Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Mission Bay

Home of Aqua Adventures and what most would consider the paddle board hub is Mission Bay! Whether it’s checking out the sights, paddling with your pup, or observing the natural wildlife, Mission Bay offers something for everyone! Mission Bay is one of the world’s largest man-made salt water bays and is the largest aquatic park of its kind in the country. Conveniently located, Mission Bay has over 20 miles of coastline and is an excellent spot to stand up paddle board or kayak. Just 10 minutes from downtown San Diego, Mission Bay is local to many great coastal San Diego towns (Pacific Beach, Mission Beach & Ocean Beach).

Bonita Cove, Mission Bay, CA

First, one of our favorite spots to paddle board on Mission Bay is Bonita Cove adjacent to Belmont Park. Bonita Cove is only a short paddle from Aqua Adventures.  The cove is protected on three sides so it’s usually very calm even on windy days. On any given day, you can find people fishing off their stand up paddle boards or one of our stand up paddle board yoga or hydro bike fitness classes. On a warm summer day SUP over to Bonita Cove to pull up on the sand and take a dip in the warm water!

Fiesta Island, Mission Bay, CA

If you are paddling with your dog we recommend paddling to Fiesta Island. Approximately a 30 minute paddle from Aqua Adventure, Fiesta Island Dog Beach is a large area of land located within Mission Bay. Most of this island is designated as leash free for dogs, it’s rarely crowded and there are spectacular views of Mission Bay, Downtown San Diego, and Sea World. Dogs can enjoy the sandy beach or play in the bay with calmer waters. Bring your dog and their favorite toy – we’ll provide the paddle board and life jackets, and enjoy a fun day on Mission Bay!

Bird Watching Mission Bay

If bird-watching is a hobby of yours we recommend stand up paddle boarding to a few places on Mission Bay. First up is Mariner’s Point, it’s home to the smallest tern species, the California least tern.  June or July is the best time to see the least tern nesting at Mariner’s Point. Next up, we recommend paddling over to Perez Cove, it’s one of the three known nesting sites of the great blue heron in San Diego County. These enormous long-legged, long-necked birds are commonly sighted nesting in the tops of Torrey Pine trees. If you get lucky you may even catch an osprey plunge talon-first into the water and snatch a fish! Herons, egrets, waterfowl, shorebirds, gulls, and terns are all year round residents.

Mission Bay Sea Lions & Wildlife

Also within Mission Bay and right inside our very own Quivira Basin you’ll see California sea lions and occasionally a harbor seal.  On most days you can find them floating in the water, sunning on their favorite buoy or lounging on the bait barge.  Sea lions and their seal friends are ready to say hello to locals and visitors alike. Also inside the basin, paddle along the rocks to find Garibaldi, Opal eyes, starfish, sand dollar beds and the occasional octopus!