arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin
Welcome to the

South Bay

Gateway to Mexico and the Baja California Region

Located south of downtown San Diego and just north of the Mexico border lies the area known as San Diego's South Bay, the gateway to Baja California. This area is home to a number of exciting experiences including the Aquatica SeaWorld Waterpark and the Living Coast Discovery Center, a budget friendly aquarium experience at the center of the 316-acre Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge on San Diego Bay.

Find a place to stay

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

Surfing, biking and birding in the South Bay

San Diego's South Bay offers great surfing, sport fishing, beach volleyball and horseback riding along the coast and well as some of the best Mexican food this side of the border.  

Connecting the South Bay to Coronado, you'll find a portion of the Bayshore Bikeway, one of the most beautiful bike paths in California.  This 10-mile portion features a flat, palm tree lined path with stunning views of the San Diego Bay and Silver Strand State Beach, a great spot for families to camp, swim, surf, kayak and fish.  It also borders the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, a 3,940-acre wetland sanctuary for endangered and migrating birds, often seen from the bike path.

On the south end is Imperial Beach and the Tijuana Estuary, the largest salt water marsh in Southern California and another great spot to see migratory birds and local wildlife.  Adjacent to the Estuary is the Living Coast Discovery Center, a family friendly aquarium and nature center.  Other attractions in the area include Aquatica SeaWorld's Waterpark, the US Olympic Training Center, with free tours of the center available on Saturdays at 11:00 AM, the Sleep Train Amphitheater where big name bands perform under the stars, the Las Americas Premium Outlets, as well as golf and a scenic harbor and waterfront park. 

The National City neighborhood of the South Bay has a strong military presence; its three-mile port area along the San Diego Bay is part of Naval Base San Diego, the largest U.S. Naval base on the west coast.

> Check out The Big Bay for information on South Bay's waterfronts
> Click here for a brochure on 10 Points of Interest in South Bay
> Click here to visit San Diego's South Bay


Getting to the South Bay

South Bay sits in a unique location bordering Mexico and just minutes from downtown San Diego. By car, you'll be here in no time as both major interstate freeways (I-5 and I-805) end at the US Border. For those who are energy-conscious, take the Blue Trolley line into the main artery of South Bay. Catch the trolley from Old Town Station and enjoy the scenery as you end at the San Ysidro Transit Center near the border with Mexico. From Coronado, drive the picturesque Silver Strand south through Imperial Beach to arrive at South Bay. 

Discover South Bay

What's Hot
What's On

San Diego 24-mile Bike Route

The Bayshore Bikeway, one of the most beautiful bike paths in America, runs through San Diego's South Bay. 


Living Coast Discovery Center


Discover Art in the South Bay


Wetlands & Wildlife


Fall in San Diego


Silver Strand Half Marathon, 10 Miler & Veterans Day 5K

Nov 13, 2016

Run, Walk, Skate, Roll, ElliptiGO during the Silver Strand Half Marathon, 10 Miler & Veterans Day 5K with the waves of the Pacific Ocean on your right.


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!


San Diego South Bay Turkey Trot & Food Drive 15K, 10K & 5K

Nov 24, 2016

Put your turkey in the oven, pack up the family and come and run or walk San Diego South Bay Turkey Trot & Food Drive that has 3 distances to choose from.


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.


Izcalli Dia de los Muertos

Oct 29, 2016

The Annual Day of the Dead Festival will feature Classic Lowrider cars, altars, live entertainment, traditional foods and vendors displaying handmade art.


Chula Vista Starlight Parade

Dec 3, 2016

Celebrate the Season in Downtown Chula Vista! The Chula Vista Starlight Parade is a great way to kick-off the holiday season and get in the festive spirit!


Deals just for you


Kids Go Free to the Living Coast Discovery Center

Living Coast Discovery Center
Valid: Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2016

Children 12/under receive free entry with paid admission of one adult with coupon at Valid for 2 children/paid adult. Does not apply on field trips, special exhibits/events. Cannot be combined with other offer/coupon.

Parks & Gardens

Kids Go Free to the Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center

Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center
Valid: Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2016

Children 12 and under receive free entry to the Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center with a paid admission of at least one accompanying adult. Valid for 2 children per paid adult.

Promotional Gifts

Receive a FREE Tote Bag With Purchase of Ticket!

San Diego Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours
Valid: Oct 20, 2016 - ongoing

Book a Chauffeured Distillery Tour and receive a FREE canvas tote bag! Book your tour today by calling 858-551-5115. We are open every day from 9am-9pm (PST).



Related Articles and Features

Parks & Gardens

Wetlands and Wildlife

Get Back in Nature in San Diego’s South Bay

San Diego is one of the most biologically rich counties in the United States, sheltering more endangered plants and animals than any other county in the nation. In fact, three national wildlife preserves border the southern end of San Diego Bay and another refuse sits just a few miles off the coast, making it of the best places in the entire state to bird watch or simply get back to nature.

Arts & Culture

Exploring Art in South Bay

Discover the hidden treasures

Experience dramatic sculptures, beautiful art, murals and more that capture the passion of the local artistic residents and the spirit of neighborhoods like Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City, San Ysidro, and Port of San Diego Bayfront. San Diego's South Bay has some notable compelling art worth seeing.

History & Heritage

South Bay's Historic Heritage

Landmarks, Arts and Culture and More

Spend a day exploring the many landmarks that make up San Diego South Bay's historic heritage.

Sports & Recreation

Car Cruises and Auto Shows in San Diego

Classics to the Latest Cars

San Diego's car cruises and auto shows are the perfect way to spend a warm evening checking out everything from classics to the latest and greatest.


Explore theNeighborhood

Where to Stay

Areas of Interest

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

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.






Follow Us


English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China Deutschland Great Britain Japan Mexico Korea USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish