Activities in Pacific Beach, San Diego
Pacific Beach exudes the essence of a true California beach town with its brilliant, year-round sunshine and blue ocean swells that greet its sand and boardwalks. This small, colorful community blends an eccentric mix of surfers, local beach bums, college students, professionals, and families. A few blocks west of Pacific Beach, you’ll find a fun jumble of surf shops, taco stands, craft galleries, and smoke shops flavored with a hint of tie-dye. The architecture here is varied, with 30′s-style beachfront cottages next to large, upscale, earth-toned condos. Expect ultra casual and zero attitude in Pacific Beach. For a less crowded alternative, try the more protected waters of Mission Bay, located just four blocks east of the south end of Pacific Beach.
Between the ocean, the bay, and nearly 3 miles of bike paths — not to mention year-round sunshine — Pacific Beach offers a myriad of recreational activities for families, weekend warriors, and outdoor enthusiasts. Surf, swim, kayak, or body board in the blue waters of the ocean. Bicyclists, skaters, walkers, and joggers have miles of paved paths winding between the ocean and Mission Bay. The paths afford spectacular views of both; they also offer up a slice of local life at Pacific Beach, including neighborhood basketball games, family picnics, Frisbee, and kite activities, and lots of outdoor barbecues. The Pacific Beach activities are endless and sunbathing opportunities are abound on the ocean, the bay, or a quiet grassy knoll.
With the endless supply of ocean and sand at Pacific Beach, parents will never hear the words “I’m bored” from their kids. Pacific Beach is a saltwater playground offering all the activities kids love — building sand castles, splashing in the ocean, or (for bigger kids) romping through the waves on a body board.
You can rent surfboards, body boards, rollerblades, and bicycles at shops located near Crystal Pier. Lifeguards are stationed at Pacific Beach year-round. Pets are permitted from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and must be on a leash. Parking at Pacific Beach is easy most weekdays during the winter. However, it will be challenging on weekends and on any day during the summer. We advise arriving early for the best selection. Unmetered street parking is available but fills up quickly. Better yet, stay at one of Pacific Beach’s awesome hotels for the ultimate vacation convenience.
Whether you’re looking to have some adventures out on the water, or enjoying a sporting event, there are plenty of Pacific Beach San Diego activities to keep you busy throughout your whole vacation. Here are some ideas of the types of activities in Pacific Beach you might want to try.
San Diego Arts and Cultural
- Balboa Park
- Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
- Spreckels Pipe Organ Pavilion
- San Diego Museums
- San Diego Historic Missions
- Little Italy
San Diego Boat Charters / Tours
San Diego Ecology
- San Diego Parks
- San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park (formerly known as the Wild Animal Park)
- San Diego Zoo
- Scripps Institute of Oceanography
- Mission Trails Park
- Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge
- Mission Bay Park the park consists of all of the bay and most of its shore areas and stretches for miles. There are many park facilities within a short driving distance, each with their own personality.
- La Jolla Children’s Pool is a park and beach with the main attraction being the many seals lying on nearby rocks, or on the beach within a few feet from your view! This is a protected marine area for snorkeling, swimming, and scuba diving among the seals. The La Jolla Caves are located nearby. La Jolla is about a 15 minute drive north on Interstate 5.
- Sunset Cliffs is a beautiful scenic area a short drive south with high sheer cliffs.
- Tide Pooling in San Diego is best is at Scripps Pier in La Jolla. Another area can be found before you reach Cabrillo Monument, on the west side. It is best to go a little while before low tide.
- The Ocean! There is fishing, boating, parasailing, photography, whale-watching (in the winter) and so much more. Lie on the sand, walk in the surf, swim, boogie board, surf, and just enjoy!
- Grunion run Grunion are a small silver fish found only along the coast of southern California & northern Baja California. It’s quite a site to see thousands of Grunion come out of the water completely to lay their eggs in the wet beach sand on a few nights after the highest tide associated with each full or new moon.
San Diego Guest Services Concierge and Party Planning
- San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Mission Beach Visitor Center check the papers for concerts, sporting events, contests, promotions, and much more.
- La Jolla Concierge Services
San Diego Music Venues
- House of Blues San Diego
- Cricket Wireless Amphitheater
- Humphreys By The Bay
- Canes Bar and Grill
- Belly Up Tavern
- 4th and B
- The Casbah
San Diego Amusement Parks, Attractions & Places of Interest
- SeaWorld is a 10 minute drive from the beach. It is open at night during the summer.
- Mission Bay Park across Mission Blvd. from Belmont Park there are picnic tables, playgrounds, barbecues, rest rooms, volleyball courts, soft grass, benches, and some cozy spots under palm trees. The park stretches for miles along the bay’s calm waters. Summer Daily Fireworks – take place at 9:50 p.m. every night at Sea World. You can look out the back porch toward the bay, or walk or drive closer for a better view. Sea World is open in both the day and evenings during the summer.
- The Boardwalk is 2 3/4 miles from the South Jetty to Crystal Pier. You can walk, jog, roller blade, bike ride, skateboard, and people watch.
- The bay side walk just 5 minutes, across Mission Blvd. to beautiful Mission Bay. You can walk for miles on the sidewalks which hug the bay. Water sports include sailing, swimming, paddle boating, kayaking, jet skiing, motor boating, fishing, and more.
- Belmont Park the historic amusement park has the famous Giant Dipper roller coaster, bungie trampolines, the human gyroscope, Virtual Reality, and other rides and games.
- The Plunge is also in the park. It is a public indoor Olympic size swimming pool. It is located at Mission Blvd. and West Mission Bay Drive on the board walk, about a 15 minute walk south of the beach house.
- Belmont Park and the Big Dipper Rollercoaster
- Crystal Pier just walk north on the board walk from the beach house for about 10 minutes to this historic structure. You get a great view of the surfers from above. And stop at the wonderful little coffee stand before you get to the end – a beautiful viewing spot perched way out in the ocean.
- Cabrillo Monument
- Del Mar Race Track
- Coronado Island
- Maritime Museum
- Old Town
- Seaport Village
- Gaslamp Quarter (downtown)
- Wineries (surrounding area)
- Tijuana, Mexico
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- And Much More clothes and jewelry boutiques, pubs, restaurants for all budgets and tastes, ice cream shops, tourist shops, surf shops, rental shops for roller blades and everything else, coffee shops, markets, and many other conveniences.
San Diego Fun Rentals
- Mission Beach Cheap-Rentals Surf and Skate Equipment Rentals
San Diego Sports
San Diego Tours
- San Diego Trolley Tours
- USS Midway
- Whale Watching (winter months)
- Open Cockpit Biplane Rides
- Scenic Helicopter Tours