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 Baja California

Surfing, biking and birding in the South Bay

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 attractions and also 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. North of the Estuary, located on the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, is the Living Coast Discovery Center, a family friendly aquarium and nature center with walking trails. The Living Coast is home to more than 350 animal and plant species native to the San Diego Bay habitat. Other attractions in the area include Aquatica SeaWorld's Waterpark, the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center (formerly 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 as well as golf and a scenic harbor and waterfront park.

An easy drive from Downtown San Diego, and just off the 805 freeway at the last U.S. exit before the border, is the area's largest outlet center, Las Americas Premium Outlets, which features more than 125 stores including many top name brands. With daily savings up to 65% off, it's worth the visit and shopping here is accented by beautiful courtyards, fountains, statues, and elegant architecture.

South Bay is home to the CBX Cross Border Xpress, the bi-national connection between San Diego and Tijuana. The enclosed pedestrian bridge connects directly to Tijuana International Airport, allowing for easier, hassle-free international travel in and out of San Diego.

The neighborhood of Barrio Logan brings a unique culture and spirit to San Diego. The area is home to Chicano Park, the geographic and emotional heart of Barrio Logan. Now a National Landmark, Chicano Park is home to the largest concentration of Chicano Murals in the world with more than 80 paintings on seven acres. 

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 to visit San Diego's South Bay

 

 

Find a place to stay

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

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. 

Discover

Discover Art in the South Bay

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.

Discover

Living Coast Discovery Center

The Living Coast Discovery Center is a nonprofit zoo and aquarium uniquely set on San Diego Bay. Visitors enjoy up-close animal encounters with endangered green sea turtles, shorebirds, hawks, owls, sharks, stingrays, jellies and more. Uniquely located on the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, The Living Coast is home to more than 350 animal and plant species native to the San Diego Bay habitat.

Discover

THE SECRET LA JOLLA TOUR

Jun 24, 2020 - ongoing

This private tour showcases some of the outstanding yet hidden scenery of the La Jolla area, plus funky, quirky and mind-boggling art. You’ll also experience “San Diego’s newest tourist attraction” – a remarkable treasure that even locals don’t know about!

On this private tour, you’ll stroll through a vast outdoor public art collection specifically designed for the landscape and surroundings. Learn about the origin of the collection, how the artists are chosen, and the meanings of the selected pieces.

The La Jolla area is home to some of the most unique structures in the country, including a Brutalism-style gem with a tie-in to Dr. Suess and an architectural wonder which is one of the American Institute of Architecture’s “31 Buildings That Changed Modern Life.” 

But Shhhhh…. don’t tell anyone about these places….they’re secret!

Discover

PRIVATE CUSTOMIZABLE ICONIC CITY HIGHLIGHTS TOUR

Nov 4, 2020 - ongoing

Journey with award winning tour guide Julie around San Diego’s cultural and historic sites—on a private tour of fun and informative must-see sightseeing hotspots.

OLD TOWN:   Take a trip into the past and learn about our rich Spanish and Mexican heritage and why we are the “Birthplace of California.” Experience our original city—colorful and festive now, but find out why it wasn’t always that way.

DOWNTOWN:  Explore these San Diego Downtown essentials: scenic San Diego Bay’s Embarcadero waterfront, the famous and vibrant Gaslamp Quarter, hip and historic Little Italy, and Petco Park.

BALBOA PARK:  The cultural heartbeat of our city; you will fall in love with the country’s largest urban cultural park and be dazzled discovering its origins as you take in its incredible vegetation, gorgeous flowers and ornate architecture.

Discover

RelayPlay Personalized Experiences

Feb 18 - ongoing

Finding “things to do” is tough and sorting through a thousand events can be maddening! Every week our local experts personalize your TOP FIVE can’t miss Weekend Experiences, so you can maximize your time away from work.  Sign Up for Free at RelayPlay.com

Discover

PRIVATE SHUTTLED COASTAL GEMS TOUR

Jun 24, 2020 - ongoing

Breezy palm trees, captivating coastal vistas, postcard perfect cliffs, colorful beach umbrellas, hidden sea caves, picturesque ocean coves, crashing waves... Need we say more? This is the quintessential southern California beach and seascape tour you’ve always wanted to do. On this private tour, check out the affluent lifestyle of La Jolla with its Mediterranean architecture, unmatched coastline and delightful wildlife. Experience primo Southern California beach culture at a bustling three-mile boardwalk filled with skateboarders, runners, inline skaters, bikers, and sun worshippers as well as one of the top surfing spots on our 70 miles of picturesque coastline. Step back in time viewing Coronado’s charming beaches, elegant residences; and partake in other seaside surprises! 

Live the California Dream!

Discover

What's Hot

View More

San Diego 24-mile Bike Route

Discover

Discover Art in the South Bay

Discover

Living Coast Discovery Center

Discover

What's On

View More Events

THE SECRET LA JOLLA TOUR

Jun 24, 2020 - ongoing
Discover

PRIVATE CUSTOMIZABLE ICONIC CITY HIGHLIGHTS TOUR

Nov 4, 2020 - ongoing
Discover

RelayPlay Personalized Experiences

Feb 18 - ongoing
Discover

PRIVATE SHUTTLED COASTAL GEMS TOUR

Jun 24, 2020 - ongoing
Discover

South Bay on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

Tours & Sightseeing

$5 off Harbor Cruise

Hornblower Cruises & Events
Valid: Mar 1 - ongoing

$5 off any narrated Hornbower Harbor Cruise or Sea Lion Adventure on Hornblower. Sightseeing cruises run daily with 6 cruises each day departing from 970 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101.

Accommodation

California Road Trip Package

Hotel Indigo - San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
Valid: Jul 20, 2020 - ongoing

This Value driven weekday package packs plenty of leisure features to include 4000 IHG Bonus Points Free Parking Refreshing water bottles and Grab N Go Breakfast for 2 adults. But wait there is more....

Activity

45-minute Historic Bay Cruise $5 With Admission!

Maritime Museum of San Diego
Valid: Apr 1 - Apr 30, 2021

Welcome to the Maritime Museum of San Diego! Your best choice for an outdoor educational experience!  Take a top deck tour of the historic fleet, including the world’s oldest sailing...

Related Articles and Features

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.

Read More

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español 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