It’s so easy to fall in love with this little inlet of San Diego. Find out why the bay rivals the beach and the best way to spend a day in the area.

10 A.M: Crown Point Walk

The parking around Mission Bay can get a little hairy. We recommend parking in one of the lots off of Crown Point Drive, just East of the Ingraham Street bridge. From there you can walk, bike, rollerskate, whatever you fancy, on the Bayside Walk that loops around to Mission Bay. The complete Bayside Walk loop is a flat 12-mile path filled with beautiful scenery.

10:30 A.M: Brunch at Olive Cafe

Locals love this cute little cafe that serves breakfast and lunch. Grab an organic coffee and take a seat on the outdoor patio, decked with black and white striped umbrellas. Opened in 2005 by a University of San Diego grad, Olive Cafe serves classic morning and mid-day dishes. Opt for ‘Eggs & Things,’ berry-topped pancakes, soups, salads, sandwiches – you name it!

Noon: Play at Mission Bay Sportcenter

If you’re visiting San Diego in the winter, take advantage of the sunshine! We can’t think of a better way to enjoy the outdoors than getting out on the water. Mission Bay Sportcenter is just a six minute walk from Olive Cafe and offers everything from catamarans and paddle boards to waverunners and jetpacks for rent. Are you booked during the day? Book ahead for a two-hour sunset sail or a nighttime stand up paddleboard ‘glow’ tour.

3 P.M: Refuel With a Beach View

Okay, today is all about the bay, but the beach is only three blocks away – so there’s really no avoiding it. And why would you want to, when you can have the best of both worlds! Take the beachside boardwalk South to find a few local favorite restaurants, like Cannonball for sushi or Draft elevated pub grub. Both are just over a mile for Mission Bay Sportcenter, giving you plenty of time for people-watching and working up an appetite.

5 P.M: Belmont Park

By now you’ve lived the quintessential SoCal experience at the beach and the bay! You can’t visit Mission Beach without stopping by Belmont Park, San Diego’s beachfront amusement park built in 1925. Enjoy rides like bumper cars, the tilt-a-whirl, vertical plunge, and of course the iconic 2,600 foot long Giant Dipper roller coaster all year round. If thrill rides aren’t your jam, the whole family can get in on the fun playing mini golf, laser tag, climbing the rock wall, and more.

6:45 P.M: Bahia Belle Cruise

If you aren’t totally wiped from the day, there’s one more must-do in the Mission Bay area. Cruise across the bay in the Bahia Belle, a sternwheeler boat from the turn-of-the-century. Explore the three-story boat and its observation deck while being whisked across the bay! The Bahia Belle offers family sunset cruise options until 8:15, with cocktail cruises for those 21 and over starting at 9 P.M. Hop on at the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa (which has a great weekday happy hour at their bayside outdoor lounge) or the Bahia Resort Hotel. Cruises run June through November – they’re the perfect way to end your day at the bay!

Alexa Brynne

Alexa Brynne

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