Staying at an Ocean Beach hotel in San Diego offers opportunities to experience the city in a low-key way that is easier on the wallet than other beach neighborhoods. It’s an eclectic surf town without high rises or major hotel chains.

Choices for where to stay in Ocean Beach (OB) include a casual inn and budget hotels. There are three of these plus a fourth option over the hill closer to the airport.

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Where Is Ocean Beach, San Diego?

Travelers enjoy staying in Ocean Beach. The area is bordered by Naval Base Point Loma to the south and Mission Beach to the north, though the San Diego Rivermouth prevents one from walking directly on the sand to get to the Mission Beach side.

The lack of direct access from the north and the south is perhaps one of the reasons why it has been able to maintain its 1960s surf vibe and keep out swaths of tourists.

Ocean Beach Pier and Tide Pools

Ocean Beach hotels in San Diego provide travelers with comfortable accommodations, unique amenities, and access to things to do in and around the area.

Reasons to Stay in Ocean Beach

While the idea of staying in this special beach town may sound appealing, it’s not for everyone. It’s for people who want to spend their days surfing, sunbathing, walking to the pier, hanging out in vintage VW vans, sipping suds at casual bars, and don’t want to break the bank. They want simple, comfortable lodging near the beach.

It’s not for luxury or high-needs travelers who need four- or five-star accommodations and a bunch of conveniences nearby. It is much more family-friendly than it used to be, however, I find that families prefer our other beach towns like La Jolla and Del Mar. But families do stay here especially if traveling with dogs.

Convenient Location

Ocean Beach sits less than 10 miles northwest of Downtown San Diego, where visitors can enjoy many urban amenities, attractions, restaurants, and shops.

So, you can dip your toe into a more commercial setting and retreat to your Ocean Beach San Diego hotel.

Shopping

Ocean Beach San Diego is renowned for its string of neat antique shops that line Newport Avenue. You’ll also find surf shops, beach boutiques, and locally-crafted gifts.

Additionally, the community hosts a fantastic farmers’ market every Wednesday, featuring locally crafted treats, housewares, food items, and more.

Dog Beach

We don’t have many off-leash beaches, so this is a big reason why pet owners may choose an Ocean Beach hotel.

Ocean Beach is home to Dog Beach, located between the jetty at the north end of Ocean Beach and Mission Bay Harbor, where dogs can run around off-leash year-round.

Now without further ado, here are the four Ocean Beach San Diego hotels to choose from.

1. Inn at Sunset Cliffs

The Inn at Sunset Cliffs

Address: 1370 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.; Point Loma, CA 92107

Distance from San Diego Airport: 3.3 miles (approximately a 10-minute drive)

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Why go: The Inn at Sunset Cliffs is nestled in the historic area of Ocean Beach, offering visitors a classic 1950s hotel with modern updates designed after Santorini, Greece.

Guests in the 24 rooms can enjoy digging their toes in the sand, relaxing as cool ocean breezes sweep through the courtyard, or venture off for some exciting local shopping, dining, and entertainment. It’s located in the Sunset Cliffs neighborhood which is a quieter part of OB, south of the main area.

Top pick for: Couples and families

Hotel amenities:

  • Spacious rooms and suites with first-class linens
  • 24/7 office staff
  • Heated swimming pool
  • Complimentary morning coffee
  • Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi
  • 100+ satellite channels
  • Fully equipped kitchens (in kitchen suites)
  • Free computer and printing usage in lobby

Onsite dining: None

Good to know: Guests can enjoy several vacation packages, including a spa package through a partnership with Therapie Day Spa.

Awards:

  • TripAdvisor.com 2020 Certificate of Excellence (seven consecutive years)
  • TripAdvisor.com Hall of Fame Award
  • Peninsula Beacon 2021 Winner of Best Hotel in Ocean Beach (10 consecutive years)

2. Ocean Villa Inn

Ocean Villa Inn

Address: 5142 West Point Loma Blvd., San Diego, CA 92107

Distance from San Diego Airport: 4.3 Miles (approximately a 15-minute drive)

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Why go: Ocean Villa Inn is the perfect hotel to grab a cold beverage and enjoy time relaxing steps from the water in Ocean Beach. This beachfront Bohemian-style property offers many casual comforts, including onsite laundry, private beach access, and waterfront balconies.

