Mission Beach

Mission Beach Information

Mission BeachMission Beach is the center of a continuous stretch of beach known as The Strand, which extends over two miles, beginning at the Mission Bay channel entrance and ending at the north end of Pacific Beach. The Strand is the most popular beach area in the City of San Diego and draws large crowds in summer.

A somewhat narrow cement boardwalk parallel’s the entire beach. Walking, biking, bicycling, and related activities are permitted on the boardwalk, but speed is regulated and must be kept to eight miles per hour or less. Cycles with more than two wheels are not permitted except for use by the disabled. At all times, people must use caution and courtesy in using the boardwalk.

Various shops, restaurants, and beach rental outfits surround the Mission Beach lifeguard station, at the foot of Ventura Street beside a landmark roller coaster. The north end of Mission Beach is bordered by residential properties, but there are some stores available on Mission Boulevard, a block or so from the beach.

Lifeguard Protection:

Lifeguards are staffed daily year round at the main lifeguard station at the foot of Ventura Place. In summer, additional lifeguards are staffed along the beach in seasonal lifeguard towers. Lifeguards are generally on duty from 9:00 a.m. to dusk; but check with lifeguards for specific staff hours.

Rip Currents:

Most California beaches experience strong rip currents. Our safety tips section provides an explanation of rip currents and some methods of freeing yourself if caught in a rip current. The best advice is to swim near a lifeguard.

Water Activity Zones:

This beach has separate water areas reserved for swimming and surfing. Check with lifeguards for details.


Surfing is permitted at this beach in designated areas. Many peaks up and down the beach, crowded on the good days. The Jetty rocks!


This beach is not recommended for scuba diving due to lack of undersea life, heavy water activity, and surf.

Restrooms and Showers:

Public restrooms and showers are located at the foot of Ventura Street at the lifeguard station and at the south side of Belmont Park, and at the commercial mall adjacent to the Mission Beach lifeguard station.

Disabled Accessibility:

The boardwalk is accessible to wheelchairs and provides an excellent viewpoint of the beach. A special beach wheelchair, which requires an attendant, is generally kept at the main lifeguard station and available on a first come, first served basis at no charge.

Beach Fires:

Containers for beach fires are generally provided during summer months and available on a first come, first served basis. The burning of rubbish is prohibited. Only wood, charcoal, or paper products may be used as fuel. Fuel for the fire may not exceed a height of more than twelve inches above the upper edge of the fire container. The fire must be extinguished before leaving the beach. Open beach fires outside containers are prohibited at all San Diego beaches.

Regulations — Standard San Diego beach regulations apply, with the following modifications:

Alcohol may not be consumed on the boardwalk, on or against the seawall, in any park adjacent to the beach, or in the parking lots.


Take Interstate 5 to Grand Avenue. Follow it west to Mission Boulevard. Take Mission Boulevard south the roller coaster at West Mission Bay Drive.

Public Transit:

Call San Diego Transit at (619) 233-3004 for buses that serve this beach.


Extensive free public parking is available on the north and south side of Belmont Park, and at the foot of West Mission Bay Drive. There is additional parking in two lots across the street adjacent to Bonita Cove. These lots fill very quickly on busy summer days and traffic can be heavy at times.

Large Groups:

The basic rule of thumb is that any gathering of over 75 people requires a permit from the Park and Recreation Department. A permit is also required for a wedding, water event, athletic event, voice and/or music amplification, or use of special setup equipment (such as an inflatable party jump, dunk tank, canopy, etc.) For permit information call Regional Parks at (619) 235-1169.