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“Beautiful (in the summer, at least...)”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach
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City Sightseeing San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Ranked #73 of 527 things to do in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: At the edge of the Pacific, beachcomb, build sand castles or bonfires, but don't swim. The tumultuous waters can be too rough to handle.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Beautiful (in the summer, at least...)”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2014

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.

Visited June 2014
2 Thank anthonysheu7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Fresno, California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Playland at the Beach”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 May 2014

I was born in San Francisco at St. Mary's Hospital. I was raised in South San Francisco. I loved the ocean beach because of Playland at the Beach. It was a wonderful amusement park back in the 1950-1960s. I remember there was a great fun house, penny arcade, and other amusement games. I recall, a feris wheel and roller coaster too. In the 1970s the city tore down Playland at the Beach and they replaced it with condos. How sad! I am not sure but I think the It's It Ice Cream factory is still there.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank Sue3266
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bethesda, md
Level Contributor
446 reviews
116 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
“Who knew it would be so cold?”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2014

We took the N Judah train out to Ocean Beach thinking we'd see the Pacific side of San Francisco. It was a nice ride, about a half hour from Civic Center, with most of it outside. It was really amazing to see and feel the difference in weather! We left sunny, mild civic center and ended up in cold cloudy Ocean Beach. We definitely weren't dressed for the cold, but did manage a brisk walk on the beach - note that there is no boardwalk, you are walking right on the beach. it is nice and wide, and empty. We saw Cliff House and a few surfers. Afterwards we crossed the street to the Beach Chalet to warm up and grab something to drink/eat and then wandered around the park a bit. The whole visit was a bit more than 2 hours, but the beach is free, if the weather was nicer we probably would have stayed longer.
Despite the cold, it was well worth the trip and visit.

Visited May 2014
Thank tikidream
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Regina, Canada
Level Contributor
52 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Wife enjoyed it more”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 March 2014

I have to say that although this was my first time at the ocean, it just wasn't for me. My wife enjoyed frolicking in the water and looking for shells but I just could not get personally excited about it. Yes the view is gorgeous and the ocean is inspiring in its own right, just not my cup of tea I guess.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank Ryan E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
34 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“My first view of the Pacific ocean!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2014

After walking all the afternoon in the Golden Gate park, my sister and I walked to this beach for our first contact with the Pacific ocean!! We took our shoes off and walked under the sun and the wind. It was a fantastic place, although we were almost alone because it was too cold and windy! I recognize this place in Blue Jasmine movie!

Visited June 2013
1 Thank Cecile633
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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