Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Escape the Go: Fiesta Island

You don't have to go far to travel, Mission Bay reveals.

Nighttime San Diego gets a fresh vantage point from Mission Bay's Fiesta Island.
Nighttime San Diego gets a fresh vantage point from Mission Bay's Fiesta Island.

We didn’t have anything like this in Chicago. 

We didn’t have a jutting piece of terrain you could drive out on, pull your car off the road wherever you felt like it, and set up shop. If you’re lucky, you’d lay claim to a 4’x4’ pit for cooking and general bonfirey. Free of lights, free of eyes, you could watch a sunset, throw a ball along the beach to your dog, or just sit and be.

Fiesta Island moment, interrupted by a passing car.

Here, on Fiesta Island, you can lay til nightfall and be completely in the dark. Even though it’s temporary (there’s always a car moments away from emerging around the corner, headlights on), people living in a city of 1.8 million should treasure whatever peace and quiet is presented and easily accessible. And since you can’t really remove a location in a huge city from its innate hectic-ness, this is peace with a view of The Go. I-5 is easily visible, cars streaming each way, never stopping.

Pull onto Fiesta Island, stay right, stop at one-quarter mile, get out of your car, put the car stereo on to something good, and look over your left shoulder: Ocean. Pause. Listen. The waves. The water. Slowly pan your head to the right. Now you’re looking over your right shoulder. The cars. The highway.

This is a place to reflect, to lay on the hood, look straight up, and actually see stars hanging above you. There were no stars in Chicago. The lights were too bright everywhere, even at night. Fiesta Island, perpetually bending the steering wheel to one side to keep its cars on, to help them traverse and round this bubble-shaped land, has stars. It’s a snow globe, its own thing, trapped in by its lack of streetlights and lack of structure. It forms a clear barrier between its outer reaches and the beginnings of The Go. 

Fiesta Island’s accessible only by Mission Bay Drive. If you take Morena, you’ll have to do some type of hairpin turn to turn around at some point. If you take I-5, you’ll never see it or know to get off and look for it.

All the better that way. No offense, dear out-of-town reader, but I want this place to myself. I want to steam around its bends, see people savvy enough to take the turn-around off Morena to enjoy it, making fires and dancing in them, to pull off the road and set myself up in the sun, to see it disappear behind the bridge and set on the continental country for the day.

Fiesta Island is a simple treat, one missable for tourists (there’s no gift shop, you see) but altogether memorable for the citizen looking to step out, to take a breath, to watch the world fly by in both directions, changing lanes, never approaching a stop. 

All the while you watch it, completely still.

What to bring

For this adventure, you will need: a car, a chair, some Modern Times (or equivalent), and something to play music with.

Map

Fiesta Island Park, Mission Bay

Fiesta Island Park, Mission Bay
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Imagine a pedestrian-friendly Kearny Mesa

Hard to consider history in 30-year plan
Next Article

Imagine a pedestrian-friendly Kearny Mesa

Hard to consider history in 30-year plan
Nighttime San Diego gets a fresh vantage point from Mission Bay's Fiesta Island.
Nighttime San Diego gets a fresh vantage point from Mission Bay's Fiesta Island.

We didn’t have anything like this in Chicago. 

We didn’t have a jutting piece of terrain you could drive out on, pull your car off the road wherever you felt like it, and set up shop. If you’re lucky, you’d lay claim to a 4’x4’ pit for cooking and general bonfirey. Free of lights, free of eyes, you could watch a sunset, throw a ball along the beach to your dog, or just sit and be.

Fiesta Island moment, interrupted by a passing car.

Here, on Fiesta Island, you can lay til nightfall and be completely in the dark. Even though it’s temporary (there’s always a car moments away from emerging around the corner, headlights on), people living in a city of 1.8 million should treasure whatever peace and quiet is presented and easily accessible. And since you can’t really remove a location in a huge city from its innate hectic-ness, this is peace with a view of The Go. I-5 is easily visible, cars streaming each way, never stopping.

Pull onto Fiesta Island, stay right, stop at one-quarter mile, get out of your car, put the car stereo on to something good, and look over your left shoulder: Ocean. Pause. Listen. The waves. The water. Slowly pan your head to the right. Now you’re looking over your right shoulder. The cars. The highway.

This is a place to reflect, to lay on the hood, look straight up, and actually see stars hanging above you. There were no stars in Chicago. The lights were too bright everywhere, even at night. Fiesta Island, perpetually bending the steering wheel to one side to keep its cars on, to help them traverse and round this bubble-shaped land, has stars. It’s a snow globe, its own thing, trapped in by its lack of streetlights and lack of structure. It forms a clear barrier between its outer reaches and the beginnings of The Go. 

Fiesta Island’s accessible only by Mission Bay Drive. If you take Morena, you’ll have to do some type of hairpin turn to turn around at some point. If you take I-5, you’ll never see it or know to get off and look for it.

All the better that way. No offense, dear out-of-town reader, but I want this place to myself. I want to steam around its bends, see people savvy enough to take the turn-around off Morena to enjoy it, making fires and dancing in them, to pull off the road and set myself up in the sun, to see it disappear behind the bridge and set on the continental country for the day.

Fiesta Island is a simple treat, one missable for tourists (there’s no gift shop, you see) but altogether memorable for the citizen looking to step out, to take a breath, to watch the world fly by in both directions, changing lanes, never approaching a stop. 

All the while you watch it, completely still.

What to bring

For this adventure, you will need: a car, a chair, some Modern Times (or equivalent), and something to play music with.

Map

Fiesta Island Park, Mission Bay

Fiesta Island Park, Mission Bay
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

North Park – the prime quartier

30th Street parking, Georgia Street bridge, PSA crash, water tower, North Park Main Street
Next Article

Dennis Caco's Mission Valley missing Midori

Max Boost creator finds car near Sweetwater Road
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close