Ocean Beach San Francisco

Things to See & Do Near this SF Beach

Ocean Beach San Francisco is where the city meets the Pacific Ocean. This four-mile long San Francisco beach is popular with surfers and those wanting to get away from the crowds.

In addition to its relaxed atmosphere, you will also find some fun things here including the famous Cliff House San Francisco Restaurant, the Beach Chalet and the San Francisco Zoo.

Here are a couple of pictures of this gorgeous attraction from my last visit.

ocean beach san francisco
A view facing west toward the Pacific Ocean

san francisco ocean beach
A view looking at the northern end of it

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Top Things to See & Do Here

As I mentioned above, there are some fun things to do on or nearby. Here are just a few of the things you can check out during your visit.

1. Catch Some Waves

While you won't find any record breaking waves here, it is a popular place to go surfing in San Francisco. Most surfers head out near the main parking lot across the street from the Beach Chalet. It's never overly crowded - so it is the perfect place to surf for those just starting out.

If you are looking for some larger waves, the best time to surf here is during the winter months. This is when the storms move in and the waves are the highest.

2. Grab Lunch at the Beach Chalet

Beach Chalet is a popular stop for people visiting the area. Restored in 1996, this 1925 Spanish Revival building houses several updated murals and the Golden Gate Park Visitor Center.

It also houses two restaurants: Beach Chalet and Park Chalet. The Beach Chalet Restaurant is located on the second floor of the building - were you can get great views of the ocean. Park Chalet is a newer restaurant located on the ground floor level of the building. It has some great views of Golden Gate Park.

Learn More: Beach Chalet

3. Admire the Windmills in Golden Gate Park

Just steps from Ocean Beach San Francisco, you will find two historic windmills. At one time, both windmills were used to pump more than 1,000,000 gallons of water every day.

Once they were no longer needed, they fell into disrepair and were in bad shape for many years. Recently, the outside of both windmills was restored to their former beauty.

Here are just a couple of pictures from my last visit.

Northern Dutch Windmil
The North Dutch Windmill stands at around 75 feet tall. In addition to restoring the outside of the windmill, they also added a beautiful tulip garden in front of it. The best time to visit is in the spring when the tulips are in full bloom.

southern windmill
This is the Southern Murphy Windmill. It was recently renovated on the
outside, but still needs work to turn it back into a functioning windmill.

4. Catch the Views from the Cliff House San Francisco

On the northern tip of Ocean Beach San Francisco is the famous Cliff House Restaurant. With a recently renovated building and updated menu, it's another great option for both lunch or dinner.

The Cliff House is well known for both its history and views. Stop by for a visit and learn more about this popular restaurant.

5. Visit the San Francisco Zoo

On the southern side of Ocean Beach San Francisco, you'll find the zoo. It's a fun place to visit for kids of all ages. Here you can see a variety of animals from polar bears to gorillas. The zoo also has a number of rare animals including a snow leopard, endangered tigers, and an Eastern Black Rhinoceros from Africa.

Learn More: SF Zoo

Top Hotels Near Ocean Beach

Here are a couple of options if you want to stay close to Ocean Beach San Francisco. All all of the hotels nearby are budget friendly and offer a very laid-back experience.

Ocean Park Motel

Address: 2690 46th Avenue
Room Rates: Starting at around $75 a night

ocean park motelThe highest rated lodging option near Ocean Beach San Francisco is the Ocean Park Motel. This motel is located on the southern end of it near the San Francisco Zoo.

Guests consider this motel warm, comfortable and an exceptional value for your money. This Art Deco beauty includes a secluded garden Jacuzzi, a smoke free environment, and Internet access. You will also enjoy free parking.

Some of the rooms here include full kitchens and this motel also welcomes dogs.

Find the best rates and additional guest reviews for the Ocean Park Motel on TripAdvisor.

Great Highway Motor Inn

Address: 1234 Great Hwy.
Room Rates: Rooms here are start at around $75 a night

great highway inn san franciscoHeading up to the northern end of Ocean Beach San Francisco you'll find the Great Highway Motor Inn. This is one of the best places to stay in this area.

It's a good budget friendly motel that is right across the street from the water. Amenities include free parking and a restaurant on-site.

You can also easily access downtown San Francisco by hopping on the N-Judah light rail train. It is just a couple of blocks south of the motel. The train takes about 30 to 35 minutes to get downtown.

Weather at Ocean Beach

The weather here is quite a bit cooler than the rest of the city. The cool winds come in from the Pacific Ocean and keep this area nice and cool.

Due to its close location to the water, this part of San Francisco also receives quite a bit of fog. This is another thing that keeps the temperatures in this area of SF a little cooler.

When you visit this area, you should bring along a jacket or a sweater to stay warm. You'll also want to wear good walking shoes - as you'll probably do a little walking when you're in this area.

Learn a little bit more about the varying temperatures throughout the city of San Francisco on the weather forecast page.

Getting Here

As I mentioned at the top, the waterfront is more than 4 miles long. You can easily get to any part of it by taking public transportation or driving.

Here are a few of the best options to get from downtown using public transit.

Northern Side

If you're planning on heading to the northern side, your best option is to take either the 5-Fulton bus or the N-Judah light rail. Both drop you off a block from the water near Beach Chalet.

Southern Side

The best option if you're heading to the southern side is to take the L-Taraval light rail train from downtown San Francisco. The final stop for this train is around two blocks from the entrance to the zoo. It's also about two blocks from the water.

It will take you between 30 to 35 minutes to get from downtown San Francisco to the water.

Along the Beach

If you want to get from the northern side to the southern side, your best option is to take the 18-Legion of Honor bus. The route for this bus starts at the northern end and can take you all the way down to the southern end at the San Francisco zoo.

Other Attractions Nearby

san francisco science museum
conservatory of flowers
japanese tea garden
California Academy
of Sciences
of Flowers
Tea Garden

Other SF Attractions

> > Ocean Beach

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