Mission Beach Travel Guide

Mission Beach is a lovely ocean-side community in San Diego, California. It's the perfect mix of a quiet beach town and a bustling big city with tons of things to do. When you book one of the many Mission Beach San Diego vacation rentals, you'll be able to enjoy all the sights and sounds of the town and, at the end of the day, return to the comfort of a home. Check out this handy guide for an idea of things to expect on your Mission Beach vacation. If you think this guide is missing some important information, please let us know!

What to Do in Mission Beach

Mission Beach VAcationThe obvious draw for Mission Beach is the beach itself. With roughly two miles of beautiful postcard-worthy beach to enjoy, it's no surprise that beach bums from all over flock to Mission Beach.

The star of Mission Beach is no doubt Belmont Park, a beachside amusement park bursting with rides and attractions. This charming amusement park is nearly a century old, and its Giant Dipper Roller Coaster, recently certified as a National Landmark, still thrills riders today. With its mix of water rides, arcades, and midway games, Belmont Park is rightfully considered to be the Coney Island of the west coast.

Take a Stroll along the Boardwalk or Enjoy the Beach

To get a great view of the area, head on over to the Mission Beach board walk. It's a fantastic, free way to check out the local scenery and local population. Whether you're a runner, biker, inline skater, skateboarder, or a gawker, you can spend hours at the boardwalk. It's great for exercising, strolling, or people watching. Arrive early for a good parking spot. There are plenty of rental outlets if you didn't bring a bike or a board with you, so you can still get some exercise on the boardwalk that connects all of Mission Beach's main attractions.

As far as water sports go, you can't beat the Mission Beach surf. It's a great place whether you're a pro or a novice. If you're new to the Mission Beach surf scene, you can get some great lessons from Endless Summer, which offers surfing lessons year round for beginner, intermediate, and advanced surfing levels. Sign up online for Mission Beach surf lessons at SurfMissionBeach.com

Lots to Explore in San Diego

And that's just in Mission Beach alone! You've still got the rest of San Diego to explore if you feel so inclined. There's the famous San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, and LEGOLAND to visit if your kids like amusement parks, plus a near infinite amount of shops and restaurants to experience. Best of all, after a long day of activities, you can return to the comfort of one of our Mission Beach San Diego vacation rentals.

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What to See in Mission Beach

There are plenty of sights to be seen at Mission Beach, from the gorgeous beaches to the unreal sunsets that cap the end of a long, full day. In addition to the great people watching to be had, set your sights on Skate This!, a local skating club that puts on free shows on the weekends. It's quite a sight to see their trick skating and dancing moves, executed on both rollerblades and traditional skates. It's a great break from the typical day at the beach.

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Where to Shop and Eat in Mission Beach

Mission Beach RestaurantsYou've got plenty of shopping and dining options in Mission Beach, from high-end and classy to convenient and economically sound. While you're visiting Belmont Park, you can get some good, cheap eats at one of the beachfront restaurants or from the food court-style eateries.

Eat Like a King at Mission Beach

One of the more popular eating destinations is the Coaster Saloon and Wave House, a beachside bar and grill with an eight-foot-tall artificial wave that offers fantastic food at a decent price. A great place to eat without having to leave the beach.

For the best breakfast food this side of mom's scrambled eggs, stop by the modestly named Mission Cafe. It sounds ordinary, but this funky diner packs a wallop with their huge portions and delectable sides that keeps Mission Beach coming back for more. Try to arrive early, since there's usually a line that forms early on.

Also stop by World Famous, which lives up to its name thanks to its perfect beachside atmosphere, killer appetizers and great drink specials. It works great as an affordable, yet romantic, date destination and a good place to start a long night of sampling the local drinking spots. The seafood is particularly fresh and delicious.

