Beautiful Stroll Along San Diego Bay


Location: Downtown San Diego (From the San Diego Convention Center to the Airport)

Hours: Always Open

Things to Do & See: Enjoy the Views of San Diego Harbor and Skyline while walking several miles along the waterfront, visiting world-class attractions, dining at restaurants, shopping in unique stores, looking at artwork, and people watching. You can also ride an Antique Carousel or take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride.


San Diego Bay Walking Tour Highlights: This will be one of the more scenic walking trails you will ever enjoy. A wide sidewalk extends the entire length so you can also jog, bike, rollerblade, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, get on a Pedicab, or tour on a Segway.

One Mile Walk – Most visitors spend their time strolling past the attractions listed below, which are all located within a one mile stretch of sidewalk along Harbor Drive. The attractions below are listed from north to south on what is known as the North Embarcadero.

San Diego Maritime Museum – One of the best maritime museums in the country, including the world’s oldest active boat, two historical landmarks, two ships featured in Oscar nominated movies, and several exhibitions.

Several miles of walkway along the San Diego harborInternational Visitor Information Center – Pick up maps, brochures, and discount tickets from trained staff who can answer your questions.

San Diego Harbor CruisesTake a cruise on San Diego Harbor, the most beautiful harbor in America.

San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal – See Cruise Ships up-close or take them for voyages to Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, South America, Asia, and Australia.

San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum – Tour the longest serving aircraft carrier in U.S. Naval History; Enjoy over 40 Exhibits, including Fighter Planes.

Artwork and Cruise Ships in San DiegoPort of San Diego Public Art Exhibitions – Visit the National Tribute to Bob Hope and the Military as well as enjoy the works of local artists placed along the one-mile walkway.

Seaport Village – Home to a very large selection of unique shops, entertainment, antique carousel, and horse-drawn carriage rides.

Three Mile Walk – As a group, the San Diego attractions noted above lie in the center between the San Diego Convention Center to the south and the San Diego Airport to the north, which are three miles apart. For those who want to walk beyond the attractions noted above, here are some additional sights you will want to enjoy if you continue down the sidewalk along Harbor Drive:

san-diego-harbor-walk-4If you walk towards the Convention Center, you will pass by the:

  • Manchester Grand Hyatt, where you can head up to the top floor bar to enjoy views overlooking San Diego;
  • San Diego Marriott and Marina, where you can look at the docked yachts from all over the world.
  • On the opposite side of the Convention Center is Petco Park, and a number of attractions in the Gaslamp Quarter and Marina District.

If you walk towards the San Diego Airport, you will pass by the:

  • World’s Largest Yachts docked in San Diego Harbor, where you can gawk and take up-close photos.
  • Russian Luxury Yacht docked in San Diego

  • U.S. Coast Guard Station, where you watch activity through the fence that includes watching incoming and outgoing Coast Guard helicopters.
  • Harbor Island, which is a very quiet place to enjoy views of downtown and watch planes flying in and out of the San Diego Airport.

Ten Mile Walk – Once you reach the Airport and Harbor Island, you don’t have to turn around. The sidewalk continues onward past Spanish Landing Park and the America’s Cup Harbor and on to Shelter Island. For those who like to go long distances, it is 10 miles from the Convention Center to the end of Shelter Island, with the halfway point being the loop through Harbor Island.

san-diego-harbor-walk-2Information on Visiting the San Diego Bay Waterfront

Directions from Google Maps to 1492 North Harbor Drive in San Diego, CA 92101. (This is the address for the San Diego Maritime Museum, which is midway between the Convention Center and the San Diego Airport. There are large parking lots nearby. You can also select any of the attractions above for information on directions and parking at different locations along the San Diego Harbor.)

Parking – There is Metered Street Parking that runs about $1.25 per hour with a limit of 2 – 3 hours. Nearby parking lots generally charge a parking rate of $10 for 10 hours. It is easier to park in the lots and spend a good part of the day (if not the entire day) enjoying the waterfront attractions, restaurants, going for a walk, and enjoying the views.

san-diego-harbor-walk-3Traffic – Getting in and out of downtown using highways I-5, SR-163, and SR-94 is relatively easy. Downtown San Diego is not a major employment center and thus there is very little rush hour traffic. Watch for slower traffic on the I-5 where it does a tight S-curve through downtown San Diego near the SR-163 interchange. When heading southbound on SR-163, stay to the left side unless you want to get on the I-5. (You will encounter a slight delay getting on the I-5 from SR-163.) You will also encounter a slight delay on SR-163 going into downtown when there is an event at Petco Park. The San Diego Padres games usually start at 7:05PM. Even though traffic backs up a little on SR-163, it continues to move along. When leaving downtown, remember that:

  • 1st Avenue will get you to the I-5 North,
  • 11th Avenue will get you to SR-163 and the I-5 North,
  • E & J Streets will get you to the I-5 South, and
  • G Street will get you to SR-94.

The traffic lights on these streets are synchronized and will generally move you along without delay. (Learn how to get the latest highway traffic updates.)

Once you are downtown, you will find most of the streets are one-way, on an alternating basis. (You can see them if you zoom in on Google Maps.) Broadway and Market Streets are both two-way streets running east-west. You will find that at several intersections you are not allowed to make a left turn off of Broadway or Market. Thus, if you need to make a left turn, it is often better to use a one-way street rather than Broadway and Market Streets. The streets closest to the San Diego Bay attractions are also two-way.

All of the streets downtown move along quite well. The only exceptions are 4th and 5th Avenues through the Gaslamp Quarter in the evenings and around Petco Park before and after events. One other exception is crossing train tracks that run along Harbor Drive in front of the Convention Center. You can cross over the train tracks at Market, Front, 1st, and 5th. Sometimes, freight trains block the latter few crossover streets. If you see them sitting still, it means they are checking their brakes, so it could take a while. Don’t wait. Move farther north towards Market Street to cross over the tracks.

Transit – Both the Blue and Orange Trolley Lines move through Downtown San Diego and get you within four blocks of most San Diego Harbor attractions. Both stop at One America Plaza, which is just two long blocks east of the Broadway Pier and the major attractions noted above. Also note that the Orange Trolley Line runs along the South Embarcadero, in front of the Convention Center and Seaport Village before continuing on to One America Plaza. Across the street from One America Plaza is the Santa Fe Depot, which serves the AMTRAK and Coaster Trains.  (See San Diego Transit Information for the downtown transit map and information for the online Transit Planner.) Walking around Downtown San Diego is easy since it is flat with the exception of the northeast corner near Cortez Hill.

Find More Attractions with Similar Themes or Location: *Top San Diego Attractions*, Airport / Harbor Island, Bicycling, City Skyline Views, Embarcadero North / Columbia, Embarcadero South / Marina, Kids Attractions & Activities, Maritime Attractions, Point Loma Area, Scenic Views, Walking / Jogging |

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