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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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Museum Month

Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2021

Our annual San Diego Museum Month program may look a little different this year, but February remains the perfect month to discover (or re-discover) the story of San Diego as told through our diverse range of museums, historic sites, gardens, zoo/aquariums and more.

Join us every day in February as we explore a rich world of cultural experiences, including virtual activities, behind-the-scenes tours, and other special museum moments you can only find in San Diego.

Follow San Diego Museum Council on social media for daily updates and happenings, and check back here soon for details. #SDMuseumMonth

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Virtual Encounters: The Regional Music of Mexico

Jan 31, 2021

This 50-minute live-hosted music and discussion event will explore the human experience as expressed through three styles of Mexican regional music. Hermanos Herrera, along with Dr. Rice, will explore the lived meanings of son jarochoson huasteco, and accordion-based norteño music, from northern Mexico. They will discuss each genre’s history as well as the stylistic differences among them. They will also tell the story of how they came to dedicate themselves to performing these particular styles. After each prerecorded performance segment, the group, with instruments in hand, will answer any questions you may have about a particular instrument, music style, and the personal and social significance of their music.

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San Diego Bird Festival

Feb 17 - Feb 21, 2021

The San Diego Audubon Society invites you to the San Diego Bird Festival, which celebrates the birds and habitats of San Diego county. We're celebrating the birds and habitats of our county, which truly offer some of the best birding in the United States.

In a world where social media and smart devices seem to be taking over, birds are a lovely reminder that the world is full of real experiences. All you need to do is Look Up! 

We hope you will join us for the celebration, and we'll give you plenty of opportunities to "look up" and see the birds of San Diego. Know that your experience is giving something back to the birds: the proceeds of this festival support the education, conservation, and sanctuary programs of San Diego Audubon Society. We thank you for your support, and hope to meet you at the Festival.

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LEARN YOUR CAMERA - PRIVATE TRAINING SESSION

Jun 24, 2020 - ongoing

Raise your photography to the next level with a private photography training session or a photography tour led by Julie Kremen, an award winning professional photographer and certified tour guide. Read the reviews and see why she is top-rated on TripAdvisor, and Yelp.

The instruction is completely customized to your abilities, interests, and goals; so you get the maximum amount of one-on-one instruction tailored to suit your needs. Personal instruction and the ability to shadow a skilled professional photographer allows you to receive immediate feedback as you shoot and get on-the-spot guidance as to how to improve.

Julie works closely with you before the session to nail down exactly what you want to concentrate on so you can get the most out of your experience. Contact us to book a private session and your boost your shooting skills!

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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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Museum Month

Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2021
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Virtual Encounters: The Regional Music of Mexico

Jan 31, 2021
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San Diego Bird Festival

Feb 17 - Feb 21, 2021
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LEARN YOUR CAMERA - PRIVATE TRAINING SESSION

Jun 24, 2020 - ongoing
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Mission Bay on Instagram

 

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Accommodation

Hotel Indigo Senior Discount

Hotel Indigo - San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
Valid: Jun 1, 2020 - ongoing

Seniors 62 years and older receive up to 15% off when booking in advance.  No additional room charge for grandchildren under 18 years of age.  No deposit of fee for your furry companions....

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Book Early with Parking Deal

Hotel Indigo - San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
Valid: Jun 1, 2020 - ongoing

Boost your Book Early savings with this parking inclusive package when staying 2 or more nights. Offer subject to limited parking spaces.   Additional Details *One Vehicle per...

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Essential Workers Offer

Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
Valid: Jan 4 - ongoing

We stand with Essential Workers and appreciate their work towards a better tomorrow. As such, we are offering a special discounted rate of 15% off for Essential Workers who stay at the Best Western...

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