The City of San Diego has many regulations on the subject of dogs in public areas and that includes beaches. As a community, OB has opened part of it's beach area for their beloved dogs, and call it Dog Beach.
Dog Beach is one of two places in San Diego that you can take off the leash from your puppy and let him/her run FREE on the sand or in the water!!
You must keep the leash on from your car in the parking lot until you hit the beach, but then Fido can take off like the wind. You must be "in control" of your dog and clean up any mess made. "Leave Only Paw Prints" is all they ask.
Dog Beach is located at the end of Voltaire Street and north of the jetty, so be sure your dog stays in that area only. When you pull into the parking lot for Dog Beach there is a sign that lists the regulations expected. At the entrance to the beach is the Dog Beach sign. It is a big paw and on it you can put up notices regarding dogs.
On the corner of West Point Loma Boulevard and Voltaire Street, next to the Dog Beach parking lot is the Ocean Villa Inn, a motel that accepts dogs traveling with their guests. I've given more info in the Accommodation Tips section of this page for those interested in traveling with their pet.
East of Dog Beach on Voltaire Street is "The Dog Wash!" The ideal solution for anyone who wants to clean their pet before getting back into the car or going home.
In other areas of OB the standard dog laws apply and are strictly enforced.
One of the most memorable experiences I had as a child was going to the tidepools during low tide and seeing sea animals caught in the pools of water, in the rock depressions on the beach, left over from when the tide was high.
In the third grade we went on a field trip to the tide-pools and I brought home a baby octopus and a baby seahorse!!! It was about a year or two earlier that I had become aware of Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea." I wondered what I'd do with my octopus when it grew as big as in the movie.
Of course, the shame of it was the fact that neither the baby octopus nor the baby seahorse lasted longer than a day or two. Since that time, there have been National, State and City laws prohibiting the removal of any sea life from these tide pools.
It is highly unlikely that you will see a baby octopus or a baby seahorse, I've not seen them for many years and I don't really know why. Usaually at the tide pools the most common sea animals that are seen these days are mussels, hermit & kelp crabs, purple sea urchin, sea anemone and more rarely the Starfish.
When planning a trip to the tide-pool, make sure the tide is at it's lowest. The weather reports on the TV News will give out that info as well as the SD Union-Tribune or go to the website given below to know when to check out the tide pools.
Besides this small section in OB, there is a larger tidepool area in Point Loma just before reaching the Cabrillo National Monument and there is a tide-pool in La Jolla.
Visiting OB during the week is peaceful and though there is always something to see and do, there isn't much in the way of crowds, which is the way I prefer it.
However, if you like lots of activity, plan a weekend trip to OB or come in the evening on a Wednesday the OB Farmer's Market starts a four.
Check the website listed below to see if any of the following events will be held during your visit to San Diego. The Surfer Bowl, the OB Kite Festival, A Beach Cleanup day, the Annual Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-Off Festival, an Annual Ocean Beach Fireworks off the Pier, San Diego's Ocean Beach Antique Fair & Classic Car Show, an Annual Jazz 88 Ocean Beach Jazz Festival, the Pier Pancake Breakfast, the Taste of OB Restaurant Walk, and at Christmas time, the OB Tree comes to town Community decorates the tree December 1st, OB Craft Fair OB Holiday Bazaar, December 11th-16th OB Food & Toy Drive are all events going on throughout the year in Ocean Beach and if you're in the area, have fun!!.
Surfing is a popular sport in OB and I will have more about it in the Sports Section, but just watching these, mostly, experienced surfers weave in and out of the pilings under the pier can be thrilling.
The closest I've gotten to surfing is riding a boogie-board and I know how much fun it is to catch a wave and ride it to the shore. To stand on a surfboard and ride bigger waves farther, is more than thrilling, it is courageous and requires practice, skill and persistence.
It doesn't matter if it's early in the morning, during the winter or just after a storm you will most likely see at least a few dedicated surfers floating in the waves waiting for the big one and then riding it in. As long as I've lived here and as many times as I have seen this it is still mesmerizing.
Areas of the beach are marked to keep swimmers and surfers from bumping into each other. Make sure you know which place to be in, it's safer that way. But if you really want a "birds-eye" view, watch from the pier.
The northernmost part of Ocean Beach is set aside as a dog park, which is fun for dogs and their owners.
Note: Owners are supposed to be responsible for cleaning up after their pets, but some obviously don't. I would not recommend walking there in the dark, as there's the danger of stepping on something unpleasant.
I was surprised at the number and variety of people who fish from the Ocean Beach Pier. There were three generations of family members involved in the activity, as well as groups of women, and a one-legged man in a wheelchair. I saw a young girl reel in a fish that was about six inches long -- so there really are fish out there. :)
There's a store on the pier that sells (and probably rents) fishing equipment, and the pier is equipped with sinks for cleaning your catch.
One day when we were in OB, there was a children's surfing competition.
It was so cute to see those pint-sized surfboards out in the water. I was impressed with the kids' surfing skills -- there were definitely some future champions there.
I found myself humming an old Beach Boys tune: "Catch a wave and you're sittin' on top of the world..."
Walking the length of the Ocean Beach Pier is a good way to work off all of the ice cream and beer calories you've been consuming in OB. The people-watching is fun, too -- there are all kinds of folks out and about on the pier.
If you happen to be blessed with a fast metabolism and don't need to exercise, there's a cafe on the pier where you can stop for a meal and a cup of java.