San Diego Bay is where much of the action in its namesake city takes place, as it's directly linked to the surrounding metropolis. Stretching for 12 miles along the Southern California Coast, you won't find many waterfront locations that feature this many dining, shopping, and cultural venues. You'll also have the chance to make the most of the typically sunny weather, with a great selection of world-class beaches found within touching distance. If you’re looking for the perfect summertime holiday destination, San Diego Bay is the ideal place to visit.

As the city meets the bay, travellers will get to enjoy some of the Pacific Coast’s most stunning scenery without having to give up any creature comforts. And with San Diego found so close to the Mexican border, you can experience the region's famous Baja-style influences. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer to hit the shops, dance the night away or catch a few waves – the choice is yours when you holiday along San Diego Bay.

San Diego Bay - one of the highlights of 10 Best Things to Do in San Diego for Couples (Read all about San Diego here)

What are the highlights of San Diego Bay?

Although San Diego Bay is incredibly well connected to the nearby city, there are numerous places to visit when you want to explore the great outdoors. For instance, Coronado Beach provides striking swimming, surfing and sunbathing, as well as outstanding views of the city's skyline from across the bay. To the south, the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge offers peaceful hiking trails and guided tours that explore the area's endangered species.

Perhaps the most obvious landmark in San Diego Bay is the USS Midway Museum. This enormous decommissioned ship has been transformed into a thriving history museum that reveals the vessel's long and storied past. For those who fancy soaking up San Diego's street art scene, you can find vibrant works located at Chicano Park – a public space beneath the famous Coronado Bridge.

Where to eat, drink and shop near San Diego Bay?

For a trendy spot that combines delicious food, drink and shopping, Seaport Village is the ideal destination. There are over a dozen places to eat, ranging from low-key takeaway spots to lavish sit-down restaurants. Don’t miss your chance to visit the renowned San Diego Pier Cafe to sample the seafood and experience the view. Further along the bay near Waterfront Park, you can find authentic Mexican flavours at Portside Pier.

You have plenty of choices when it comes to shopping in the vicinity of San Diego Bay. Head along to The Headquarters at Seaport to see how the former San Diego Police Department base has been transformed into a flourishing shopping destination featuring local designers. If you’re staying closer to San Diego's south, you can find leading retailers at Chula Vista Center, which offers popular outlet stores like Vans, Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s and JCPenney.

Good to know about San Diego Bay

If you decide to spend your vacation along San Diego Bay, it makes perfect sense that you’d want to get out and experience the water. Fortunately, it’s easy to take a cruise with any of the providers located along the waterfront, who are happy to help you see the sights from a different perspective, including Coronado Bridge, Seaport Village, and the USS Midway Museum.

Although you might be tempted to drive around San Diego Bay, it’s simple to commute up and down much of the waterfront by using the convenient trolley system. Spend less of your time in traffic and more seeing the city’s famous landmarks. Keep in mind that San Diego can get especially busy during peak season, so be sure to make any reservations ahead of time if you want to have the best visit.

San Diego Bay

Hudson Brown | Contributing Writer