If you’re looking for the quintessential San Diego beach neighborhood, look no further than Pacific Beach, or, as the locals call it, “P.B.” this seaside spot offers plenty of surfing and other aquatic adventures, great dining, a thriving bar scene, shopping and a charming boardwalk and pier. Residents stroll and bike down Garnet Avenue and Mission Boulevard, two of the neighborhood’s big, funky thoroughfares. And with many streets named for precious stones, it’s not hard to notice you’re in a gem of a neighborhood.
Pacific Beach is home to nearly 40,000 residents, 12 percent of whom are college students. The beach atmosphere results in a laid-back vibe while the eclectic and vibrant student population adds energy that’s fun for visitors of all ages.
Pacific Beach’s main attractions are its beautiful beaches. The area has garnered a cult following and the nightlife gives the waves a run for their money. Due to P.B.’s large college crowd, the neighborhood has many bars, clubs and restaurants. Plus, because it is densely populated with apartments and other residences, this ‘hood feels more like a local hangout than a tourist trap. At P.B.’s southern tip is the Northern Wildlife Preserve, a scenic park that dips right into Mission Bay, and a beautiful public library. Though the neighborhood is fairly walkable and multiple bus lines service residents, a car is the go-to method of transportation. Bicycling is another option; many cyclists pedal along residential streets and even on the boardwalk.
When you want to take in the waves without ever getting wet, stop by one of the neighborhood’s many beachside restaurants and bars. If you enjoy fishing, cast your line from Crystal Pier. Additionally, take the time to explore neighborhood events, including restaurant walks and holiday parades, a weekly farmers market, and the annual Pacific Beachfest, complete with live music, local vendors and a beer garden.