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

Set Sail in San Diego

A mild climate and steady winds make San Diego the ultimate playground for boating of all kinds. From sabots to super yachts, cruise ships to catamarans, recreation to racing, San Diego is the place to get out on the water.

Find a place to stay

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

Getting Out on the Water in San Diego

A mild climate and steady winds make San Diego the ultimate playground for boating of all kinds. From sabots to super yachts, cruise ships to catamarans, recreation to racing, San Diego is the place to get out on the water. Adding sailing to your vacation itinerary is a breeze with numerous charter, rental and instructional services, plus dinner cruises, sport fishing, scuba diving excursions, whale watching and other ocean-going outings.


San Diego's three harbors - Oceanside, Mission Bay and The Big Bay (including Point Loma Peninsula, Coronado, the Downtown Waterfront and Chula Vista) - all offer marina facilities, boat rentals, private charters, scheduled excursions and boating classes. Small boats and kayaks can also be rented along the coast and at some of San Diego's inland lakes. Boat owners will find ample locations to launch, moor or repair their vessels, whether they're taking a spin around the bay, or making a stopover on an around-the-world cruise.

Tour Boats & Coronado Ferry

A great way to see San Diego’s Big Bay is on a narrated boat tour. San Diego has a number of tour operators including Hornblower and Flagship, two of the largest. See the beautiful San Diego skyline and local landmarks, plus get up close and personal with marine animals, including whales, seals, sea lions and dolphins, as you kick back and relax on the water. These operators also offer dinner, brunch and some holiday cruises.

From downtown, you can also hop aboard the Coronado Ferry at Broadway Pier for a scenic ride across the bay to Coronado Ferry Landing.

Beyond the Bay

For more adventurous boaters, the open ocean awaits. Long range sportfishermen often head 100 miles or more offshore, while Catalina Island is a favorite destination for coastal sailing enthusiasts. Cruise ships offer routes from San Diego to Mexico and beyond. Summer and Fall are the most predictable seasons to go to sea in San Diego, but if you’re manning your own vessel, make sure to check government agencies such as The National Weather Service or the San Diego Lifeguard Service for current information and forecasts to ensure your safety.

San Diego’s Seafaring History

San Diego's affinity for boating has a long history, extending back to early Pacific explorers like Juan Cabrillo who stepped into history as the first European to set foot in California in San Diego bay in 1542. An excellent natural harbor and important stop on the California Mission circuit, San Diego's marine traffic grew rapidly during the colonial period and into the early 20th Century. Even before the Naval buildup during and following the Second World War, San Diego had already established itself in the boatbuilding, tuna fishing and shipping industries. Yachting and sailboat racing were a popular pastime - a continuing tradition that has spawned America's Cup races, boats and crews.

Visit the San Diego Maritime Museum in Downtown San Diego and the USS Midway to discover more about San Diego's prominent roles in the history and sport of boating.

Related Articles and Features


Boat Tours and Transportation

See the city in a new way or just get across the bay

See the city of San Diego in a new way while cruising through its waters on a sightseeing tour, dining cruise, or just getting around town on a ferry boat.


Marine Science Floating Labs

For Grades 3 through College

Deals just for you

Team Building

Humpday Special, all San Diegans save 10% off entire purchase!

Adventure RIB Rides
Valid: May 15 - ongoing

Spend your humpdays the right way by exploring off the San Diego Coastline! Enjoy a memorable experience with friends and family with Adventure RIB Whale Watching aboard an Authentic Navy SEAL RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat)!


$15 Fall Blue Whale Watching Cruise Special

Newport Landing Whale Watching
Valid: Sep 23 - Dec 20, 2016

Enjoy this special $15 whale watching cruise offer on any of our 2.5 hour whale watching cruises. Departing from beautiful Newport Beach.


Kids Sail Free on San Diego Sailing Tours

San Diego Sailing Tours
Valid: Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2016

Kids under 12 ride free with a paying adult the entire month of the promotion.

Find Boating & Sailing in San Diego



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