Ocean Boulevard from Sutro Heights.

Ocean Beach

The 5-mile long stretch of shoreline south of the Cliff House known as Ocean Beach has been a destination for San Franciscans and visitors since the 1850s. Ocean Beach became even more popular once public transportation and new roads provided an easy way from downtown over the vast sand dunes that once covered the Richmond and Sunset districts.

The Great Highway, now a four lane city street, runs the length of Ocean Beach. Various establishments lined the Great Highway over the years, providing food, entertainment, lodging, and police services for visitors to Ocean Beach.  Many of these famous enterprises (Chutes at the Beach, Playland at the Beach, the Seal Rock House, Ocean Beach Pavilion, Cycler’s Rest, and Topsy’s Roost) have been replaced by large residential complexes.

Although the landscape has changed over the years, Ocean Beach still offers the same surfing, swimming, bicycling, and spectacular ocean views that have attracted visitors for nearly two centuries.  

Learn more about Ocean Beach by exploring the topics below. (The links open Adobe Acrobat pdfs 300 KB or less – Get Adobe Reader)

Bicycling • Carville • Jack Johnson • Playland

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