Mission Beach is to San Diego what Venice Beach is to Los Angeles; it’s a cool, quirky neighborhood full of sand, ocean front, beach bunnies and fun. Come here to enjoy the beach and the atmosphere, and then get caught up in the Mission Beach way of life. You’ve got an amusement park, sailboats, sport fishing, seafood, Mexican food, bar food, drinks, pasta and — most importantly — sun and surf.
Mission Beach Accommodations
Mission Beach is an idyllic place to spend a San Diego trip, and there are a few different options for accommodations here.
- Vacation Resorts
Mission Beach is a peninsula that stretches about two miles in length along the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay. The beach and boardwalk are the main features of this part of San Diego, and a vacation resort booking gives you the best chance to stay right next to the sand and sparkling blue waters of the ocean. In addition, you can find all-inclusive resort rooms that cover your meals, drinks and some water sports. These are good option for families who prefer not to trek around with kids, looking for a place to eat.
If you choose a traditional hotel room in Mission Beach, you can find some along the beach front and many options just a few blocks away. The walking distance from the hotel to the water makes accommodation a bit less expensive, so it’s not a bad way to go. In addition, the closer you are to the middle of the peninsula, the more access you’ll have to affordable restaurants and shops.
- Private Condos or Homes
If you go the private rental route, you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of homes, condos, apartments and penthouses. These typically feature one to three bedrooms and are perfect for big families or groups. These San Diego vacation rentals have kitchens, dining areas and sometimes a private pool. If you’re the sort of traveler who likes to hit up the local grocery store and eat in most of the time, you should definitely consider a home rental. Find options on the beach or in town, simple or luxury.
- Hostel by the Beach
Everyone needs a spur-of-the-moment vacation sometimes, but that means there’s not necessarily a lot of money to spend getting away from home. Hostels offer the perfect solution for individuals, couples or friends who want to check out Mission Beach on a budget. Most of your hostel options will be on the adjacent Pacific Beach, but you’ll still be within reach of Belmont Park and other Mission Beach favorites.
Mission Beach Activities
The best part about Mission Beach is that there’s lots to see and do within walking distance. The beach itself offers excellent swimming, surfing, paddleboarding and boating. The boardwalk that runs along the beach is a fantastic place to bike, rollerblade or walk. If you have kids, Belmont Park is an amusement park filled with classic roller coasters and other rides.
SeaWorld is just behind the boardwalk in Mission Bay, and you can walk there if you opt for a Mission Beach vacation rental. This park is famous for its sea critter shows, and it has some rides as well. Mission Bay Park is also a popular place to go fishing, sailing or water skiing.
Things to See Nearby
Mission Beach is a short distance from several other places to see in San Diego. Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is just a 10-minute drive away, and if you want a bit of a workout, you can walk there in just over an hour. The I-5 connects the neighborhood to Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo, so you can get there in less than 20 minutes.
What to Pack
Because of its beachfront location, summer clothes, swimsuits, flip flops and beach toys are must-haves. Although the weather is usually warm to hot, you should still pack a light jacket in case it gets windy at night. Between the boardwalk and nearby attractions, you’ll find yourself walking a lot if you choose to stay in this area, so be sure to pack comfortable shoes and a hat to shield your face from the sun. This is a great area for spotting whales and other wildlife, so you might also want to bring a pair of binoculars with you.