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More about Pacific Beach, California
Pacific Beach is a neighborhood of San Diego, bounded by La Jolla to the north, Mission Beach to the south, Interstate 5 and Clairemont to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. While largely populated by surfers and college students, the population is becoming more professional and affluent due to rising property and rental costs. "PB", as it is known as by local residents, is also home to one of San Diego's more popular nightlife, with dozens of bars, cafes, and eateries lining the main east-west street Garnet Avenue and Mission Boulevard, which runs north-south.
The Pacific Beach community planning area is located along the western edge of the mid-coastal region of the City of San Diego. It is bounded on the north by La Jolla, on the east by Interstate 5 and Clairemont Mesa, on the south by Mission Bay Park and Mission Beach, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean.
The primarily residential (76%) community of Pacific Beach is physically identified by its proximity to water, both the coastal bluffs and beaches of the Pacific Ocean and the beaches of Mission Bay to the south. The coastal plain that encompasses the majority of Pacific Beach rises to steep hillsides to the north, bordering La Jolla.
Pacific Beach was included within the original Pueblo Lands, which divided the area into a large grid pattern in the mid-1800s. Although residential construction began at that time, the majority of the community was built out after 1930. Approximately 97 percent of the community's land area has been developed. Consequently, the development at this time is primarily infill.
In 1970, a Mission (Beach)-Pacific Beach Community Plan was adopted. In 1974, the City Council adopted the Mission Beach Precise Plan, amending the 1970 plan to remove the Mission Beach planning area from it, thus creating the first Pacific Beach Community Plan. The advent of the Coastal Act was one of the many reasons to update the plan in 1983, creating the Pacific Beach Community Plan and Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan. That plan was amended in 1990 to reduce the residential land use designation density in most of the community's multiple dwelling unit areas. A subsequent plan update in 1995 that dealt with a range of issues resulted in the plan currently in use.
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 "leared away the grainfields, pitched a tent, mapped out the lots, hired an auctioneer and started to work." To attract people, they built the Race Track and 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.
Pacific Beach is one of the main centers of nightlife in San Diego. Garnet Avenue between Ingraham Street and Mission Blvd. is the main area where bars and restaurants are located. Pacific Beach tends to cater to a younger college- and post-college-oriented crowd, compared to downtown San Diego's Gaslamp District. Dress codes are generally less strict if they are enforced at all.
Some of the larger and more popular bars in Pacific Beach include Cabo Cantina, Pacific Beach Bar & Grill, Moondoggies, Tavern At The Beach, Nick's at the Beach, and Typhoon Saloon. There is also a good selection of medium-sized bars and a few smaller local places such as PB Pub, Thrusters, Cass St Bar & Grill, the Tiki House, and The Silver Fox. Most Pacific Beach clubs offering music catering to people in their twenties and early thirties, with DJ's, hip-hop, and live dance music. The notable exception in the Pacific Beach music scene is the Tiki House, which opened in 1980 and caters to an older crowd with live music almost every night. The Tiki typically showcases local acts with original music, and hosted many significant acts before they were big, such as Jewel, the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash, the Beat Farmers, and other nationally known musicians. Lahaina Beach House, located on the Boardwalk at Reed Street, and Open Bar (on Mission Blvd.) are popular on sunny days.
Pacific Beach is alive like the sea with activities to suit all. From the Garnet Shopping district with its boutique stores and exciting nightlife to over one hundred and fifty quality restaurants and cafes Pacific Beach is alive with sea life. Adjacent to the business community is San Diego's most popular beach and boardwalk, the mighty Mission Bay Park, and a fiesta of activities that all converge to make Pacific Beach the perfect vacation spot year round.
Garnet and Mission Shopping District
Pacific Beach's boutique shopping district features hundreds of choices for shopping and plenty of opportunities to find treasures amongst the sand. From local brand name locations such as LA Rack, Starbucks, and American Apparel to local favorites such as Great News and Pangaea Outpost, Garnet Ave. is a shopper's paradise in a neighborhood setting. New and resale clothing stores, salons, and retail stores make up the majority of the shopping district, which is also sprinkled with restaurants and beach friendly services.
Restaurants and Nightlife
Pacific Beach restaurant community is as diverse as a coral reef with colors and flavors that give diners the largest variety in San Diego. It features everything from gourmet pasta, traditional beachfront faire, fusion Thai, and Seafood beyond compare. As the sun goes down and the tides change, Pacific Beach reawakens with dozens of nighttime hotspots coming to life. Dancing, live music, and San Diego's hottest beach bars are all within easy walk from hotels and the beach. Some times swimming with the "sharks" is a good thing.
The Beach and Boardwalk
California's famous golden sands wait just between the tides and the Ocean Front Boardwalk. Both modest and well proportioned resorts and hotels dot the coastline amongst bike and board rental stores, beachfront dining (with views), and many green parks. On the sand the excitement of horseshoe games, beach beauties, dolphins in the waves, and surf competitions make for a classic endless summer.
Mission Bay Park
Mission Bay Park is a spectacular public park featuring dozens of resorts and attractions. The park includes the world famous Sea World amusement park, many bays, and miles of bicycle trails with stunning views. You can even find a historic sternwheeler, the Bahia Belle that plies the inlets of Mission Bay amongst canoes and sail boats. It sets off from the Catamaran Resort recalling times gone by. Dip into the water yourself on a jet ski, water ski, or simply your swim suit. As the sun dips below the horizon find a cozy fire pit and share your stories.
Historic Crystal Pier
Built in 1927 this historic pier brings the Southern California past back to life. At one end of the pier a fascinating hotel that lets you "Sleep over Seas" and at the other end is a place to cast a line for fish. Watch the boys and girls of summer surf the swells from above and feel at one with the sea as the old wooden pier rocks on with the waves.