Pacific Beach, or PB as locals call it, is a vibrant beachside community in San Diego that attracts
beachgoers, surfers, and sun-lovers alike. Residents living in Pacific Beach enjoy access to
boutique shops, hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants, and cafes, with many businesses backing to the
beautiful boardwalk and sandy beaches. While Pacific Beach has a reputation as a party haven
for young adults, PB is a popular choice for home buyers of all ages – anyone seeking leisure,
entertainment, and relaxation. Just south of La Jolla and Mount Soledad, this eclectic
neighborhood offers three miles of boardwalk and an endless beach vacation vibe. Despite its
spring-break-like atmosphere during weekends and holidays, PB is relatively mellow on
weekdays and during cooler weather. A walk along the boardwalk is a great way to get a feel
for the area, where you can see a mix of tourists and locals enjoying the sand and surf.
I pride myself on not being your typical real estate agent. That’s why I focus my business on being your guide through the complex San Diego Real Estate market rather than just a “salesperson’. I take each transaction personally and take a vested interest in what my clients really want when buying or selling a home.Neighborhood Link
Pacific Beach is one of the oldest suburbs in San Diego, dating back to 1887. The establishment
of the San Diego and Old Town Railway in 1888 connected Pacific Beach to downtown San
Diego, and the town saw an influx of lemon growers and packers at the turn of the century. In
the 1920s, Crystal Pier and the Roxy Movie theater opened and following World War II, many
hotels were established. During the 1960s, the city invested in Mission Bay Park, which led to
more development in the area. When UC-San Diego opened in La Jolla in 1960, more people
settled in the area, including young adults chasing the allure of fun, sun, and waves in one of
the most beautiful parts of San Diego.
Schools in Pacific Beach are part of the San Diego Unified School District. The neighborhood has
an overall A-rating on A-rating on Niche.com though the schools aren’t as highly rated as in other parts of
San Diego. Still, many of the schools are rated 7 or higher on Great Schools and the proximity to
La Jolla public schools and private schools make living in Pacific Beach a great choice for families
looking for a quality education for their children.
Pacific Beach Elementary Schools include Pacific Beach Elementary, Kate Sessions Elementary,
and Barnard Elementary. Barnard Elementary is notable as it is a Mandarin Magnet school and
students spent part of each day immersed in the Mandarin language. Some homes in the
northern part of the 92109 zip code are inside the boundary to send their kids to Bird Rock
Elementary, in the neighboring community of Bird Rock. The primary middle school for this
neighborhood is Pacific Beach Middle School. Again, some homes will be inside the boundary
for Muirlands Middle School in La Jolla. Most older kids go to Mission Bay High School, with
some Pacific Beach homes having the option to send their teens to La Jolla High School. Private
schools and alternative schooling options include Crown Point Jr Music Academy and St. Paul’s
Lutheran School. In La Jolla and UTC, you’ll find the Bishops School and the Preuss School.
Homes in Pacific Beach are fairly expensive owing to the close proximity to the beach and
downtown. Many homes have direct beach access and offer full or partial ocean views. Pacific
Beach is a popular choice for real estate investors looking to fix and flip an old home. You’ll
often find palatial modern homes alongside classic beach cottages and condo complexes. Most
properties in Pacific Beach either have a small lot or make the most of the square footage by
adding multiple units to maximize the owner’s ROI. Owing to the variety of real estate, there’s
something for everyone in Pacific Beach at a variety of price points.
For a single-family home in Pacific Beach, the median home price is $1,513,400. For a condo or
townhome in Pacific Beach, the median home price is $749,000.
The Pacific Beach lifestyle is vibrant and filled with plenty to see and do. Most notably,
residents enjoy spending time at the beach or catching a wave at one of the many spectacular
surf breaks along the three-mile stretch of sand. Tourmaline Beach, the neighborhood's
northernmost beach, is a coveted surfing-only beach that is great for novice surfers,
longboarders, windsurfers, and kiteboarders. North Pacific Beach is a calm stretch of beach that
is perfect for families with lifeguard-supervised swimming areas and facilities. Pacific Beach
from Crystal Pier to Pacific Beach Drive offers a mix of amenities, including dedicated parking
and bathrooms along with bicycle rentals, beachside restaurants, bars, and lifeguard stands.
