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Pacific Beach

Pacific beach is located off I-5 and Garnet Ave. The beach area south of Crystal Pier is known as Pacific beach. It is a two-mile stretch of sandy beach packed with people, fun waves, an active boardwalk and plenty of space to sunbathe. North Pacific beach is located north of Crystal Pier, a public pier good for strolling and fishing.

The city of Pacific Beach is vibrant and hip. The main streets of Garnet and Grand, which lead to the beach, are lined with shops, bars, restaurants and novelty stores. The Pacific Beach crowd really is unique and make for a fun beach experience. It’s an eccentric community, which ranges from the casual surfer to the tattooed punk rocker to the average college kid. Needless to say it’s a fun place to people watch.

The boardwalk parallels the beach and is lined with shops, restaurants, beach rentals and some apartments for the lucky few who get to enjoy a beautiful beach sunset from their doorstep and a crazy and exciting town just around the corner. The boardwalk is popular all throughout the day and a great place for cycling, jogging, walking or rollerblading.

Almost all water activities are practiced at this beach from surfing, to boogie boarding, swimming and skim boarding. Surfing is popular at this beach. The waves are fun and depending on the conditions can be suitable for all levels of surfing. There are however separate areas for surfing and swimming. Flags are usually posted to indicate the designated surfing areas. Lifeguards are on duty year round.

Almost anytime of the year you will find Pacific beach packed with people and it usually caters to a younger crowd. But like most California beaches, summertime is the peak season. Bonfires line the beach during the summer months and are on a first come, first serve basis. If you are lucky enough to seize one, it is a great place to bring a group of friends for a night out at the beach. Alcohol may be consumed on the beach (not on the boardwalk) from 12:00 noon to 8:00 pm but the Pacific Beach bars are just a few feet from the beach and open until 2am.

Parking is anything but easy for this beach. There are several parking spaces with time limits along side and residential streets, but are usually occupied by shop customers, residents and employees. There are a few spaces at the base of Grand Avenue designated for beach goers but your best bet is to search out parking a block or two east of the beach in the residential areas.

By far, the best time to visit Pacific beach is in October, during the Pacific BeachFest. There are concerts, sand castle building, a variety of food stands and booths and fire works in the evening. It is an entertaining day that brings people of all ages down to the Pacific shoreline for a huge street party. The tail end of spring, usually mid-May is another fun PB event. The Pacific Beach Block Party draws a huge crowd to an amazing street fair with several hundred vendors, carnival rides and concerts along Pacific Beach’s main street, Garnet. Pacific Beach is a festive town and is at its best during its most festive occasions.

No vehicles on the beach
No camping
Dogs are allowed from 6pm-9am but must be on a leash
Alcohol may be consumed on the beach from 12:00 noon to 8:00 pm
Restrooms and showers are available (Grand Ave)