Discover the fine dining, incredible views, catamaran rides, beer brewing classes, outdoor activities, and bay side hotels of Mission Bay! I saw everyone from families with children to bachelorette parties to tech conferences enjoying the many splendors of Mission Bay. There are so many fun things to do in Mission Bay San Diego!

greetings from Bahia Resort Hotel Things to Do at Mission Bay San Diego
Greetings from Bahia Resort Hotel in San Diego Mission Bay.

Located in Southern California, Mission Bay's magic lies in its recreational splendor and central location. Appreciate the warm sandy beaches, marine life, restaurants that'll wow your taste buds, and poolside relaxations of sunny San Diego Mission Bay. 

Downtown San Diego, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and Ocean Beach are just a hop skip and a jump away. 

There are loads of activities, attractions, eats, and things to do in Mission Bay San Diego. Mission Bay can act as your beacon point, the place you come to each night to sleep as you venture out. You can stay close by at Belmont Park or SeaWorld San Diego and spend the day there, or explore the vibrant city of San Diego further at Balboa Park, La Jolla, Seaport Village.

Things to Do at Mission Bay San Diego

Mission Bay Aquatic Center

Head out on the water of San Diego's Mission Bay for your choice of water sports such as jet skiing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and more. The Mission Bay Aquatic Center is a huge waterfront facility located in beautiful San Diego, California. Want to get out on the water? You can rent equipment, jet skis, whatever you need from Action Sport Rentals. The Mission Bay waters await your arrival. 

Rent a Luxury Catamaran

You could rent a luxury yacht or catamaran from Malarky Charters to sit back and wind down to the view of the bay. You might see some sea creatures like sea lions, pelicans, dolphins, California gray whales, blue whales, and other wildlife while you're out there!

Bahia Belle Cruises

Take a 45-minute Mission Bay night cruise on the Bahia Belle, a turn-of-the-century, Mississippi-style boat. Watch the calm waters surrounding the 4,200-acre park from inside Bahia Belle Cruises or get the scenic view from the observation deck. 

Mission Bay Golf Course 

Mission Bay Golf Course and Practice Center is an 18-hole public golf course and driving range designed by Ted Robinson.  It's the only stadium lit course in San Diego and it also offers DiscGolf and FootGolf. Tiger Woods won a Junior World title here. As he says in his book The 1997 Masters: My Story, "I knew something about efficiency, having learned a good lesson when I was 11-years-old and playing the Optimist Junior World Championship at Mission Bay Golf Course in San Diego." 

Belmont Park

Spend the day at Belmont Park, a beachfront theme park with amusement rides such as the historic Giant Dipper roller coaster, historic Plunge swimming pool, laser tag, and more. Find Belmont Park at 3146 Mission Blvd. San Diego, CA 92109.

SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld has rides, rollercoasters, dining, and of course animals, which makes Sea World a popular spot for tourists and locals alike to bring their families for the day. 

photo of travel writer Carmen Varner holding champagne with a view of the water at Mission Bay as she cruises on a catamaran thanks to Malarky Charters
Holding champagne on a catamaran on Mission Bay thanks to Malarky Charters.

Fiesta Island

Explore Fiesta Island and bring the dogs! Fiesta Island is a large peninsular park located within San Diego's Mission Bay. It's dog-friendly and horse-friendly as well. There are no bathrooms on the island. Picnics are permitted, but glass containers or alcohol are not allowed. Bonfires are allowed only in the city-provided fire rings located around the island's shoreline.

Mission Bay Park

The list of things to do in Mission Bay San Diego doesn't end! Mission Bay Park is located within walking distance of Belmont Park, the Pacific Ocean, and restaurants. Mission Bay Park also has a walking and biking trail. I rode along the Mission Bay Park trail with Fit City Adventures. You can see the ocean as you ride past tourists, food vendors, and locals walking around.

De Anza Cove Park

Get some California sunshine in a park. De Anza Cove Park is located at 3000 N Mission Bay Dr, San Diego, CA 92109. The park has a volleyball area, a tot lot to bring the kids, benches, picnic tables, as well as a path for jogging or riding bikes.

Crown Point Park 

Located at Crown Point Dr, San Diego, CA 92109, Crown Point Park has a picnic shelter, picnic tables, barbecue grills, fire rings, large sandy beach with a small grass area.


There are a few hotels conveniently located in San Diego Mission Bay. Spa treatments, good eats, Each one has its own vibe so you can factor that in when choosing. Here are a few things that you can do at each hotel in the Mission Bay area!

Things to Do at Mission Bay San Diego Dockside 1953 Bahia Resort Hotel  butterscotch banana French toast
Butterscotch Banana French Toast 🍌 🍞 Banana-Stuffed Brioche, Cream Cheese, Vanilla Butterscotch Glaze with Granola Crumble from Dockside 1953.

— Luxuriate with the waterfront dining views at Dockside 1953, the new restaurant at Bahia Resort Hotel. The butterscotch banana French toast is out of this world.

 Grab drinks at Barefoot Bar & Grill at Paradise Point Resort & Spa. 

 Eat the menu of the night at Tidal. Find Tidal at Paradise Point Resort & Spa right near Barefoot Bar & Grill. Learn more about Tidal here.

— Eat with your eyes and mouth at Firefly Eatery & Bar. The Firefly at The Dana On Mission Bay Resort features seasonal, local ingredients that will charm all your senses. Learn more about Firefly here.

 Relax with luxurious spa treatments at Spa Brezza at San Diego Mission Bay Resort.

— Order a tasty iced coffee from Mission Bay Beach Club. The San Diego Mission Bay Beach Club is a waterfront destination for coffee, bike rentals, ice cream, and more.

 Dine in at Oceana Coastal Kitchen at Catamaran Resort Hotel. Ocean Coastal Kitchen serves California cuisine with a modern ocean-inspired design.

 Try the katsu chicken at Covewood Restaurant at San Diego Mission Bay Resort.

 When you stay at The Dana On Mission Bay Resort, you get access to the seasonal Tropical Pool Bar. It's the perfect spot to just savor the moment. 

— If you want to head more toward Downtown San Diego, try a meal at LAVO San Diego.

Beautiful creation from Firefly’s New Executive Chef, Omar Armas! Almost too pretty to eat, but I ate it anyway. 😇
Beautiful creation from Firefly’s New Executive Chef, Omar Armas! Almost too pretty to eat, but I ate it anyway. 😇

So Many Fun Things to Do in Mission Bay with Family and Friends

Mission Bay is a short drive from Downtown San Diego, so you can easily get here from the San Diego International Airport. You can visit Pacific Beach, Mission Beach San Diego, Ocean Beach, La Jolla, and all the San Diego spots. Enjoy waterfront dining, beach bonfires, poolside relaxation, and everything your heart desires. It's a beautiful area with incredible dining options, great hotels, and tons of fun things to do! Take a look at some of the Mission Bay beach cams to see the area for yourself. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip now!

Nearby Attractions

If you want to surf, the Pacific Ocean is a quick drive away. The San Diego Zoo, Mission Beach Boardwalk, Crown Point Beach, Bonita Cove, shopping in Mission Valley are very popular options as well. 

There are loads of options on things to do at Mission Bay San Diego, no matter if you are sporty or just want to chill. Play beach volleyball, relax in the hot tub of your hotel, view the sea life, head to the theme parks, play bumper cards, visit the surf shops, go water skiiing, eat fish tacos,

About me: I'm Carmen Varner, I'm a San Diego-based food and travel writer. You can learn more about me here.