A Trip to Ocean Beach
Last month, I had an experience I won’t soon forget when I took a trip to San Diego,
California, which I’m very happy to be able to share. While I was originally traveling
there to present at a research conference, I was able to see a small part of San Diego
and do a little exploring on a trail unlike any other I’ve hiked before. I’ve also
included a few tips I’ve picked up after doing a little traveling to either benefit you
or make the trip more interesting!
I stayed in a well-known neighborhood of San Diego called Ocean Beach (mostly
referred to as “OB”), which had an interesting story of its own. Home to the third
ever World Surfing Championship, the neighborhood was full of surfers young and
old. As one of the locals eloquently put it, Ocean beach is “the best little run down
surf town in the world.” Most of the restaurants and stores were locally owned,
which brings me to my first travel tip: when abroad, shop local. This is an easy way
to give back to the communities you visit and make a positive impact. Plus, from my
experience, local businesses always seem to have a unique character you just can’t
find in chains and franchises.
Of the places I ate at while in town, here are a few of my favorites. Another helpful
travel tip: when it comes to food, listen to the locals. I did just that and it paid off big
time! I also need to thank Lindsay, my Airbnb host, for recommending each of the
places on this list!
To The Point Eatery – The best breakfast I’ve ever had, hands down in this
tucked away brunch cafe. An acai bowl with fresh fruit, homemade granola
and organic honey caught my eye and did not disappoint in the slightest.
Raglan Public House – This is one of the more interesting restaurants I
visited. Themed after New Zealand culture, Raglan is all about the farm-to-
table method when it comes to the food. They also had an excellent selection
OB Noodle House – A local favorite, the Noodle House seemed to always be
packed full of people. The spicy garlic wings are absolutely out of this world.
Pizza Port – In addition to having a wide variety of pizza, Pizza Port had one
of the more impressive micro-brew selections I’ve tried. While locally
brewed beer is very popular in OB, Pizza Port undoubtedly had some of the
best quality beers in the area.
Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market – Downstairs, this is an organic
food market and co-op. Upstairs, there is often live music and hot, delicious
meals served daily.
For the remainder of the post, I will rehash my hike in Torrey Pines State Natural
Reserve in La Jolla, California. I wanted to get in more hiking on the trip, but many of
the longer trails were located a fair distance away from the city, so I decided to try
out the Ho Chi Minh trail. First, a little look at the gear I used on this short hike.
Kuhl Revolvr Pant – These are my favorite pants to wear when it’s warm out,
especially because of the ridiculous breathability of these pants. They were
absolutely perfect for the hike.
Salomon X Ultra Mid II GTX – While they may have been overkill for a short hike in
near-perfect weather, I was very excited to wear these as I was just breaking them
in. Needless to say, I would recommend these boots to any experienced hiker as they
are a little more expensive than your typical entry-level hikers.
The North Face Horizon Ball Cap – Nothing too special here. I needed something to
keep the sun out of my eyes and the breathable material this cap is made with is
great for keeping cool.
Osprey Flare 22L Daypack – As a student, I use this backpack for daily use and it
comes as no surprise that it is just as handy on campus as it is on a trail. This pack
helps to pull the weight further up your back, lightening the load and making any
day hike more enjoyable.
Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody – Anyone who knows me knows that I go few places
without my Atom hoody. In my opinion, this is by far one the most versatile
insulated jackets on the market. I brought it along to keep warm once the sun had
set, as it can get very chilly on the coast at night.
The hike is fairly short, coming in at 2.4 miles, so I decided to first do it in reverse
and then turn around and follow it forward for a little added challenge. Hiking this
trail backwards is much more physically demanding than hiking it forward since I
was on a steady incline for most of the trail. In terms of the views on the trail in
comparison with the physical difficulty, the payout is huge. Just 300 feet below the
cliffs lies Black’s Beach where the coastline is easily viewable from the top. At times,
it can seem daunting since the trail follows cliff edges around and footing is difficult
to be sure of at certain points. All in all, this was a great short hike full of sites and
just enough of a challenge to make you sweat a little.
A Trip to Ocean Beach