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Best Destinations by Yacht San Diego

a large body of water with a city in the background

San Diego is one of the most popular destinations on the west coast, and for good reason. It has some of the best recreational opportunities, historical sites, and entertainment, combined with beautiful weather. If you plan to visit San Diego, you have plenty of options for seeing the sights. You could rent a car, take public transportation, or charter a yacht.

Is San Diego Good For Yachting?

Because so much of the San Diego area is on navigable waterways, it’s an excellent place for yachting. The best part of yachting in San Diego is that, with steady winds all year and without the wintry weather typical to the East Coast, you can have the luxury of sailing instead of motoring. You can comfortably sail San Diego in winter when it’s less crowded since the average temperature is around 70 degrees.

Discovering San Diego in Your Yacht

Visiting a new city by yacht is an experience you definitely do not want to miss. Of course you will see a lot of great sights by car, but it’s a whole new perspective seeing these awesome views by boat. The San Diego Bay is 12 miles long with so much to see from the water. Some favorite views are Hotel Del Coronado, both the historic lighthouse and active lighthouse, North Island Naval Air Station, San Diego Maritime Museum, USS Midway, and the Coronado Bridge. There are a ton of access points from the water, so it makes it easy to travel around San Diego. Get picked up in Shelter Island and dropped off at the Marriott Marquis Marina, close to the San Diego Convention Center and the Gaslamp District. Hop over to the Glorietta Bay to access Hotel Del Coronado. 

Starting from the mouth of the bay, you will have views of Hotel Del Coronado and the Coronado Bridge. You can see Point Loma Lighthouse, as well as Cabrillo National Monument. As you enter the bay, you will see the San Diego Submarine Base and Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. Cruise on over to the bait barge to check out all the sea lions and sea birds waiting for a snack. You will pass by the Naval ammunition loading dock, the Navy fuel dock, and the largest helicopter base on the west coast. You’ll never know what sort of activity you’ll see at North Island Naval Air Station. You might even see an F-18, F-35, Osprey, or a C-5A Galaxy. Keep on cruising into the bay and you’ll see Shelter Island, H&M Landing, and Harbor Island. You’ll get a close view of the San Diego Maritime Museum with it’s incredible ships, including the oldest active sailing ship in the world: the famous Star of India. Further into the bay, you will see the USS Midway, a historic aircraft carrier museum. You will spy the Unconditional Surrender statue, the Coronado Ferry Landing, Seaport Village, lobster fisherman, and the Rady Shell. The wonderful architecture of the San Diego Convention Center is visible, along with Petco Park and the San Diego Library. Head underneath the Coronado Bridge to Glorietta Bay, just steps from Hotel Del Coronado. Sail past all the naval ship building south of the bridge to get impressive views of our military operations. Who knows, you might even see some Navy Seals jump out of a helicopter in the south bay. If you keep on going, you will get to Chula Vista Bayfront Park and the Coronado Cays. 

Best Beaches and Bays To Take Your Yacht

San Diego Bay, also known as “the Big Bay,” is a busy commercial port with a Navy training channel running through it. Mission Bay is known for its beaches, and it has lots of marinas where you should be able to find a slip. In South San Diego Bay, Chula Vista has a fishing pier, a marina, lots of parks, and attractions like The Living Coast Discovery Center and Sesame Place waterpark. Staying on Glorietta Bay gives you access to Coronado and all its beauty. Harbor Island and Shelter Island are on the Big Bay and will provide you with stunning views of the San Diego skyline.

Best Secret Spots To Take Your Yacht

If you can find a spot to anchor out at La Jolla, head to the La Jolla Underwater Park. There, you can snorkel, kayak, and see marine wildlife. You’ll also find seven sea caves that you can only get to by kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, or swimming. Another great thing to do with a yacht is to take it away from all the crowds and get offshore a bit. If conditions are right, you may even be able to see a bioluminescent plankton bloom once you get far enough away from the city lights.

How To Charter a Yacht in San Diego

When you decide to charter a yacht, you first need to choose between a bareboat or a crewed charter. Bareboat is just what it sounds like: you get the boat itself, with no crew and no provisions. On the other hand, with a crewed charter, you get to make decisions about what to eat and where to go, but you can sit back and relax while the crew uses their expertise to sail the vessel.

If you want a bareboat charter, the boat owner will first assess your sailing experience. If you’re an experienced sailor with a license, that may be the way to go. The advantage of a crewed charter, though, is that you get a professional crew who knows all the secret spots and is used to safely sailing and navigating the many bays of San Diego. You can relax and enjoy the trip without worrying about anything. If you’re ready to see San Diego the best way, from the waterside, look into crewed charter options today.