Ocean Beach

Beach community with an attitude
Price: 500 - 850 USD

A few miles north of Downtown, Interstate 8 meets the shore. Here, Ocean Beach nestles against Point Loma, slightly isolated and maintaining the atmosphere of a small beach town with all the benefits of a big city. Steeped in history, community and culture, Ocean Beach is, according to one bumper sticker, "not an address but an attitude".

Within the limits of Ocean Beach, from bookstores and fashion outlets to Seth's - Ocean Beach's own hair and tattoo boutique - nearly everything is locally owned. When Starbucks came to town in 2001, an unsuccessful campaign proclaimed, "No Corporate Whores on OB Shores".

Ocean Beach is also home to two local grocery stored: Apple Tree and Ocean Beach People's, an organic food cooperative.

A variety of restaurants, pizza shops and taco stands leave the possibilities for dining nearly endless. Hodad's serves up world-famous burgers, Pizza Bar will dish out slices and mugs, while Shade's offers casual dining with a sprawling view of the sea.

Every Wednesday, Newport Avenue, OB's main street, hosts a farmer's market where fruits, vegetables and flowers can be bought at great prices, bands perform and local interact with neighbors.
John Muir College junior and OB resident Andy Kleist wouldn't choose to live anywhere else. "Everything you need you can walk to," he said. "You never have to leave OB."
Newport also hosts many annual events, including the OB Street Fair and Chili Cook-off in June and several holiday celebrations.

Day to day activities can include tide pooling, surfing at Sunset Cliffs or a trip to neighboring SeaWorld. Ocean Beach is also home to Dog Beach, the only San Diego beach where animals can run leash-free anytime. The new dog park, Dusty Rhodes, is often bustling, and there is no shortage of vets or dog groomers in the area.

At night, most activity centers around Newport and the popular Sunshine Company, the largest local bar. Several other spots line the strip, from small trendy bars like Tony's, to Winston's, which boasts live music - usually reggae - and Friday night comedy shows.

Despite its personality, OB has drawbacks for students. Like all beach towns in San Diego, it can be pricey. Apartments run an average of 1,400 USD. One-bedroom can sometimes be found for 850 USD, while two- and three-bedroom apartments can reach 2,700 USD.

Usually, the closer to the beach the apartment is, the more expensive, and the commute is definitely something to consider. Nevertheless, there are exceptions, and residents don't seem to find the trip daunting.

Another issue is transportation. For commuters, OB is outside the UCSD free bus zone. However, the Route 35 bus travels from OB to Old Town every half hour, and on weekdays Route 150 is nearly non stop to campus. The 150 buses depart every 15 minutes during rush hours, but are sparse during midday. The whole trip usually takes about 50 minutes. To head Downtown, the hourly route 923 takes about 30 minutes.

Kleist chooses to drive to campus but doesn't seem to have any problems with traffic or timing. "I don't think it's a problem at all. It usually takes about 20 minutes," he said.

If the attitude and atmosphere of OB are a draw, the search to find that perfect spot will be worth it, and the commute home will be that much sweeter.

From David Harvey, UCSD - The Guardian, Monday, April 30th 2007 - www.ucsdguardian.org

You can also check the Mission Bay, Mission Beach and Ocean Beach page in the Places section to know more about Ocean Beach.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License