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Mission Bay & Beaches

From boardwalks to bonfires - you'll find it all here

San Diego's Water Wonderland

Located just minutes from downtown is San Diego's water wonderland, Mission Bay Park. The 4,600-acre aquatic playground is the largest of its kind in the world. Surrounded by 27 miles of meandering shoreline, with a variety of waterways, inlets and islets to explore, Mission Bay is bordered by several beach communities, each with their own distinct vibe. You will quickly discover that this bustling bay area is action packed from sun up to sun down.  

Mission Bay 

Here you can enjoy water sports activities of every kind. From sailing lessons, kite surfing, and stand-up paddle boarding, to jet skiing, wake boarding and everything in between, there’s something for every age and skill-level to enjoy in the water. You can also take a moonlit cruise on Bahia Belle, a sternwheeler fashioned after a Mississippi riverboat that often features live music. On land, families can rent bikes, picnic, and barbecue or celebrate with bonfires right next to the water.  Accommodations in the area are plentiful, from high-end luxury resorts to budget friendly hotels.  Mission Bay is also home to SeaWorld San Diego, the world-famous marine life adventure park. With awe-inspiring shows, thrilling rides and unforgettable face-to-face animal encounters, kids of all ages will enjoy exploring the wonders and adventures of the sea. If sport fishing is your passion, a number of operators depart from Mission Bay with options for half-day, full-day and multi-day trips. During the twice yearly seasons, many of these same boats also offer whale watching tours.

Mission Beach and Pacific Beach

With an ambiance of an eternal spring break, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are the gathering place of San Diego's 20-something crowd. Along the 3-mile oceanfront boardwalk, you'll find funky surf shops, beach bars, cafes  and nightclubs. A variety of upscale resorts and family hotels are also scattered along the coast. Be sure to visit Mission Beach’s iconic Belmont Park amusement park and entertainment center for a ride on the Giant Dipper roller coaster or game of laser tag.

Ocean Beach

With a funky vibe all its own, Ocean Beach features a quirky collection of antique and vintage stores, bars, restaurants, artist studios and eccentric local haunts, most of which can be found on Newport Avenue, the main road through town. And if you’re looking to enjoy the beach with your canine friend, there is also a pet friendly dog beach with dog wash establishments within walking distance.

Sunset Cliffs

Located between Ocean Beach and Point Loma you'll find Sunset Cliffs, and the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, a 68-acre recreational area that extends 1-1/2 miles along the Point Loma peninsula’s western shoreline and features park lands, dramatic cliff formations and coastal sea caves. Access to the water here is limited but the setting provides some of the most picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean. Sunset Cliffs lives up to its name and has long served as an attraction for San Diego residents as well as visitors, who gather on the cliffs each dusk to watch the most amazing sunsets you’ll ever see. Just be sure to stand a safe distance away from the edge, as the cliffs are slippery and the surf is powerful.

 

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Getting to Mission Bay & Beaches

Mission Bay is part of the recreational Mission Bay Park, the largest man-made aquatic park in the country, consisting of 4,235 acres with an equal split of land and water. The surrounding beaches include Pacific Beach to the North, Mission Beach to the West and Ocean Beach to the South.  Main access to the area is from the I-5 and I-8 freeways. Mission Bay is approximately 8 miles from the airport with an average drive time of less than 15 minutes.  The area is serviced by multiple bus routes and Old Town Trolley Tours offers a option for this area with on and off privileges in Pacific Beach and Mission Beach.  

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SeaWorld San Diego

Get up close and personal with sea creatures of every kind plus enjoy rides, shows and more.

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Mission Bay Aquatic Park

San Diego's water wonderland, the 4,600 acre aquatic park is the largest in the country and offers every type of water sport imaginable.

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Belmont Park

This classic beachfront amusement park offers the Giant Dipper roller coaster, rides, laser tag, arcade games and more.

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San Diego International Film Festival

Oct 14 - Oct 24, 2021

The Power of Perspective. In-Person and Virtual Screenings

This October, we’re looking forward to celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the San Diego Intl Film Festival with a hybrid of both virtual and in-person screenings and events. While features, documentaries and shorts will be available on demand in the Festival Virtual Village, we are excited to announce in-person events and screenings at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, the Catamaran Resort on Mission Bay and the USS Midway!

The Festival celebrates the power of film to create empathy via new perspectives that emerge from powerful and compelling storytelling. The line-up includes film premieres, new studio releases, the best in independent filmmaking, industry panels and live chats with filmmakers from around the world.

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Bikes & Beer San Diego

Nov 20, 2021

Bikes and Beers San Diego is back for a 6th year! Ride 15 or 30 miles through the city of San Diego with a large group and enjoy some of the best sights of the city!

The event benefits BikeSD to improve cycling conditions in San Diego. Have fun and give back to a great cause!

The post-ride festival will feature live music, food trucks, outside games and of course.. free beer!! We hope to see you there!

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SeaWorld Howl-O-Scream

Sep 29 - Oct 31, 2021

Don't miss Howl-O-Scream, San Diego's newest and biggest nighttime Halloween event featuring multiple haunted houses, roller coasters in the dark, themed cocktail bars and more.

Evade angry haunts as they rampage through scare zones. Seek shelter indoors, only to find you've entered a house of horrors. Quench your thirst for fear with fiendishly delicious cocktails, beer, and spirits. Feel the monstrous electricity of a live show. Dance the night away at steam-punk themed dance club, The Underground. And deepen the thrills with a nighttime coaster ride. Above all, try to resist the eyes of evil that threaten to follow you everywhere. Experience the thrill of Howl-O-Scream, select nights NOW through October 31.

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SeaWorld Spooktacular

Sep 18 - Oct 31, 2021

Halloween is back with candy, costumes, your favorite Sesame Street® friends, and plenty of spooky surprises. Treat your family to all the festive fun of SeaWorld Spooktacular® this fall!

Kids love trick-or-treating during this daytime event as they explore our decorated trail and meet all sorts of colorful characters. And that’s just the beginning! From spooky stories and a Halloween dance party to moments with furry friends like Count von Count, Elmo, Cookie Monster, and more, this is immersive family fun you’ll only find here. SeaWorld Spooktacular runs weekends Sept. 18 – Oct. 31 and is included with park admission.

Admission to Spooktacular is FREE for Pass Members and Fun Card Holders (no additional purchase necessary).

 

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Mission Bay Aquatic Park

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San Diego International Film Festival

Oct 14 - Oct 24, 2021
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Bikes & Beer San Diego

Nov 20, 2021
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SeaWorld Howl-O-Scream

Sep 29 - Oct 31, 2021
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SeaWorld Spooktacular

Sep 18 - Oct 31, 2021
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AARP/Senior Rate

Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
Valid: Jan 12, 2021 - ongoing

AARP Members or guests 55+ enjoy a discounted rate. Valid AARP Membership card or ID required. Your health and safety is our top priority, although we are open, we encourage you to read what we are...

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Cars Stay Free at The Westin San Diego Downtown

The Westin San Diego Downtown
Valid: Mar 23 - ongoing

Lock in savings during your next getaway. Book our parking package and enjoy free parking while you take in the sights of San Diego. Our prime downtown location makes it easy to reach the city's...

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Advance Purchase Rate

Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
Valid: Jan 12, 2021 - ongoing

Plan Ahead & Save! The early bird gets the worm! Plan in advance and save up to 20% ! Must be booked at least 60 days in advance. You deserve a waterfront getaway at Island Palms in...

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