From concession stands to fine-dining eateries, busy night clubs to street performers, expect to find all kinds of fun along the sandy shores of Mission and Pacific Beaches. Filled with upscale, pastel-colored homes, hotels and condos, along with cottages and beach apartments, these locales are favorites among locals and tourists.
Often compared with the carnival-style atmosphere of Coney Island on the East Coast, Mission Beach teems with both land and water activities. Joggers, bicyclists, roller-bladers, and casual strollers use the oceanfront boardwalk leading 3 miles north to Pacific Beach. One of the most popular places to rent a bike cruiser, kayak or surfboard is Cheap Rentals at Santa Clara Point. Just across from Mission Bay and minutes away from Pacific and Ocean Beaches, San Diego Jet Ski rents everything from Jet Skis to jet boats as well as stand-up paddle boards and beach bikes.
Mission and Pacific Beaches are also people-watching meccas, where free-spirited visitors converge to hang out, especially on weekends. The main action happens at Belmont Park - a major amusement park dating back to 1925, where visitors still ride the Giant Dipper, an original wooden roller coaster.
North to Pacific Beach, watch the world go by while having an omelet atop the rooftop patio at the Broken Yolk Cafe, serving eggs prepared more than a dozen ways for over 35 years. Another great choice is Lanna Thai Restaurant offering fresh, light and healthy Thai food with homemade recipes that have been passed down through generations.