arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

San Diego's Water Wonderland

A water-lover's paradise

If it's the water that you love, nowhere in Southern California gives you more choices to get out on the water and play than Mission Bay and the surrounding beaches. From sailing and fishing to surfing and tide pooling, you'll find it all here.  

San Diego's Aquatic Playground

Mission Bay is a saltwater bay that is part of Mission Bay Park, the largest man-made aquatic park in the country. The park encompasses 4,600 acres that are about half land and half water, with 27 miles of shoreline and 19 miles of sandy beaches, where you’ll find 14 miles of bike paths, children’s playgrounds, grassy park areas, basketball courts and volleyball nets. You can rent bicycles and every type of water sports equipment including speed boats and water skis, sailboats, jet skis, kite boards, stand-up paddle boards and kayaks. There are also several areas where you can have a bonfire along the water's edge.  

The area offers a host of accommodations, from small hotels to large luxury resorts. Activities and attractions on the bay include sportfishing, SeaWorld San Diego, the Mission Bay Aquatic Center where you’ll find classes for every type of water sport and the Bahia Belle boat cruise, a turn-of-the-century, Mississippi-style sternwheeler that cruises Mission Bay and offers an early family hour and late-night nightclub entertainment. Mission Bay is a favorite location for destination weddings and family reunions as well as meetings and special events.  

The beaches in this area include Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach. Mission and Pacific Beaches are best known for the boardwalk that runs the entire length of the beach and the party atmosphere. This is a favorite spot for the 20-something crowd on the beach and surrounding neighborhood streets. Bike and surfboard rentals are readily available and the area offers plenty of food and accommodation choices, from luxury to affordable and from romantic to rowdy. Activities and attractions in the area include Belmont Park with the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, laser tag, miniature golf, rock climbing, arcade, bumper cars and more, and the Beach House Grill Club for a true SoCal waterfront dining experience. Crystal Pier, built in the 1930’s, offers Cape Cod-style cottages out over the Pacific and Tourmaline Surf Park Beach is a good place for novice surfers with local surf shops offering gear and lessons.  

Ocean Beach, known as OB locally, is a considered San Diego’s “hippie” beach neighborhood. Streets here are lined with antique stores, funky boutiques, casual restaurants and bars. The wide sandy beach is popular with surfers, rentals are available, and is one of the few beaches in the area to allow dogs. The OB Pier is the longest concrete pier on the west coast and is a favorite for pier fishing. A fishing license is not required here and you’ll find a bait shop on the pier. There are tide pools below the pier that are worth checking out at low tide and fire rings on the beach are available for beach bonfires.  

Just 15 minutes from Downtown and centrally located in San Diego county, Mission Bay and surrounding beaches is a great home base for a visit to San Diego. 

 

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Accommodation

Make it a 3-day weekend and save with Hilton

Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Valid: Jan 31 - ongoing

Are you ready for a long weekend in San Diego? Book your 3-day weekend and and save up to 50% on Sunday. Bike along the La Jolla coastline. Soak up the sun on the beach. Wander through the zoo,...

Accommodation

Park Stay and Go Package

Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside
Valid: Aug 22, 2019 - ongoing

Our special Cruise Ship offer includes parking for up to 10 days after staying at least 1 night with us. We also provide complimentary shuttle service to and from the San Diego International Airport...

Spas & Wellness

Autumn Rain Body Treatment

The Spa at Paradise Point - Paradise Point
Valid: Sep 13 - ongoing

This magical winter treatment begins with a luscious whipped honey exfoliation in our signature Vichy Shower that whisks away rough dry skin from arms, legs and décolleté. Finish with an...

Events to check out

Event

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl

Dec 27, 2019

Don't miss America's Finest Bowl Experience! This signature San Diego event annually showcases a thrilling game between some of college football’s most competitive conferences, the Big Ten and...

Event

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Dec 8 - Dec 15, 2019

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is a time-honored holiday tradition with more than 80 boats lavishly decorated sailing by the shores for all to see.

Event

San Diego International Auto Show

Jan 1 - Jan 5, 2020

Where the cars are the stars! The San Diego International Auto Show features the widest variety of new vehicles under one roof.

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

Read More

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish