If you’re stopping into San Diego anytime soon, you’ve got to visit Ocean Beach. OB is directly under both Mission Beach and Pacific Beach. It also has an atmosphere that makes it entirely unique from the two. While PB has a great bar scene and Mission is a family beach, OB takes the cake in the eclectic hippie vibe, making it possibly my favorite beach in San Diego. Equipped with graffiti, hippie vans, and acai bowls, the Ocean Beach scene is different to any other beach and yet is also representative of San Diego’s laid back culture making this a spot a must see while on vacation. It is also home to Sunset Cliffs, a drop off hill where you can park your car and watch the sun set behind crashing waves. When I visited Ocean Beach I ate at the OB Noodle House Bar. This Asian fusion restaurant was delicious and wait time was only 20 minutes, giving me a chance to walk around and see the sights. There are many interesting spots, such as thrift stores, a record shop, a hostel painted tie-dye, and even a communal organic garden. I’m planning on spending a weekend in the hostel when the weather gets warmer so check back for a review on that too!
I’d recommend Mission Beach for families with young kids because of the arcade and rides. I’d recommend Pacific Beach or La Jolla for those seeking a more upscale experience. But for those who enjoy the au natural hippie scene or want to take a step outside of the norm, Ocean Beach is an adventure that will welcome you with open arms.
Love aquariums? I do! There’s a great little aquarium tucked right into the La Jolla cove called the Birch Aquarium. A great place for all ages, this aquarium showcases jellyfish, a seahorse exhibit, climate change displays, sharks, a huge octopus and much more! The exhibit overlooks the Scripps Coastal Reserve and you can look at the beautiful view while you explore the Aquarium’s tide pools. Parking is free and close to the exhibit. College students can go for as little as $7, Adult tickets are $17, and children tickets vary at lower prices They also offer senior and Military discounts.
The display expands through two hallways, as well as the outdoor area. It’s not a very big exhibit, which is nice because it’s not overwhelming. If you’re looking for an educational aspect right on the beautiful coast, I suggest you take a look at the Birch Aquarium.
La Jolla Cove is a beachside gem equip with restaurants, tourist attractions, gorgeous scenery, and marine life. There are many spots to lay your towel out and stretch in the sun or visit the local boutiques and fine eateries. One popular tourist attraction is the La Jolla Cave in which you pay $5 and enter the cave by going down flights of stairs. The seals sunbathing on various rocks and beaches are another spectacle. You can see them up close and even lounge on the sand with them. One thing everyone should do when they visit the Cove is snorkel. You can rent snorkel equipment for as cheap as $5 for three hours, which is more than enough time. When I went this past weekend the water was unbelievably warm—no wetsuit needed. You can swim off of a beach or jump off cave rocks. The clear water allows you to shift through the kelp forests and observe the dark and neon orange fish below you. It really is quite an experience! Fun for kids and adults. You can also swim, if you’re brave, into the caves. This is when you’ll get really close to the seals and aquatic birds hanging out on the rocks. When you’re done exploring you can dry off on the beach, visit the parks, or get something to eat. One thing to know—expect to use a parking garage. Parking is impossible in La Jolla Cove, so instead of wasting time looking for a spot go straight to the first garage you see. The cheapest one in La Jolla Cove is $10 for the whole day. If you’re looking for a little adventure this weekend check out La Jolla Cove with your friends and family!
I have now visited Sushi Kuchi twice, and while the name might cause smirking this restaurant is home to come to the best sushi in Pacific Beach. Sushi Kuchi is located walking distance from the beach and is next to a parking lot where customers receive two hours free parking (which is a lifesaver in PB). The prices are reasonable and they offer a half-off sushi menu, where you can get six rolls for as little as three dollars. My personal favorite is the salmon skin tempura roll with amazing Eel sauce; it also happens to be one of the cheapest rolls! The location is prime, the sushi excellent, and the beachy laid-back vibe makes your meal enjoyable. If you’re looking for a seafood fix less than five minutes from the sea, you have to stop by Sushi Kuchi in Pacific Beach.
Mission Beach, located north of Ocean Beach and south of La Jolla and Pacific Beach, is a beautiful beach perfect for all kinds of water sports. There’s a boardwalk with an arcade, roller coaster, and games for everyone. Mission also has the ultimate food scene; sushi, Mexican, Italian, even a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich place. Every restaurant is a must-go, the only difficulty is deciding! (If you need help, the California Burrito and Mac-N-Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich are a safe bet). There are tons of water sports to try, the best, however, is surfing. Mission is the best for surfing because the beach has great waves and if you go later in the day the water isn’t crowded. People generally start to clear out around five. Plus, if you go at this time and surf for a while, you’ll catch the sunset. If you go earlier in the day the beach and ocean are more crowded, which makes surfing a little harder. You don’t need to own a board to enjoy the fun. You can rent boards hourly or all day at the numerous rental shops walking distance form the beach. We rented boards all day for $10 at Ray’s Rentals. The water was extremely warm and we didn’t bother renting wetsuits. Surfing makes for a great day, and Mission Beach is one of the best spots!