Graffiti Shack Mission Beach Jetty | San Diego, CA
Graffiti, check. Abandoned structure, check. Intense rock scrambling, check. All three of these can be found at the abandoned graffiti shack on the jetty in South Mission Beach. Take a casual stroll down Mission beach and you will likely miss this hidden gem. But when you know where and what to look for, you can elevate your romantic walk on the beach into a cardio-filled adventure.
Adventure awaits at the South Mission Beach parking lot. After parking your car, continue towards the jetty (and away from the bridge that connects to Fiesta Island). After passing a few residential apartment complexes, the sandy beach will appear before you. Walk along the sand until you reach the long stretch of rocks on the Mission Beach jetty.
Here, you will put your rock scrambling skills to the test. The rocks are not only sandy, but also slippery on the way to the graffiti shack. Because of this, bringing a pair of shoes with good traction is highly recommended to avoid any ankle rolling or unexpected falls in the ocean.
Continue your scramble across the rocks until you reach the concrete graffiti shack, located about a third of the way along the jetty. Rumor has it that this used to be a bait shop, which makes sense given the swarms of fishers you’ll find here on any given day. It has since been not only abandoned but defaced. Here you can explore the structure, completely decked in graffiti on every side. I was displeased to see that people had littered inside of the structure—leaving behind empty bottles and trash. If you feel inclined to, bring a plastic bag to help remove some of this trash and help keep this unique site a place worth visiting.
After you’ve had your share of exploring the ins and outs of this abandoned structure you can retrace your steps (or rather rock hopping) back to the shore or you can continue to the end of the jetty where you’ll find a tall tower. The tower sits atop a large slab of concrete, where you can sit and take in an afternoon sunset or watch the boats sail by in the distance before heading back.
Graffiti Shack Mission Beach Jetty Tips
Tip #1: Wear shoes with good traction. The rocks on the jetty are slippery and sandy—which could lead to an unpleasant slip if you don’t have the right footwear.
Tip #2: Bring your bathing suit! Half the fun of Mission Beach are the volleyball courts and of course, the beach.
Tip #3: Cross the rocks slowly. You may feel the urge to dart out to the graffiti shack but I’ve seen countless people fall and injure themselves doing so.
Tip #4: If you enjoy fishing, you’ll be in good company. Many come to the jetty because it is a prime fishing location.
Tip #5: If you choose to go all the way to the end of the jetty, pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the peaceful lapping of the ocean waves.
Tip #6: Arrive early on the weekends as the parking lots in South Mission Beach fill up quickly. Avoid checking this spot out on a holiday.
To reach the South Mission Beach parking lots head south on Mission Boulevard to the end and turn left into a large parking lot. This lot fills up so plan on getting here early in the day.