South Bay Coastal

Looking to hit the beach for sunning and surfing, observe some truly unique birds, or take in an astounding view? Do all this and more at South Bay Coastal.
South Bay Coastal
Overview
Save on Tours
The Neighborhood
Famous For
Mexico Nearby
Surfing
Sidewalk Cafés
Breweries
Beaches
Taco Shops
Stay Nearby

Soaking Up the Sun in South Bay

Are you looking for a more laid-back beach experience that avoids the crowds and noise of the busier parts of San Diego? Head to South Bay Coastal for undisturbed sunbathing, swimming, surfing, and much more.

South Bay Coastal includes two main neighborhoods. These are Chula Vista, a large city to the east of the San Diego Bay known for its birdwatching and scenic views, and Imperial Beach, which is at the bay’s southernmost tip.

South Bay’s beaches are great for surfing beginners, as the waves don’t get too rough thanks to the relatively flat, sandy shores along the coast. This means even if you’ve never picked up a surfboard before, you can get some lessons and try your hand at it. Don’t worry if you fall in; the warm climate of San Diego ensures you won’t have to endure freezing temperatures.

Save using your Go Pass!

San Diego Beach Tour
San Diego Beach Tour
Want to enjoy some of the best beaches in the world? Use your Go Pass and buy a San Diego Beach Tour. The half day tour takes you to La Jolla, seal beach, Torrey Pines and much more. You'll also see plenty of sea life, so bring your camera!
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Local Tips
Who can use a Go San Diego Pass?

Adults and children (ages 3 to 12) can use the Go San Diego Pass – All-Inclusive, Explorer or Build Your Own - to visit the area’s top attractions and activities.

Locating and Navigating South Bay

The South Bay Coastal area lies a ways to the south of the Downtown area. That said, it’s not too far away at about a 20-minute drive to Chula Vista, so you can easily visit both locations on the same day. South Bay is about 10 miles south of the San Diego International Airport as well.

The drive is well worth it for access to the beaches here. They’re the perfect place to stretch out on the sand and relax. You can also visit the Imperial Beach Outdoor Surf Museum for a look at how surfboard designs have changed throughout the years, or rent a surfboard of your own and experience San Diego surfing culture first-hand.

The Living Coast Discovery Center is another great attraction, which offers educational aquarium exhibits. If you’re looking to rent some surfing gear or stop at the nearby attractions, don’t forget your Go San Diego pass, which gives you access to discounted rates. You can reduce the cost of your trip even more when you buy a pass through our website due to our exclusive partnership with Go San Diego.

Looking to stay in South Bay? Try the Pier South Resort in Imperial Beach, a waterfront hotel that’s great for families and offers amenities including pool and beach access, a fitness center, WiFi, and the D'ames Day Spa.

You can also check into one of our other top picks for the Best Luxury Hotels in San Diego if you’re looking to take your vacation to the next level.

South Bay Coastal’s Famous Sites and Activities

Beach Fire Pits
Beach Fire Pits
Beach Volleyball
Beach Volleyball
Biking
Biking
Boat Launch
Boat Launch
Fishing
Fishing
Jetskiing
Jetskiing
Kiteboarding
Kiteboarding
Museums
Museums
Paddle Boarding
Paddle Boarding
Picnic Tables
Picnic Tables
Skateboarding
Skateboarding
Sunbathing
Sunbathing
Surfing
Surfing
Swimming
Swimming
Waterpark
Waterpark

Come play at South Bay! There are fun activities for everyone, whether you’re interested in the local wildlife, catching some rays, or getting that perfect picture to share with everyone after your trip.

Mexico Nearby

Since South Bay is so far south, you’ll be very close to the border. In some locations, you may be able to look out and see some of Mexico’s islands off the coast or the northernmost part of Baja California. This is a great backdrop for a stunning vacation photo!

