Welcome to Mission Bay and the Beaches

Top Reasons to Go

Sun and sand: With sand stretching as far as the eye can see, Mission and Pacific beaches represent the classic Southern California beach experience.

Bustling boardwalk: Twentysomethings partying at the bars, families grilling in front of their vacation homes, and kids playing in the sand—take in the scene with a stroll along the Mission Beach boardwalk.

Bayside delights: A quiet respite from the nearby beaches, Mission Bay is ringed with peaceful pathways, playgrounds, and parks.

Get out on the water: Catch a wave, paddle a kayak, or rev a Jet Ski at this irresistible water-sports playground.

Quick Bites

There is no shortage of dining options in and around the Belmont Parkand WaveHouse complex, from funnel cakes and hot dogs inside the amusement park, to quick snacks and soda fountain treats at Dottie's Pop Shop on the boardwalk. If you have time to sit down for a meal, Cannonball. Draft, and the WaveHouse are all great spots to take in the scene.

Kono's Cafe. Take in the boardwalk vibe as you wait in line for your breakfast burrito at this legendary spot at the base of Crystal Pier. 704 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach, San Diego, California, 92109. 858/483--1669; www.konoscafe.com. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Sportsmen's Seafood. This waterside eatery serves good fish-and-chips, seafood salads, and sandwiches to eat on the inelegant but scenic patio—by the marina, where sportfishing boats depart daily—or to take out to your chosen picnic spot. 1617 Quivira Rd., Mission Bay, San Diego, California, 92109. 619/224–3551; www.sportsmensseafood.com.

Getting Here

SeaWorld, Mission Bay, and Mission and Pacific beaches are all served by public bus routes 8 and 9. Many local hotels offer shuttle service to and from SeaWorld. There is a free parking lot at Belmont Park, although it can quickly fill during busy times.

Planning Your Time

You may not find a visit to SeaWorld fulfilling unless you spend at least half a day; a full day is recommended.

Belmont Park is open daily, but not all its rides are open year-round.

The Mission Beach Boardwalk and the miles of trails around Mission Bay are great for a leisurely bike ride. On foggy days, particularly in late spring or early summer, the beaches can be overcast in the morning with the fog burning off as the day wears on.

Mission Bay Warnings

Swimmers at Mission Bay should note signs warning about water pollution; on occasions when heavy rains or other events cause pollution, swimming is strongly discouraged.

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