Mission Beach Vacations

Shop the Day Away

After eating all that delectable food, don't forget to check out the great shopping available at Mission Beach. For a nice boutique with cute fashions and affordable prices, stop by The Basement Boutique. The pink walls and friendly staff help create a fun fashion experience, and the location makes it refreshingly easy to access. You've got a great chance of snagging a trendy belt, top, or piece of jewelry at this fun boutique.

For a taste of the truly eclectic, stop by Maddie Moon Designs. The owner, Madeline Binnie, travels the world and brings back her favorite finds to sell, while also creating her own looks inspired by foreign tastes. As she describes it, it's not the typical T-shirt souvenir shop: Indian dying techniques and British vintage looks feel right at home in the colorful madness that is Maddie Moon. Some of the items are a little pricey, but they're certainly one of a kind.

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When to Visit Mission Beach

If it's sun and warm weather you're after, you're pretty much guaranteed to find it in Mission Beach, so timing shouldn't be a huge factor when planning your Mission Beach vacation. In the winter months, the average high never dips below 65, with considerably warmer temps in the summer. On average, the hottest temps are found in August. Locals warn of “June Gloom,” where clouds hang low over the coastline and obscure the sun for the majority of the month.

Summer really starts here around July, with peak tourist season lasting until October, so these are the best times to see the beach if you don't mind some crowds. If you want to hit the perfect balance of warm weather and small crowds, consider October. The weather is still gorgeous and most of the summer crowds have thinned out by then. Be warned—sometimes October is a rainy month in Mission Beach, so check out the extended forecast when making travel plans.

For a warm vacation that's refreshingly free of crowds, check out Mission Beach in the winter. There's a good chance that it will be a good deal warmer than most places that time of year.

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What to Bring to Mission Beach

To best enjoy your Mission Beach vacation, you better come prepared. If you enjoy exercising and being active, be sure to pack your running shoes. The Mission Beach board walk is the perfect place for a run, or even a brisk walk. If you've got rollerblades or a skateboard, you can bring those along too, but keep in mind that you may be able to find them at rental shops too, so you can save room in your luggage.

Extra room in your luggage is key too, since you'll likely be returning home with more stuff than you brought with you. In that vein, set aside some spending money, so you can indulge in a few luxurious while you're here. It is a vacation, after all, and no vacation would be complete without a little splurging. If you're prepared, you won't feel quite so guilty for taking advantage of the great shopping and dining at Mission Beach.

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Local Services in Mission Beach

If you want to do something really special while you're at Mission Beach, weddings are fairly popular on the beaches here. The Mission Bay area has over 4500 acres of beautiful green areas, which would be ideal for an outdoor wedding. Be sure to check out the Developed Regional Parks Division if you're thinking about a Mission Beach wedding. You'll need a permit, which needs to be booked anywhere between six months to a year in advance, so plan ahead.

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What to Know About Mission Beach

While the beaches are gorgeous, there are a few rules to keep in mind. After all, there are much better souvenirs to bring back home than a citation.

Drinkers and smokers should keep their habits off the beaches. Alcohol, glass bottles, and cigarettes are all considered illegal while on public beaches. This may be frustrating to some folks, but it helps create a clean, safe environment.

In that same vein, pay attention to when dogs are allowed on beaches. In a few parks and beaches they are allowed all day, but most beaches only allow dogs from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. Also, keep an eye on the swimming and surfing zones. They are separate areas, so be sure that you're in the right one!

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Getting to Mission Beach

By far the best option to reaching Mission Beach is the San Diego International Airport. It's only a fifteen minute drive to the beach, so even if you don't have a rental car, you can catch a taxi for a relatively low fare.

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Why Mission Beach Vacation Rentals?

Why not Mission Beach vacation rentals? You get to enjoy fantastic beaches, a fun-filled boardwalk, tons of great shopping and dining, and an overall fantastic vacation. Best of all, you can spend your downtime (if you have any) in the comfort of an actual home instead of a cramped hotel. Start browsing the Mission Beach San Diego vacation rentals today, and you'll soon be on your way to your best vacation yet.

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