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Mission Bay & Beaches

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. 

Photo By Luis Garcia

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

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

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. Surfers should test their skills at the WaveHouse.  

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.

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.  

Discover Mission Bay & Beaches

What's Hot
What's On

Mission Bay Bike Path

Mission Bay features 12 miles of flat, family-friendly scenic bike paths to enjoy and explore. 


Belmont Park

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


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.  


SeaWorld San Diego

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


Fall in San Diego


Chauffeured Distillery Tour

Oct 20, 2016 - ongoing

Taste San Diego's sensational spirits, crafted from grain to glass.Taste locally made whiskey, rum, vodka, gin, brandy; lunch; pint of beer, behind-the-scenes guided tours. Pick up & drop off included in Chauffeured Distillery Tour.


Celebration Run San Diego Half Marathon & 5K

Nov 6, 2016

Maybe it's a new job, good health or family and friends. Celebration Run is a premier Half Marathon & 10K that empowers each participant on his or her journey.


Boomont Park Fall Festival and Haunt

Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2016

Celebrate Halloween all month long at Belmont Park's Boomont Park Fall Festival and Haunt with a pumpkin patch, trick-or-treating and a spooky roller-coaster.


Summer Movies in the Park

May 27 - ongoing

Summer Movies in the Park San Diego is a perfect chance to relax and enjoy a safe and special night under the stars. Come early and get a good seat!


37th Annual OB Holiday Parade

Dec 3, 2016

Come find out what the locals have known for 30+ years - Santa would rather be in the quaint little surfing village of OB at the Ocean Beach Holiday Parade.


Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights

Dec 10, 2016

The Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights, a distinctly California celebration, features boats decorated for the holidays that will sail around the Bay.


Deals just for you


Free Kids Welcome Gift at Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa (approximate $25 value)

Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa
Valid: Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2016

Free Kids Welcome Gift (approximate $25 value). One bucket of fun per voucher.


Kids Play and Ride Free at Belmont Park

Belmont Park
Valid: Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2016

1 Free Child with Purchase of Adult Unlimited Ride Wristband. 1 Free child's Unlimited Laser Tag wristband with purchase of adult’s Unlimited Laser Tag wristband. One Free Cotton Candy w/ the Purchase of a Ice Cream Cone at The Sweet Shoppe!


Spa Rejuvenation Package

Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa
Valid: Oct 30, 2015 - ongoing

Rejuvenate and relax your mind and body with our Spa Rejuvenation Package. This package allows you to pamper yourself in any way you choose with a $100 spa credit per stay.

Related Articles and Features

Mission Beach Centennial

100 Years Young and the Spirit Lives On!

From its beginnings in 1914 through today, Mission Beach is turning 100 years young and the spirit lives on!

Parks & Gardens

San Diego Dog Beaches and Off Leash Dog Parks

Places to play fetch or doggy-paddle

Find dog-friendly beaches and off leash dog parks in San Diego that are great for your dog to perfect its doggy-paddle, play fetch, or have a snore-fest on the warm sand.

Whale Watching

Blue Whale Watching in San Diego

Encounter the World's Largest Mammal Up Close

During the summer and fall, San Diego whale watching companies and charters invite visitors and locals to marvel at pods of migrating massive blue whales.


San Diego Surf Scene - Inside Scoop

Local tips and information to help you get into the surf

Ready to surf San Diego-style? Check out some of our local tips and information to help you get into the surf effortlessly.


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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.






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