chain businesses that exist there as the community regularly protests them from opening up, included most recently, and unsuccessfully, Starbucks. In Ocean Beach, there are tons of delicious restaurants to choose from, including the famous Hodad’s which opened in 1969 and was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives for their mouthwatering burgers.

    Other local spots to try out include Wonderland Ocean Pub (can you guess what inspired the name?!). Wonderland Ocean Pub features your favorite pub food and brunch options with a gorgeous view of the ocean. You can also visit Pizza Port OB for a large variety of pizza flavors and local craft beers on tap. For dessert, stop by Lighthouse Ice Cream & Yogurt where you will be enchanted with the sweet smell of freshly baked waffle cones. Ocean Beach has plenty of local food options for you to choose from!

    Shopping in Ocean Beach

    Cow Records Ocean Beach
    Cow Records

    Calling all hipsters, if you love local shops for shopping for clothes, gifts, or even records, Ocean Beach is the place to be. With a huge variety of stores, you’re bound to find all of the unique items you need in O.B. Among these shops includes Often Wander, a candle, home décor, and jewelry store – a great place to find a gift for a friend or to treat yourself! You can also visit Current Collective for gifts and home goods you won’t find at any chain store. For those of you who love listening to music on vinyl, or even cassettes, check out Cow on Newport Ave for records, CDs, VHS, cassettes, and books.

    Outdoor Activities in Ocean Beach

    Surfing at Ocean Beach

    There are plenty of things to do in Ocean Beach, and one of the top things to do is to enjoy the great outdoors! Spend the day soaking up the sun on the beach, or go fishing off the pier. Join the locals and spend the afternoon catching waves. If you find the ocean to be a bit too cold, bring your pup to the Ocean Beach Dog Beach for playtime.  There are also plenty of parks for you to enjoy for playing sports or just running around. This includes Ocean Beach Park, Ocean Beach Athletic Area Robb Field, Robb Field Skate Park, Dusty Rhodes Park and the Dusty Rhodes Dog Park. You can also go for a run or ride a bike along the San Diego River Pathway.

    O.B. Events

    Ocean Beach Farmers Market

    Ocean Beach is also home to lots of events throughout the year. Amongst these includes the OB Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off that takes place over summer and draws in more than 70,000 visitors. In addition, they have a weekly Farmers Market on Wednesdays for fresh produce, art, flowers and local food. Another event residents look forward to yearly is the OB Oktoberfest. This large festival celebrates German culture with food, beer, and fun. Other events to look forward to are the 4th of July Fireworks and the OB Kite Festival. When you live in Ocean Beach, there are tons of events to look forward to all year long to help you feel a part of your community and to get to know your neighbors!

    Ocean Beach Demographicsocean beach demographics

    Population 2016 (via city-data): 9,920

    Estimated Median House Sales Price in February 2018 (via SDAR): $1,450,000

    Estimated Median Condo/Detached Sales Price in February 2018 (via SDAR): $528,500

    Median Gross Rent 2018 (via Trulia): $2,597

    Median Household Income 2016 (via city-data): $69,852

    Ocean Beach Real Estate

    Ocean Beach Real Estate

    Since Ocean Beach is such a historic neighborhood, there are a lot of older houses in the neighborhood. Amongst these older houses includes craftsman style bungalows and cottages that were built from 1887-1931. In addition to the older homes, Ocean Beach is home to more modern styles and plenty of townhouses and condos. You can find anything from a large detached home to a small cottage near the beach. Ascent Real Estate is a local San Diego brokerage with real estate agents with plenty of knowledge about Ocean Beach. Contact us today to let us help you buy or sell your home in Ocean Beach. View all homes for sale in Ocean Beach here!

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