“As the ocean is never full of water, so is the heart never full of love.” -Unknown
As a girl who was born and raised in Idaho, I have always had mad love for the rivers, mountains, and lakes. This love of the outdoors was instilled in me at a very young age and I continued to get good doses of it throughout my entire childhood. However, there was a constant pull on my nature-loving-heart for more. I craved to experience a steady crashing wave, impossibly silky sand and the vastness of possibilities the ocean stirs inside all who visit it. The sun on my skin as the hours pass and drift instead into moments. Total perfection. I thought about moments like these often but it wasn’t until I was 12 that I finally had the chance to feel the tide wrap around my ankles.
It was a family vacation that brought me to California first; a week of beach days that changed me forever. The ocean pulled the sand under my toes as the water danced back into itself. I spent hours laying on the sunny beach and jumping in the waves, finding strength, happiness and new life that I didn’t even know I possessed. It was clear to me that I had to come back here, to live, forever. I officially began “California Dreamin’!”
Fast forward over twenty five years, to New Years Day of this year. I moved down to sunny San Diego with my husband and our three year old daughter, and I can call myself a “Cali Girl,” finally! Beach days are now a regular in this family. You could say visits to the ocean are almost like church for us, and in that sense our “home church” is the one and only Mission Beach.
We have been to several beaches all over San Diego (let me know your favorites and I will be sure to visit them if I haven’t already,) but Mission Beach is by far in my family’s top three. Why do we love this beach so much? It’s the epitome of San Diego culture & SoCal vibes. The sand is soft, the beach is long and the tide is steady. Sunsets are consistently a breathtaking tango of orange and pink hues and can be easily enjoyed sitting on a blanket upon the sand. Walking the famous boardwalk makes for some pretty epic people watching if you’ve seen the sunsets enough! There are several options to enjoy the ambiance of Mission Beach. If you’re up for doing something at Mission Beach that doesn’t involve a beach towel and sand, here are your three best options:
1. Rent a bike, surfboard, or boogie board. There are rental shops right along the beach and you can choose your adventure right then and there, and begin it! If you don’t want to get wet, a bike is the perfect choice, and you can get an exercise while viewing the stunning San Diego coastline.
2. Grab drinks and food at The Wave House. The Wave House is located right on the boardwalk. This restaurant has chairs and tables right in the sand to give you an even more intense beach feel. There is even a simulated wave pool nearby the restaurant where you can try your hand at surfing or body boarding. (If you aren’t looking to try that adventure, you can always watch the pros entertain you while you eat.)
3. Have fun at Belmont Amusement Park. Located within walking distance of Mission Beach, this amusement park is filled with rides, attractions and pure family fun. Even after dusk, you can see the twinkling lights on the old wooden roller coaster all the way from the beach.
If you’re looking for some of the most fun things to do in San Diego, or have limited time to explore and want to make sure you get to the BEST beach in San Diego, then set your sights on Mission Beach. Photo-ops are EVERYWHERE so arrive with a charged camera, an open heart & of course flip flops and a bathing suit!