Belmont Park

Lonely Planet review

This old-style family amusement park at the southern end of Mission Beach has been here since 1925, and when it was threatened with demolition in the mid-1990s, community action saved it. Now there’s a large indoor pool, known as the Plunge , and the Giant Dipper , a classic wooden roller coaster that’ll shake the teeth right outta your mouth, plus bumper cars, a tilt-a-whirl, carousel and other classics.

More modern attractions include wave machines like Flowrider , for simulated surfing. Even if it sits on dry land, it’s pretty much to San Diego what the Santa Monica Pier amusement park is to LA.