WALKING CALIFORNIA (#2 IN A SERIES)
Location: Mission Beach, California
Distance: 3 to 5 miles- out and back.
Surface: Sidewalk or Sand (your choice)
One of the great things about the Mission Beach walk is you can do it on the sidewalk or on the sand. Along the way there are a number of places to get rested and refreshed. People watching becomes the major attraction on this walk. Start out at the old wooden roller coaster (The Big Dipper) and walk west to the boardwalk on the beach. Head north starting from the life guard tower and you are greeted with a view the Pacific Ocean on the left and some very expensive beachfront properties on the right. Some of these properties are occupied year round and some are vacation rentals. About 1/2 a mile ahead are some funky beach shops from days-gone-bye. They contain beach fashions, sunglasses, sunscreen products and funky stuff from the sixties and seventies.
Continue walking north about ¾ miles and you reach the pier, complete with little white rental cottages. There are some restaurants and public bathrooms adjacent to the pier. Walk about another ¼ mile and you will get a great view of the ocean shoreline all the way up to La Jolla. At this point you will turn around and head back the way you came.
Notice the beach volleyball players and the surfers as you head back from the pier. After all, this walk is about seeing everybody and everything going on at the beach. About fifteen minutes into your walk back, stop for a shave ice at the little shack on your left (next to the funky surf shop you passed on your way out). Continue walking south and notice the south mission jetty in the distance. On occasion you will see Para sailors and jet skiers flying across the ocean waves. Sail Boats of all sizes can be seen on the ocean in the distance. You will soon be back at the life guard tower where you started. Ending your walk here will cover a distance of just over three miles. If you would like to lengthen your walk continue down the boardwalk to the jetty and then east along Mission Bay. Continue north along the scenic bay and you will soon be back at The Giant Dipper. This part of the walk will add about two miles to your walk so be sure your up to it before you begin.