The Ocean Beach beaches offer a slight variety of styles depending on what you are looking for. The beach scene includes a secluded beach, a surfing-only beach, a swimming-only beach and a dog beach.
During peak times, the OB beaches are not nearly as crowded as the more accessible and more commercialized beaches of Mission Beach and Pacific Beach. These facts make the Ocean Beach beaches a favorite for locals.
During normal hours, lifeguards are present on the public beaches here and a lifeguard station is located on the beach side of Abbott Street where it connects with Santa Monica Avenue. At the lifeguard station is one of the free public parking lots, a men's and women's public bathroom and outdoor showers.
Another free public beach parking lot is located next to the Newport Avenue beach where Newport Avenue intersects with Abbott Street and this parking lot is home to a small San Diego Police station. The largest free beach parking lot is located at the end of Voltaire Street and it has a building which contains public bathrooms and showers. This parking lot is popular for those interested in the large swimming, surfing and volleyball playing beaches which are the Voltaire Street beach and Long Branch Avenue beach. The Voltaire Street parking lot is also popular with those driving their four-legged friends to Dog Beach.
Newport Avenue Beach is perhaps the most popular beach in Ocean Beach for surfers and people just enjoying the sights or hanging out. While there is a parking lot available for beachgoers it is often full and parking can be somewhat problematic. This beach is particularly popular amongst photographers’ as there is a wide variety of objects to shoot. This beach also offers the only surfer’s only area around. Hundreds of surfers flock to this beach on a daily basis at their chance to catch the next “big one”.
The Original Dog Beach In San Diego, CA is nationally famous and one of the first official leash-free beaches in the United States. It is a landmark in the community of Ocean Beach at the end of I-8 at the mouth of the San Diego River. Dog Beach is a special place where people and pets, beach lovers and surfers celebrate the spirit of Ocean Beach, California, one of southern California's last true beach towns.
Down the hill from Point Loma you will find Voltaire Street dead-ending into the beach parking lot where most beachgoers congregate. This is where you will find Voltaire Street Beach. Not only does this street give you direct access to one of the area’s most popular beaches, but Voltaire is also lined with a slew of bars, restaurants, stores and other mom and pop type shops for your enjoyment. This beach is popular amongst visitors as it is not nearly as busy or crowded as Mission or Pacific Beach. Voltaire Street Beach is also a local hotspot where one can find a parking spot and hit the sand for a few hours. There is also a large grassy area with picnic tables for visitors to enjoy as well.
Situated in a split residential and commercial neighborhood and only a block north of the ever popular Newport Avenue is the Santa Monica Avenue Beach. The Santa Monica Avenue Beach is located right on the line between the surfer-only area and the swimming only area of this stretch of beach. This is a popular beach amongst visitors because of the ammenities that it has to offer. Those visitors are eager to take advantage of the quick parking, bathrooms, showers, the lifeguard station and a nice grassy area to enjoy picnics. People visit this beach for many different reasons and the mix of personalities to mingle with is just an added bonus. Due to its ease of access, on any given day you will find a variety of people enjoying the beach.
Saratoga Avenue is a family friendly stretch of beach between the more chaotic areas of Newport Avenue Beach and Voltaire Street Beach. The Saratoga Avenue Beach is the stretch of beach that is most popular with boogie boarders, bodysurfers and people that just want to lounge around on the large grassy area adjacent to the lifeguard station parking lot. This beach is one of the more popular spots as it seems to be the ideal location for parking, food, showers, lifeguards, Newport Avenue and the ocean.
Located at the base of the San Diego Fishing Pier is Niagara Avenue Beach. This beach is particularly popular as visitors can examine ocean life up-close at the tide-pools. Niagara Avenue Beach is located just south of the Newport Avenue Beach and is marked by its landmark, the Ocean Beach Pier. Niagara is the first street that connects with Catalina Boulevard.
Cape May Avenue Beach has a great location, but it is one of the more quieter streets. The Cape May Avenue Beach in Ocean Beach sits directly in the middle of the long stretch of beach from Dog Beach to Newport Avenue. Since this beach is a further distance from the major parking lots around Newport Avenue and Voltaire Street, this beach is often less crowded on peak days. While Cape May Avenue Beach itself is one of the widest, this beach is used less often than those north and south of it.
If you are able to find parking on a busy day, Brighton Avenue is a great street for entering the beach. Brighton Avenue is a residential street that comes to an end at the beach. The Brighton Avenue Beach in Ocean Beach is located at the end of the Voltaire Street parking lot close to the shower and bathroom building. This beach is accessible from the parking lot or from the streets that dead-end into this beach. This area of the beach is a popular spot for volleyball enthusiasts. There are several sets of posts already set-up and waiting for your group to bring their own net to get a game going. This is an awesome beach if you are the type of person that just likes to come prepared, find a great spot and spend the entire day on the beach with family and friends.
Long Branch Avenue is a residential street that dead ends into what is known as Long Branch Avenue Beach. This beach is popular amongst visitors as it is well equipped with several volleyball posts. While the posts are in place, you will need to provide your own net if you plan on getting a game going. Since there are multiple posts in place it is very easy to get a couple games going at once. The Ocean Beach Recreation Center also runs a beach volleyball league which attracts both players and spectators to the volleyball area on weekends.