West Coast Sailing Destinations: San Diego

We're heading to San Diego for today's West Coast Sailing Destination because we've realized that every city we've covered so far starts with "S"! San Diego has an average of 300 sunny days per year. How could you not want to sail here? San Diego's three harbors - Oceanside, Mission Bay and The Big Bay (including Point Loma Peninsula, Coronado, the Downtown Waterfront and Chula Vista) - all offer marina facilities, boat rentals, private charters, boat tours, scheduled excursions and boating classes. Small boats and kayaks can also be rented along the coast and at some of San Diego's inland lakes. Boat owners will find ample locations to launch, moor or repair their vessels, whether they're taking a spin around the bay, or making a stopover on an around-the-world cruise.

San Diego Bay

Tranquil San Diego Bay remains the most popular, offering unforgettable views of the Coronado Bay Bridge, Cabrillo National Monument and the Downtown San Diego skyline. You can check out the USS Midway aircraft museum from the water, or cruise the shorelines until you reach Coronado Island. If you decide to sail in winter, you’ll be treated to some whale sightings. The Pacific gray whales migrate along the coast of San Diego, so you’ll see calves swimming along with the adults in early spring while early winter treats you to southbound pods heading to Mexico. 

With more than 60 waterfront restaurants, the San Diego Bay already provides a picturesque, unique dining experience. But for an experience unlike anything in San Diego, the Port of San Diego encourages boaters to utilize “Dock and Dine” facilities located all around San Diego Bay and leave the worry of navigating traffic and finding a parking spot at home. 

Oceanside Harbor

Oceanside Harbor is quietly tucked away from the unsuspecting individual. But as you drive into the harbor and discover rows of docked sailboats, see people gliding by on top of paddleboards, and the array of restaurants and shops, you quickly realize that you have stumbled upon a true hidden gem. 

The Harbor is primarily known for its water activities including deep-sea fishing, whale watching cruises, and boat rentals, but it is also has wide, sandy beaches and incredible surf conditions.  

The only harbor between Orange County and San Diego, Oceanside is a wonderful location for those traveling by sea along the California shoreline. The Harbor has a fuel dock, launch ramp, bait receiver, and slip rentals available.

Mission Bay Park

Located just minutes from downtown is San Diego's water wonderland, Mission Bay Park. The 4,600-acre aquatic playground is the largest of its kind in the world. Surrounded by 27 miles of meandering shoreline, with a variety of waterways, inlets and islets to explore, Mission Bay is bordered by several beach communities, each with their own distinct vibe.

Mission Bay Park is the largest aquatic park of its kind in the country. It consists of over 4,235 acres in roughly equal parts land and water. Mission Bay boasts 27 miles of shoreline, 19 of which are sandy beaches with eight locations designated as official swimming areas.

At the west end is a network of channels and islands - a perfect spot for everyone from windsurfers to water- skiers. You can swim, enjoy the sun or rent a boat to explore the thousands of acres of waterways.

Mission Bay Park offers boat docks and launching facilities, sailboat and motor rentals, bike and walk paths, basketball courts and playgrounds for children. It is one of San Diego's most fun-filled spots to visit.

La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove is also one of San Diego’s most desirable spots for kayaking, snorkeling, and diving. The water is calm and ecologically protected, providing a safe home for marine wildlife. Because the water is protected, surfboards, boogie boards, and other floatation devices are not permitted. The beach itself is small, but nearby Scripps Park offers a nice grassy expanse for spreading out.

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