Port of San Diego public parks

The Port of San Diego maintains 22 parks along the waterfront that are open to the public. Most parks are available for small and large gatherings. All parks feature a waterfront location, landscaped beauty and sweeping panoramas complemented by distinct works of community art.

Key highlights include:

Dog-Friendly Parks: On-leash dogs are allowed in all of the Port’s public parks. Owners must clean up after their pets. At Coronado Tidelands Park, leashed dogs must remain on paved walkways.

Fishing Piers: These Port of San Diego parks have fishing piers, for which no fishing license is needed: Shelter Island (Central), Embarcadero Marina Park South, Pepper Park, Bayside Park (Chula Vista), and Portwood Pier Plaza.

Boat Launching: These Port of San Diego parks have boat launch ramps, which can be used at no charge by the public: Shelter Island (Central), Pepper Park, Bayfront Park (Chula Vista).

Beaches: These parks have public beaches: Shelter Island (Central), Spanish Landing (West), Coronado Tidelands Park, Coronado Landing Park, Bayside Park (Chula Vista) Portwood Pier Plaza, and Dunes Park.

So relax, enjoy and come out and play on the waterfront in one of the lovely parks of the Port of San Diego.

To find out more information about a park, select one from the menu on the left or see list below.

Parks

Apply for a Park Permit

All parks require an event permit for groups of 25 or more, except for Portwood Pier Plaza, Grand Caribe Shoreline Park and Coronado Landing Park where group events are not permitted.

Permit Applications are available in download box at the right. NOTE: Be sure to submit all pages of the application. Permit requests will not be accepted if received later than 30 days prior to your event date.

