8.6 out of 10

Ocean Beach

Ranked 3rd best neighborhood in San Francisco
37.7576463494294 -122.509858415708
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Eating Out
  • Public Transport
  • Neighborly Spirit
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
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Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Students

Reviews

5/5 rating details
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
2yrs+

"Love the beach in the mornings"

Ocean beach is the best way to start the day. Coffee at Simple Pleasures on Balboa, then walk the dog on the beach as the sun comes up. After that, the day is a breeze.
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Great views"

Ocean Beach isn't like the beaches I'm used to on the east coast. Even if you go in the summer, remember to dress in warm layers! It will probably be 55 degrees and windy down on the sand. Contradictory to most of the country's season sensibilities, the better times to visit this beach are in late fall or early spring when the temperature is actually higher than in summer.

You can get here easily by taking the 38 along Geary if you're coming from a northern part of the city. The N-Judah also goes all the way through the Sunset if you need a southern transportation option. If you take the 38 to the end of the line, you'll end up at the Cliff House, a restaurant that overlooks the ocean. The cliffs around here are a great way to enjoy the views of the ocean. Also at this site are the ruins of the Sutro Baths, which was a large indoor swimming pools complex. All that remains now are concrete walls.
Pros
  • Many outdoor/water sports
  • Public transportation options
Cons
  • Always cold and foggy
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
  • Country Lovers
  • Beach Lovers
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
2yrs+

"Brave the wind and it will be worth it"

Located on the western edge of San Francisco, Ocean Beach stretches for almost 4 miles long. People come from all of San Francisco to go surfing, skim boarding or or simply dunking your head underwater. Others play with their kites or set up volleyball nets and enjoy the weather and the sand between their toes. Fisherman tend to prefer fishing from the rocks near the base of the Ocean Beach cliffs. If you’re looking to clean off, the beach offers outdoor showers and public restrooms on the north end.

The beach is free to enter with no parking fees within the vicinity. The beach also allows leashed dogs and bonfires. However, alcohol is not allowed on the premises.

On beautiful days, the beach is usually overcrowded but rightfully so considering people are trying to escape the hectic city life. The downside is the area is plagued by foggy weather and freezing ocean water. The beach-goers who do brave the waters do so in a wet suit. For those who get hungry from beach activities, the Cliff House lies just inland of the beach. The restaurant offers live music, a full bar and a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean.

For public transit needs, Ocean Beach is a bit under served. The 23 is the only bus line that runs alongside Ocean Beach. However, the neighborhood offers three public parking lots.
Pros
  • Many outdoor/water sports
  • Cool Night Spot for 20 Somethings
  • Good For Walking and Jogging
Cons
  • Always cold and foggy
  • Far from all interstates
  • Removed from the rest of San Francisco
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
kdarwin
kdarwin Most certainly not always foggy but usually on the cool side. Here are the tips for best weather.
1. Go on the up swing of a heat wave. On the downside of a heat wave low pressure settles in and draws in the fog.
2. Foggy months are June and july. Somewhat foggy in late may and august. The rest of the year is nearly as sunny as the rest of the bay area. Basically, don't go to the beach when everyone typically thinks of going to the beach.
3. Less windy in the morning or early afternoon.
2yrs+
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4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"You Won't Get a Tan Here"

San Francisco is not really known for its beaches or surfing. People who want to lay out and get a tan by the ocean usually have to go farther down the coast—really the first really good beaches are in Santa Barbara as far as I am concerned.
Ocean Beach has most of what you want in a beach—sand and lapping waves and all that. The main problem though is the weather. More often than not the fog and a chill offshore breeze make it way too cold for most people to really get into bathing suits and do the whole beach thing. (This is not to say that you won’t find a fair contingent of polar bear types that will try anyway.)
I actually don’t think that I have ever been to Ocean Beach in the daytime. For me and my friends it was more of a nighttime destination. We would head out after a boring day or when after going out drinking and make a little camp fire and hang out listening to the crashing waves—usually huddled against eachother to keep warm.
In high school it was kind of a cool date spot and I was there occasionally in college too. It is a touch on the dangerous side, I suppose, but I never had any problems.
Overall, if you are desperate for a stroll seaside or a morning jog with the pooch—Ocean Beach will work. If you want a tan, I would try Mission Dolores Park—you have a lot more chance of actually having the sun come out there. If you want to surf, take a drive down to Santa Cruz.
Of course, maybe if you get lucky and you are happy to be there on one of the fifteen or so days where it happens to be sunny and warm on the beach go for it.
Pros
  • Good For Walking and Jogging
  • Cool Night Spot for 20 Somethings
  • Public transportation options
Cons
  • A Litte Dangerous at Night
  • Not a Good Surf Spot
  • Always cold and foggy
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
kdarwin
kdarwin Hmmm.. advice from someone who has never been here during the day.?.. There are lots of surfers out on the water. You've got to wear a wetsuit though. Awesome views, clean fresh air, and as I said earlier, most certainly not always foggy.
2yrs+
Add a comment...
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
2yrs+

"Chilly, Fun Beach"

Ocean Beach is not exactly the sun and sand of California, but it is a beach in the middle of San Francisco. This means public transportation access, shops all around, and of course, killer waves. Surfers enjoy this beach because of its clean breaks and lack of drainage pipe anywhere nearby (any surfer's nightmare after a day of rain - think massive sewage overload), and kite-boarders get their fair share of wind here.

