Pacific Beach, San Diego

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Pacific Beach
—  Community of San Diego  —
Surfers at P.B.
Nickname(s): P.B.
Pacific Beach is located in San Diego
Pacific Beach
Location within Central San Diego
Coordinates: 32°47′52″N 117°14′25″W / 32.7978265°N 117.2403142°W / 32.7978265; -117.2403142
Country United States
State California
County County of San Diego
City City of San Diego
The Crystal Pier at sunset.
The view south of Crystal Pier

Pacific Beach is a neighborhood of San Diego, bounded by La Jolla to the north, Mission Beach and Mission Bay to the south, Interstate 5 to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.[1] While largely populated by young people, surfers, and college students, the population is becoming older, more professional, and more affluent due to rising property and rental costs. "P.B.," as it is known as by local residents, is home to one of San Diego's larger nightlife scenes, with dozens of bars, eateries, and clothing stores.



The Beach

Pacific Beach's namesake stretches for miles from the Mission Bay jetty to the cliffs of La Jolla. The boardwalk, officially called Ocean Front Walk/Ocean Boulevard, is a pedestrian walkway that runs approximately 3.2 miles along the beach from the end of Law St. in the north down into Mission Beach, ending at the mouth of Mission Bay in the south. There are many local shops, bars, and restaurants along the boardwalk, and it is typically crowded with pedestrians, cyclists, rollerbladers, and shoppers. Also adjacent to the boardwalk is the Crystal Pier, a public pier and hotel at the west end of Garnet Avenue.


The streets in Pacific Beach were renamed several times before receiving their current designations in 1900.[2] The primary north-south street running parallel to the beach is Mission Blvd., with the streets named after late 19th century federal officials, then incrementing in alphabetical order as they move further from the coast: Bayard, Cass, Dawes, Everts, Fanuel, Gresham, Haines, Ingraham, Jewell, Kendall, Lamont, Morrell, Noyes, Olney, and Pendleton. Mission Boulevard was formerly Allison Street, being the "A" street of the series.

The east-west streets are mostly named after precious stones. Starting at the north end of Mission Blvd. and heading south, the streets are:

[edit] History

Crystal Pier

Pacific Beach was developed during the boom years of 1886-1888 by D. C. Reed, A. G. Gassen, Charles W. Pauley, R. A. Thomas, and O. S. Hubbell. It was Hubbell who "cleared away the grainfields, pitched a tent, mapped out the lots, hired an auctioneer and started to work".[3] To attract people, they built a Race Track and a San Diego College of Letters, neither of which survive today. A railway also connected Pacific Beach with downtown San Diego, and was later extended to La Jolla.

As with many California cities, the history of its development can be traced back to the completion of a cross-country railroad in the late 1880s. Lots in 1902 sold for between $350–700 for ocean-front property and by 1950, the population of Pacific Beach reached 30,000 and the average home sold for $12,000.[4] Today, homes can sell for millions.

During the 1960s, development continued to increase with the city’s investment in Mission Bay Park, including the developments of the Islandia, Vacation Village and Hilton Hotels. In 1964 Sea World opened, which is located only a few miles from Pacific Beach.

Today, Pacific Beach is home to a younger crowd, including college students, single professionals, and families. The restaurant and nightlife culture has grown extensively, with Garnet Avenue becoming the major hub for places to eat, drink, and shop, and includes a range of bars, restaurants, pubs, and coffee houses.


Pacific Beach public schools are part of the San Diego Unified School District. They include Mission Bay Senior High School, Pacific Beach Middle School, and several elementary schools. Pacific Beach also serves as a central location for many of San Diego's universities, including University of California, San Diego, University of San Diego, San Diego State University, Point Loma Nazarene University, as well as others.


Surfing in Pacific Beach

In addition to bordering the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay Park, Pacific Beach includes Kate Sessions Park and the Pacific Beach Recreation Center. Rose Creek, which flows through Pacific Beach before emptying into Mission Bay, provides open space and a rich wetland area.


The nonprofit Pacific Beach Town Council promotes the area and organizes community events.[5] The Pacific Beach Planning Group advises the city on land use and other issues.[6] The Pacific Beach and Mission Bay Visitor Center provides information on the Pacific Beach Town Council, special events, lodging, dining, and Pacific Beach history.[7] Service clubs include Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions Club, Girl Scouts, Pacific Beach Woman's Club, Surf Club, Friends of the PB Library, PB Garden Club, and Toastmasters.


Pacific Beach is serviced in print by the daily San Diego Union Tribune, the weekly Beach & Bay Press and the alternative blog PacificBeacher.

Bars and nightlife

Pacific Beach is one of the main centers of nightlife in San Diego. Garnet Ave. between Ingraham St. and Mission Blvd. is where many bars and restaurants are located. The nightlife in Pacific Beach caters towards a younger crowd than the nightlife in downtown San Diego.

Notable residents

Frank Bompensiero, mobster
Adam Gnade, musician-novelist
Skip Frye, professional surfer
Donna Frye, former city council representative and mayoral candidate
Pauly Shore, actor, former MTV host
Tony Gwynn, Jr., outfielder for San Diego Padres


To the North:
La Jolla
California State Beaches To the South
Mission Beach