Located about eight miles (13 kilometers) from downtown San Diego, Mission Beach provides a more relaxed vibe than the bustle of the city. Consider a coastal bike tour or a beaches tour to get a feel for the Southern California lifestyle, or just grab a towel and book and hit the wide stretch of sand. For something more retro, head to Belmont Park, a beachside amusement park with a wooden roller coaster and vintage games.
Things to Know Before You Go
The area's main commercial drag, Mission Boulevard, is lined with bars, eateries, surf schools, and shops.
Bring plenty of sun protection if you plan to spend the day outside.
A boardwalk runs along the beach, providing plenty of people-watching opportunities.
How to Get There
Mission Beach is about a 15-minute drive northwest of downtown San Diego, bordered by the San Diego River estuary on the south, Mission Bay on the east, and the community of Pacific Beach to the north. It’s accessible via city bus line No. 8.
When to Get There
Morning is the perfect time for a walk or run on the beach, before it gets too hot; surfing is typically most popular in the morning and early evening. Photographers won’t want to miss sunset, which is also when the Mission Beach nightlife scene comes to life.
Mission Bay Attractions
On the east side of the peninsula, Mission Bay separates Mission Beach from the rest of San Diego and is best known as the home of SeaWorld San Diego. Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are also popular in the bay, where the waters are calmer than the open ocean.
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