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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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Winter Wonder at Belmont Park

Nov 26, 2021 - Jan 2, 2022

Belmont Park is bringing families and friends together for the holiday season with its second annual Winter Wonder holiday spectacular.

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NYE Celebration

Dec 31, 2021

Ring in 2022 while cruising Mission Bay aboard the legendary William D. Evans and enjoy multiple floors of live DJs, champagne toast, chef choice appetizers, cash bar, and party favors. The party boards at 10:00 p.m. and returns at 12:30 a.m. Must be at least 21 with valid ID to board.

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SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration

Nov 12, 2021 - Jan 2, 2022

SeaWorld San Diego’s Christmas Celebration is the fan-favorite experience that brings families together with priceless traditions and fun-filled surprises.

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Holiday Happenings at Pacific Terrace Hotel

Nov 29, 2021 - Jan 3, 2022

Spend a cozy coastal Christmas at the Pacific Terrace Hotel this holiday season! Enjoy our Hoppy Holidays and 'Tis the Season Holiday packages, cookies and cider, Santa letter writing station, and much more. With our special holiday hotel offers and enhancements, festive activities, complimentary treats, and comprehensive lists on the best local holiday happenings, Pacific Terrace is your premier choice for a San Diego winter getaway!

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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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Winter Wonder at Belmont Park

Nov 26, 2021 - Jan 2, 2022
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NYE Celebration

Dec 31, 2021
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SeaWorld's Christmas Celebration

Nov 12, 2021 - Jan 2, 2022
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Holiday Happenings at Pacific Terrace Hotel

Nov 29, 2021 - Jan 3, 2022
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Pet Friendly Package at the Bristol Hotel

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Valid: May 7 - ongoing

The Bristol is a pet friendly hotel in San Diego where you and your pet will feel right at home.

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Hydrobikes San Diego
Valid: Apr 12, 2021 - ongoing

Reserve online or just walk in. A great way to take a bike ride right on the water in America's Cup Harbor, San Diego Bay. Have off our tandem or single bikes. Check in at Disco's Paddle...

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

AAA and CAA Members save 10% off of our Flexible Rate. Valid membership card required at check-in. Your health and safety is our top priority, although we are open, we encourage you to read what we...

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