Pacific Beach San Diego Crystal Pier Photo and Information

Pacific Beach is a community within the City of San Diego. It has its own business association, pier, shopping mall, festivals and character and charm which make it a city unto itself, though technically it is not.  Pacific Beach shops tend toward new wave with bright colors and great names, though the brand name stores and shops are visible along Mission Street, the busy thoroughfare that runs parallel to the beach. Starbucks, Ralphs, Best Western, Tony Roma's, Hooters and many more are visible along this well trafficked route. If you love the beach, PB is a wonderful beach town to visit.  With Mission Bay on one side of the road and Pacific Beach on the other, Catamaran Resort is ideally located with sailboat rentals and bay frontage that includes free rides on the stearn wheeler triple deck boat, Bahia Belle at night. Catamaran Resort is on the border of Pacific and Mission Beaches so you can walk, roller blade or ride a bicycle along both for a great exercise regimen.


With lots of sand to wander along, lie upon, surfers to watch, food to munch and liquor to consume if you choose, you will find yourself torn between the beach and San Diego attractions that tourists can't resist. And if you think you have only the beach to enjoy, you are wrong. Pacific Beach melds into Mission Beach, home of the Roller Coaster, The Plunge, carnival rides and gobs of fun. 


Pacific Beach is a place that you could pack up and move to, if not for expensive housing. Old and established, it includes tall, palm tree-lined streets and multi-million dollar houses to make you drool.  Some of the gorgeous homes sit along Mission Bay and some are perched on hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The northern edge of Pacific Beach shares a border with La Jolla, another expensive place to live. Who needs to live in such places, though?  We tourists must have special spots as escapes from our routines so these locations remain special if we don't take them for granted.


Pacific Beach Town Council maintains an English Tudor cottage called  Rose Creek Cottage at 2525 Garnet Ave.  Rented for weddings and functions, this quaint and charming  cottage was built over 80 years ago and is beloved by locals and all who enjoy its unique atmosphere. Information 858- 490-0468.

With an abundance of hotels and accommodations, tourists can see nearby sights such as SeaWorld, just a mile away, San Diego Zoo, Belmont Park, historic Old Town and Balboa Park, plus enjoy the beach, all in one trip.  Pacific Beach is but one of several choice beach locations to park yourself on vacation, or stick around and live, but it is one you won't likely forget.


Brief History: Pacific Beach might have become a separate city as developers began to sell plots of land through word of mouth and advertisements which ran in the San Diego Union newspaper in 1887, proclaiming a new city was being built at False Bay, now known as Mission Bay. 


Pacific Beach began to take root as a farming community of primarily lemon groves.  The town slowly grew and a  pier was built in 1927, with a developer hoping to turn it into an amusement attraction such as existed in Los Angeles.  The  pier officially opened on the weekend of July 4th, 1927 with all of San Diego flocking to see the new Crystal Ballroom located at the end of the pier. Two years earlier at another July 4th celebration down the beach a mile or two at Mission Beach, Belmont Park's Giant Dipper was introduced with fanfare and a big splash.  This was the "feel good" era of expansion, just before the realities of a Great Depression rocked the world. 


Up and down the California coast, the amusement parks suffered with local economies and lack of currency. Many were poor or broke and had no money to spend on things such as fun rides. The wars were fought and and when they ended, people clamored for housing in this desirable location where it never snowed, the beach was at your door and life was good.  Pacific Beach Town Council was officially incorporated in 1950 and functions to this day as a representative for the interests of the community. 


Pacific Beach Specifications, Rules & Regulations: The beach area south of Crystal Pier is known as Pacific Beach. This beach continues south for over two miles, becoming Mission Beach and then South Mission Beach, eventually ending at the channel entrance to Mission Bay. This long beach, known as The Strand, lies directly adjacent to the residential and commercial areas of the Pacific Beach and Mission Beach communities. It is the most popular beach in the City of San Diego and draws large crowds in summer. North Pacific Beach continues to the north, but is visually separated by Crystal Pier, a publicly accessible fishing pier.


A somewhat narrow cement boardwalk parallels the entire beach. Walking, biking, bicycling, and related activities are permitted on the boardwalk, but speed is regulated and must be kept to eight miles per hour or less. Cycles with more than two wheels are not permitted except for use by the disabled. At all times, people must use caution and courtesy in using the boardwalk.


Various shops, restaurants, and beach rental outfits can be found bordering the north end of Pacific Beach, north of Pacific Beach drive. The southern end is predominately residential, with commercial areas a block or so from the beach on Mission Boulevard. Lifeguards are staffed daily year round at the main lifeguard station at the foot of Grand Avenue. In summer, additional lifeguards are staffed along the beach in seasonal lifeguard towers.  Lifeguards are generally on duty from 9:00 a.m. to dusk; but check with lifeguards for specific staff hours. 


This beach has separate water areas reserved for swimming and surfing. Check with lifeguards for details. Surfing is permitted at this beach in designated areas. This beach is not recommended for scuba diving due to lack of undersea life, heavy water activity, and surf.  Public restrooms and showers are located at the foot of Grand Avenue at the lifeguard station and in the median of Pacific Beach Drive between the boardwalk  and Mission Boulevard. There are no public restrooms between Pacific Beach  Drive and Mission Beach. The boardwalk is accessible to wheelchairs and provides an excellent view of the beach.


Containers for beach fires are generally provided during summer months and available on a first come, first served basis. The burning of rubbish is prohibited. Only wood, charcoal, or paper products may be used as fuel. Fuel for the fire may not exceed a height of more than twelve inches above the upper edge of the fire container. The fire must be extinguished before leaving the beach. Open beach fires outside containers are prohibited at all San Diego beaches. Alcohol may not be consumed on the boardwalk, on or against the seawall, or in any park adjacent to the beach.  Alcohol may be consumed on the beach from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. 

The basic rule of thumb is that any gathering of over 75 people requires a permit from the Park and Recreation Department. A permit is also required for a wedding, water event, athletic event, voice and/or music amplification, or use of special setup equipment (such as an inflatable party jump, dunk tank, canopy, etc.) For permit information call Coastline Parks at (619) 221-8901.


North Pacific Beach Specifications, Rules & Regulations: Lifeguards are staffed at this beach year round, generally from 9:00 a.m. to dusk. Check with lifeguards for specific staff hours. The beach area north of Crystal Pier extends approximately one mile from the north end of the community of Pacific Beach to the south end of the community of La Jolla. This beach is bordered by cliffs up to 75 feet in height. A sidewalk  traverses the cliff-top along much of the south end of the beach. In this area, parking is very limited. At the north end of the beach is Tourmaline Surfing Park which includes a public parking lot and limited facilities. This area is heavily used by surfers and sailboarders year round. 


This beach has separate water areas reserved for swimming and surfing.  Surfing is permitted at this beach. This beach is not recommended for scuba due to lack of undersea life, heavy water  activity, and surf. Public restrooms and showers are located at the foot of Diamond Street and Law Street on the south end and at Tourmaline Surfing Park on the north end. Due to the natural cliffs bordering this beach, disabled accessibility is limited. Pacific Beach at the foot of Grand Avenue, just south of Crystal Pier, would be a better alternative.

Containers for beach fires are generally provided during summer months and available on a first come, first served basis. Alcohol may not be consumed in Pacific Beach Park or on the walkways above North Pacific Beach.  Consumption of alcohol is permitted on the beach from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m., but prohibited at all times in parking lots, adjacent walkways, and grassy parks adjacent to the beach. 


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