The Best Ways to Explore Mission Bay

By Kylee Niederhauser

With over 4,200 acres of roughly equal parts land and water, 27 miles of shoreline, 9 miles of sandy beaches and 12 miles of paved, pedestrian pathways, Mission Bay is a one-of-a-kind playground of aquatic fun. It’s easy to see why over 15 million people visit the area every year. Read on to learn some of the best ways to explore all that Mission Bay has to offer, both by land and by sea!

By Land


One of the reasons we loved living in Mission Beach was being able to walk everywhere! The Mission Beach boardwalk runs from Pacific Beach all the way south to the Jetty and then wraps its way around Mission Bay. While you’re walking, be sure to keep an eye out for Slo Mo – a Mission Beach legend!

Slo Mo cruising the boardwalk


With over 12 miles of flat, scenic pathways along Mission Beach and Mission Bay, a bike is a great option for covering more ground. Ray’s Rentals has two locations in Mission Beach with both beach cruiser and tandem options!

By Sea


Kayaking is a great way to explore Mission Bay from the water. Since the bay is completely protected, the water is calm and lake-like (unless you’re in the wake zone of a jet-ski or power boat!). Mission Bay Aquatic Center has kayaks available to rent by the hour or for the full day, and their staff will happily answer any questions to make beginners feel comfortable.

Paddle Board

Try a new spin on stand up paddle boarding by taking a SUP yoga class through Mission Beach Yoga. Their experienced, certified yoga instructors will guide you through a unique practice on the water. All levels of yoga and paddle board experience are welcome! If you’d rather explore at your own pace, Mission Bay Aquatic Center also rents paddle boards in 2.5 hour increments.


For a fun day of boating on the water, look no further than Mission Bay Sports Center. From speed boats to pontoons to catamarans, they have a wide variety of boat types in their fleet. Check out the CraigCat (shown below) for a fun and unique boating experience!

Hot Tub

Yes, you read that correctly. You can actually explore Mission Bay while relaxing in a hot tub! Hot Tub Cruisin’ offers self-captained hot tub boat rentals departing from Santa Clara Point. The boats can hold up to 12 guests and come equipped with a speaker system, coolers, lounge seating and a shade canopy. For an extra fee you even can have them stock the coolers with ice and add a propane bbq grill to use on-board.

Have you visited Mission Bay before? What are your favorite ways to explore the area? Tell us in the comments!