Jan 31, 2020

Top Yachting Activities in San Diego










San Diego is an ideal destination for sun seekers due to its beaches and warm climate. Spend the day soaking in the sun at Coronado Beach, yacht to the picture-perfect La Jolla Cove or take the water toys out. If that is still not enough, you could also paddle around the largest man-made aquatic park in the USA, Mission Bay, and jet ski within the San Diego Bay.

San Diego is a city located in California, along the U.S.’s Pacific coast known as “America’s Finest City.” San Diego is famous for: its miles and miles of white-sand beaches and amazing weather, its immense Balboa Park home to the well-known San Diego Zoo, art galleries, artist studios, museums and gardens, its deep harbour that boasts a large active naval fleet and the USS Midway, a war aircraft-carrier turned into a public museum and the world’s largest man-made seawater aquatic park, Mission Bay.

Please note that your YachtLife charter specialist will be able to assist in planning your bespoke itinerary in San Diego, so the below should be considered as inspiration for your San Diego yacht charter. Additionally, we have created a 7-day Southern California yachting itinerary you may enjoy.

Sail through San Diego Bay

As you board your yacht, begin sailing down San Diego’s Embarcadero, past, on one side, the walkable harbour-front filled with shops, small parks and overall San Diego skyline view, and on the other, Coronado Island and the Naval Air Station North Island.

Sailing through San Diego Bay provides you with a different view of the city: you will see the San Diego-Coronado Bridge from the water, whilst you spot wildlife like pelicans, herons and sea lions and cruise by important landmarks and ships immortalised by movies and popular culture.

Drop Anchor at Glorietta Bay

Just past the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, you’ll find what is probably the best-known rendezvous point for yachts in San Diego – the Glorietta Bay with a backdrop of the grand Hotel del Coronado. On any given weekend, you’ll find dozens of yachts anchored in the bay and tied up together. You can jump from the swim platform into the shallow water and party with friends, or relax on the flybridge in what is usually a high-energy atmosphere. It’s not uncommon to see people take their jet skis to visit nearby yachts or race along the coast. For dining, we recommend docking at the Bluewater Boathouse Seafood Grill for the best fresh local menu seafood in the area.

Step aboard The USS Midway

If you are interested in naval aviation, tender ashore to visit the USS Midway, the longest-serving aircraft carrier in the world that has now become the largest museum dedicated to aircraft carriers and naval aviation. The USS Midway was commissioned in 1945 and served in the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm and is now permanently moored at San Diego’s Embarcadero.

Admire Point Loma

Before reaching Point Loma, you will sail past Broadway Pier where you will find several fantastic dining options. As you sail out of San Diego Bay, you will arrive at Point Loma, a long rugged historically important peninsula; this was the landing point for the first European expedition to what we now know as the West Coast of America.

Lounge in luxury at La Jolla

Cruising north from San Diego Bay, along San Diego’s rugged coast on the Pacific Ocean, you will reach La Jolla, home to San Diego’s upscale oceanfront community. Here you will find luxury boutiques, waterfront restaurants, the world-renownedTorrey Pines Golf Course, and some small beaches where seals and sea lions relax on the sand.

At La Jolla you will be able to spot seals and sea lions relaxing on the sand, but the best part of this area is the plethora of water related activities you will be able to engage in. Drop anchor to:

  • enjoy the water and your private yacht charter’s yacht slide,
  • go paddle boarding in San Diego, or kayaking along the La Jolla shores,
  • go snorkeling in San Diego’s coastal waters, or simply enjoy La Jolla Cove by snorkelling with a guided snorkel adventure tour,
  • explore the marine life at La Jolla cove by scuba diving,
  • swim with the leopard sharks at La Jolla by snorkelling,
  • venture yourself to visit one of the San Diego Sea Caves.

Or, you may simply opt for a sunset sail along La Jolla’s coast, you will most definitely watch some great surfing in action.

Cruise to Mission Bay

As you continue sailing north, you will arrive at Mission Bay San Diego, a 4,235 acre man-made aquatic park. It is one of the world’s largest man-made saltwater bays and is full of many protected marinas, sandy beaches and water related activities. A channel connects the bay to the Pacific Ocean, allowing for boats and yachts to navigate freely into and out of the bay area.

This is the biggest San Diego water sports hub, here San Diego visitors may experience everything from stand up paddleboarding to jet skiing. A boat rental in Mission Bay will provide you with the best of both worlds: you will be able to explore the mesmerizing canals, and also step ashore to visit the bay’s numerous onland attractions such as the Sea World.

Discover Catalina Island and the Channel Islands

One of the perks of chartering a private yacht in San Diego is the ability to explore one of Southern California’s natural beauties: the Channel Islands. An eight island archipelago along the Santa Barbara Channel in the Pacific Ocean, just off the Southern Californian coast, and the perfect spot for a charter vacation.

Rent a yacht in San Diego to begin your yacht vacation, and sail to one of the Channel Islands, Catalina Island, an island known for its wildlife, dive sites and Mt. Orizaba. Drop anchor at the resort town of Two Harbors for a fun day snorkeling in clear waters to observe Catalina’s thriving marine life, take the jet ski out for a spin or step ashore at the palm tree and cabana lined Descanso Beach in the beautiful Avalon Bay.

Please note that the cruise from San Diego to Catalina Island should be for an overnight boat rental as the cruise will take a couple of hours.

Watching the July 4th Fireworks aboard a Private Yacht

San Diego is one of the best places to celebrate the fourth of July as the city puts up a yearly mesmerizing bay fireworks show to celebrate independence day. This display is arguably the biggest fireworks show in the country, and it is the perfect activity to be enjoyed amongst both family and friends.

Undoubtedly, the best view of San Diego on the 4th of July is from the water, where you will be able to watch the fourth of july fireworks on Mission Bay, or choose to enjoy the 4th of July celebrations in the San Diego Harbor. Wherever you choose to watch the San Diego fireworks from, being on the water will provide you with undisturbed and private views of the San Diego independence day fireworks.


Yachting in San Diego will prove to be an experience not to be missed and will make for lifelong memories for you and your guests. With a private boat charter you will enjoy this stunning part of the world as it was meant to be seen – by the water, as you explore the diversity this region has to offer from Mission Bay to Coronado Island to its impressive natural beauty in the Channel Islands. Lounge aboard your luxury boat rental as you bask in the year-round Californian sun and experience the exclusive Californian lifestyle.

How to Charter a Yacht in San Diego?

Chartering a private yacht in San Diego should be simple and stress-free.

Whether we are working with you to create the perfect itinerary, or you would like water toys or provisions, at YachtLife, we do our absolute best to ensure your yacht charter in San Diego will be one to remember.

We spend so much time and focus on the smallest details so you can focus on what matters most – enjoying your San Diego charter vacation.

If you are looking to charter tomorrow or you are planning your next vacation, YachtLife is here to help you find the perfect yacht for any occasion.

Go onto our website or mobile apps (Android and iOS) and browse browse our hand-selected inventory of yachts to charter in San Diego. View photos, specs and pricing, and reserve without having to call a broker.

If you have any questions, or need help planning, our team of professional yacht brokers are more than happy to assist in finding the perfect yacht for your charter vacation.

You can contact our team here to charter a yacht in San Diego or anywhere in the world you desire.


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