Bonita Cove

Featuring green grassy areas, flat sandy beaches, and quiet waters on a sheltered inlet, Bonita Cove is an excellent location for a family beach day.
Why you'll love this beach
Why you'll love this beach
Spend a Day with Family at the Sandy Beaches of Bonita Cove
Bonita Cove
Overview
Explore & Save
Things to Do
Popular Activities
Get There & Parking
Featured Activity
Know Before You Go
Stay Nearby
Similar Beaches

Highlights

Things to Do
Tips
How to get there
Parking
Things to Do
Tips
How to get there
Parking

Overview

Lifeguard Tower at Bontia CoveNew Playground at Bontia Cove

Mission Beach in San Diego runs along the west side of Mission Bay Park, separating the Mission Bay from the Pacific Ocean. On the bay side of Mission Beach is Bonita Cove, a quiet, sheltered inlet northwest of Mariner's Point Park. With both sandy beaches and grassy areas, Bonita Cove Park offers a number of activities for families to enjoy together.

In addition to verdant grasses, white-sand beaches, and sky-blue waters, Bonita Cove Park is also home to a number of Mexican fan palm trees. These are popular throughout the city of San Diego for their resistance to drought. You may notice the brown fronds hanging down the trunk unless they have recently been pruned to maintain the trees' iconic shape.

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Things to Do

Running
Running
Sunbathing
Sunbathing
Swimming
Swimming

Swimming and Other Activities

Large Park & Grassy Areas

Bonita Cove Park is large enough to be split up into two distinct areas: East Bonita Cove and West Bonita Cove. Both areas offer access to the water, and swimming is a popular activity throughout the park because of the calm waters. Lifeguards are on duty in both areas through the spring and summer into October, approximately six months altogether.

Swimming at Bonita Cove

If you do plan to swim or play on the beach, be aware that the comfort station is located on East Bonita Cove. It features rinse-off shower facilities as well as restrooms.

Enjoy a Picnic & Bonfire

On West Bonita Cove, you will find barbecue grills, picnic areas, and fire pits, making it the perfect location for a family cookout. West Bonita Cove is a good place to bring young kids because there is also a playground featuring a tot lot. The park is open until 10 p.m., so an evening bonfire at the beach is a popular activity, so much so that you may need to arrive early to claim a fire ring, also available on East Bonita Cove.

Other Activities

Throughout Bonita Cove Park, there is a paved bike path. You will find volleyball areas as well. Fishing and birdwatching are also popular activities, as is simply lying on the flat, sandy beach and catching some rays.

How to Get There & Parking

EV Charging
EV Charging
Free Parking
Free Parking
Lot Parking
Lot Parking
Neighborhood Parking
Neighborhood Parking

Getting to Bonita Cove

To get to Bonita Cove Park, you simply take West Mission Bay Drive to Mariner's Way and turn southwest. From there, you will be able to turn either right or left to find the parking lots in East Bonita Cove Park.

Parking at Bonita Cove

Parking should not be an issue on your visit to Bonita Cove. There are many spaces available, and there is no fee to park there. Most of the parking is located on the east side, but there is another parking lot available in West Bonita Cove Park. You get there by continuing on West Mission Bay Drive to Mission Boulevard and turning south.

People who drive electric cars will be pleased to know that Bonita Cove offers a Blink charging station. To find it, you turn right from Mariner's Way, and then you will see it along the southern edge of the parking lot.

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Know Before You Go & Tips

Lifeguards
Lifeguards
No Alcohol
No Alcohol
No Camping
No Camping
No Glass Containers
No Glass Containers
No Motorized Vehicles
No Motorized Vehicles
No Smoking
No Smoking
No Trash Cans
No Trash Cans
Outdoor Showers
Outdoor Showers
Restrooms
Restrooms
Shade
Shade
Trash Cans Available
Trash Cans Available

Planning Your Trip to Bonita Cove

As you plan to visit Bonita Cove Park, there are some important things you need to know.

Dogs Allowed Mornings & Evenings

Dogs on a leash are allowed in the park only during certain hours. They are permitted from 4:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at all times of the year. From November to March, leashed dogs are allowed from 4:00 p.m. to close, and from April to October, leashed dogs are permitted in the park from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Water Quality Tested Weekly

The San Diego Department of Environmental Health conducts water quality tests at the beach of Bonita Cove on a weekly basis. The results of the water quality tests are available online on the San Diego Coastkeeper's website. You may want to monitor this before planning a swimming trip to Bonita Cove Park.

Belmont Park Amusement Park Nearby

Across Mission Boulevard from Bonita Cove Park, on the ocean side of Mission Beach Peninsula, is Belmont Park Amusement Park. This historic amusement park is nearly 100 years old and offers a distinctly retro vibe. Entrance to the park is free, but there are costs to ride the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster and other rides.

Improvements in the Works

Bonita Cove Park is slated to undergo improvements beginning in 2020. The construction project is estimated to cost $3.4 million and will include the following:

  • Enhanced security lighting
  • ADA-compliant pedestrian curb ramps and sidewalks
  • New shade structure
  • Comfort station replacement
  • Playground renovation

In addition to the much-needed renovations, the playground will also receive a new name. Maruta Gardner was a 69-year-old woman, much beloved by the Mission Beach community, who was tragically killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2016 as she cleaned up graffiti. The playground is named in her honor, and her husband was present with the mayor for the ground-breaking ceremony in November 2019.

Bonita Cove
is Known For:
Swimming
Swimming
Know This:
Boardwalk
Boardwalk
Lifeguards
Lifeguards
Outdoor Showers
Outdoor Showers
Restrooms Available
Restrooms Available
This Month's Forecast
67℉ / 79℉
Sunny in September
Oct
63℉ / 78℉
Sunny in October
Nov
56℉ / 73℉
Sunny in November
Dec
51℉ / 68℉
Sunny in December

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