You can rent equipment at the end of West Mission Bay Drive adjacent to the boardwalk. Those looking for the thrill of a beachfront rollercoaster and some 1920's nostalgia will want to ride the Big Dipper at Belmont Park, located at the north end of Mission Beach. This 73-foot-tall wooden rollercoaster was built in 1925, closed for restoration in 1976, and finally reopened again in 1990. The Big Dipper is still an exhilarating ride up into the palm trees high above Mission Beach.
Kids will love Mission Beach for its wide
variety of land and water activities. Swimming, body boarding, and
sandcastle building will keep them busy until it's time to
go home. Belmont Park, which has a merry-go-round, bumper
boats, and arcade games, is next to the Big Dipper rollercoaster.
There's even an indoor Olympic-sized swimming pool called
"the Plunge"; at Mission Beach adjacent to Belmont Park.
Mission Beach has plenty of free parking just across the street from Belmont Park at West Mission Bay Drive and Mission Boulevard. These parking lots can fill up on summer days and on weekends year-round, so plan to arrive before 10 a.m. to get a good spot. Street parking is available along Mission Boulevard.
Mission Beach San Diego Directions (Mission Beach Map)
Take Highway 8 west and follow the signs to West Mission Bay Drive.
The Mission Beach boardwalk has been widened
with designated lanes for walking and riding. It's a great
starting point for a day of bike riding or other activities like
rollerblading, skating, skateboarding etc. The boardwalk extends
for miles along the beach and around Mission Bay. The relatively
uncrowded pathways mean a more relaxed ride.
Considering its modest size, the Big Dipper rollercoaster is not for the faint of heart. Severe gyrations and turns followed by rapid descents make for a hair-raising ride — it's not advised for anyone with physical limitations that would be aggravated by sudden and severe movement.
Mission Boulevard (two blocks east of the beach) has taco shops, coffee houses, fast food chains, breakfast joints, and some ethnic food. You'll find plenty of options for breakfast, lunch, and casual dinner here. For fine dining, we suggest one of the nearby resort hotels.