Best Beach Activities in Mission Bay


Mission Bay is loaded with surf shops, surf camps and surf culture. Surfing can be very difficult to learn and can take many years to master. If you’ve only got an hour or two to invest, then a boogie board could be the better solution. It’s easier, far less frustrating, and can be just as fun. Newcomers should definitely take surf lessons before venturing out into the ocean and start at beaches with gentle breaks.

Surfer riding wave in Mission Bay
building sand castle in Mission bay

Building a Sandcastle

Building a sandcastle has been a staple of beachgoers forever. Whether it be a small fortress, or an elaborate construction, everyone can enjoy this beach activity and explore their creativity.


Shore fishing locations are everywhere with plenty of parking. The shoreline is mostly made of soft sand, with the bottom being relatively featureless. Max depth is about 20′ in areas of the Mission Bay Channel, Mariner’s Basin and Quivera Basin. Most areas in the bay are around 12′ feet deep at high tide. Eelgrass and man made structures like bridge pilings and boat docks stand out as primary fish habitat on the otherwise sandy and flat bottom.

fishing in Mission Bay
scuba diving in Mission Bay


Charter dive boats based out of Mission Bay offer half-day trips to the Yukon and other local wrecks. Dive down and explore the artificial shipwrecks that are teaming with sea life and coral to experience a magical day of fun!


San Diego’s world-famous climate and excellent bays make boating a San Diego staple. You can spend the day sailing the inlets and islets of Mission Bay, or round the Point Loma Lighthouse and head for the open ocean. Small sailboats, powerboats and personal water-crafts can be rented at several locations in Mission Bay, and same with kayaks.

sailing in Mission Bay
Exploring tide pools in Mission Bay

Explore the Tide Pools

San Diego offers some of the best tide pooling in al of California. The best time to explore the tide pools is during the fall and winter months when very low tides occur. But you can still have an excellent experience year-round.