Mission Beach caters to the younger crowd who want to show off their hard bodies and enjoy drinking at the beach side bars and restaurants. Great for college aged to 30 somethings crowd, Mission Beach is known for its amazingly long stretch of white sand beaches, it wooden roller coaster, and the shops and restaurant lined concrete boardwalk.
A local's Mission Beach Review of Mission Beach would have to begin by stating that Mission Beach is one of the best beaches in California. One of the best places to enjoy the sunshine while watching the surfers, the sand castle builders, and the many people that walk along the extensive paved boardwalk. The boardwalk is lined with beach shops and beach food that collectively add to the easy going atmosphere. A Mission Beach Review would not be complete without mentioning the world famous wooden roller coaster on the Mission Beach Boardwalk. Very old school, this wooden roller coaster is not to be missed.
Mission Beach Information
Mission Beach has lifeguards, showers, and a boardwalk for beach goers. Parking in Mission Beach is pretty good because of the large parking lots near the wooden roller coaster and along the streets. Dogs are allowed in the early morning and in the evening. Surfers are welcome and there is plenty of open space for surfing because of the long stretch of beach.
San Diego Mission Beach Tips
Mission beach does not get dull at night, instead the Mission Beach energy continues at the many laid back beach bars and casual dining establishments that cater to a younger crowd. It is true that Mission Beach can get crowded, especially in the summer, but unless you are looking for total rest and relaxation the amount of positive energy felt all around will only add to your visit to the beach. Roller blades and bicycles are allowed on the boardwalk, but with the sheer number of people walking on the boardwalk you might enjoy those activities better in Mission Bay Park. Renting a surfboard at one of the surf shops for $10 or so is well worth the experience to try surfing for your first time. Dogs are allowed before 9am and after 6pm.
Mission Beach Directions
Directions to Mission Beach are relatively simple, take the Grand Avenue exit off of I-5 and head west. When you get to the end of Grand Avenue in front of the beach turn left and you will be driving along the Mission Beach beaches, if you turn right instead you will be driving alongside the Pacific Beach beaches.
Mission Beach Roller Coaster
The famous Mission Beach Roller Coaster called the Giant Dipper is located in Belmont Park on the Mission Beach boardwalk. Built in 1925 by roller coaster designers Frank Prior and Frederick Church, the Big Dipper is constructed mostly of wood. A symbol of Mission Beach, the twister type roller coaster is one of only two original oceanfront wooden roller coasters still in operation on the entire west coast. Recently restored, the Big Dipper is the focal point of Belmont Park with its curving first drop, several steep hills, and high speed sharp curves.
Belmont Park is a family friendly open air entertainment center that is part of the most popular beach in Mission Beach. With over a dozen rides, amusement park games, oceanfront restaurants, beach shops, and carnival type food vendors Belmont Park offers year round enjoyment for families.
Belmont Park is the first amusement park in the country to feature the FlowRider which is a simulated wave attraction that is ridable for those willing to give it a shot. Belmont Park also has the historic 1925 Plunge, which is Southern California's llargest indoor public swimming pool.
The Big Dipper Roller Coaster had its first ride on July 4, 1925 and continued in operations until December 1976. The coaster was about to be demolished but was saved when it was designated a National Historic Landmark. 14 years later on August 11, 1990 the Save the Coaster Committee gained enough support and resources to restore the Big Dipper to its operating glory.
70 feet tall
62 foot drop
45 mph top speed
2,600 feet long
2 trains holding 24 passenger each. Each train has six cards with two rows, and each row holds two passengers.
Train manufacturer was Morgan Manufacturing
3146 Mission Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92109