Mission Beach, San Diego

Things to do in Mission Beach

Mission Bay, also known as Mission Beach, is one of the liveliest places in San Diego for good old-fashioned fun. This family-friendly destination brings the classic beach boardwalk feel with unique shops, an arcade, and an amusement park with favorites like bumper cars and even a roller coaster. Read on for some of the best things to do with your family or your sweetheart in Mission Bay!

1. Make New Friends at Sea World

Can’t decide between visiting a zoo and a theme park? Sea World offers both. With thrilling coasters, fun water rides, attractions just for kids, and amazing animal exhibits, this place has it all. You can meet dolphins, penguins, sea lions, and more aquatic creatures in state-of-the-art environments. You can even enjoy entertaining live shows featuring these beautiful animals. For even more fun, visit Sea World’s Aquatica water park for wet and wild fun. Sea World is the perfect place to spend a day with your loved ones!

2. Enjoy the Beach With Water Sports

The sparkling Pacific waters just beg you to play in them. That’s why water sports are so popular in Mission Bay! Grab your surfboard or boogie board and catch a few waves. Feeling more adventurous? Rent a kiteboard, jet ski, or even a stand-up paddleboard. For a less physical way to explore the water, try scuba diving or snorkeling. There are a series of shipwrecks half a mile off the coast that are a diver’s dream!

3. Be a Kid Again At Belmont Park

Belmont Park, Mission Bay’s boardwalk amusement park, is the main attraction of the area. You’ll feel an instant wave of nostalgia as you enjoy rides like an old-timey carousel, a Tilt-a-Whirl, and the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster from 1925. For more modern fun, the park offers attractions like laser tag, a zip line, and a rock climbing wall. Not into heart-pumping rides? Check out the midway’s wide selection of games and shops. Belmont Park is also the perfect place to grab a bite to eat, serving up food ranging from classic hot dogs on a stick and ice cream to tacos and sushi.

4. Fish Off the Mission Beach Jetty

Head to the end of the road at South Mission Beach Park and set up for a relaxing day of fishing. Set up on the jetty and watch the boats go by as you wait for a bite. Even if you don’t catch much, this area offers breathtaking views of the ocean. If you’re taking little ones, be super careful, though; the rocks make for an unsteady and sometimes difficult walk. The jetty is also home to an abandoned shack covered in graffiti, perfect for an Instagram shot all your friends will envy.

5. Ride Artificial Waves at the WaveHouse

Come for the waves, stay for the party! WaveHouse Beach Club is a huge venue home to a unique artificial wave system that simulates actual ocean waves. It’s the best way to surf when the ocean isn’t cooperating. After you’ve had your fill of wiping out, check out WaveHouse’s awesome selection of food, drinks, and live entertainment. With burgers, hearty snacks, and even a kid’s menu, this place is perfect for grabbing lunch without feeling stuffed. Their fire pits and beach front bars make WaveHouse a great place for grown-ups to watch the sun set in true California style.

6. Get Fit On the Boardwalk

If you are worried about exercising while on vacation, San Diego has you covered. Mission Bay’s boardwalk is perfect for running, walking, or cycling. You’ll get your heart pumping with an amazing backdrop! Prefer to work out on the beach? Get in on a game of pickup beach volleyball on South Mission Beach. The vibe is slower and more easy-going than around Belmont Park, so you can relax and make new friends.

6. Take a Cruise on the Bahia Belle

Get ready for a one-of-a-kind experience by booking a cruise on the Bahia Belle. This turn-of-the-century paddleboat will make you feel like you’re in Mississippi. They offer food and family fun from 6:30 to 9:30 pm, then turn into a nightclub and bar for adults on later runs. With live entertainment, DJs, drink specials, and unique views, you’ve never seen Mission Bay like this.