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12 . Mission Bay

Would you like to visit the largest aquatic park in the country? Well you can, right here in San Diego! Mission Bay Park and Mission Bay Aquatic Center is the perfect leisure playground for those who love water sports and activities, or who just like to hang out or stroll by the water. Covering 4,235 acres, Mission Bay Park includes grassy picnic areas, fire rings, playgrounds, restrooms, swimming coves, beaches, plenty of paths for walking, cycling and rollerblading, and areas for windsurfing, jet skiing, playing volleyball, basketball, throwing Frisbees, and launching a sailboat or kayak.

Once a broad lagoon called False Bay, today beautiful Mission Bay Park is the entrance to the San Diego River Flood Control Channel. Many nature and fitness lovers enjoy an exhilarating walk around the whole park. The bay is large, so you should begin early to see it all. Start at De Anza Cove off 1-5 and walk south past Tecolote Shores to Fiesta Island. Pass Sea World on your way to Quivira Basin, and then head north to Santa Clara Point. Continue your walk along the concrete path past the Catamaran Hotel and the Kendall-Frost Marsh Reserve. The east end of the Crown Point parking lot is an ideal place to spot the endangered California Least Terns and Black Skimmers. End your walk back at De Anza Cove.

Whether you're visiting San Diego, or lucky enough to live here, you'll love Mission Bay. It's a fantastic acquatic playground for individual or family activities and special events like reunions and company picnics.

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