People Enjoying the Afternoon at Bayside Park
Make it a multiple destination vacation! Visit Chula Vista which is right next to Mexico. Eat authentic street tacos while enjoying live music. Go fishing and visit the local waterpark. If you want a more laid back vacation, spend an afternoon birdwatching, tour the museums, or enjoy a pleasant picnic.
Entrance to Imperial Beach Pier
Imperial Beach is perfect for a family vacation. Experience beach activities just north of the Mexican border such as surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding and paddleboarding. Or enjoy a sunset at the nearby pier. Visit the local shopping boutiques, amazing cafés, and trolley stop - all of this within walking distance!

Surfing

South Bay’s coastal area has some outstanding beaches, many of which have ideal conditions for surfing. Enjoy consistent waves and the occasional larger swell that will test even the most experienced of surfers. Some days, you may even spot local legends hanging ten just off the coast!

Entrance to Imperial Beach Pier
Imperial Beach is perfect for a family vacation. Experience beach activities just north of the Mexican border such as surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding and paddleboarding. Or enjoy a sunset at the nearby pier. Visit the local shopping boutiques, amazing cafés, and trolley stop - all of this within walking distance!

Sidewalk Cafés

Enjoy the gorgeous Southern California-style historic architecture while eating an incredible meal at one of the many sidewalk cafés in the South Bay Coastal area. There’s no better way to experience a neighborhood than to eat there and dine outside. Meet a friend for lunch and leave with a memory!

People Enjoying the Afternoon at Bayside Park
Make it a multiple destination vacation! Visit Chula Vista which is right next to Mexico. Eat authentic street tacos while enjoying live music. Go fishing and visit the local waterpark. If you want a more laid back vacation, spend an afternoon birdwatching, tour the museums, or enjoy a pleasant picnic.

Breweries

Eat, drink, and be merry - that’s exactly what you’ll be doing when you visit the many breweries in the South Bay Coastal area. With plenty of craft beers and microbrews to choose from, casual drinkers and local beer enthusiasts alike will enjoy sampling the wares of each local brewery.

Entrance to Imperial Beach Pier
Imperial Beach is perfect for a family vacation. Experience beach activities just north of the Mexican border such as surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding and paddleboarding. Or enjoy a sunset at the nearby pier. Visit the local shopping boutiques, amazing cafés, and trolley stop - all of this within walking distance!

Beaches

The bay beaches in Imperial Beach and Chula Vista have calm, warmer waters thanks to the protection the bay offers from the Pacific Ocean’s stronger currents. It’s as great for casual surfers as it is for swimmers and families with younger children who may not enjoy the rougher waves of oceanside beaches of Imperial Beach.

Entrance to Imperial Beach Pier
Imperial Beach is perfect for a family vacation. Experience beach activities just north of the Mexican border such as surfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding and paddleboarding. Or enjoy a sunset at the nearby pier. Visit the local shopping boutiques, amazing cafés, and trolley stop - all of this within walking distance!

Taco Shops

If you’re looking for some incredible tacos that really embody San Diego’s extensive Mexican cultural heritage, look no further than the taco shops in Chula Vista! Whether you prefer your tacos traditionally spicy or on the milder side, you’re sure to enjoy your meal and find a new favorite restaurant.

People Enjoying the Afternoon at Bayside Park
Make it a multiple destination vacation! Visit Chula Vista which is right next to Mexico. Eat authentic street tacos while enjoying live music. Go fishing and visit the local waterpark. If you want a more laid back vacation, spend an afternoon birdwatching, tour the museums, or enjoy a pleasant picnic.

Featured Activity

LEGOLAND Water Park
LEGOLAND Water Park Hopper Ticket
Spend the day in the sun, building a raft of LEGO or floating on the lazy river at the LEGOLAND Water Park! Check out thrilling slides of all sizes. Enjoy your second day of fun FREE with this hopper ticket!
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South Bay Coastal
are Known For:
Beaches
Beaches
Birdwatching
Birdwatching
Mexico Nearby
Mexico Nearby
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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