Ocean Beach or Pacific Beach: Which One is More Fun?

If it’s summertime in San Diego, what can be a better enjoyment than beaches? There are plenty of beaches around San Diego, right!  

But which one is it? Ocean Beach or Pacific Beach?

Both Ocean beach and Pacific beach are close to San Diego. But ocean beach is more hippy and wild than pacific. Pacific Beach will give you a more calm and family-friendly environment. But it has great nightlife. Surfing is one of the attractions of Pacific beach.  

But that’s not all regarding these beaches. There are other facts about them as well.

Now let’s dig into the article and find out what are the fun things these beaches offer. 

Quick Comparison

Ocean beach and Pacific beach are two of the most popular spots in San Diego. But these two beaches are very different in nature. So, you can choose the perfect beach as per your own choice.

Ocean Beach is recognized for its heart, which is teeming with artists, surfers, and dogs from the area. The neighborhood embraces its informal slogan, “Keep O.B. Weird,” and isn’t afraid to be eccentric. People love the Ocean beach san diego vibe.

Pacific Beach has a reputation for being a party town. But that’s only one aspect of this beach town. Aside from the pubs, antique stores, and informal eateries, there are a few favorite local hangouts.

Pacific Beach also has the ancient Crystal Pier Hotel cottages. Which is a great attraction on the beach.

Now, let’s take a quick look over the main aspects of ocean beach vs pacific beach.

Ground of Comparison Ocean beachPacific beach
Distance from San Diego7.0 miles8.8 miles.
Beach TypeParty friendly Family friendly
ParkingAvailableNot available

So, as you can see both of the beaches are close to San Diego. So traveling must not be an issue. But the other factors that can make a choice is ocean beach or pacific beach better!

Time to Visit 

Ocean Beach and Pacific beach both beaches are laid in San Diego. So, you can count the same visiting time for both of the places.  

The greatest time to visit Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach is during the summer months. You can take advantage of these beautiful beaches and also the city’s most popular attractions. 

These beaches will offer the greatest weather and the hottest ocean temperatures during summertime. Also, fewer crowds may be found in late summer, especially in September.

You can also visit these beaches in other seasons as well. But summer counts as the most fun time. Summertime is also perfect if you are planning to visit Hilton head or myrtle beach

And always try to avoid the stormy weather when visiting these beaches. It can get dangerous while visiting San Diego’s any of the beaches. 

Though there are plenty of lifeguards then again you should maintain your own safety.  


Both Ocean beach and Pacific beach have enough to offer you. There are so many hotels that fit your budget.

Let’s have a glance at two of the most beautiful hotels on Ocean beach and Pacific beach.

Ocean Beach Hotel 

To get a true taste of Ocean beach, you can choose Ocean Beach Hotel. Because the hotel is basically on the beach. You may have your morning coffee on the sunny terrace while watching the waves. 

If you’re looking for hotels to stay at, take a look at the following.

Ocean Beach HotelDry cleaning, Conference Facilities, Bar Plan Your Trip!
Cottesloe Beach ChaletsLaundry Service, Golf Course, Pool, BBQ facilities Plan Your Trip!
TradewindsGym, Cycle Center, Family RoomsPlan Your Trip!

All of the accommodations include relaxing beach tones, beachy décor, and original artwork by local artists. Your hotel stay includes complimentary WiFi and beach parking. 

Before heading up to your room after a day at the beach. You can take a few steps up to the hotel courtyard for a quick rinse in the outdoor shower.

Enjoy a pleasant vacation with your pet. The Ocean Beach Hotel is pet-friendly, as well as friendly in general!

You can also keep a few things with you while visiting the beaches. You can carry certain lotions and stuff to make your beach day enjoyable. These things are also necessary when choosing between Bethany beach vs Rehoboth beach.

Pacific Terrace Hotel

Choose the Pacific Terrace Hotel, San Diego’s highest-rated 3-star hotel. A beachfront resort with Tommy Bahama-themed guest suites and bespoke bath amenities. 

The entire house has a Hawaiian feel thanks to the wooden plantation shutters. 

Are you terrified of the Pacific’s large waves? Then walk down to the hotel’s ocean-view outdoor heated pool. Alternatively, use one of the hotel’s beach cruisers. And hit the boardwalk for a day of riding and people-watching. 

Each guest room includes a patio or balcony with a view of the Pacific Ocean. The beach is only a few feet away. You may check the surf report on the hotel’s website or simply gaze out the window.

You can get so many other options as well. These two beaches won’t disappoint you whatever the budget you have got.

Food and Drink

Both of the beaches have a variety of foods and drinks to offer you. You can get high-end restaurants with delicious budget-friendly food here. 

