Mission Bay Park - Bay & Beaches

As one of the largest water parks, Mission Bay Park is full of fun activities like swimming, skiing, sailing, paddle boarding, and bayside picnicking.
Mission Bay Park - Bay & Beaches
Overview
Go Pass & Save
The Neighborhood
Known For
Boat Launch
Jet Skiing
Paddle Boarding
Picnicking
Sailing
Swimming
Stay Nearby

Family-Friendly Fun at Mission Bay Park

If you’re looking for an amazing vacation spot with fun activities for the whole family, Mission Bay Park is an excellent choice with plenty for visitors to visit during their trip.

Most of the Mission Bay Park beaches are flat and sandy, and many have long grassy stretches overlooking the sea that are perfect for activities like picnicking or taking a stroll. Other activities popular in the area include sailing, jet skiing, paddle boarding, and swimming, and some beaches have boat launches as well.

All in all, there is so much to do in Mission Bay Park, you’ll never find yourself bored!

Save BIG with Go Pass!

Orangutan at San Diego Zoo
The World Famous San Diego Zoo
Explore the top zoo in America! The San Diego Zoo is located in iconic Balboa Park, and features over 3,500 animal in their habitats. Bundle with other attractions in Balboa Park for top savings - like the Air and Space Museum!
Buy Now
Local Tips
What attractions are included with a Go Pass?

Attractions that you can visit with a Go San Diego Pass include:

The San Diego Zoo, Birch Aquarium, SeaWorld, Safari Park, LEGOLAND, Harbor Cruise, USS Midway Museum, the NAT Museum, Whaley House, PETCO Park Tour, iFLY San Diego and many, many more!

The Mission Bay Park Area

Mission Bay Park is a unique area of San Diego because it is almost entirely man-made. The park area is over 50% water, so beaches and opportunities for fun aquatic activities aren’t exactly in short supply. It’s considered the largest water park of its kind, and many people come from across the globe to visit.

Mission Bay is a very family-friendly area, and the beaches reflect this. There are plenty of wide, sandy beaches and grassy areas for picnicking with the family. As a man-made area, many of the beaches are protected from turbulent waters, so they’re great for even less confident swimmers.

Most international or cross-country visitors arrive via the San Diego International Airport, which is about an eight-mile drive away. If you want to check out the attractions in Downtown San Diego during your visit, the two neighborhoods are only about 15 minutes away from each other.

Between popular Mission Bay activities like boat rentals or visiting the family-friendly SeaWorld San Diego, there’s no shortage of fun activities for all ages. To make your trip the best it can be, consider buying a Go San Diego Pass, which offers a discount when you bundle different activities together. You can save an additional discount off your total purchase with our link.

Upscale hotels in the area include the Paradise Resort and Spa, a family-friendly waterfront destination hotel with multiple pools and a fitness center, and the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina, which also features a spa tub, health club, and sporting facilities.

Another popular choice is the Bahia Resort Hotel, which is right on the bay. It’s great for families and offers tons of amenities such as complimentary WiFi, tennis and shuffleboard courts, a private beach with cabanas, its own rescue seal exhibit, and Bahia Belle bay cruises during certain times of the year.

Skiing, Sailing, Picnicking, and Much More in Mission Bay Park

Basketball Courts
Basketball Courts
Beach Volleyball
Beach Volleyball
Bikes Allowed
Bikes Allowed
Fishing
Fishing
Jet Skiing
Jet Skiing
Kayaking
Kayaking
Kiteboarding
Kiteboarding
Paddle Boarding
Paddle Boarding
Running
Running
Sailing
Sailing
Skateboarding Allowed
Skateboarding Allowed
Sunbathing
Sunbathing
Surfing
Surfing
Swimming
Swimming
Windsurfing
Windsurfing

The beaches of Mission Bay Park are known for a whole host of different activities. Since so much of the area is water, it’s no surprise that the ocean plays such a large role in Mission Bay Park’s attractions. You can hit the water in a jet ski, sail boat, paddleboard, or just go for a swim. You can also use the boat launches at some of the beaches to fish or just enjoy the waves.

When you get hungry, many of the beaches have tables set up so you can have a bayside picnic. This is the perfect way to cap off an exciting afternoon, or to refuel so you can head back out for round two.

When visiting Mission Bay Park, expect calmer waters without the serious waves present at some of the other San Diego beaches. Plan a family-friendly day swimming, sunbathing or even throwing a frisbee at one of the many beaches in this one-of-a-kind area.

Boat Launch

Grassy Areas next to Dana Landing Marina
Dana Landing Marina has an excellent boat launch that sees plenty of traffic from all kinds of boats. Whether you’re looking to fish or just explore the waters, you can rent any supplies you need from the shops along the marina, as well as have access to outdoor showers and easily accessible restrooms.

Jet Skiing

Jet Ski at Ski Beach Park
Jet skiing is so popular at Ski Beach Park that it’s part of the name! Ride a jet ski, use the boat launch, wake board, canoe, or barbecue over the beach’s fire pits. Ski Beach Park hosts the Pacific Islander Festival and the World Series Powerboat Race in September.

