San Diego has always been an ideal vacation spot for its great weather and amazing beaches. Yet, there is one special part of the city that every visitor should experience! Pacific Beach is an exciting part of San Diego filled with beach bars, surfing, and endless outdoor activities. Join us as we tell you all about this awesome part of California and some of the most fun things to do in Pacific Beach!
California Travel Inspiration
- 16 Best Things to do in La Jolla California on Your First Visit
- Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa: The Best Hotel in Mission Bay San Diego
- Windansea Beach: Why it’s Our Favorite Spot in La Jolla San Diego
- 9 Most Beautiful Beaches in La Jolla California You Have to Experience
- All About Sunset Cliffs San Diego & How to Get to the Stunning Beach
13 Fun Things to Do in Pacific Beach San Diego
1. Stroll the Pacific Beach Boardwalk
You made it to the legendary Pacific Beach in San Diego! While there are so many awesome things to do in Pacific Beach, start out by walking the boardwalk to get a feel for the area. Here you’ll find a good mix of tourists and locals exercising and enjoying the beautiful beach.
If you walk from the pier it will take you all the way to Mission Bay which continues onto another bike path. While on the boardwalk you’ll pass many bars and cafes that are perfect to stop into for an ice cold coffee or beer!
2. Grab Coffee at Woody’s
Speaking of coffee, our absolute favorite place to grab one is at Woody’s Breakfast and Burgers on the boardwalk. Nothing is better than sipping on an iced coffee and heading up to the upper deck to watch the morning pass you by.
The loungy feel also makes for a nice place to read or catch up on some work. Like the name states, they also offer breakfast and plenty of great meals, too!
3. Rent a Pacific Beach Electric Scooter
Does the name Bird or Lime mean anything to you? The now popular Bird scooter company actually started a couple of hours north in Santa Monica California, quickly spread to San Diego, and across the United States.
Now the affordable electric scooters can be grabbed anywhere, and are one of the most fun things to do in Pacific Beach! Simply download the app and you’re ready to ride! The best areas are on the boardwalk, or for a less crowded ride head over to Mission Bay.
4. Float in Mission Bay
You’ve heard us mention Mission Bay multiple times already as it’s a must-see area when visiting Pacific Beach California. In addition to the gorgeous bike path, it offers much calmer water than the waves of Pacific Beach.
This makes it the perfect place for paddleboarding, kayaking, and other leisurely water activities. If you have a big group you can even rent a party boat with a jacuzzi on it!
5. Eat Fish Tacos at Oscars in Pacific Beach San Diego
While there are many amazing fish taco spots around Pacific Beach San Diego, our personal favorite is Oscars Mexican Seafood. The crispy fish tacos are delicious, the ceviche is juicy and fresh, and their sauces are to die for!
Want to hear the best part? From 2:30-5pm every weekday their fish tacos are only $1 each! If you’re extra hungry we recommend going for the Torta de Oscar sandwich. It’s made up of a mouthwatering combination of smoked fish, spicy shrimp, and skirt steak.
Cali Burrito: Not in the mood for fish tacos? Just across the street from Oscars is La Perla Cocina. They’re known for having one of the best Cali burritos in Pacific Beach California!
6. Hit the Beach Bars
If you didn’t know already, Pacific Beach has the reputation of being the party capital of San Diego! With that, comes an abundance of incredible beach bars. Some of the best days we’ve had in Pacific Beach California have been beach bar hopping and enjoying some drinks as we watch the waves roll in.
The beach bars range from rooftop lounges to dive bars right on the water. Whatever you’re into one thing for sure… Hitting the beach bars is one of the most fun things to do in Pacific Beach! Below we’ve listed some of our favorite and most happenin’ spots to check out down by the ocean.
- Lahaina Beach House
- Baja Beach Cafe
- PB Shore Club
- El Prez
- Firehouse American Eatery & Lounge
- PB AleHouse
7. Relax at Pacific Beach San Diego
This one may seem obvious, but we had to add a beach day to the list! There are so many ways to stay active in this part of California. However, one of the most fun things to do in Pacific Beach San Diego is just simply relaxing at the beach. Grab a chair or blanket and find your own slice of paradise on the 3+ miles of coastline in PB.
8. Stroll Up Garnet Ave
Stilly in party mode from the beach? Some of the best bars and restaurants are actually right off the main strip on Garnet Ave! Starting from Mission Blvd, stroll up Garnet to see what you can discover.
You’ll find a plethora of international food options, thrift shops, and all the beach bars your heart desires. Some of our favorites include Mavericks Beach Club, Costa Brava, and Hoboken Pizza & Beer Joint.
9. Dessert at Baked Bear
If you’re in the mood for something sweet there is a great spot to try in Pacific Beach! Honestly, Baked Bear combines two of the best desserts ever.
Pick your type of cookie and ice cream flavor and watch as they make a deliciously scrumptious sandwich out of it. It’s common to see the line out the door during the summer here, so be prepared to wait for your Baked Bear treat.
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10. Walk Out On Crystal Pier
Crystal Pier is the most iconic part of Pacific Beach San Diego. It stretches far out into the ocean giving you an amazing view of the entire town. The water around Crystal Pier is also the most popular place to surf in Pacific Beach. You can even rent the cottages connected to the pier to stay overnight!
11. Go Surfing in Pacific Beach California
One of the most fun things to do in Pacific Beach San Diego is surfing! If you’ve visited Southern California then you know this epic water sport is a way of life.
The best part about surfing in PB is the waves are the perfect size for beginners. So if you’re interested in taking a lesson there are numerous places that offer both groups and private lessons.
12. Hunt For Street Art
While walking around Pacific Beach California you’ll immediately notice colors popping up all around you. While some of that is natural additions like flowers and palm trees, there are so many awesome murals, too! We love finding all the paintings scattered across the walls of Pacific Beach.
13. Watch the Pacific Beach Sunset
What would a day in California be without the sunset? The only way to end your day in Pacific Beach is to watch as the colors change and the sky light up.
Some of the best sunsets we’ve ever seen were during the time we lived in PB! So before you head to dinner or out to enjoy the exciting San Diego nightlife, make sure to catch the sun setting over the beach.
More Things to do in Pacific Beach San Diego
As you can see, Pacific Beach is massive and there is so much to do and see! It’s even a great place to go in the winter months as the weather stays pleasant year round. Here’s some more awesome places in California to visit in December! We hope you make it a point to see this special beach town on your next trip to beautiful Southern California.
Have more recommendations for the best things to do in Pacific Beach or questions on this article? Make sure to comment below and let us know!
Brigitte and Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where to Stay in Pacific Beach San Diego
Ultra Luxury – Tower 23 – High-end hotel with outdoor firepit, modern decor, and popular onsite restaurant. You can’t beat this location right on the water in Pacific Beach!
Fun Vacation – Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa – This Polynesian-style resort is set on the shores of Mission Bay. Its gorgeous setting makes it easy to hang out all day on property, while also being just a short stroll away from the ocean.
Beachfront – Pacific Terrace Hotel – Oceanview hotel set directly on the Pacific Beach boardwalk. Lovely atmosphere and a great stay for any type of traveler.
Hostel Life – ITH Beach Bungalow Surf Hostel – Fun surfer hostel located in the heart of the boardwalk! It has an amazing view and is right in the middle of all the beach bars and action of Pacific Beach.
For more places to stay in Pacific Beach San Diego you can explore the latest prices here!
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USA Travel Planning
Rental Car: We use Discover Cars when traveling. Consider renting a car in one city and dropping it off in another for an epic road trip!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years and they are there when we need them.