Additionally, dog lovers can bring their pets with them for a fun dog-friendly getaway with unique amenities just for the furbabies. Dog Beach is right behind the hotel.

Top pick for: Dog owners, families, and couples

Hotel amenities:

  • Private beach access gate
  • Exotic succulent garden
  • Outdoor heated pool
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • On-site laundry facility
  • Mini-refrigerator, microwave, and coffee maker in the room
  • TV with cable and HBO
  • Fully-stocked dog wash station
  • Fenced-In dog run

Onsite dining: None

Good to know: Four-legged guests receive complimentary dog treats and other unique pet-friendly amenities during their stay. Rooms are 100 percent smoke-free, and some rooms have scenic views of parks or the San Diego River Estuary.

3. Ocean Beach Hotel

Ocean Beach Hotel

Address: 5080 Newport Ave., San Diego, CA 92107

Distance from San Diego Airport: 4 miles ( approximately a 15-minute drive)

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Why go: Located directly on the beach, Ocean Beach Hotel is one of the few Ocean Beach hotels in San Diego that place guests steps from the sand and close to unique things to do along Newport Avenue and Abbott Street. Guests enjoy direct beach access and unforgettable views of San Diego’s coast.

This hotel has a peaceful courtyard and 2nd and 3rd-floor decks with breathtaking area views. It’s across the street from the beach. And, there are rooms specifically for pets.

Top pick for: Pet owners, families, couples, and singles

Hotel amenities:

  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Direct beach access
  • Courtyard with fountain and tables
  • Gift shop with snacks and drinks
  • Concierge desk
  • Iron, ironing board, and hair dryer in the room
  • Flat screen television with extended channels
  • Family suites

Onsite food: None other than what can be purchased in the gift shop.

Good to know: The water at the beach has two sections, one for surfing and one for swimming and boogie boarding. All rooms are non-smoking, and microwaves are available upon request from the front desk.

4. The Pearl Hotel

Exterior of The Pearl Hotel San Diego
The Pearl Hotel (Josh Cho Photography – Pearl Hotel)

Address: 1410 Rosecrans Street; San Diego, CA 92106

Distance from San Diego Airport: 2 miles (approximately a 10-minute drive)

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Why go: You want to stay in a hip, modern boutique hotel near the airport and over the hill from Ocean Beach that won’t break the bank.

The Pearl Hotel is one of the hotels near Ocean Beach, offering a mid-century designed hotel with modern amenities in the heart of Point Loma, San Diego. Designers Electric Bowery and Pow Wow Design Studio recently freshened up the hotel, adding contemporary designs to the existing 1960s architectural features.

Top pick for: Couples, singles, and business travelers

Hotel amenities:

  • LCD televisions with HBO
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Certified organic Mooncloth X Casetta bath amenities
  • Finery X Casetta bath robes
  • Terrace seating (in some rooms
  • Moderne oyster-shaped swimming pool
  • Onsite cocktail bar and restaurant

Onsite dining: In addition to the cocktail bar, guests at The Pearl Hotel can enjoy dining in the Charles + Dinorah restaurant which is also popular with locals. This restaurant offers dine-in and patio service, with a menu full of exquisite and traditional cuisine options.

Good to know: ADA rooms are available upon request when making hotel reservations. Room decor includes local ceramics and original and vintage artwork. The Casetta Shop offers on-site shopping, with several luxury items available. In addition, the Pearl Jr. Suite views the big screen from the balcony, allowing guests to enjoy dive-in movie nights in their rooms.

Awards: TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Award 2020

View to Ocean Beach from the Pacific Ocean.

Ocean Beach San Diego Vacation Rentals

If you’ve decided that an Ocean Beach vacation rental is more appropriate for your situation, I prefer Marriott Homes and Villas because they vet the properties and only use those with professional management. However, VRBO has the most availability.

Many travelers enjoy staying at vacation rentals instead of hotels near Ocean Beach San Diego because they offer a more eclectic experience, with unique amenities and features. For example, some vacation rentals have fully-equipped kitchens, making it possible to enjoy a home-cooked meal without having to go out for dinner at an expensive restaurant. Additionally, vacation rentals offer more privacy and extra space, plus some fantastic views from private balconies or decks.

More San Diego Hotels

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