Pacific Beach is a neighborhood in San Diego, bounded by La Jolla to the north, Mission Beach and Mission Bay to the south, Interstate 5 to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. While formerly largely populated by young people, surfers, and college students, because of rising property and rental costs the population is gradually becoming older, more professional, and more affluent. "P.B.," as it is known as by local residents, is home to one of San Diego's more developed nightlife scenes, with a great variety of bars, eateries, and clothing stores.
Pacific Beach was developed during the boom years of 1886-1888 by D. C. Reed, A. G. Gassen, Charles W. Pauley, R. A. Thomas, and O. S. Hubbell. It was Hubbell who "cleared away the grainfields, pitched a tent, mapped out the lots, hired an auctioneer and started to work". To attract people, they built a Race Track and the San Diego College of Letters, neither of which survive today. A railway also connected Pacific Beach with downtown San Diego, and was later extended to La Jolla.
As with many California cities, the history of its development can be traced back to the completion of a cross-country railroad in the late 1880s. In 1902, lots sold for between $350–700 for ocean-front property and by 1950, the population of Pacific Beach reached 30,000 and the average home sold for $12,000. Nonetheless, a small number of farms remained. Today, homes can sell for millions.
The United States Navy operated an anti-aircraft training center at Pacific Beach during World War II. During the 1960s, development continued to increase with the city’s investment in Mission Bay Park, including the developments of the Islandia, Vacation Village and Hilton Hotels. In 1964 Sea World opened, which is located only a few miles from Pacific Beach.
Today, Pacific Beach is home to a younger crowd, including college students, single professionals, and families. The restaurant and nightlife culture has grown extensively, with Garnet Avenue becoming the major hub for places to eat, drink, and shop, and includes a range of bars, restaurants, pubs, and coffee houses.