This song finds the Florida natives reminiscing over their early days when they hung out on Ocean Boulevard in Jacksonville's Atlantic Beach. Ben Harper, Yellowcard's former guitarist, told The Boston Phoenix: "It's this place where we used to hang out in Jacksonville. Instead of talking about a girl, it's talking about a scene and a feeling that we want to get back to: hanging out and writing, before we moved to California."
While Yellowcard frontman Ryan Key was writing the lyrics, he changed "Ocean Boulevard" to "Ocean Avenue" because it rhymed better. The lyrics also reference Cherry Street, where Key's childhood home is located in Neptune Beach.
After signing with Capitol Records, Ocean Avenue was the band's major-label debut and the title track became their breakthrough hit - but it almost didn't happen. Key nearly cut the song from the album because he was struggling to finish the chorus.
Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man) directed the music video, which follows Ryan Key trapped in a time loop. It was a huge success, hitting #1 on Total Request Live and winning the MTV2 Award at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards.
This was used on the MTV reality series Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County in the 2004 episode "Fast Cars and Fast Women."
The band released an acoustic version of Ocean Avenue for the album's 10th anniversary.