Mission Beach is a community of San Diego stretching along a peninsula with the ocean to it’s west and Mission Bay to it’s east. Mission Beach can be divided into three smaller communities: South Mission, a peninsula, and North Mission. MB spans nearly two miles of ocean, with a boardwalk on both the ocean and bayside. The boardwalk has been expanded recently and is now separated by a yellow line, dividing foot traffic on one side and wheels (roller blades, bicycles and skateboards) on the other. At the south end of the beach is a jetty, with grass, parking and a walking path.
Many of the original residential structures in Mission Beach were built in the 1930s and ’40s as summer cottages. Because of problems to work out with developing on sand, Mission Beach developed later than the neighboring communities of Ocean Beach to the south and Pacific Beach to the north. In 1914, encouraged by land sales in those next-door communities and a new wooden bridge linking Mission Beach with Ocean Beach, John D. Spreckels offered small lots for sale. Few have been consolidated to form larger lots. Many of the structures within the community have been redeveloped into two-story homes in recent years.
Attractions near Mission Beach include SeaWorld and historic Belmont Park, in South Mission Beach, which features the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster. Other amusement park rides include the FlowRider, Chaos, Vertical Plunge, Krazy Kars, Tilt-a-Whirl, Liberty Carousel, Crazy Submarine, The Beach Blaster, and The Chaos. The Mission Beach Plunge opened in May 1925 as the centerpiece of Belmont Park, which was built by John D. Spreckels to stimulate real estate sales and to promote his electric railway. The 60-foot-by-175-foot swimming pool, was at the time the largest salt-water pool in the world, holding 400,000 gallons. The plunge building, encapsulating The Plunge, which was featured in the Tom Cruise film Top Gun, and was styled after the Spanish Renaissance architecture that also were erected in San Diego’s Balboa Park between 1915 and 1916. The Mission Beach Plunge is the only remaining structure left from the original Belmont Park structures.
Common Mission Beach activities include sunbathing, horseshoes, surfing, bicycling, skateboarding, Frisbee and football beach tossing, and many other outdoor activities. A local skating club, “Skate This!,” performs for free on weekends, executing trick skating and dancing on both rollerblades and traditional skates. Mission Beach has become well known as a popular place to engage in sports, including beach volleyball and basketball, with courts available for both.
Many of the beach goers are local college and university students, but both tourists and permanent residents of the beach and other areas are also frequent visitors to this World-Famous Beach location.