South Mission Beach

South Mission Beach is the southern end of a line of large white sandy beaches in San Diego. The beaches are famed for swimming, surfing and other outdoor activities.
Why you'll love this beach
Why you'll love this beach
Spread Out and People Watch at Gorgeous South Mission Beach
South Mission Beach
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

Park at South Mission BeachSurfers and Walker in South Mission Beach

It really does not get more Californian than the South Mission Beach in San Diego: The Pacific Ocean, sunshine, volleyball courts, surf and sand.

It is a place bursting with the energy of the sun and the waves crashing on the shore, as well as the energetic vibe of the visitors who come for surfing, playing basketball, swimming, strolling on the beach, biking, skateboarding and roller skating. The classic palm trees of California sway in the breeze along the backside of the beach.

This area is known for its long line of continuous beaches, though they are identified by locals according to specific landmarks.

South Mission Beach occupies the section of beach from the main lifeguard tower in the north to the rock jetty to the south just before the channel entrance to Mission Bay. This section offers grassy areas, ample sand beaches, restrooms, picnic tables, firepits, basketball and beach volleyball courts.

The area includes interesting shops and restaurants. Visitors will also be very close to such attractions as SeaWorld San Diego and the roller coaster and fun of Belmont Park. The inland waters of Mission Bay Park provide opportunities for boating, swimming and fishing.

Swimmers and surfers have the comfort of a lifeguard presence on the beach. A large tower toward the north end of the beach is a commanding feature of the area. To the south end, a rock jetty juts out into the water and is the place where the best waves can be found. The surfing scene at the jetties in South Mission is robust.

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Things to Do

Basketball Courts
Basketball Courts
Beach Volleyball
Beach Volleyball
Bikes Allowed
Bikes Allowed
Fishing
Fishing
Running
Running
Skateboarding Allowed
Skateboarding Allowed
Sunbathing
Sunbathing
Surfing
Surfing

What the South Mission Beach Is Famous For

Spectacular Weather

Southern California and the Mission Beach area is known for weather to die for and long stretches of beautiful beaches. The abundant choices of activities keep people coming here for basketball on the beach and great matches of beach volleyball. It doesn't hurt that the courts have excellent views of water in every direction.

Surfing & Swimming

The swimming and surfing options are prime here, too. Swimming is best in the warmer months with water temperatures in the low 70s in the Pacific. The best surfing months tend to be in winter, though, when the surf produces bigger waves at the Jetties in South Mission Beach.

Large Beach

The size and length of the beaches allow people to spread out and create their own space. Even on the busiest days, everyone can find a spot on the beach for sunbathing or reading a book. It's also a great area to watch the people go about their day as they enjoy all that this area has to offer.

The Boardwalk

The Ocean Front Walk pathway starts at the jetty and continues north just along the sand to the end of Pacific Beach a couple of miles up the coast. It is a nice place for a casual stroll or roller skating.

Stay Nearby at The Dana on Mission Bay

The Dana on Mission Bay is about one mile away from the main beach at Mission Beach. It is a great hotel to base your trip to San Diego at. The Dana on Mission Bay also offers breathtaking waterfront views and it is great for families and couples alike.

How to Get There & Parking

Free Parking
Free Parking
Lot Parking
Lot Parking
Neighborhood Parking
Neighborhood Parking
Street Parking
Street Parking

Getting to South Mission Beach

South Mission Beach is a short ride north from Downtown San Diego, most of it on I-5 freeway. Drivers should then head South on the I-8 and then turn off at W Mission Boulevard and then turn left onto Mission Boulevard.

Parking near South Mission Beach

Visitors will find a large parking lot near the main lifeguard tower.

If you can’t find a spot just next to the beach the next best parking option is just across Mission Blvd from Belmont Park where there is a large lot. Sometimes this lot fills to capacity by the afternoon of the hottest summer days.

A third free parking lot is available at the end of Mission Boulevard near the Mission Bay Jetty on the beach side.

All of the lots are free of charge.

Featured Activity

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Know Before You Go & Tips

Boardwalk
Boardwalk
Firepits
Firepits
Lifeguards
Lifeguards
No Alcohol
No Alcohol
No Camping
No Camping
No Glass Containers
No Glass Containers
No Motorized Vehicles
No Motorized Vehicles
No Trash Cans
No Trash Cans
Picnic Tables
Picnic Tables
Public Transportation
Public Transportation
Restrooms
Restrooms
Shade
Shade
Trash Cans Available
Trash Cans Available

Tips to Make the Most of your Visit

Time your Visit

Timing is everything when making a visit to South Mission Beach. Swimmers should plan to come in the summer months, while surfing lovers might want to time a visit for the fall or winter months.

In the winter, good swells come off the Pacific from the north and the west, while in the fall the Santa Ana winds can generate extra wave activity. The best area for surfing tends to be near the Jetty at the south end of the beach.

Check the Weather

Though southern California is famed for sun and warmth; the weather does have its fickle moments. Winter can come with a little more rain and colder water temperatures. The months of May and June sometimes produce a string of overcast days. Check out our very detailed weather page to find out the best time to come to San Diego.

Most Popular Time of the Year for Visitors

The area is most active with visitors in July, August and September. During these times, parking can be in short supply, so it makes sense to arrive in the morning.

Plenty of Things to Do

Even by the high standards of this area, South Mission Beach has a lot of activities. Most of the activities center around an active lifestyle, though relaxing on the beach is definitely a top ten choice. There are also a lot of shops and restaurants to patronize as well. Visitors can enjoy a cold brew or a cocktail as the sun goes down or after dark.

The Lifeguards

The lifeguard station operates all year from 9 a.m. to dusk. Swimmers should be aware of the possibilities of riptides and should heed all instructions from the lifeguards.

Dogs Allowed with Restrictions

Walking a dog on a leash is allowed in the mornings and in the evenings, with increased hours in the evenings during the winter months when fewer people are present.

South Mission Beach
is Known For:
Swimming
Swimming
Know This:
Boardwalk
Boardwalk
Fire Pits
Fire Pits
Lifeguards
Lifeguards
Restrooms Available
Restrooms Available
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

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