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The Big Bay, San Diego’s Waterfront

News | 17th Jan 2013

Stretching for more than 34 miles, San Diego Bay has an entertaining mix of restaurants, hotels, parks, marinas, shops and cultural attractions situated in seven distinctive areas.  Each area has its own unique character and offers visitors a diverse array of family friendly activities to fit every taste and budget.  Here’s a look at what each of these charming locales has to offer.

Chula Vista

Chula Vista is home to the Chula Vista Bayside Park and Pier on Bayside Parkway.  It features a beautiful fishing pier, picnic areas, game tables and several paths for enjoying a stroll.  Visitors can take in the public art installation Wind Oars, comprised of ten, 25 foot aluminum poles with pivoting vanes that remind onlookers of an enormous flock of birds. The Chula Vista Bayfront Park features a public boat ramp and often plays host to classic car club events.  Families can also enjoy the Chula Vista Nature Center, which highlights and educates the public about the environment and wildlife of the San Diego Bay.


Known as “The Enchanted Island”, no trip to San Diego is complete with a drive over the San Diego – Coronado Bay Bridge.  Visitors can also travel to the island by ferry and enjoy the many art galleries, shops, and eateries that comprise the charming downtown village, Coronado Ferry Landing.  Lucky guests may also spot Navy Seals training on Silver Strand Beach as Coronado is the home of Naval Air Station North Island and the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado.

Imperial Beach

Relax on uncrowded beaches and view the wetlands wildlife at Imperial Beach.  Outdoor enthusiasts can swim and surf at this classic Southern California beach town or take a walking tour of public art.  Bird watchers will love the Tijuana Estuary where native and migratory birds can be viewed.  Fish at Dunes Park or just marvel at the astounding view of the Coronado Bay Bridge and the San Diego skyline.

Harbor Island

Built in 1961 from materials dredged to deepen the channel for Navy ships, Harbor Island features luxury hotels and majestic Bay views.  Dine at an actual, working lighthouse and watch as the impressive military ships sail by.

National City

National City is three miles of waterfront that contains a mix of naval operations, commercial enterprises, ship building and tourist destinations.  It features a 245 slip marina, a 5.5 acre park and charming views of the San Diego Bay.

Shelter Island

Another island constructed of dredged materials, Shelter Island is now home to restaurants, hotels, spas, outdoor concerts and interesting public art.  On Shelter Island guests can enjoy Polynesian-themed restaurants with wonderful views of the bay.

The Embarcadero

One of California’s most scenic destinations, the Embarcadero never fails to please visitors.  The Maritime Museum of San Diego boasts an impressive collection of historic ships and the area serves as a busy cruise ship terminal, taking passengers to many exotic ports-of-call.  View the military themed art and memorials at Tuna Harbor Park, and end the day in the charming Seaport Village featuring a variety of bistros and boutiques.



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