Places to BBQ in beautiful sunny San Diego

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With the San Diego sun warming the air students are counting down the days until the semester ends, fathers are dusting off the ol’ grill, and families are enjoying the beaches once again.  Summer is on the horizon here in San Diego and what better way to celebrate the early summer than a nice BBQ filled with juicy hamburgers,hot dogs, and corn? Can you hear the sizzling of the meat or smell the marinated patties on the grill? Time to kick yourself off the couch,grab your BBQ tools, and head on out to the car, but where exactly are you going to BBQ? Fear not, we have compiled a list of places to BBQ right her in sunny San Diego.

Balboa Park

Balboa Park is perfect for a nice picnic. The park grounds are open 24 hours every day. If you have any questions or are lost there’s a Visitor’s Center located on El Prado and it is open from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. The Center has brochures and maps and it also provides audio tours and a free-guided tour of the park. No smoking is allowed at all in the Park and Alcohol is only permitted from noon to 8 pm at the selected locations: Botanical Building at Lawn and West Lawn, House of Pacific Relations Lawn, Mall Lawn, Pan American Plaza Lawn, International Lawn, Recital Hall Lawn, and the Moreton Bay Fig Lawn. Dogs have to be leashed at all times and the owner must remain in control of it. Glass containers of any sort to carry or contain liquid are against regulations as well. If you want to bring your bicycle for a stroll around the park you can except at the Rose & Desert Gardens, Spanish Village, and the House of Pacific Relations International Cottage. Sadly roller skates, skateboards, and other such devices are not allowed in the Park. Other than that you are free to have fun. BBQ and enjoy the museums, playgrounds, or even visit the zoo.

Mission Beach

Mission Beach is located between South Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, only a mile away from Sea World. Many of you know Mission Beach for it’s very popular Belmont Park attraction. The beach is always a great place for a fantastic BBQ, providing plenty of grassy lawns and picnic tables for all to use. Afterwards, one can enjoy a nice stroll on the boardwalk, about a mile in length. Or you can walk over to Belmont Park, shop at the beach stores, and check out the fun rides and games. Belmont Park even has an arcade for hours of game time.  Mission provides plenty of fun entertainment as well. Visitors can surf and swim in the gorgeous ocean waves and be under the watchful eye of a lifeguard. The beach is also wheelchair accessible and provides beach wheelchairs so that all can enjoy the sandy beachfront. Fire pits, tables, and bathrooms with showers are provided. There are some regulations and the following are not allowed: alcohol, glass containers, smoking, dogs, littering, camping, or loud disturbing noise.

Mission Bay

Mission Bay has several locations to BBQ namely: Crown Point, Bonita Cove, Mission Point, Ski Beach, and more.  Hours and regulations vary from place to place.

Bonita Cove is open to visitors from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.. In Bonita Cove-West, the park has a great playground for kids to run around along with fire rings, BBQ grills and picnic tables. In Bonita Cove-East, there are different amenities provided.

At Crown Point Shores there are a lot of fun facilities with hours of operation being 4:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. There are grills and fire rings for the BBQ fans as well as picnic tables and one picnic shelter. During the summer time you can swim and have fun while a  lifeguard is on duty. This beach also has a rinse-off shower with a comfort station.

Mission Point is another location with the same amenities provided that Crown Point offers. In addition dogs on leashes are allowed but only during the hours of 9 am to 6 pm. Swimming is allowed, however no lifeguard will be on duty. There is a playground for kids as well as a path for bike riders and runners alike. Hours of operation are 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Santee Lakes

Let’s not forget the beautiful Santee Lakes. It offers fishing, camping, barbecuing, picnics and more. Families and friends can enjoy the paddle boats, feeding the local bird residents, and having a nice walk or bike ride around the lakes. There are also a variety of playgrounds for the kids to enjoy, including a waterpark. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday at 8 a.m. to one half hour before dusk and on Friday to Sunday at 6 a.m. to one half hour before dusk. There is a charge for those who park their vehicles inside the park. On the weekdays its $3 per vehicle and on the weekend/holiday it is $5 per vehicle.


Photos courtesy of Truett Lawrence and Antoine Taveneaux via WikiCommons and Jacqui Yawn via own work.

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