Mission Beach's boardwalk and Belmont Park are reminiscent of the Jersey shore, complete with screams from the historic wooden Giant Dipper roller coaster, the aroma of hot dogs, cotton candy and the occasional illicit substance, and a toned-down, carnival-like ambiance. This being SoCal, however, the park also offers surfers the chance to tackle Bruticus Maximus, a 10-foot man-made wave at the hugely popular Wave House bar, restaurant and water wonder. We prefer the Flow Rider, a continuous manageable wave that you can ride on one of their flow boards. Of course, you could always hit the real surf on the other side of the concrete boardwalk, which runs 3 miles from Belmont Park to Pacific Beach. Bicyclists and pedestrians have separate lanes on the walkway; cops on beach cruisers enforce an 8-mph speed limit. Since an alcohol ban hit the beaches in 2009 the boardwalk scene has grown calmer, but there are still plenty of young partiers in bikinis and thongs hanging out at rental houses, bars and hotels bordering the boardwalk, and plenty of sand volleyball games and family gatherings on the beach.
Attractions & Landmarks, Sports and the Outdoors
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