dog things · parks · running

Best Places to Run in San Diego: Mission Bay Park

mission bay park

It all began back in February 2013. I came out to visit Adam and he took me for a walk at Mission Bay Park. It was late morning on a weekday, so it was kind of quiet, but I loved it. It was absolutely beautiful. Fast-forward over a year, and it is now one of my favorite places to run.

mission bay park

Mission Bay Park

2688 E Mission Bay Drive
Website ▴ Yelp

This is definitely in my top 3 places to run in San Diego for several reasons.

That being said, there are definitely things that I wish I could change. These are the two things I am not crazy about when I’m running in Mission Bay Park:

Restrictions on dogs. Dogs are not allowed at Mission Bay Park (even on-leash) from the hours of 9:00 am-4:00 pm (November 1-March 31), and 9:00 am-4:00 pm (April 1-October 31). As someone who likes to take her dog running after work, around 5:00 pm, and on weekend mornings (after 9:00 am), I find this rule pretty frustrating. I’m sure other dog owners do too. I generally see people with dogs during these prohibited times (particularly weekday evenings after 4:00 pm and weekend mornings after 9:00 am), but any time someone does this, they are putting themselves at risk for a pretty hefty ticket.

Oblivious people. There is no polite way for me to say this but I constantly see people walking 2-4 people across a sidewalk that is not big enough for people walking 2-4 across. Considering that even the signs say that as you’re approaching others, you need to be walking single file, I find this pretty frustrating. Couple this with the fact that there is a Hilton right on the bay, and this can become a real issue during busier times at the park.

Okay, now that that’s done, let’s talk about the good:

When those hours aren’t in effect, it’s definitely dog-friendly. You’ll see dogs and their owners everywhere, whether they’re walking on the path or playing fetch in one of the grassy fields nearby. There are also spots on the path where you can grab bags to clean up after your dog, and many of the water fountains have a part that is located just off the ground for dogs only.

It’s a flat, easy path that goes on for miles. It doesn’t get better than this. If you’re looking for a flat, fun place to run, this is it. The path goes for miles, and can take you all the way to Sea World and Ocean Beach in one direction, or over to Crown Point and Pacific Beach in the other direction.

mission bay park

It’s family-friendly and safe. I’ve gone running here in the early morning and at night, when it’s gotten dark, and I’ve never once felt unsafe. There are certain unlit areas I stay away from during these off hours (mainly once you get out of Mission Bay Park and head towards Sea World on the bike path), but otherwise, it’s a family-friendly place where you’ll find people doing yoga and boot camp classes, kids playing on playgrounds, people rollerblading, rowing on the bay, riding their bikes, and enjoying the beautiful weather.

mission bay park at night

It’s beautiful. No but seriously–it’s so pretty. Palm trees, water, and sunshine. Sometimes when I’m running here, I get lost in how beautiful this place is. When I was training for the La Jolla Half Marathon, I did most of my training runs down here, because I could go pretty far in either direction, and I got so distracted by how nice it was that I didn’t even notice I was running for miles and miles.

mission bay park

So there you have it.

If you’re looking for a great place to go for a run in San Diego, Mission Bay Park is that place. It offers miles of flat and easy paths that are safe and scenic.

Whether you live in San Diego or not – where are some of your favorite places to run, hike or do yoga?

And if you do live in San Diego, please share your favorite running paths, trails and routes – I’m always looking for new places to run!

3 thoughts on “Best Places to Run in San Diego: Mission Bay Park

    1. Same! We’ve probably run by each other and not even noticed! I’ll have to keep an eye out for you next time. I’m usually with my dog so if you see us, say hi!


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