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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 is the area known as San Diego's South Bay, the gateway to Baja California. South Bay is home to a number of exciting attractions and also offers great surfing, sportfishing, beach volleyball and horseback riding along the coast, as well as some of the best Mexican food this side of the border.  

Connecting the South Bay to Coronado is the Bayshore Bikeway, one of the most beautiful bike paths in California. This 10-mile portion features a flat, palm-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.

Chula Vista is home to the San Diego region's newest theme park, Sesame Place San Diego, a 17-acre attraction that boasts 18 rides, including 11 aquatic rides. Visitors can meet their favorite furry TV characters, watch a parade and sit on the famous 123 Stoop at Sesame Place, which is the only “Sesame Street”-themed park on the West Coast and is also a Certified Autism Center.

Other attractions in the area include the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center (formerly the US Olympic Training Center), with free tours of the center available on Saturdays at 11 a.m.; and the North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre, where big-name bands perform under the stars. Nearby, there's golf as well as 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. Navy base on the West Coast.

> Check out The Big Bay for information on South Bay's waterfronts

 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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San Diego International Film Festival

Oct 19 - Oct 23, 2022

The 21st Annual San Diego International Film Festival is really 'Putting the Fest Back in Festival!' This year includes the return of the Opening Night Film Premiere & Reception, the Night of the Stars Tribute, Culinary Cinema, plus more in-person parties, panels and networking events.

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San Diego Restaurant Week

Sep 25 - Oct 2, 2022

San Diego Restaurant Week, hosted by the California Restaurant Association, returns with over 100 restaurants across 30+ neighborhoods for eight days of dining.

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PRIVATE CUSTOMIZABLE ICONIC CITY HIGHLIGHTS TOUR

May 3, 2022 - 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.

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

Nov 13, 2022

Flat, Fast Run or Walk with the waves of the Pacific Ocean on your right and the San Diego Bay on your left and capping off your run with a California Beach Party! Run along the "Silver Strand," at Silver Strand State beach. Coronado Island is located just across the bridge from downtown San Diego.  

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San Diego 24-mile Bike Route

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Discover Art in the South Bay

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Living Coast Discovery Center

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What's On

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San Diego International Film Festival

Oct 19 - Oct 23, 2022
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San Diego Restaurant Week

Sep 25 - Oct 2, 2022
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PRIVATE CUSTOMIZABLE ICONIC CITY HIGHLIGHTS TOUR

May 3, 2022 - ongoing
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Silver Strand Half Marathon, 10 Miler & Veterans Day 5K

Nov 13, 2022
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South Bay on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

Venues

Weekday Lunch Deals

Bronze Bird - The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
Valid: Sep 21, 2022 - ongoing

Level up your lunch with weekday deals that include our special of the day + your choice of a soda, lemonade or iced tea.  Monday- Grilled Sirloin Burger and fries ($14). Tuesday- 3 Short Rib...

Activities

Show Your Badge & Save At AquaVie Wellness Club

AquaVie Spa & Wellness Club - The Westgate Hotel
Valid: Jul 1, 2022 - ongoing

Show Your Badge and receive 20% off all Spa Services or 20% off Day Passes to AquaVie Fitness + Wellness Club. Additionally, if you purchase three Day Passes, you'll get the fourth one for free! ...

Accommodation

Park, Stay and Play Package

The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
Valid: May 13 - ongoing

Whether you travel by car or rent a car once you arrive, enjoy valet parking included in your room rate with The Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter's 'Park and Play' package. Unlimited in and out...

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