You'll find answers to frequently asked questions and links to documents you may need to request 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a small private event?
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 a 30 day advance reservation is required. To request a reservation, complete and submit an online Request for Availability Form.
Do not send any permit fees when you submit your application. If the date you are requesting is available, a permitting representative will call you within three business days to advise if park is available and the permit fees that are required.
If you have an event of any size and intend to hire a company to provide services such as catering, games, musical entertainment or other services, then an advance reservation (250 KB) is required.
Special Event: Advance Reservation Required
The Park Availability form is to inquire about the availability of a specific park, and is not an actual permit application. A park permits agent will contact you regarding your request with information about fees and park availability within 3 business days. Park reservations are made on a first come, first served basis.
If you need assistance, please call our customer service center at (619) 686-6200.
- Please check permit fees before filling out the Park Availability form
- Permit requests will not be accepted if received later than 30 days prior to your event date.
- For moving events (walk, run, rides, races) please include in the notes all the locations on your proposed route.
- Items marked with an asterisk * are required
- Embarcadero Marina Park South is not available for permitted events from June 1st to November 30th
- Please do not submit multiple requests for availability for the same event as this may cause confusion and your permit may not be approved
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.
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.
What parks does the Port of San Diego have?
The Port of San Diego has a total of 22 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 the Parks page.
Does the Port of San Diego issue permits for all 22 of its parks?
The Port of San Diego issues permits for 12 of the 22 parks. The remaining parks either are not available for event use or are permitted by other entities. The Apply for a Park Permit form below indicates which parks are available and who issues permits for events in each park.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 below
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.
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 here.
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.
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 "Do I need insurance to hold an event in a Port of San Diego park?" for details associated with the use of sub-contractors and required proof of insurance.
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 and or expulsion from the park.
Is smoking allowed in Port of San Diego parks?
Smoking is not allowed in any Port of San Diego park or beach.
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 be served in the Coronado locations only with the written permission of the Coronado City Council.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.