Foot of Niagara and Newport avenues, north to San Diego River Floodway
San Diego, CA
Pier Hours: 4 AM to 2 AM
Caution: Check with rangers or lifeguards that conditions are safe for your planned activities.
Mile-long Ocean Beach spreads north from the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier to the mouth of the San Diego River Floodway and the entrance of Mission Bay. The beach is popular for water sports such as swimming and surfing as well as shore side activities like beach volleyball and picnicking.
The 1,971-foot Ocean Beach Municipal Pier is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast. The pier is most popular for fishing and sightseeing.
The expanse of sand immediately south of the San Diego River Floodway has been designated as Dog Beach. Dogs are allowed to romp freely here while under the watchful eyes of their owners. The beach is open 24 hours a day. Owners are expected to clean up after their pets.
Constructed in 1966, Ocean Beach Municipal Pier is a community landmark, attracting sightseers and anglers. Every year more than a half million visitors walk out the concrete structure. The pier reaches more than a third of a mile out into the Pacific. The T extensions at the end of the pier add 360 feet jutting to the south and 183 to the north.
The pier is open every day from 4:00 AM to 2:00 AM. About half way out the pier are a bait and tackle shop and a cafe. Other features on the pier are benches, lights, and fish cleaning stations. Tide pool adventurers arrive at low tide to observe the marine life in the pools and crevices in the rocks beneath the pier.
Ocean Beach Municipal Pier
Immediately south of the pier the coastline becomes rugged with many scenic overlooks but few opportunities for beach-goers other than scattered pocket beaches and some interesting tide pools. The most popular area is well to the south of the pier around Sunset Cliffs Park.
Stairs at Santa Cruz, Bermuda, Orchard, and Narragansett avenues provide access to a rugged concrete path than wends along the base of the cliffs. A ramp at the intersection of Cable Street and Orchard Avenue descends to a rocky shoreline.
Sunset Cliffs Drive sweeps along the shore from Point Loma Avenue all the way south to Ladera Street and Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. Along this one and a third mile stretch of road are numerous overlooks where visitors can park and enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean and the jagged coastline.
Sunset Cliffs Natural Park spreads over 68 acres along the Point Loma peninsula, at the southern end of Ocean Beach. Tide pools, rugged cliffs, caves, and inland sage scrub habitat offer interesting, but sometimes precarious, places to explore. Visitors are likely to spot cormorants, pelicans, gulls, hawks, sparrow, and finches. Besides the large area south of Ladera Street, the park includes the coastal region west of Sunset Cliffs Drive.
Sunset Cliffs Natural Park
Three free parking lots are located along the edge of Ocean Beach.
Parking can also be found along Newport Avenue and along nearby residential streets.
MTS Routes 35 and 923 serve Ocean Beach. Route 35 buses run from the Old Town Transit Center west on West Point Loma Boulevard to Cable Street and south to Pt. Loma Avenue. Route 923 runs from downtown to Voltaire Street and then south on Cable Street
Metropolitan Transit System Trip Planner
The once popular amusement park known as Wonderland Park used to stand on the beach at Ocean Beach. The park was erected in 1913 by Ocean Bay Beach Amusement Company. It included spectacular buildings and minarets, rides, a boardwalk, and a short pier spread over 9½ acres. Rides included the Blue Streak racing coaster, a Chute-the Chutes (a water slide), a carousel, caged animals, and a hot salt-water plunge.
Competition from the Panama-California Exposition in 1915 at Balboa Park cut into Wonderland's attendance and by 1916 the park had closed. Parts were sold, but most was undermined by waves and then swept away by the sea.
California State Parks and Recreation cautions that "large surf, cold water temperatures, backwash, sudden drop-offs, pounding shorebreak, and dangerous rip currents can turn what seem like safe activities such as playing near the surf line, wading, or climbing on rock outcroppings, deadly." Learn more about ocean safety at CA State Parks: Ocean Safety