Things to Do in Mission Bay

Things to Do in Mission Bay
San Diego's Mission Bay Park is centered on a man-made lagoon, and it's the largest man-made marine park in the country. It was originally developed out of tidal marshes. Since the 1960s, the park has become one of the San Diego area's most popular destinations for outdoor fun by the sea. While it is arguably best-known as the home of San Diego's Sea World, the park itself offers a number of activities. With its camping facilities, a trip to Mission Bay can be either for the day or for a whole vacation.

Beaches and Watersports

As a marine park, Mission Bay has 19 miles of beaches. The conditions are good for both windsurfing and regular surfing. However, since the lagoon only has access to the Pacific Ocean by a single channel, much of the park's waters are sheltered, tranquil and good for a dip in the sea. However, the tranquility is deceptive, and there is quite a sharp drop off once one gets away from shore. Families should pay close attention to their children.

Most of the beaches have fire pits for cookouts, with fires permitted between 5 a.m. and midnight. There are sailboat, canoe and sea kayak rentals available in the immediate area, and the sheltered conditions within Mission Park's lagoon offer a good opportunity for beginners and novices to get in some practice.

Mission Park Park
(619) 276-8200

Sea Forth Boat Rentals
1641 Quivira Rd.
San Diego, CA 92109
(619) 223-1681

Biking and Walking

Mission Bay has an undulating character to it, and its land area is defined by man-made coves and mid-lagoon islands. Everything is interconnected by both roads and bike paths, making the park a good place to take a cruiser bicycle for a pleasant ride along its 14 miles of bike paths. Nature walks are also possible in the park, and they offer special treats for bird watchers. The main destination for both is the 16 acres of salt marsh preserved by the Kendall-Frost Reserve and the Northern Wildlife Preserve. Two endangered bird species can be found there: the light-footed clapper rail and Belding's savannah sparrow. Other birds found in the area are avocets, great blue herons, ospreys and mallards.


The area campground is the Mission Bay RV Resort. The facility has full hook-ups for all sites, a shower house, laundry room and free Internet access. There is also a boat ramp, cable TV and a fishing area. However, campers should be aware that the resort has strict rules requiring all RVs to be from models that are 1995 or more recent, and all of the vehicles are required to have self-contained sewer systems with a 3-inch hose.

Campers under the age of 18 can pitch their tents on the park's Fiesta Island's youth campground, but adults are not permitted to use those facilities unless they are with a youth group.

Mission Bay RV Resort
2727 De Anza Road
San Diego, CA 92109
(877) 219-6900

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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