After visiting Old Town it was time for one of the main reasons I had wanted to see San Diego: The beach, the ocean and more!
Unfortunately my second day here was also the day the sky turned gray. Meaning it wasn’t sunny and picture-perfect outside anymore, so lying around on a bath towel and soaking in the sun was not really an option for me anymore. As it turned out, that was totally fine. The beaches in San Diego offer a wide variety of things to do.
My first stop was about half an hour by public transport from Old Town: Mission Beach! And the first thing I saw when hopping of my bus were roller coasters, Ferris wheels and other fun rides. Indeed, Belmont Park right next to Mission Beach is a small amusement park, which reminded me of Brooklyn’s Coney Island in some ways. Of course it’s not as big and extensive, but nonetheless, it hosts some fun rides for mostly children in addition to
overpriced gift stores and candy shops. Altogether, I almost felt like I had never left New York. But only almost.
The beach vibes were indeed very different. Mission Beach spans not much more than 1 mile in length. I walked up the promenade, after dipping my feet into the Pacific Ocean and determining that swimming was certainly not going to happen on that day. It was moderately warm outside of the water, but of course the ocean itself is freezing cold at this time of the year (and I suspect during the other months, too). This in addition to the sun not shining didn’t make me want to swim with the seals, which could be seen from the shoreline and were joyfully jumping up and down with the waves.
While walking along the promenade, a ton of bicyclists, joggers and more sports folk ran past me or came towards me. I later-on saw a few rental bike signs, which advertised bike rentals for very cheap (as cheap as $10 for a few hours, if I’m not mistaken). No wonder so many tourists decided to ride up and down the beach. I walked north and finally hit Pacific Beach.
Both beaches are pretty much right next to each other (similar to the distance between Brighton Beach and Coney Island). I believe I was able to walk from South Mission Beach to North Mission Beach in less than an hour, including stopping and taking pictures and just enjoying the salty sea air in my lungs. As far as I could tell there wasn’t much difference between the two beaches. The main difference might have been in terms of night life, condo prices and there-such. Since I wasn’t staying here overnight, I didn’t check into accommodation prices.
Instead, I decided to grab a burrito from a nearby taco shack. My second one within 24 hours and it certainly did not disappoint!
Next stop on the itinerary: The magnificent La Jolla, right above the two beaches. But not until the next day.