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Your Complete Guide to Pacific Beach

a body of water next to the ocean

San Diego has several coastal neighborhoods and communities, and Pacific Beach is one of the best. This neighborhood has a relaxed atmosphere with restaurants, beaches, and nightlife that almost anyone can enjoy. Due to its location, this coastal community offers a unique base from which you can explore San Diego and its attractions.  

Where To Stay

Because this community is right on the ocean, you will likely have an ocean view or be near the ocean no matter where you stay. Therefore, you can choose lodging right on the ocean, such as Crystal Pier Hotel, where you can sleep on the historic Crystal Pier or find something more beachside. If you want to stay in a hotel or resort, you will find more than 100 available. For instance, the Catamaran is also an excellent place to stay as you have easy access to the ocean and the relaxation of staying on the bay. 

Where To Eat

Once you know where to stay, you can begin your food adventures near the San Diego beach scene. If you want a nice sit-down restaurant after a day on the ocean, you can try various options with different food origins. For example, you can enjoy Ambrogio15’s Milanese pizza, Spanish cuisine at Costa Brava, tapas at the Basque restaurant, or fresh seafood at Tower23’s JDRN restaurant. Grab a cheeseburger at Rocky’s Crown Pub if you want something less formal. Thai Village is a local favorite, and Mr. Moto’s Pizza is also a must. 

This area also has excellent breakfast restaurants like the Fig Tree Café and Kono’s Café. However, consider The Fishery if you just want a nice sit-down restaurant. Oscar’s Mexican Seafood is the best in town if you want fish tacos. They are famous for good reason. A super fun activity that locals always do is a taco tour. Rent a bike and try a taco from every taco shop from Mission Beach up to Pacific Beach. You can’t go wrong with tacos and a beer!

No matter your desired cuisine and atmosphere, this beach community has options. You can also choose restaurants that sit along the beach or those further inland. Whether you want a formal brunch or a quick snack, you can find it here.

a large body of water

Things To Do

This beachy area of San Diego also offers you various activities. You can spend the day on the beach, swimming, lounging, or looking for whales, seals, and other wildlife. If you have your family with you, check out more family-friendly beaches. You can even catch a beach volleyball match just a few miles south in Mission Beach. 

Visit Crystal Pier to try your hand at fishing, but make sure you get your fishing license. Visit the walking, hiking, and biking packs in the area. It can be challenging to park, particularly in the summer months. A pro tip is to park your car and take advantage of walking or riding your bike during your stay. You will be guaranteed a more pleasant experience. Don’t forget public options like riding in the Beach Bug, a local golf cart transportation that’s another great way to get around. 

San Diego has a vibrant nightlife. You can find bars, such as Mavericks Beach Club, where you step out of the bar and onto the sandy beach. You may discover rooftop options that allow you to people-watch. The area also has dance clubs and dive bars. Pacific Beach is famous for its great nightlife, geared toward a beachy, relaxed atmosphere. It is beloved by college students and active-duty military members. Grab a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and sandals for a fun night at Lahaina’s, Shore Club, The Local, Moonshine Beach, Backyard, Open Bar, and more. 

Pacific Beach Boardwalk

Pacific Beach, San Diego, also has a 3.2-mile boardwalk with sand on one side and restaurants, bars, and shopping on the other. This boardwalk extends from Mission Beach to North Pacific Beach along the coastline. You can navigate the concrete path via walking, rollerblading, biking, skateboarding, or running. You can even rent bikes in the area. This is a must-do during your stay in San Diego. 

a large body of water next to the ocean

Surfing Scene

The San Diego Area has ample opportunities for surfing. You can even attend the San Diego Surf School and get on a board yourself. Also, you don’t have to be from the area or well-known to surf the beaches in this area. However, you should learn surfer etiquette and respect those around you. You will likely find waves available anytime in the Pacific Beach area. You may even see expert surfers, windsurfers, or kitesurfers catching some waves.

San Diego and this beach area has a moderate climate that allows you to enjoy all its activities most of the year. Do your research and find the best place to stay, food, and entertainment on your trip.