Located in downtown San Diego, this pair of parks on the peninsula of San Diego Bay were commissioned in 1976 under the leadership of Bernice Leyton, San Diego’s first woman port commissioner. Formed from the dredging of the bay’s shipping channels, the parks were designed by the landscape architecture firm Wimmer Yamada & Associates and completed in 1978. Connected via the South Embarcadero promenade, the two parks extend into the bay to shelter the Embarcadero Marina. Both are lined by rip rap and consist mainly of open lawns with gently rolling mounds no more than three feet high. The undulating turf of the parks is interspersed with groves of hardy eucalyptus and coral trees meant to diminish the impact of western winds.
The 9.5-acre Embarcadero Marina Park North was planned as an extension of the Sea Port Village that border’s the park’s northern edge, also designed by Joseph Yamada in 1978. A circuitous path that loops through the middle of an open lawn provides a sweeping view of the Coronado bridge and downtown San Diego. The pedestrian circulation network leads to a small plaza that overhangs the water. Shade is offered by a series of wood and concrete pergolas and several gazebos. Across the marina, the thirteen-acre Embarcadero Marina Park South is bisected by Marina Parkway, culminating in a large, curved parking area that extends the length of the park and leads to a T-shaped fishing pier. Cement sidewalks run along the perimeter of the park’s two lawns. North of the parking lot is a three-acre, oval lawn, while to the south is a cement basketball court adjoined by an elevated gazebo.