Ocean Beach was given its name by developers Billy Carlson and Frank Higgins in 1887. The beachfront was the main attraction, although in the early 20th century, getting to Ocean Beach was a bit of a trek. Another draw was Wonderland, an amusement park at the northern end of the neighborhood that was washed away in 1916. Cottages, bungalows, and apartments were built through the years and attracted (and continue to attract) students, surfers, and free-spirited types. OB was somewhat isolated from the rest of the city until Interstate 8 was built in the mid-1960s. Ocean Beach is fondly looked upon as the neighborhood that time forgot, and it still has that hippie vibe—a carryover from the 1960s and '70s that never really left.
Tropical Islands was built by the Malaysian corporation Tanjong in the former airship hangar known as the Aerium. The hangar – the third largest free-standing hall in the world – was originally designed to protect large airships from the elements. It was purchased by Tanjong on 11 June 2003 for €17.5 million, of which €10 million was a subsidy from the federal state of Brandenburg. The building permit for constructing the theme park inside the hall was granted on 2 February 2004 and Tropical Islands officially opened on 19 December 2004.
A little chilly so make sure to bring a jacket if you come here during the evening. I came here in January when the skies were clear and the weather was nice. My best friend and I came here with a cup of coffee from "Rise n Grind" to watch the sunset and it was such a beautiful evening out. Yes, it's a nice place to relax the but environment just didn't do it for me. My friend is from Florida and I've visited her there as well, and Ocean Beach was NOTHING like the nice white sand beaches in Florida.
Ursula Andress, appearing as Honey Rider in the 1962 British James Bond film, Dr. No, wore a white bikini, which became known as the "Dr. No bikini". It became one of the most famous bikinis of all time and an iconic moment in cinematic and fashion history. Andress said that she owed her career to that white bikini, remarking, "This bikini made me into a success. As a result of starring in Dr. No as the first Bond girl, I was given the freedom to take my pick of future roles and to become financially independent."
When it comes to shopping in OB, don't miss The Black, a smoke shop that is also a neighborhood institution. Kind of a head shop/novelty/record store, The Black is like going back in time to the hippie decade. Ocean Beach Antique Mall on Newport Avenue is where to go for unique vintage finds and home goods. Sunshine Daydreams is a little boho-chic clothing boutique, and the Black Bead is a mecca for jewelry hobbyists.