There are few ocean towns in San Diego that blend fun and family as well as Pacific Beach. This small community, just south of La Jolla, neighboring Ocean Beach and Mission Beach, borders both the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay. It was established in 1887 and is now home to 46,000 beach-loving residents.
You can’t go to PB (what the locals call it) without noticing the life that comes tumbling out of each small beach cottage and apartment complex. Both boardwalks, on the ocean side and the bay side, are bustling from sun up to sun down with roller bladers, bikers, runners and walkers. Keep a lookout for Slow-Mo, the famous Pacific Beach resident known for slow-motion roller blading up and down the ocean-side boardwalk.
The preferred mode of transportation in this small beach town is bicycling, and you’ll find many residents taking their beach cruiser down to the water or their favorite watering hole. Locals know that it’s the only way to get around parking, which can be a challenging task.
Most of the boardwalk traffic comes to a head near the historic Crystal Pier, which sprawls out over Pacific Ocean. Here you’ll find a mix of restaurants and bars that range from upscale dinner spots to low-key college dives. Our friends love to sing live-band Karaoke on Wednesday nights at 7/10 Beach Club and grab surfside happy hour at JRDN.
When you’ve had your fill of people and drinks, walk just 100 feet east, away from the ocean, and it feels like you’re in a different place. Suddenly you’re immersed in small pockets of beach homes, neighbored by the local Sprouts grocery store, pharmacies and small restaurants and coffee shops.
You’ll also find multiple schools in this small beach town, including Pacific Beach Elementary, Pacific Beach Middle School, Crown Point Elementary School, Mission Bay High School and St. Paul’s Lutheran School. Pacific Beach’s small size of just 4-square miles makes it easy for a growing family to pick up and drop off at each school in a timely fashion.
If your morning commute includes driving into the city, you’re in luck: Pacific Beach is just 8 miles north of Downtown San Diego. Despite a heavy deluge of traffic, the commute from PB to San Diego goes opposite of the morning traffic, so from door to door the drive is usually no more than 15 minutes.
At the end of a hard workday, PB residents have plenty of opportunities to wind down. If you don’t want to grab a San Diego beer at one of the many local bars, you could head to Kate O. Sessions Neighborhood Park. This 79-acre, dog-friendly park, sits at the top of Lamont Street and boasts sweeping views of Pacific Beach, the bay and ocean.
In the summer, families spend Sunday evenings here listening to live music thanks to the Kate Sessions Summer Concert Series. Families gather for dinner, a cool summer breeze and a little dancing. Most residents will agree that there are few better ways to cap off a gorgeous summer weekend.
For even better ocean views you can continue up Lamont Street and make the climb to Mount Soledad. Here you’ll find the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial honoring veterans who have proudly served our country. Bring a blanket and dinner for a sunset picnic to remember.
On sunny weekend days you can head to one of the many aquatic rental centers to spend your day on the water. Rent paddleboards, a kayak, a pontoon boat and more to take in the sun while enjoying views of PB from the water. On clear days you can see downtown San Diego from the bay—a gorgeous skyline that never gets old.
The small beach town comes together a few times a year for annual events that are great for young professionals and families alike. As a new resident, you’ll want to mark your calendar for Brazilian Day Festival, Pacific Beachfest, PB Holiday Parade (and charity run), and Pacific Islander Festival. Every Tuesday you can head to Bayard, between Garnet and Hornblend, for the PB Farmers’ Market too.
Pacific Beach is the perfect blend of surf, sun and family-friendly fun. With residents that range from college kids to long-time PB veterans, this lively community is welcoming to everyone who wants to live the beach life. With bars, parks, and the ocean at your fingertips, you may never want to leave.
The above real estate information on Pacific Beach was provided by John and Melissa Steele. John and Melissa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 619-887-4429.
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