As summer heats up in SoCal, many residents are looking to cool off and head to the coast. While California offers an abundance of beach towns, Southern California shores provide flawless weather and warmer water (for California) year-round. From Santa Barbara to San Diego, a quick beach escape is just a car (or train) ride away. 

For a diverse land and sea vacation, check out Mission Bay in San Diego. A hidden gem filled with more than just beautiful beaches and amusement parks, Mission Bay is ideal for family vacations, solo trips, romantic getaways or whatever may send you miles away from your home. 

Mission Bay offers 27 miles of picturesque coastline and 12 miles of a paved path perfect for all explorers on foot or wheels. Pass through miles of oceanfront theme parks, resorts, playgrounds, restaurants and the boardwalk. Home to the iconic Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, beachgoers can visit the Belmont Park while exploring the boardwalk. 

From the popular Pacific Beach to Mission Beach to Ocean Beach, sunbathers have a plethora of seaside shoreline to decompress and unwind. Want to bring your fido friend? Check out Fiesta Island for one of the best dog-friendly beaches in the area.

An aquatic wonderland, Mission Bay is fit for all water sports. From boating to kayaking to sailing to jet skis, vacationers can enjoy an array of activities while taking in breathtaking views of San Diego. Head over to Action Sports Rentals to try out a Funcat – a floating lounge chair on water – ideal for relaxing and enjoying beverages. 

Need some extra guidance while in Mission Bay? Fit City Adventures leads guests on guided tours customized to your fitness level and vacation needs. From e-bikes to volleyball to sunset hikes, Fit City Adventures provides unique adventures optimal for team building, family reunions, birthdays and more. 

When it’s time to turn in for a snack, there are plenty of options. The Mission Bay Beach Club offers a variety of options, ranging from the health-conscious juices to binge-worthy ice cream sandwiches. Visitors can also enjoy bocce ball, rent paddleboards and bikes or just sit back and take in the views.

After a day of fun-filled activities, earn your drink at Ballast Point Brewing with a beginners Home Brew Mart class. Learn how to make your own craft beer while indulging in a local brew. While there you may even run into Paul Elder, the artist behind the award-winning Sculpin IPA name and label.

While liquid meals can be fun, when it’s time to fill your belly, check out these Mission Bay hot spots which also happen to be in some the best hotels. 

Take a bite out of San Diego’s coast at Red Marlin, with fresh seafood, seasonal American cuisine and a fabulous wine selection. From truffle mac to clam chowder, this upscale dining experience will awaken your taste buds. 

For California coastal cuisine, check out Covewood. Known for fresh seafood and local wines, Covewood offers an intimate experience with dishes as lovely as the views.

Oceana Coastal Kitchen utilizes and infuses local produce into classic dishes ranging from flatbreads to pasta to sushi and fresh seafood.

Barefoot Bar and Grill is the perfect spot to enjoy a pre-dinner beverage in a laid-back environment. Stroll over to Tidal to catch the sunset along with180 degree views of Mission Bay. Giving beach house vibes, Tidal’s menus change daily. From Taste of Baja to Tuscan Feast to Land & Sea, the signature dishes, drinks and desserts are sure to satisfy your taste buds. 

Cozy up by a fire pit at Dockside 1953. The nautical-inspired restaurant serves up craft cocktails and delectable dishes from both land and sea. 

When the sun sets rest your head at one of Mission Bay’s fabulous resorts. Mission Bay offers six distinct waterfront hotels – with a variety of price points to fit everyone’s budget. All properties provide a stunning view of Mission Bay’s sandy shoreline and sparkling sapphire blue sea. Each hotel possesses a trademark aesthetic and delivers a unique experience. 

For a lavish escape, retreat to San Diego Mission Bay Resort. Offering tranquil spa treatments, a kid-friendly wading pool and beach access, this Mission Bay newbie is not to be overlooked. 

To take off overseas (without the costly plane ticket) head over to the Polynesian-themed Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa. Retreat to the tropics with gardens, koi ponds, tiki torches and waterfalls from the moment you enter the resort. Traveling alone? No problem – strike up a conversation with one of the many exotic birds around. 

Another tropical getaway is Paradise Point Resort and Spa. Enjoy bungalow-style accommodations, lagoons, lush greens, multiple swimming pools, beach bonfire pits and relaxing spa treatments. 

For a casual, family-friendly setting, check out The Dana on Mission Bay. The hotel includes a complimentary shuttle to guests making travel a breeze.

Bring out your inner child at Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina. From pools to waterslides to water activities, this hotel provides familiarity and fun. 

Steps away from a private beach, the Bahia Resort Hotel is an iconic San Diego resort. Home to a few rescued seals, there are onsite activities for kiddos and complimentary beach chairs. Bahia is truly the perfect beach getaway. 

Feeling restless and ready for a nightcap? Head down to the hotel’s dock and board the Bahia Belle for an evening excursion on an 1860s Mississippi riverboat. Sip on cocktails, dance to the DJs tunes and take in the night sky from the observation deck. 

From land to sea, Mission Bay offers an abundance of activities to keep your long summer days filled with adventure from dawn to dusk. Indulge in the best vacation with beautiful beaches, aquatic escapades, outdoor excursions, incredible eats and luxury lodging in this unique San Diego town. Sea you in Mission Bay!

Discover Mission Bay

Caitlin Pieh
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