One of the last of San Diego’s beach communities to be developed, Mission Beach got started in 1914, when a syndicate headed by John D. Spreckels and real estate magnate George L. Barney filed subdivision plans. This sandbar wedged between the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay was a hard sell, with narrow lots going for as little as $450. A concrete sea wall was built in the early 1920s, and in 1925 Spreckels built the Mission Beach Amusement Center. The centerpiece of what we now know as Belmont Park was the 2,600-foot-long Giant Dipper roller coaster, which was built in less than two months for the giant sum of $150,000. The boardwalk remains one of the most colorful scenes in town, and the community has become one of San Diego’s most densely populated neighborhoods.
How it got its name: “Mission” came from Mission San Diego de Alcalá. “Beach” speaks for itself.
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