Built in 1966, the half-mile-long Ocean Beach Pier is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast.
  • Built in 1966, the half-mile-long Ocean Beach Pier is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast.
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Ocean Beach had a history of isolation and slow development, with carriage rides from downtown San Diego taking close to 2.5 hours in the late 1880s. At that time, Ocean Beach (O.B.), named by developers Billy Carlson and Frank Higgins, consisted of about 20 houses, one of which D.C. Collier purchased at age 16. Collier successfully promoted the area by creating a link to San Diego via the Point Loma Railroad, increasing the number of houses in 1910 to 100.

Growth continued when John D. Spreckels built a wooden bridge connecting Mission Beach, O.B., and downtown San Diego with a trolley line in 1915. Between the dredging and development of Mission Bay and removal of the Ocean Beach–Mission Beach Bridge, O.B. became isolated again from the early 1950s until I-8 was finished in 1967. A beach was created when a jetty was added between the Mission Bay and the San Diego River Channel. Locals and their leash-free dogs that used the area named it Dog Beach, and it became official in 1972 as one of the first dog leash-free beaches in the United States.

If taking a dog to Dog Beach, make sure that the dog is leashed until it is actually on the beach. Dogs must be leashed on the sidewalk or in the parking lot. Once on the beach, well-behaved dogs can be seen enjoying walks, runs, and splashing in the water. The owners are responsible for control and clean-up of their dogs. Standard dog laws are strictly enforced once off Dog Beach.

Or, take a 7.5-mile bike ride from the Voltaire St. parking lot on the Ocean Beach Bike Path to the baseball fields at the end of Hotel Circle Place and back. Watch for people walking on the path and encampments under the bridges and near the baseball fields. There are picnic tables before reaching the fields that have native plants labeled in the area. Once past the park and turning onto the road near the fields look up into the trees where there may be active hawk nests, depending on the season.

A third option is walking a mile south to the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier. Either walk by the water or walk east on Brighton Avenue, turning south on Abbott Street, and then continue on to the steps up the pier. To bypass the steps, turn east on Newport Avenue, then go abruptly up the alley located between the parking lot and the South Beach Bar & Grill to Niagara Avenue before turning west where no steps are needed. The O.B. pier, built in 1966, is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast at close to half a mile. At the end of the pier, there is a section that runs parallel to the beach that is a good place to watch the surfers, pelicans, and waves crashing during high tides. Enjoy this slower-paced beachfront area.

Distance from downtown San Diego: 8 miles. Allow 20 minutes driving time. From I-5N merge onto I-8W following signs to Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, turning left with slight right to remain on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. Take a right on Voltaire Street to the parking lot. Finding parking in San Diego is normally not a problem before 10 a.m., even at Balboa Park unless there is a special event. That applies here also.

Hiking length: Mileage dependent on destination(s).

Difficulty: Easy with less than 50 feet elevation loss/gain. Dogs without leashes are allowed on Dog Beach 24/7, though the leash law applies in surrounding areas and sidewalks. Facilities at the other end of the parking lot.

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clockerbob April 11, 2014 @ 9:46 a.m.

OCEAN BEACH (OB)2006

Ocean Beach is just a drive by for commercial airlines and the San Diego police. Baghdad car patrol.

The cops don't even stop to eat in OB. Coffee and donuts while steering and peering at the freaks. "Taxi driver" in black and whites.. No visual police street presents in OB, except, perhaps presents for that same group of “taxi drivers" constantly congregating outside two local stores laden with bottled beer and liquor for sale.

Street present are the crusty winos. Cardboard mats, cardboard colored beer bags, cardboard colored clothing, cardboard colored hair, skin, sand and lovers. Fashion by ‘ beersun&wind’. Toothless mouths squirt saliva and alcoholic juiced slang when probing for spare change and romance.

The OB library always has more people working behind the counter then public available 1hr computers.Two bus lines the #35 and 923 with brake happy chauffeurs tram

the noisy sailors, reading students, silent workers, seniors with their bus pass hanging around their neck and smelly circus freaks in and out of town.

The corner of Cable and Newport Ave looks like the greyhounded public transit center of OB.

Peoples market is the spiritual center of OB. The juice there is a $1 cup of organic COFFEE made with filtered water, sweetened with amber avocado honey and chalky soymilk.

The pier is the wild habitat center of OB. Pelicans perching on the railings for discarded fish heads, whales and dolphins for sightings and the surfers tubing through the pier’s concrete pilings for danger.

There are more liquor stores owned by Arabs in Ocean Beach then African Americans.

The lone New York Jewish woman rides her 1958 bike with big tires around town, the fenders rattle.

The gentile women have trucks or SUVs, arms tattooed from wrist to shoulder, wear flip-flops, wool caps and totes big dogs on chains. If as you kneel and pet; the dog sniffs and likes you, well the gentile ladies pick out and buy themselves flowers at OB's farmer market every Wednesday.

The gods blessed Ocean Beach with good air quality, a Mediterranean climate, a wicked riptide and no senior center.

Ocean beach has one street (Newport Ave) with bars, big hamburgers, Mexican food and that street leads to the entrance to the wino’s hood: the beach, the fire pits, the pier, the public bathrooms and the cliffs. .

and Ocean Beach has one street (Sunset Cliffs) with all its’ community active churches feeding the forgotten and that street leads one out of town.

And Ocean Beach has one street (Voltaire) plastered with signs in the store windows that read: "We must cultivate our garden". Voltaire and that street leads to wino free doggie beach.

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