What is the difference between Mission Beach and Misson Bay?
Mission Beach proper is a peninsula that is about a mile and half long by a quarter mile wide at its widest point. The beach side is knows as Mission Beach. The bay side is known as Mission Bay. Really, it is that simple.
The bay side of the peninsula is a much calmer area and also a calmer body of water. Usually, there are no large waves on the bay side, and more often, this side is quieter and calmer than the beach side of the peninsula. The bay side is where you see the sun rise each morning, enjoy sail boats in the afternoon and ‘ohhhh and ahhhh’ at the Sea World fireworks each evening. (fireworks from Memorial day weekend to Labor day weekend only)
The bay side is the perfect setting for people with young families who prefer a calmer beach like setting and still want to have water views. Because the widest part of the peninsula is only a quarter mile wide, it is very easy and quick to walk from the bay side to the ocean side to view the sunset each evening, or to let the kids play in the waves. If you crave the quiet of the bayside, but want to have the option of letting the kids play in the waves of the oceanside, don’t fret! The distance between the ocean and bay is one quarter mile wide at it’s widest point. In some places you can walk from the bay to the ocean in less than two minutes.
Mission Beach is the ocean side of the Peninsula. This is where the ‘action’ is and where people come to see and be seen. On Mission Beach you will view the sun set each night, and walk on the ocean front each morning looking for sea shells. Here you will see our locally famous ‘Slo-Mo’ who skates down the boardwalk in slow motion to classical music. Mission Beach has its fair share of locals who cruz the boardwalk looking for applause or a shout out. After a day or two, you will know who ‘they’ are. The ocean side of the peninsula is very busy in the summer months of June, July and August with families visiting Mission Beach from all over the world. But by about Labor day in early September the tourists are gone, the locals come out of hiding, the weather is amazing, vacation rental prices drop to the off season rate and the entire Mission Beach peninsula is relatively quiet once again.
The Mission Beach Boardwalk wraps from Mission Beach around to Mission Bay then over to Sail Bay and finally all the way to Ski Beach which sits right next to Sea World. (Locals Secret: you can bike or walk to Ski Beach and have the sparkle of the Sea World fireworks practically drop at your feet each evening during the summer months.)
Mission Bay is also home to SeaWorld San Diego, the world-famous marine life adventure park. With awe-inspiring shows, thrilling rides and unforgettable face-to-face animal encounters, kids of all ages will enjoy exploring the wonders and adventures of the sea. If sport fishing is your passion, a number of operators depart from Mission Bay with options for ½ Day, ¾ Day and Multi-day trips. During the winter months, many of these same boats also offer whale watching tours.