About San Diego's Mission Beach:
Mission Beach has everything you'd expect from a stereotypical Southern California beach: volleyball players crashing in the sand, rollerbladers wearing next to nothing, bicyclists and skateboarders showing off. This two-mile long, urban beach is sandwiched between houses and a paved "boardwalk." The centerpiece of Mission Beach is Belmont Park, a seaside amusement park.
Mission Beach runs from the San Diego River channel to just north of Belmont Park.
Mission Beach Fees:
Entrance Fee: None
Parking Fee: None
Creature Comforts at Mission Beach:
- Picnic tables
- Lifeguards daily, year-round at the foot of Ventura Place, but in summer only on the rest of the beach, usually on duty from 9:00 a.m. to dusk
- Food nearby: You can find all kinds of food at or near Belmont Park.
- Alcohol is allowed on the sand between noon and 8:00 p.m., but not on the boardwalk or in the parking lots.
- Dogs allowed only during limited hours and never between morning and late afternoon
Mission Beach Activities:
- Belmont Park, one of California's oceanfront amusement parks
- Bike path
- Bonfires on the south end only in the provided fire pits and not between midnight and 6:00 a.m. You can get firewood at the markets in town
- Volleyball, lots of nets at the south end
- Walking path
- A half mile off the coast here are a series of man-made shipwrecks, placed to create an artificial diver's reef
San Diego Lodging Near Mission Beach:
- Mission Beach Vacation Rentals
- Beach Cottages: Cottages on the boardwalk, north Mission Beach. $$$
- Best Western Blue Sea Lodge: On the beach boardwalk. $$$
- Catamaran Hotel: Just across the street from the boardwalk. $$$$
- Crystal Pier Hotel: Just north in Pacific Beach, but noteworthy for its location on the pier. $$$$
- Pacific Shores Inn: About two blocks from the beach. $
Highs and Lows at Mission Beach:
Mission Beach is a favorite with locals, who enjoy all kinds of activities here. Compared to similar beach towns in Los Angeles' South Bay, it's a bit unkempt.
Mission Beach Beachgoer Beware:
- In summer, San Diego beaches including Mission Beach are subject to red tides.
How to Get to Mission Beach:
Try your luck (and your patience) cruising for rare streetside parking or use the lots near Belmont Park. If you take Mission Boulevard all the way to the end and turn right, you'll find a parking lot near the volleyball nets. You can also get to the boardwalk from any of the walking streets that intersect Mission Boulevard.