Everyone knows about the classic vacation destinations: the Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico. But sometimes these popular vacation spots are overrated so maybe it takes finding that underrated spot to create the perfect Excellent Adventure. San Diego, more specifically Ocean Beach, should definitely be on your radar for that classic SoCal beach vibe. Being on Cali’s West Coast, it’s also known as where “the sun sets in San Diego”.
Ocean Beach is a beach neighbourhood in San Diego, California. But unlike the urban tourist appeal of LA or San Francisco, Ocean Beach offers the vibrant, boho vibe of a classic American beach town. Filled with sunbathers and surfers, Ocean Beach is the best of California without the chaos if its big cities. Ocean Beach is home to a coastal line called Sunset Cliffs which is one of the most iconic spots in Southern California.
Ethan Jones, a surf and lifestyle photographer living in Ocean Beach, says that the small beach town atmosphere creates a tighter sense of community. As a beach town, Ocean Beach is the busiest during the summer. But to still enjoy the warm weather while avoiding large crowds of tourists and visitors, Ethan recommends vacationing here in the spring and starting mid week.
To explore like a local, checkout Ocean Beach’s pier and streets which are filled with independent antique stores, boutiques, restaurants and bars. Since the 30s, Newport Avenue has been the main street featuring independently-run and family-owned businesses. But since the 70s, many of these businesses have spread out and have now formed the famous Ocean Beach Antique District, full of novelty shops, antique stores, and menswear and womenswear boutiques. The town has always opposed chain businesses, so every corner will have something new to discover.
Just like shopping, you won’t find many chain restaurants in Ocean Beach. Fortunately, that gives you a plethora of choices from local chefs for a unique dining experience. Ethan’s personal recommendation is OB Sushi — fresh Japanese cuisine and seafood with a wide selection of Japanese beers and sake. OB Sushi is also located right beside the popular Ocean Beach Farmers Market where you can really live like a local be diving into local cuisines, foods, crafts and more.
But apart from its unique shopping and great food, Ocean Beach is of course known for its beaches, especially the one of the same name. Ocean Beach is a surfer hotspot, attracting people from all over to catch some waves, especially against an orange sky backdrop. The waves and the view, especially on Sunset Cliffs, is every Instagram-photographer’s dream. According to Ethan, Ocean Beach is where surfers and photographers converge, especially at the dog beach jetty.