Parking can be a challenge, but the lot at Tourmaline Street and side roads on the north side of
the pier are good options.
As we mentioned above, one of the best ways to get a feel for the Pacific Beach lifestyle is to
explore the boardwalk. Stretching 3.2 miles, the boardwalk runs from Law Street in North
Pacific Beach to the South Mission Beach jetty. This exclusive pedestrian walkway is safe to
stroll and offers a variety of outdoor activities, including bike riding, jogging, walking, and roller
blading. Grab a breakfast burrito at the famous Kono’s Café or pick up a sweet treat at the
Baked Bear to enjoy while you walk.
Crystal Pier is a historic San Diego landmark and privately-owned pier in Pacific Beach. Built in
1927, the pier is accessible to the public during the day and offers great views of the Pacific
Beach shoreline. The pier is a popular spot for fishing, whale-watching, and watching surfers
catch waves. The beach end of the pier has over-the-water vacation cottages for rent, which
are a unique accommodation option in San Diego. The pier is located at the end of Garnet
Avenue, the main street in Pacific Beach, which is home to many boutique shops, restaurants,
Nearby Mission Beach, Mission Bay Park, and Belmont Park offer a variety of activities and
attractions for visitors. Sail Bay, part of Mission Bay, provides a continuous sandy beach and a
paved walkway called Bayside Walk. Anglers can also enjoy prime shore fishing in Fishermen’s
Channel, where spotted bay bass, corvine, halibut, leopard sharks, bat rays, barred sand bass,
and calico bass can be found. Fanuel Street Park, located along Sail Bay, is a popular section of
Mission Bay Park with an expansive grassy area and playground equipment right on the beach,
perfect for families. Crown Point Park, located on the southern portion of Pacific Beach, has
numerous basketball and beach volleyball courts, a boat launch, and a spacious sandy area.
Belmont Park, San Diego's iconic beachfront amusement park offers games, rides, and
entertainment, including the famous Giant Dipper roller coaster and The Plunge swimming
Heading inland, you’ll find the beautiful Kate Sessions Park which boasts some of the best views
in San Diego. On clear days, you can enjoy panoramic views from Bird Rock down to the city of
San Diego, with Coronado Island and Mexico glittering in the distance. Residents can engage in
a variety of outdoor activities, including Frisbee, barbecuing, and picnicking on the expansive
grassy slope. Dogs are a common sight, although off-leash play is technically not allowed. The
79-acre park is named after Kate Sessions, a well-known horticulturist in San Diego.
Pacific Beach is often warm and sunny, though its coastal location means it is susceptible to
periods of ocean fog. San Diego is known for its season of “May Gray and June Gloom” when
fog tends to linger along the beach areas, sometimes burning off late in the day or not at all.
Still, most days in Pacific Beach are absolutely beautiful with clear water, warm sand, and salty
Pacific Beach residents love supporting local businesses. You’ll find more independently owned
shops than national chains, along with a wide variety of local restaurants and bars. Nostalgic
food stops Mr. Frostie and Kono’s Café are popular with both locals and tourists.
On the boardwalk, visitors can stroll along the beach while browsing through local shops and
enjoying the ocean views. Whether you’re looking for a new swimsuit, souvenir, or unique
beach-themed décor, there’s something for everyone. Meanwhile, Garnet Avenue offers a
lively party scene, with clubs, bars, restaurants, and shops that cater to all tastes. Pacific
Beach’s first food hall just opened on the corner of Mission and Garnet! With more than six
restaurants slated to occupy the space, Mission + Garnet is must-visit if you’re touring Pacific
Beach. Be sure to also grab a drink and kick back and relax at a rooftop bar!
Looking to buy your next home or investment property in Pacific Beach? Click here to get
started or give us a call!
Interested in chatting with Bern about San Diego real estate or just want to ask a local where the best sushi joints are? Reach out to Bern! He loves meeting new faces who are as passionate about San Diego as he is.