Hike-in Required
ADA accessible
Guided tours
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Embarcadero is a section of San Diego that boasts a popular local seafood restaurant and trendy hotels as well as a diverse selection of museums. The Maritime Museum of San Diego gives visitors an up-close look at beautiful old ships, while the USS Midway Museum houses an aircraft carrier that served in the United States military for 47 years. That is longer than any other aircraft carrier has ever served. If art is more your style, don’t miss the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Once you have had your daily dose of education, consider hopping on a cruise ship for dinner or going whale watching. Hornblower and Flagship are the best cruise lines for those activities.

You can easily while away an afternoon in Waterfront Park. There is plenty to explore, and you have all day to do it as the park opens at 6 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. If you enter from Ash Street you will find yourself facing the South Fountain Reflecting Pools and Fountain Jets. The interactive fountains run in the late morning and afternoon. A playground complete with a picnic area lies to the east; the Civic Green is to the west. You can walk northward along the Civic Green until you end up between the East and West Plazas. 

Keep your eyes peeled for hummingbirds, songbirds, rabbits, and squirrels as you walk through the park. Head up to the adjacent Terraces for a breathtaking view of San Diego. The County Building sits directly in the center of the park, a reminder that the county spent dozens of years envisioning Waterfront Park before it was finally realized in spring 2014. The northern end of the park houses three gardens: the Diversity Garden, the Grass Garden, and the Mediterranean Garden. It is common to see weddings taking place in the gardens. In fact, the gardens, plazas, terraces, Civic Greens, picnic areas, and promenade can all be reserved for public and private use. Waterfront Park also hosts many festivals and corporate events.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Playground and fountains. Maritime museum. War memorial.


Can be crowded at times. Parking can be difficult.

Pets allowed



ADA accessible


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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