Mission Bay Park
The acres of Mission Bay Park (Mission Blvd.) are not a natural wonder. In fact, the land and sea of the popular recreation area were once a tidal marsh—the primary outlet of the San Diego River. In the 1940s, the marsh was dredged and the beaches and land formations you see today were created.
Among them are 19 miles of charming sandy beach perfect for sunbathing, sandcastle-making, beach volleyball, and more—and 14 miles of bike paths. Half of the designated parkland is actually off the shore, in the abundant calm waterways.
Swim in one of the eight designated, lifeguard-protected areas throughout the park, or take a deeper dive out into the channel to windsurf or water-ski. In the non-swimming, non-skiing areas, you can string out a line and go fishing.
Despite the manmade nature of this park, it has several areas that have become significant wildlife preserves. You can go birding at Perez Cove, Telecote Creek, Fiesta Island, or a number of other spots throughout the park.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition