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Mission Bay, San Diego Travel Guide

Mission Bay Summary


  • Beautiful weather (average daily temperature is 70 degrees)
  • Lively party atmosphere in Pacific Beach
  • Laid-back vibe in Ocean Beach
  • Dozens of restaurants and shops
  • Vibrant nightlife
  • 19 miles of sandy beaches
  • Great surf
  • SeaWorld
  • Terrific views of the Bay, Coronado and downtown San Diego from Mission Boulevard


  • Crowds, especially in Mission Beach
  • Far from downtown San Diego and the major tourist sites
  • Some areas are not kid-friendly, with tattoo parlors and nightclubs

What It's Like

Mission Bay is part of Mission Bay Park, a man-made aquatic park with 27 miles of shoreline (including 19 miles of sandy beaches), picnic areas, and bike and pedestrian paths. The Bay is a great destination for surfers, as well as for young people and families. The streets of Pacific Beach, a small peninsula in the center of the bay, are lined with restaurants, shops, nightclubs and bars. Ocean Beach offers more or less the same, but the vibe is more laid-back and less party-focused. Mission Beach is more family-oriented, but it's a tourist magnet, and there are usually crowds everywhere.

Where To Stay

Pacific Beach is the place to party and shop, but there are few hotels. For a wider range of accommodation options, head west to Mission Beach or stay near SeaWorld.

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