Marvelous Mission Beach
Play In Mission Beach
Thing To Do #45
Located along the beautiful San Diego coastline, Mission Beach is known for its popular beaches, beautiful parks, and friendly locals. Nestled between Pacific Beach to the North and the San Diego River and Ocean Beach to the South, Mission Beach attracts surfers, bicyclists, tourists, and families alike. The beach itself spans about two miles of coastline, perfect for long walks and beach sports. In Eastern Mission Beach, you will find the world famous SeaWorld and Mission Bay Park—a popular destination for jetskiing, waterskiing, windsurfing, kayaking, and sailing. The Bay is bordered by over a dozen miles of boardwalks, where tourists can rent bicycles or roller skates and go exploring.
At the heart of Mission Beach is Belmont Park, an historic amusement park with games, food, and various rides, the most famous of which is an old wooden roller coaster called the Giant Dipper. Beach offers a variety of attractions for all ages. Learn how to surf at Mission Beach, ride the artificial waves at the WaveHouse, go for a sunset bike ride along the boardwalk, enjoy tacos by the beach for dinner, and check out some of the many Mission Beach bars!
Mission Beach started becoming a tourist destination in the 1920s. Before then, the Depression had made its expansion impossible. In 1926, John D. Spreckels built the Mission Beach Amusement Center, now known as Belmont Park. Architect Frank Walter Stevenson designed The Natatorium, a 400,000 gallon salt-water pool, the largest of its time! Today the pool is called The Plunge and is filled with freshwater. Belmont Park and its attractions were almost torn down in the 80s, but deemed national landmarks instead. Today, The Giant Dipper and The Plunge remain.
• The first ever SeaWorld is located in Mission Beach, and has attracted over 130 million visitors since its opening.
• The changing rooms of The Plunge at Belmont Park were featured in Top Gun.
• Over-The-Line, a game similar to baseball, was trademarked in Mission Beach by The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club. Each year, they put on an OTL Tournament with over 1200 teams from all over the world.
Things To Do
Belmont Park—This beachside amusement park has something for everyone—from the thrilling Giant Dipper roller coaster to bumper cars and arcade games. Vendors line the main walkway with quirky local products, and the smell of funnel cake fills the air. Buy an unlimited ride wristband and enjoy all the rides for a whole day!
SeaWorld—Families from all over the world come to San Diego to visit SeaWorld. There are a variety of attractions in the park. Visitors can feed dolphins, enjoy three thrilling rides, pet stingrays, watch the famous Shamu show, and spend hours exploring the many exhibits. In the summer, SeaWorld puts on Rockin’ Summer Nights, featuring special nighttime shows and a fireworks show. Plan on coming back again? For just $5 on top of a day’s admission, you can come back free for the rest of the year with a FunCard!
WaveHouse—Come try your luck on the artificial wave, FlowRider. Once you’ve mastered that, you can attempt the big leagues and ride Bruticus Maximus, a 10-foot barrel that pumps 100,000 gallons of water per minute! Don’t feel like getting wet? Enjoy food and drinks while watching the wave. Sundays in summer at WaveHouse are very popular with young locals, where the 21+ crowd enjoys live DJs from afternoon until nighttime.
Water Sports—Head over to Mission Bay and rent a jetski, kayak, or learn to surf! Go early to beat the crowds, or come in the afternoon for a truly exciting ride—you’ll have your heart pumping in no time! The Adventure Center offers a wide range of quality action sport rentals at the South end of the Bay. Also check out Cheap Rentals off Mission Bay Drive, where you are sure to find a good deal!
Bike the Boardwalk—Mission Beach is very flat and bicycle friendly, you’ll see plenty of locals riding around on beach cruisers. Rent a bike from Cruiser King and explore the miles of coastline while getting some exercise!