Ocean Beach puts a decent beach off of a few eclectic, grungy streets and calls it a hangout. Steeped more in attitude than other surrounding San Diego beaches, OB isn’t the place to let your baby crawl on the sidewalk. But it can be an interesting spot to people-watch and peruse the hippie paraphernalia along Newport Avenue.
Atmosphere: Surfers love it at the pier, and Ocean Beach also attracts a wide variety of those who are content to drift. Motels in the area cater to beachgoers of the canine sort, who are allowed to frolic in the waves at Dog Beach.
Parking and Entrance: There are a few pay parking lots, two at Ocean Beach and one further north at Dog Beach. There is also minimal street parking, which can be hard to find or situated in a not-so-nice area.
Nice Walks and Views: Walk along the boardwalk to see all types of people congregating on the seawall and in the central area around the pier. Then, take the stroller down Newport Avenue to expose baby to Ocean Beach’s well-worn but well-loved vibe.
Activities for Toddlers: Toddlers will get a kick out of the dogs playing in the waves at Dog Beach. Burn some energy by chasing your little monster up one of the giant walls of sand.
Bathrooms: Bathrooms are near the parking lots.
Perks for Parents: Surfers won’t mind the nice jetty-created waves and music lovers might just find that record they’ve been searching for.
Where to Stay with Kids: Traveling with a baby or toddler warrants a stay elsewhere. Pick Mission Bay, Mission Beach or downtown San Diego.
Baby-friendly Restaurants: For a giant, greasy burger and some true OB character, stop in at Hodad’s, a fast food joint near the beach. Baby can have all the fries her heart desires. (5010 Newport Ave.)
What Else to Do: Take a scenic drive down Sunset Cliffs Boulevard to Point Loma for camera-ready rocky coves and green hillsides.