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Tours, Charters, Rentals and More - Many Great Ways to Get Out on the Water in San Diego

A mild climate and steady winds make San Diego the ultimate playground for boating of all kinds. From sabots to super yachts, cruise ships to catamarans, recreation to racing, San Diegans loves to get out on the water, and visitors can join in the fun with charter, rental and instructional services, plus dinner cruises, sportfishing, whale watching and other ocean-going outings.

Local Waters

San Diego's three harbors - Oceanside, Mission Bay and The Big Bay (including Point Loma, Coronado, the Downtown Waterfront and Chula Vista) - all offer marina facilities, boat rentals, private charters, scheduled excursions and boating classes. Small boats and kayaks can also be rented at some of San Diego's inland lakes and coastal beaches. Boat owners will find ample locations to launch, moor or repair their vessels, whether they're taking a spin around the bay, or making a stopover on an around-the-world cruise.

Beyond the Bay

For more adventurous boaters, the open ocean awaits. Long range sportfishermen often head 100 miles or more offshore, while Catalina Island is a favorite destination for coastal sailing enthusiasts. Cruise ships offer routes from San Diego to Mexico and beyond. Summer and Fall are the most predictable seasons to go to sea in San Diego, but if you’re manning your own vessel, make sure to check government agencies such as The National Weather Service or the San Diego Lifeguard Service for current information and forecasts to ensure your safety.


San Diego's affinity for boating has a long history, extending back to early Pacific explorers like Juan Cabrillo who stepped into history as the first European to set foot in California in San Diego bay in 1542. An excellent natural harbor and important stop on the California Mission circuit, San Diego's marine traffic grew rapidly during the colonial period and into the early 20th Century. Even before the Naval buildup during and following the Second World War, San Diego had already established itself in the boatbuilding, tuna fishing and shipping industries. Yachting and sailboat racing were a popular pastime - a continuing tradition that has spawned Americas Cup races, boats and crews.

Visit the San Diego Maritime Museum in Downtown San Diego and the USS Midway to discover more about San Diego's prominent roles in the history and sport of boating.

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