Bessemer Path is a public walking trail along the bay shore in Point Loma. Adjacent to a residential neighborhood, the path is popular among locals, but not overcrowded. This off-the-beaten path destination is full of beauty and secrets that make it worth a visit.
To get here, park on the street at Talbot Street and Anchorage Lane next to the San Diego Yacht Club. A marker at La Playa Cove on Talbot Street designates the site of a Chinese fishing village from around 1860 to the early 1890’s.
Bessemer Path is a portion of the historical La Playa Trail, the oldest European trail along the Pacific Coast. Native Kumeyaay Indians were first to use the trail. According to the La Playa Trail Association, the trail is referenced by Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo, the Spanish explorer who is credited for discovering the San Diego Bay on Sept. 28, 1542. We love that the trail is an important piece of San Diego history!
Enjoy the peacefulness of the bay and beautiful landscapes as you walk. A tree swing near the end of the path is an unexpected delight that adds to the charm! You’ll feel like you’ve discovered a hidden spot.
The path ends about a half mile north near the Southwestern Yacht Club. You can either loop around at that point, or continue through the neighborhood to Kelloggs Beach, a sandy “locals” beach overlooking the bay. If you want to take a classic picture of the San Diego skyline, Kelloggs Beach is where its at.
Newbreak Coffee & Cafe (1959 Abbott St) is directly across the street from the beach. Sit outside for the view or grab a snack to-go and wander. If you have to work before you can play, Newbreak also offers free wifi.
Hodad’s (5010 Newport Ave) is a family owned business that started out in 1969 by selling burgers on the beach. Search for the best burger in San Diego, and Hodad’s is sure to be on the list. For a classic Hodad’s experience, try the bacon cheeseburger with a side of onion rings. Eat-in, or carry your order back to the beach.
Ocean Beach Dog Beach is famous for being the first off-leash dog beach in the United States. We’ve included it in our free Beyond the Zoo Guide to Ocean Beach & Point Loma because it’s a unique spot to visit – with or without a dog. We’re of the opinion that there’s something special about hanging out on the beach with a bunch of happy wet dogs.
Stroll the beach and make a few new doggie friends along the way. For a memorable end to the day, time your evening visit with sunset, then cross over to the other side of lifeguard tower number five for a beach bonfire with s’mores. We can help supply your bonfire needs.
The sand dunes at Ocean Beach Dog Beach provide habitat for native plant species. These plants help to protect against erosion and sea level rise and they give food and shelter to native wildlife. Follow the nature trail through the dunes to discover tiny treasures, like the rare Red Sand Verbena.
The sand dunes at Ocean Beach Dog Beach also provide the perfect opportunity for a nature scavenger hunt! Resources like iNaturalist (available as an Android or iOS App), Calfora, and Calscape can help you identify plant and animal species.
Unique wetland habitats exist where the Pacific Ocean channels into the San Diego River. Smiley Lagoon, on the far east end of Ocean Beach Dog Beach, is one such area that is accessible and fun to explore during low tide. Snowy Egrets, like the one in the video below, are a common year-round visitor here.
Also nearby is the Famosa Slough, a 37-acre wetland restoration area. According to Friends of Famosa Slough there have been over 180 species of migrating and local birds observed at the slough.
Slough (sloo) n.
Birds, native plants, and other wildlife can be viewed along nature paths at both destinations.
A stagnant swamp, marsh, bog, or pond, especially as part of a bayou, inlet, or backwater
San Diego residents know that Labor Day is the unofficial end to the summer tourist season. Or, as some call it, the beginning of the Local Summer.
September and October are traditionally a little warmer, with Santa Anna winds sometimes making it miserable inland, but over all quite nice. Water temperatures are still climbing along the coast, cool nights, and plenty of sunshine.
It’s perfect bonfire weather. Learn about or book our bonfire service here.
Looking for a short, but memorable, outing? Don’t miss Ocean Beach Municipal Pier. At 1971 feet it’s the longest concrete pier on the West Coast and it provides plenty of photo opportunities along this easy .6 mile walk all the way and back.
Things to Do
Enjoy the view!
Watch the surfers
Talk to people fishing (or rent equipment and do some fishing yourself, no license required on the pier)