Mission Beach is an oceanfront community built almost entirely on a two-mile-long / quarter mile wide peninsula on the western coast of San Diego. It is bordered by Pacific Beach to the north, Mission Bay Park to the east and the San Diego River estuary to the south. To its west is two miles of the uninterrupted pristine white-sand beach looking out over the Pacific Ocean.
There are boardwalks running across the length of Mission Beach on both sides of the peninsula - one on the west facing the ocean and the second on the east overlooking Mission Bay. Mission Boulevard is the main thoroughfare and commercial artery, running all way from Pacific Beach in the north down to the southern tip of Mission Beach.
With a two-mile-long ocean front, Mission Beach is one of San Diego’s premier beachfront real estate markets. As of July 2016 the median home value in Mission Beach was $1,053,600 - the San Diego average was $490,000 for the same time period. The community falls under the 92109 zip code.
Most of the early residential development took place in the 1930s and 40s, with some structures being built as far back as the 1920s. Most of these early properties were summer cottages. Because of the difficulty building on sand, real estate development started in Mission Beach much later than other San Diego communities like Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach.
1925 saw the opening of Mission Beach Amusement Center by property developer John D. Spreckels. The park was a ploy by Spreckels to attract more people to the area and stimulate real estate sales. It was renamed Belmont Park in 1957 and is today a major tourist destination attracting millions of visitors each year.
With night-clubs, street performers, hot-dog stands, fine dining options, an amusement park as well as surf, sand and sun, Mission Beach is sometimes called the Atlantic City or Coney Island of the East Coast. While there is no shortage of beachside amusement to be found, it all comes with a distinctly laid-back Southern Californian vibe.
What to Do In Mission Beach
- Visit Belmont Park - a local landmark and top tourist destination. Offers roller coaster, bumper cars, arcade games and many other rides.
- Check out the Wave House - a 30,000 square foot outdoor venue by the beach where visitors can relax in the sun and try out the Flow Barrell, an artificial wave machine (the only one of its kind in the U.S.)
- Surfing, boogie boarding, kite boarding and all other kinds of water-sports
- Swim in the ocean - but stay in the designated areas and watch for the signs!
- Fishing off of the jetty at Mission Bay
- Walking, jogging, cycling or walking the dog on the boardwalk running across Mission Beach