Port of San Diego Public Parks (2012) from Port of San Diego

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When is a park permit required for a Port of San Diego park?
    A permit is required for any group of more than 25 people to use a Port of San Diego park. A permit is also required for a party of one or more if you plan to serve alcohol or will hire any outside services included but not limited to an air jump, catering, party rental services, other entertainment or attractions that will be offered or used in the park.
  2. What is a small private event?
    An event of 100 or less in attendance that does not utilize hired services such as catering, equipment rental and setup, face painting or attractions. A event may have a jumphouse and still qualify as a small, private event. Common examples of small, private events include birthday celebrations, showers, family picnics and wedding ceremonies. For small, private events, no reservation is required. Instead, complete and submit a Small Private Event Application. If your event does not qualify as a small, private event, then an advance reservation is required. To request a reservation, complete and submit an online Request for Availability Form.
  3. How do I obtain a Port of San Diego park permit?
    A park permit is obtained using the following steps: (1) Check the availability of the park and initiate your reservation. This is done by visiting the Port of San Diego website, www.portofsandiego.org. Hover over the tab labeled Recreation at the top of the page. A drop down menu will appear. Select Apply for a Park Permit and submit the requested information regarding your event with a minimum of 30 days prior to your event. (2) Within 3 business days, a park permit staff member will contact you to verify your information and assist you with a temporary reservation. (3) After you have received a phone call and/or an emailed confirmation from the Port Permitting office regarding your temporary reservation, send in your completed paper application along with permit fees and any required attachments.
  4. What parks does the Port of San Diego have?
    The Port of San Diego has a total of 20 parks in its jurisdiction. The parks are all located on the bayfront of San Diego Bay and the oceanfront of Imperial Beach. For information on each park including pictures, amenities and occupancy limits, visit www.portofsandiego.org, pull the dropdown menu of the Recreation tab at the top of the page and click on Park Locations.
  5. Does the Port of San Diego issue permits for all 20 of its parks?
    The Port of San Diego issues permits for 13 of the 20 parks. The remaining parks either are not available for event use or are permitted by other entities. The Apply for a Park Permit page of the Port's website www.portofsandiego.org indicates which parks are available and who issues permits for events in each park.
  6. After I submit an online request for a reservation for a Port of San Diego park, how long does it take for someone to get back to me?
    After submitting the online request, you should be contacted within 3 business days.
  7. What are the opening and closing hours for Port of San Diego parks?
    All Port of San Diego parks open at 6:00 AM and close at 10:30PM.
  8. Will the Port of San Diego issue me a permit to hold an event on a holiday?
    Permits are not issued on holidays or holiday weekends. As a service to our community, we keep all public parks open to the general public to enjoy on holidays and holiday weekends.
  9. Do I need insurance to hold an event in a Port of San Diego park?
    For small, private events with no service providers, insurance is not required. For any event using a service provider or providers such as a caterer, air- jump company or other on-site party rental company, each service provider is required to provide a current certificate of insurance listing the San Diego Unified Port District (the legal name of the Port of San Diego) as an additional insured, with the appropriate levels of insurance. As a service to the public, the Port of San Diego maintains an on-line list of air jump companies, caterers, and various event service providers who have a current certificate of insurance on file with our park permit staff. This listing is available in the Recreation section of the Port of San Diego website. This listing does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any service. Any corporate or non-profit entity holding an event may be required to insure the Port of San Diego to hold its event. When reviewing an event permit application, Port of San Diego park permit staff will determine the level of insurance needed. This determination is based on the type, size and nature of the event. For information, please see the document titled Insurance Requirements found on the Recreation page of our website www.portofsandiego.org.
  10. Is a security deposit required to hold an event in a Port of San Diego park?
    When reviewing your application, Port of San Diego park permits staff will determine if a refundable security deposit is required. The determination is based on the type, size and nature of the event and the amount of equipment being brought on site. The minimum security deposit is $1,500.
  11. How much does a Port of San Diego park permit cost?
    The minimum charge is $35, and the maximum is based on event attendance. Please see the price list in the Recreation section of the Port of San Diego website www.portofsandiego.org.
  12. Does the Port of San Diego provide electricity or water for events at its parks?
    The Port of San Diego does not provide water or electricity for private or public events. Electricity at events is usually provided by rented generators, and water must be purchased from a service provider.
  13. Does the park permit include use of tables and chairs, or other event equipment?
    No. An approved permit provides permission to use the park to conduct your special event. All items associated with the set-up of your event are handled by the individual applicant. Please refer to questions number 8 for details associated with the use of sub-contractors and required proof of insurance.
  14. What are the consequences of holding an event in a Port of San Diego park without a permit?
    Holding an event in a Port of San Diego park without a permit is a misdemeanor, subject to a citation from the San Diego Harbor Police.
  15. Are there any restrictions on dogs in Port of San Diego parks?
    Dogs are allowed on leash in all Port of San Diego parks. In Coronado Tidelands Park, dogs are allowed but only on leash and on walkways. There are no leash-free parks or beaches on Port of San Diego property.
  16. Does my Port of San Diego park permit entitle me to a specific area within the park?
    All Port of San Diego park areas are first come, first served regardless of whether you are holding a permit. On the day of your permitted event, you may secure the area that you will be using with markers such as cones, caution tape or signs. Remember that park hours are 6:00 AM to 10:30 PM and the area that you reserve should be appropriate to your group's size.
  17. Is fishing allowed in Port of San Diego parks?
    Fishing is free at all Port of San Diego parks with fishing piers, and no fishing license is required. Port of San Diego parks with fishing piers are Chula Vista Bayside Park, Portwood Pier Plaza in Imperial Beach, Pepper Park in National City, and Shelter Island Central and Embarcadero Marina Park South in San Diego.
  18. Are there any Port of San Diego parks where can I launch a boat?
    Three Port of San Diego parks have boat launch ramps: Chula Vista Bayfront Park, Pepper Park in National City, and Shelter Island North in San Diego.
  19. Is smoking allowed in Port of San Diego parks?
    Smoking is not allowed in any Port of San Diego park or beach.
  20. Can I have alcohol at my event in a Port of San Diego park?
    Alcoholic beverages are allowed in all Port of San Diego parks and beaches with an approved park permit only regardless of the size of your group, with the exception of Coronado Tidelands Park and the Coronado Landing. Alcohol can only be served in the Coronado locations only with the written permission of the Coronado City Council.
  21. Are there bike paths in the Port of San Diego's parks?
    Bike paths are a part of most Port of San Diego parks. A number of these bike paths are along and adjacent to the Bayshore Bikeway that consists of 24 miles of bike paths and on-street sections surrounding San Diego Bay. For information on the Bayshore Bikeway including a map, visit the San Diego Association of Governments website, www.sandag.org.
  22. Can I moor a boat near any park? Are there facilities for boaters?
    San Diego Bay has recreational vessel anchorages and moorings that are listed, along with contact information, in the San Diego Bay Boater's Guide available through the Port of San Diego website, www.portofsandiego.org.
  23. Is skateboarding or roller skating allowed in Port of San Diego parks?
    Skating and skateboarding are prohibited in Port of San Diego parks, including park walkways. The City of Coronado has a skate park adjacent to Coronado Tidelands Park that is open daily. See the City of Coronado website for more details.
  24. Do Port of San Diego parks have beaches for swimming?
    There are beaches on San Diego Bay in Port of San Diego jurisdiction at Chula Vista Bayside Park, Coronado Tidelands Park, Coronado Landing Park, and Shelter Island Central and Spanish Landing West in San Diego. Swimming is allowed at these beaches; however, there are no lifeguards on duty and anyone swimming does so at their own risk.
  25. What sizes of tent stakes are allowed in Port of San Diego parks?
    Staking of any kind is prohibited at Port of San Diego parks. Only weighted tents are allowed.
  26. Which Port of San Diego parks have playground equipment?
    The following Port of San Diego parks have playground equipment: Chula Vista Bayside Park, Chula Vista Marina View Park, Pepper Park in National City; and Cesar Chavez Park, Shelter Island Park South and Spanish Landing Park West in San Diego.
  27. Do any Port of San Diego parks have fire rings?
    Shelter Island Park Central in San Diego has 6 fire rings along the beach area of the park. Portable fire rings can be approved if requested through the permit process.

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