Even rock climbers have a spot all to themselves near the Cliff House, with a series of boulder problems (think climbing low to the ground, with no rope, and a crash pad underneath you) that have a perfect sandy landing.

If none of these sports appeal to you, then just relax and enjoy the surf and the sunset! Just be wary of fog and cooler temperatures - this is not San Diego!
Pros
  • Many outdoor/water sports
  • Surprisingly affordable
  • Public transportation options
Cons
  • Always cold and foggy
  • Far from all interstates
  • Removed from the rest of San Francisco
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Beach Lovers
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"I fell in love with Ocean Beach"

Ocean Beach is a fun beach front location which is full of interesting shops and restaurants. It is right on the West coast of San Francisco, directly south of Golden Gate Park. In fact, Ocean Beach even borders Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This part of town is an ideal place to take a beautiful walk or run.

You see a lot of bonfires, and the beach has a relaxed vibe. Much of the year, however, the beach is full of fog so don't expect to experience too many sunny warm California days here. Apparently, September and October are the sunniest months so you may want to take that into account.

Although the water can be quite freezing, you see a great deal of surfers. Honestly, I don’t know how they handle the cold water, but they do. However, some surfers have died at Ocean Beach. When you see the strong currents in person, you will definitely understand how this happened.

One place that I would like to dine at is Sutro’s. It’s in the Cliff House, which sits on a cliff overlooking the pacific. It just looks so gorgeous and elegant. I know this isn't really my crowd, but this place looks like the kind of restaurant that you want to experience at least once if nothing more that for just the amazing views.
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"One of the best beaches around in San Francisco"

Ocean Beach in San Francisco is a great place to go to if you live in the city or are visiting as a tourist. Either way, you will definitely have fun here, after all, it is the beach. Although it may not be the cleanest beach around, compared to Baker Beach, it still has a lot to offer to beach go-ers. At Ocean Beach you either find the warm sun, a good breeze, and warm sand, this is if you go on a really nice day, most of the time it’s chilly and cold. But when you go on a nice day you will see surfers changing at the parking lots and lots and lots of people going by on the little boardwalk/sidewalk. Besides that, when you walk out onto the sand, you won’t want to leave it. Beside what you will see here, the beach is of course a great place to take the family, lover, pet, etc. or even have a jog through. Even on a cold day, it still feels great just to run across the water front of the beach. Near the beach you will also find surfer-themed coffee shops and surf shops for all your surfing needs.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Room for Everyone"

Although its name lacks originality, Ocean Beach is a very special place. It may not be as quaint as Baker Beach or as secluded as Tennessee Valley, but Ocean Beach is the people’s beach. It’s easy to get to by public transportation, biking or driving. It’s huge, so there is plenty of room for everyone. And it’s flanked by a few really fabulous beach neighborhoods that offer friendly cafes, pizza joints and bars. There is a certain stretch of Ocean Beach near Judah where bonfires are permitted. A couple of years ago the City of San Francisco installed a dozen or so official fire pits in an attempt to control the fires, but the activity is so popular that the bonfires quickly sprout up outside the designated boundary. On that rare warm late spring or early fall night, Ocean Beach can almost feel like a warm tropical paradise—that is, until you venture into the water. The water is cold, cold, cold and the undertow can be very dangerous. It’s best to stick your feet in as long as you can or suit up in full wetsuit regalia. Even when the rest of San Francisco seems warm and sunny, Ocean Beach can be a frigid, damp and windy place. Always go prepared with warm layers because the fog can start blowing in on a dime turning your picnic into a panic.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5
2yrs+

"Surf, Sand, and Seals"

Ocean Beach is a beautiful community that is as picturesque as its name. The straight commute to Ocean Beach is so worth leaving the confines of the City. Here you will find surf shops, popular beach themed cafes, and lots and lots of local surfers. These die-hard surfers risk the cold and intense waves to get a thrill in this surfing hotspot.

At the North end of Ocean Beach is Seal Rock - a very large and statuesque offshore rock. The rock is the home of a couple of different species of sea lions as well as much more sealife. There is also a shipwreck that from time to time will emerge from the sands just offshore.

Along the Great Highway, you will find lots of condominiums and homes enjoying the view of this lovely and popular beach combing playground.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5
2yrs+

"Surfers and Seals"

Unlike tropic islands where the water is warm, the water by San Francisco is often rather chilly. This means that when you see the windsurfers and regular surfers, they are often fully suited up in their wet suits.

Another common site on the beach are the seals by Seal Rock on the north end of Ocean Beach. When the seals are around en masse, I've looked at them and thought they looks surreal.

Where Lincoln meets the Ocean is the section where bonfires are allowed. This is where you're mostly likely to see night gatherings of people and if you're lucky, catch some fire dancing. A beautiful site to be sure.

If you're hungry, cross the way and on the other side of Great Highway is a nice little place to each just north of Lincoln.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

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