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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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Sponsored

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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Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2021

The Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed strategically around the Bay off Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero North, Seaport Village, Embarcadero South Marina Park and Coronado Ferry Landing. The impeccably choreographed display will last approximately 17 minutes.

Come down to the bay and enjoy the biggest fireworks show in San Diego!

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Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular at SeaWorld

Jul 4, 2021

SeaWorld will celebrate Independence Day with a 15-minute display of fireworks set to a patriotic soundtrack.

More details to come.

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Private Coastal Wine Tasting Tour

May 4 - ongoing

Cruise South along the San Diego coast in our private van to visit our three Carruth Cellars Tasting Rooms in Carlsbad, Solana Beach and Little Italy; enjoy an in-depth dive into Carruth Cellar's wine, winemaking practices, history and our communities!

$138 non-members | $110 for members
(Members, check your emails for the discount code)

Available for groups of 4-6. Includes a tasting flight and glass of wine (6 tastings + 1 glass), charcuterie board, wood fired pizza, transportation and private tour guide/wine educator. Receive an additional discount on any wine purchases made the day of your tour!

* Please note that tours start at our CARLSBAD VILLAGE Tasting Room! Coming from downtown? We recommend taking the coaster (our Tasting Room backs up to the Carlsbad Coaster Station) or an Uber to Carlsbad!

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Bonfires on the Bay

May 4 - ongoing

Indulge in our signature Paradise beach bonfire experience with a reserved fire pit for you and your family. An unforgettable three-hour beach experience with exclusive fireside service. One fire pit accommodates up to 6 people. Food and Beverage is available for purchase on-site at Barefoot Bar and Grill, please purchase prior to your fire pit time. 

North Beach Portable Bonfire (open to the public): $150 for three hours

Holiday Weekend Portable Bonfire: $200 for three hours

Sunset times starting at 5:30pm & 7:00pm!

Included in the price: Up to 6 guests, Beach chairs, S’mores kit, Two Bundles of Wood
** Additional bundle of wood can be purchased on-site at $15 per bundle **

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SeaWorld San Diego

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Mission Bay Aquatic Park

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Belmont Park

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Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2021
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Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular at SeaWorld

Jul 4, 2021
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Private Coastal Wine Tasting Tour

May 4 - ongoing
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Bonfires on the Bay

May 4 - ongoing
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Mission Bay on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

Accommodation

AAA Member Rate

Pacific Terrace Hotel
Valid: Jan 13, 2021 - ongoing

As the only Four Diamond Hotel on the beach in San Diego (we've earned the distinction every year since 2007) we'd love to welcome you! AAA Members are able to take advantage of discounts up to 15%...

Accommodation

Plan Now, Pack Later Offer

The Dana on Mission Bay
Valid: Jan 13 - ongoing

Why not secure a San Diego getaway at one of the city's premier waterfront resorts in 2021? Enjoy special savings of up to 20% off our Best Flexible Rate when you book at least 60 days in advance. To...

Tours & Sightseeing

Save 20% on an Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Amazing Scavenger Hunts by Urban Adventure Quest
Valid: Jan 1 - ongoing

Turn San Diego's Old Town or Balboa Park into a giant game board with this fun Scavenger Hunt Adventure. Combine the excitement of the Amazing Race with a three-hour city tour. Guided from any smart...

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