Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
Yes
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
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.

Mission Beach offers a unique boardwalk with a vibe reminiscent of East Coast beaches. Lifeguards keep watch over visitors throughout the year as they enjoy a variety of activities including sunbathing, swimming, and surfing. The Wave House features an artificial wave for water lovers who want a more predictable environment. Adventure seekers leave the water behind in favor of Belmont Park, home of a wooden roller coaster called the Giant Dipper that dates back to 1925. The coaster’s colorful history features a devastating fire in 1958 and subsequent restorations. Belmont Park also contains an arcade, a carousel, and bumper cars. 

The boardwalk itself is bustling with joggers, bikers, tourists taking in the sites, and people of all ages on rollerblades (which can be rented at Belmont Park). As you head further south, the crowd mellows out somewhat. A large jetty offers sanctuary to anyone hoping to gaze out at the ocean, observe ships, and catch a fish. Pay attention and you might just catch a glimpse of a sea lion, dolphin, or pelican. Stingrays and sharks are also common to this area. If you were to go diving less than a mile out from here, you would discover several shipwrecks. Interestingly, these ships did not actually crash here; they were strategically placed to make this area more desirable for divers. 

When you are ready to grab something to eat, the choices are seemingly endless. From fresh seafood to boardwalk hot dogs, Mission Beach has you covered. If you are coming from out of town there are a wide variety of accommodations in and around Mission Beach ranging from budget-friendly to extravagant. There are also plenty of interesting attractions within a couple of miles. Make your way up Mount Soledad for a panoramic view of San Diego, and get in an educational experience at the myriad local museums including the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Map and Atlas Museum of La Jolla.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Lively beach scene. Nearby urban amenities.

Cons

Busy on weekends.

Features

Surfing

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.