Paddle Boarding

Santa Clara Point from Above
Santa Clara Point has a small beach and multiple attractions like the Mission Bay Sportscenter, the Aquatic Center operated by local universities, and the Santa Clara Recreation Center. It’s a great place for paddle boarding or sailing, with limited waves and clear waters. The point also features a boat launch.

Picnicking

Grassy Areas, Beach and Boardwalk at Crown Point Beach
Crown Point Beach is a family-friendly vacation spot with calm waters and plenty of sand, adjacent to Crown Point Park. It’s best known for park picnics, but you can also sail, water ski, wake board, and swim in the ocean. There are restrooms, fire pits, lifeguards, and a boardwalk.
Sunset Over Fiesta Island
Fiesta Island is a unique island getaway in San Diego with sand, hiking and biking trails, and its own off-leash dog park. While you’re here, you can enjoy a nice picnic lunch, make use of the fire pits, or even go horseback riding. The island also has a boat launch.
Clear Water at Mariners Point
Mariner’s Point Park is named for its popularity for fishing, but that’s far from all you can do. The park is well-known for being a great family-friendly picnic spot with a sandy beach, bathrooms and fire pits. It’s also a great place to bird watch for nesting least terns.
Mission Point Park
There are plenty of fun family-friendly activities you can do at Mission Point Park, including kayaking, swimming, and fishing at the beach. In the afternoon, head up to the grassy areas with convenient tables for a picnic. You can also use the fire pits or check out the nearby boardwalk.
Lots of Grassy Areas and Boardwalks at Vacation Isle Park
Vacation Isle Park has a large grassy area, making it a great all-day beach. You can sunbathe or stroll and when you’ve worked up an appetite, enjoy a nice picnic. The park’s pond often hosts model ship races. The beach also has a boardwalk, fire pits, trash cans, and restrooms.

Sailing

Firey Sunset on El Carmel Point at Mission Bay
El Carmel Point is a hub of boating activity. It’s the home base of both the San Diego Rowing Club and the Mission Bay Yacht Club, but one of the biggest draws for visitors is the excellent sailing in the area. There are also convenient bathrooms at the point.
Sail Bay Beach in Front of Catamaran Resort
Sail Bay has perfect water and wind conditions for sailing. Many visitors rent a sailboat and take their families out for a fun day of sailing on the bay. It offers a sandy beach and plenty of other activities like stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and kite surfing. There is a boardwalk to enjoy and restrooms nearby.

Swimming

Great Place to Paddle Board at Bahia Point Beach and Park
Bahia Point Beach & Park is a quieter beach area in Mission Bay Park with smaller crowds. This makes it a great place to relax on the beach, tan, and jump in the water for a swim. The waters are calm and fairly undisturbed. There are also fire pits and restrooms.
Lifeguard Tower at Bontia Cove
Bonita Cove has a gorgeous white-sand beach and a grassy park area for picnics and cookouts, but the real draw is the swimming. The cove provides shelter so you can swim to your heart’s content. Amenities include lifeguards, outdoor showers, restrooms, and a boardwalk along the beach.
Sun Going Down at De Anza Cove Park
De Anza Cove Park is great for picnicking, tanning, and most of all, swimming. The park includes volleyball and basketball courts for some fun exercise. It’s a family-friendly beach with play areas for younger kids. There are many other amenities, including lifeguards, fire pits, a boardwalk, and a boat launch.
Sunset at the Beautiful East Mission Bay Park
East Mission Bay Park includes two smaller parks. Tecolote Shores Park has walking trails, fire pits, and temperate waters with lifeguards for perfect swimming. Playa Pacifica Park is often called Leisure Lagoon for its laid-back feel, playground, and focus on swimming and sunbathing. A boardwalk runs along the two parks.
Firey Sunset Over Ventura Cove in Mission Bay
Ventura Cove Park has overall calm waters, which makes it a good choice for beginner swimmers, young kids, and anyone who doesn’t want to fight the tides. It’s ideal for a lazy beach day, complete with lifeguards, nearby bathrooms, and fire pits for warming yourself up.

Featured Activity

Front of the USS Midway Museum in San Diego
USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum
Located in downtown San Diego, the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum provides history of aircraft built in California. The museum includes over 60 exhibits with restored aircraft and tours of the carrier.
Learn More
Mission Bay Park - Bay & Beaches
are Known For:
Boat Launch
Boat Launch
Paddle Boarding
Paddle Boarding
Picnicking
Picnicking
Sailing
Sailing
Sunbathing
Sunbathing
Swimming
Swimming
This Month's Forecast
63℉ / 73℉
Partly Cloudy in June
Jul
67℉ / 77℉
Sunny in July
Aug
69℉ / 79℉
Sunny in August
Sep
67℉ / 79℉
Sunny in September

Stay Nearby

San Diego Mission Bay Resort
Family Friendly
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
San Diego Mission Bay Resort
from $203 / night
View Hotel
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina
Bayfront
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina
from $179 / night
View Hotel
Bahia Resort Hotel
Family Friendly
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Bahia Resort Hotel
from $199 / night
View Hotel
The Dana on Mission Bay
Family Friendly
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
The Dana on Mission Bay
from $179 / night
View Hotel
Show more San Diego Hotels >>