iconic places to visit in pacific beach
One of the most popular neighborhoods in San Diego is Pacific Beach. It is well known for its proximity to the ocean, beaches, and the Crystal Pier, its nightlife scene, and delicious eateries on Garnet Avenue and Mission Boulevard. PB has become quite popular with the 20-year old scene, but the beaches and some restaurants cater to a more family-oriented crowd, so there is a little bit for everyone. It is fun driving down the main streets on a weekend and seeing everyone out and about celebrating. If you only had one day to explore the neighborhood, here are a few iconic spots to definitely check out during your visit.
Baked Bear is an ice cream sandwich shop that always has a line out the door. While there is a bit of a wait, this store has a cult following of locals and visitors alike for their delicious cookies, brownies, and ice cream creations. Started by San Diego locals, Baked Bear stands out among sweets stores by offering original recipe ice cream and cookies, baked goods being made daily fresh. If you’re looking for a sweet treat to end your evening, grab a dessert and take a quick walk down to the pier to eat.
Rocky’s Crown Pub is a small restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating with a limited, fixed menu of their well known cheeseburgers. If you’re looking for a delicious, but simple bite to eat, Rocky’s has been voted best burger in town by many publications. You can’t go wrong with a good burger and fries after a day spent in the sun or in the water. Check out Rocky’s and see what the best burger in San Diego tastes like.
Tourmaline Beach is a popular surf-only beach in PB off Tourmaline Street. The beach hosts consistent, gentle waves a few feet tall that suit well for beginner surfers but are also beloved by veterans.
It is a fun place to watch a bunch of surfers bob on the water and catch waves in.
The crowd is known to be as friendly and gentle as the waves, laid-back and representing San Diego’s easygoing nature.
Kate Sessions park is a large, grassy area with great views of Mission Bay and the Pacific Ocean if you are looking for a big public space to hang out. Many people like to bring a picnic to enjoy, fly kites, and play with their dogs. It is a friendly slice of community that is a great option away from the busy hubbub of Garnet Avenue. The park includes a playground, restrooms, a short walking trail, picnic tables, and drinking fountains. With comfortable weather year round, you can enjoy a nice day outside at the park anytime. During the summer, bring a big blanket to sit on the grass while watching the spectacular summer fireworks show put on by SeaWorld.
Mr. Frostie is another local favorite to check out if you want some soft serve ice cream. It first opened in 1949 and has been owned by the same family since 1978. The owner’s children and grandchildren have worked there, making Mr. Frostie a bonafide family owned establishment. The owner is a Mission Bay High School alum, having gone to school a mile away from the current store location. Mr. Frostie offers a variety of ice cream desserts as well as sandwiches and hot dogs for the truly hungry crowd. There are plenty of different milkshake flavors to choose from as well, including candy-infused shakes.
Pacific Beach is a walkable gem with an impressive list of storefronts and activities. Taking a walk down Garnet Avenue will expose you to the exciting buzz of the town, with eclectic stores like the Buffalo Exchange recycled clothing store and the Pangea Outpost marketplace becoming fashionable landmarks on the street. There’s great food, clubs, and shopping to be enjoyed in PB, contributing to the neighborhood’s popularity. You are always a quick walk to the ocean, beach, and boardwalk, and there are plenty of options that come with a killer view. Immerse yourself in beach town culture in San Diego’s trendy community.
Jordyn Reardon | UCLA alum English Major | San Diego native with an affinity for adventure. Loves discovering hidden gems across Southern California and writing about them for the greater community.