Enthusiastic instructors at OEX Mission Bay invite beginning and experienced adventurers into the cerulean waters of the Pacific. The outpost began as a kayak and freediving center, but has since branched out to include standup paddleboard, outrigger canoes, and poker tournaments with local sea bass. Staff members happily help sea student get fitted with the perfect-sized gear and train them in basic safety before their expedition over and under the blue bay waters.
Mission Bay Aquatic Center, which was voted 2010 Best Water Activities in San Diego by CityVoter, expertly guides more than 15,000 waternauts yearly in the ways of wave roving. Harboring one of the world's largest instructional seaside facilities, MBAC immerses beginners in basic sailing lessons held in four three-hour installments. Let the marine mavens fill your brain with essential sailing theories and boat handling tips while you man a Sabot, a single-handed boat that leaves your other hand free for high-fiving dolphins.
From his comprehensive dive shop, NAUI-certified scuba instructor Michael Simpson leads basic and advanced scuba courses as well as excursions into the deep unknown around the San Diego area. With the help of Simpson and his staff, Poseidon's Divers also organizes scuba-diving and snorkeling excursions that explore local aquatic gems such as caves, La Jolla Cove, wrecks, and beaches where groups may encounter playful seals, wildlife, and meditating octopi. Michael also gives surf lessons and cleans up the beach with the 1302 Dive Frogs, the dive club at Poseidon's Divers.
Guava's kitchen sizzles with a menu of American, Mexican, and seaside favorites, and bartenders whip up legendary margaritas and signature cocktails. Cajun spices cling to a grill-blackened slab of mahi-mahi smothered in a sweet-chili sauce and a mango salsa made in-house ($14). The baja burrito granda ($13) clusters succulent chunks of house marinated and grilled carne asada mixed with melted cheese and pico de gallo in a tomato-basil tortilla, and the loco coconut flavors a tender chicken breast fillet with eponymous coconut ($9). Groups wash down snacks with the Bionic Beaver, a pitcher overflowing with a mix of five alcoholic varietals sweetened with cranberry juice, grenadine ($13), and a compliment from a passing stranger.
How does a yoga studio with no electrical outlets to plug a sound system still resonate with the tranquil ambiance of waves, wind, and wildlife? By hosting its classes on the ocean. The instructors of Paddle Board Bliss beckon students to the calm waters of Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and Mission Bay to practice invigorating yoga atop paddleboards. While balancing on their boards, exercisers progress through a series of traditional yoga maneuvers that call for them to stand for poses, sit for meditative exercises, and do cannonballs for attention. If the ocean’s soothing whispers aren’t enough, a live guitarist strums alongside students during Acoustic Flow sessions.
Although its yoga classes have received a lot of press, Paddle Board Bliss isn’t exclusively a yoga studio. It also dedicates its time to fostering aquatic exploration with paddleboard rentals, tours, and lessons.
High-quality food, all-day breakfast, and a huge outdoor patio make The Boardwalk a great place to take in a game and enjoy some sunny, flavorsome fare. No matter how late you slept off your long night of ventriloquism, snag an a.m. meal such as The Boardwalk’s most popular item, the Short on Cash ($6.95), with two eggs, two pieces of bacon or sausage, and your choice of two pancakes or toast with potatoes. Or try the healthy bestseller, the Acai Bowl ($8.25), served with fresh bananas, berries, and granola. Beach bums can interrupt their skiing fantasies with a selection from the lunch menu, including the Baja Mex-style snapper tacos ($4.25) with rice and beans ($2), and meat masticators can hang a fang on a Boardwalk Burger ($8.95), a ground-on-site sirloin-and-chuck patty topped with tomatoes, grilled onions, and American cheese.