Mission Beach is to San Diego like Venice Beach is to Los Angeles; a cool, quirky neighborhood full of sand, ocean front, beach bunnies, a world class boardwalk, and tons of sun. Come here to enjoy the beach and the atmosphere, and get caught up in the Mission Beach way of life. Pick from a beachfront amusement park, sailboats, sport fishing, Mexican food, drinks, and most importantly, sun and surf all without ever having to leave the Mission Beach radius.
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. With a long channel that is only 3.5 blocks wide, this beach town is absolutely packed. Parking could be rough, so spending extra time to pick the right place can do wonders for your California vacation. As a major SoCal beach destination, Mission beach is prepared to accommodate you with its many rentals, hotels, resorts, inns, and even hostels! Each type of accommodation has its perks and quirks and pros and cons. Good thing you found VacationRenter. As a San Francisco based company, we have been known to take a couple trips down I-5 and follow the signs to the end of the 8 West, after one more right turn, you have arrived!
Driving over the bridge into Mission Beach is a pretty magical site for someone who is visiting the Golden State for the first time. The SoCal vibe will fall upon you pretty instantly. You’ll be enjoying an Açaí bowl or a Cali Burrito while checking the swell in no time. We are going to give you the breakdown of this SD beach bubble making it so you won’t have to leave, other than to head to the great other places in SD we recommend. Let’s dive in on some places to stay!
Mission Beach is a peninsula that stretches about two miles in length between Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, the Pacific Ocean, and Mission Bay. The beach and boardwalk are of course some of the main features of this part of San Diego, and a resort gives you one of the best chances to stay right on 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 options for families who prefer not to trek around with kids, looking for a place to eat. Resorts are usually the most expensive option for staying in this area.
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 especially because MB is only 3 blocks wide.
If you go with the private rental route, you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of homes, condos, apartments, and even luxury penthouses. These typically feature studios to three bedrooms making them perfect for big families, groups, or solo travels. San Diego vacation rentals typically have kitchens, dining areas, and sometimes a private pool. If you’re the sort of traveler who likes to hit the local grocery store and eat in for breakfast to save some funds, you should definitely consider a private rental.
Fun things to do in Mission Beach
The beach itself offers all your classic activities like excellent swimming, surfing, paddleboarding and boating. Pack some sunscreen, a blanket, and shades and you are good to go! For non-water activities, try some beach volleyball or toss a football around, we also love relaxing in the shade with a nice book and soaking in the weather! If you have never surfed before, try grabbing a surf lesson!
Mission Beach has great waves for both beginners and experts! Wind and Sea is located on the north side of the San Diego River channel Jetty. With the rocks on the right side facing the beach, this break has a classic left hand break that is known worldwide in the surf community. Make sure you are an experienced surfer before heading to this spot as it is not safe for beginners.
The boardwalk that runs along the beach is a fantastic place to bike, rollerblade or walk. Starting at Belmont park and continuing towards PB, the stretch covers a beautiful selection of beachside houses and condos that will make you jealous of the people who get to live here year round! Enjoy inviting beach bars, clubs, and cafes along the boardwalk and keep an eye out for the classic Rollerblading Guy that cruises up and down the path dancing to his music on the daily!
If you have kids, Belmont Park is an amusement park filled with classic roller coasters and other rides. This classic and historical location was opened in 1925 and is open year long. The ‘pay as you go’ method helps as this park is actually quite small. Grab tickets for the rides of your choosing and enjoy the thrill! Oh yeah, to make things even better, the park offers free parking!
SeaWorld is just behind the boardwalk in Mission Bay, and you can actually walk there if you opt for a Mission Beach vacation rental. This park is famous for its sea critter shows, and it has some exciting rides as well. With perfect year long weather, this outdoor park provides epic dolphin shows and tons of exciting activities. In the summer, SeaWorld features nightly fireworks!
Check out the surrounding areas!
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 take the river path and walk in just over an hour. The I-5 connects the neighborhood to Balboa Park and the iconic San Diego Zoo, so you can get there in less than 20 minutes depending on traffic. Make sure to visit the neighboring beach towns for a different taste of SoCal culture! Heading north, Pacific Beach is pretty similar to MB, but is way bigger. Packed with excitement, cool stores, bars, and restaurants, you can spend the whole day exploring.
Follow the lines going south, and head over to Ocean Beach. This neighboring beach is separated by the San Diego River so you’ll have to drive, bike, walk. Ocean Beach is a bohemian centric little beach town that is certainly not to be missed. If you are visiting with your dog, make sure to head over to the OB Dog Beach which is located on the other side of the channel from MB. For rock and roll fans, make sure to visit Winstons Beach Club on any given Monday night for an evening packed with electrifying Grateful Dead music. The act, Electric Waste Band, has been playing at Winstons every Monday for over 30 years, making them the longest lasting Grateful Dead tribute band of all time!
For a full list of things to do while visiting OB, check out our other post!
What to bring?
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. If you forgot to bring any essentials, the area is well equipped with stores to grab anything you may need.
Let’s go to the beach!
Your next trip to Mission Beach is just a few clicks away! Book a rental, buy a ticket or pack up the car, bring a swimsuit, and you are on your way to enjoy the warm Southern California weather!