I live in the East Bay, so Ocean Beach makes for a solid day trip. I've been coming here since high school.
It's not too hard to get to. It's located on the very western end of San Francisco next to the Cliff House. You can get there by taking the N Judah Muni all the way to the end of the line, or drive. From downtown, you just take Geary Boulevard all the way to the Western End - it eventually turns into the Great Highway. There are numerous parking lots next to the sand; there always seems to be enough parking at any time of the day.
In the summer, or if it's a nice day out, this place is stunningly beautiful. You can see the Cliff House on one end, and the European-style windmills behind the beach. Watching the sun set here is breathtaking. It's a wonderful place for photographers or people who just want to relax and unwind, either with friends, family, or solo. It's also a great date spot for couples; I've taken a few of my dates here and we've enjoyed it every time.
It's a GREAT place to have a bonfire. They have small fire rings that you have to build your fire in - you can't just pick anywhere. The fire rings are located on a certain stretch about midway between the water and the car park.
It's a wonderful place for walkers, runners, bikers, skaters, rollerblading, etc. There's a trail that runs along beach between the sand and the parking lot. The trail goes all the way down the beach line and up to the Cliff house restaurant, eventually into the Richmond neighborhood of the city.
The beach is VERY well maintained. There is no litter or glass that I've encountered on the beach. Even though the water is freezing, it's crystal clear and clean. Pretty much the only "litter" are the broken, hollowed out shells of crustaceans, but that's nature's doing.
It's a HUGE beach. To get from one end of the sand to the water takes quite a walk, made a little more difficult by the fact you are walking in some very fine-grain sand - your feet sink! It'll burn you on warmer days.
You are not going to get a Caribbean/Mediterranean kind of feel when you dip your feet into the water - it's San Francisco. What does that mean? The water is COLD, no matter what!
The waves can be rough, and the riptide is quite strong. It's not a good idea to go too far out into the water - it's too dangerous. Most people I see are just splashing in the water or boogie-boarding on the smaller waves.
All in all, it's a wonderful place to spend an afternoon and a must-see for tourists and locals alike.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.