Food and Drink of Ocean Beach

The main strip of Ocean Beach, Newport Avenue, is lined with a broad assortment of restaurants. And also pubs. South Beach Bar and Grill serves tacos, and Ocean Beach Brewery serves beer. 

The famed Hodad’s Burgers, of course, always has a queue out the door. You can try to visit the other restaurants as well. Try to explore on your own.

Food and Drink of Pacific Beach

Along Grand and Garnet avenues, you can get just about everything – tacos, sushi, burgers, and coffee. Even yet, there always appears to be a queue for handmade ice cream sandwiches. The Baked Bear and breakfast at the Breakfast Republic is best for this.

If you’re feeling sophisticated, head to JRDN restaurant in Tower 23 Hotel. You can have a fancy relaxing time there.

Transportation and Parking

The distance from San Diego to Ocean Beach and Pacific beach is not that far. So you can also take a walk on the beaches if you want. You can also move pacific beach to ocean beach in a few minutes.

The Ocean Beach is more or less 7 miles away if you take the I-5 N route. If you want to take the CA-163 N/Cabrillo Fwy and I-8 W route it will be around 9.5 miles.

Near the lifeguard station, there are two free parking areas. One of them is located very near to Dog Beach. There are additional stalled places along Newport Avenue. As well as plenty of parallel parking in residential streets.

You can go to the pacific beach from San Diego using 3 different routes. It will be 8.8 miles if you take the I-5 N route. And 9.8 miles if you choose I-5 N and Garnet Ave. You can also take CA-163 N/Cabrillo Fwy which is 11.2 miles.

Best of luck! Off Garnet Avenue and adjoining streets, however, there are just a few metered and street parking places.

Entertainment and Activities

There are lots of fun things to do on these two beaches. These beaches will definitely not get you bored. Both of the beaches are well renowned for their party environment. 

But both have some different qualities themselves 

So, let’s check out what Ocean beach and Pacific beach offer you.

Fun Things in Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach, formerly known as Mussel Beach due to its large mussel population. It’s a one-mile-long beach with the usual yellow, gritty sands of California. It has average waves of 2-3 feet and plenty of volleyball courts.

Outdoor fire pits are accessible on a first-come, first-served basis at the beach. Roast some marshmallows and tell ghost stories. But remember to pack up before midnight when fire pits must be turned out for the night. 

Another interesting fact is that Ocean Beach is immediately adjacent to Dog Beach. Which is located on the south end of the beach. It is one of the few places on the beach where you can let your dog run free.

This beach is well known for its hippy culture. So that is the exact place to go wild at night. This is what ocean beach is known for.

Source: vrbo

Fun Things in Pacific Beach

North of Mission Beach, the sands transform into Pacific Beach. Another renowned San Diego beach that attracts both locals and visitors.

As housing prices climb, more young professionals and families are moving to Pacific Beach. Which was once filled with college students and surfers. If you are a fishing lover, this is the place to go. 

A dedicated fishing place near Crystal Pier allows you to relax while catching a nibble (literally). Along the beach, there are separate swimming and surfing sections. Find the right one for you. 

Pacific Beach is also a perfect place for nightlife in San Diego. Garnet Avenue is lined with modern restaurants. There are also eccentric cafés, and classic beach bars; to visit as the sunsets.  

Security and Facilities

Both of the beaches are well secured now. There was some crime scene that occurred on both of the beaches a few years back. But after that, both of the beaches are well guarded now.

The facilities near the lifeguard station aren’t the cleanest on Ocean beach. So use the showers to scour off any seaweed. And sand before using the restrooms at a neighboring restaurant.

In this case, Pacific beach gets the point. Bathrooms and showers may be found on Grand Avenue and Law Street. Please be careful about your babies when you travel to the beach with them.


Is Pacific Beach Touristy?

Pacific beach isn’t touristy for everyone. Groups are generally made up of young people sunbathing, playing beach sports, and bar hopping.

Is Ocean Beach a Good Neighborhood?

Ocean Beach is located in San Diego County, and considered one of California’s nicest locations to live. Ocean Beach is a combination of urban and suburban living. The majority of residents rent their houses. There are several pubs, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks in Ocean Beach.

Can you swim at Pacific Beach?

Swimming and surfing are the two most popular sports at Pacific Beach beaches. Swim and surf areas off each of the major beaches are demarcated well. The black and yellow checkered flags are put between the zones for everyone’s safety.


We hope this article helped you to choose which beach is perfect for you. Ocean Beach or Pacific Beach!

If you have any more queries about these beaches. Please drop in the comment section. 

Good Luck!

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