San Diego is home to the first European settlement on the California coast, one of the largest urban parks in the country, a world-famous zoo and 110 kilometers of beaches. You’ll also find dozens of seaside hotels and resorts here with stylish interiors, expansive views, and gourmet restaurants. This resort knows how to pamper its guests.
Located on the southern tip of California, San Diego is both a city and a county. Dozens of small beach towns line the coast, starting in the north at Oceanside and ending in the south at Imperial Beach. Depending on your interests, there are large historic hotels with an amazing range of amenities or small, family-run accommodations on quieter sandy beaches. There is something for everyone in San Diego.
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1. Paradise Point Resort & Spa
Located in the Mission Bay area of San Diego is the vast and lush grounds of Paradise Point Resort & Spa sets it apart from many other resorts in the region. In fact, there are 44 acres of resort to enjoy during your visit, with five pools, a marina, basketball and tennis courts, and 22 km of waterfront paths perfect for running or biking. This is the place to check in and stay for several days.
Accommodation includes large guest rooms, suites, and bungalows, many of which have ocean views. And no matter where your room is, you are just a short walk from the beach.
There are three restaurants at the resort, ranging from casual to upscale. Popular with guests and locals, Barefoot Bar & Grill is known for its beach cocktails and home-style cooking, while Tidal serves great steaks and seafood.
Pro tip: Thanks to the wide range of activities on offer, this is a popular destination for a multigenerational family vacation.
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2. Hotel Del Coronado
Probably the most iconic and historic hotel in all of Southern California is this Hotel Del Coronado. Known for its white facade and red conical roofs, the hotel is popular with visitors and residents alike. It was built in 1888 and was home to US presidents, kings, and celebrities.
While most people think of the original Victorian building when they think of the Hotel Del, it has become a sprawling “neighborhood” resort. Guests can choose from the Cabanas, Beach Village, and Shore House, each with their own amenities. Its location on Coronado Island promises excellent sea views from Point Loma to Glorietta Bay.
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The list of activities available to guests is long. Relax by one of the many pools, enjoy a massage in the spa, learn to surf, ride a bike along the beach, or take a morning yoga class. If shopping is your thing, there are half a dozen boutiques selling beachwear, gifts, and leather goods.
With eight restaurants and cafes, there are plenty of dining options. For something quick and casual there is Eno Pizzeria or Beach & Taco Shack. For an upscale fish meal, you should definitely make a reservation at the Serẽa. The sundeck is a romantic spot for couples to enjoy a cocktail while watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.
Pro tip: It is said that the ghost of Kate Morgan, once a housekeeper at the Hotel Del, haunts room 3327. Very brave guests can request to stay in this creepy room.
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3. Loews Coronado Bay Resort
Not as well known as the Hotel Del, but with an equally great view it is Loew’s Coronado Bay Resort. This 15 acre resort sits on its own tiny peninsula, away from the crowds and traffic. Many of the guest rooms and public areas have views of the bay and downtown San Diego in the distance.
Guest rooms and suites have simple, elegant decor with light blues and greens, and many have balconies with views of the bay or the marina. Walk out the door of your room to the lush pool area or take a shuttle to Silver Strand State Beach.
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Many of the activities are centered around the ocean and include boat and jet ski rentals, and surfing and sailing lessons. If you’d rather relax in the sun, relax by one of the three pools, reserve a cabana, and enjoy an icy cocktail.
When it’s time to eat, head to Crown Landing for fine dining or choose one of the lounges for something quick and casual.
Pro tip: While both resorts on Coronado Island have great dining and shopping, the charming downtown area offers even more options. Take a few hours to stroll down Orange Avenue – the island’s main thoroughfare, where you’ll find shops, galleries, restaurants, and theaters.
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4. Crystal Pier Hotel & Cottages
One of the most unique beach accommodations in San Diego is this Crystal Pier Hotel & Cottages in the Pacific Beach neighborhood of the city.
Built in 1927 and originally known as Pickering’s Pleasure Pier, it was once home to carnival-like attractions and a ballroom. Today it is a popular destination for vacationers and fishermen. In addition to accommodation, there is a bait shop on the pier and plenty of space for fishing, strolling and relaxing.
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Each cottage offers guests great ocean views and the experience of sleeping over the water. All have a fully equipped kitchenette, separate sleeping and living areas and a private terrace over the water. While the pier is open to the public during the day, only hotel guests are allowed to enjoy it in the evening and early morning.
There is no restaurant, but many restaurants are a short walk away.
These cottages book up to a year in advance for summer stays. If this is of interest to you, make a reservation as soon as possible. Depending on the season, there are minimum nights between two and four nights.
Pro tip: One of the best ways to get around this part of the city is by bike. Several rental shops are within walking distance and there are miles of flat paths through the beaches of Pacific and Mission.
5. La Jolla Shores Hotel
One of the poshest neighborhoods in Southern California is La Jolla, and this beautiful enclave of San Diego is home to several resorts perfect for a weekend getaway. Located on the edge of a 600 hectare underwater ecological reserve, Hotel La Jolla Shores is ideal for relaxation and adventure.
The resort offers 128 rooms, many with views of the ocean and the rocky cliffs in the distance. Other rooms have views of the property’s lush tropical gardens. Most of the rooms have a balcony or veranda, perfect for taking in the sea air.
When you want to relax, relax by the pool or grab a beach chair and sit on the sand while you watch the waves. For more adventure, book a diving excursion or a kayak tour. Several tour operators are nearby, guiding divers through the marine waters, which are rich in marine life. Kayakers will enjoy the nearby sea caves.
For on-site dining, The Shores Restaurant offers home cooking classics for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For a treat and for a dining experience to remember, head to The Marine Room nearby. When you arrive at high tide, you’ll be mesmerized by the waves lapping against the large windows.
6. La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club
Close to the La Jolla Shores Hotel is the associated property, the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. Here you can combine your love of the sea with your tennis fun. Although this resort has been part of the city for over 80 years, it is less known and still feels like a secret to many visitors.
Choose between rooms, studios or suites with a sea or interior view. For the ultimate in privacy, reserve one of the cottages. All accommodations are tastefully decorated in neutral colors.
When it’s time to play, your options are endless. The resort is home to 12 championship tennis courts that have hosted dozen of national tournaments and hundreds of world-class players. Reserve a seat and play a few games or book a course with a professional to refine your swing. If you’re not a tennis player, borrow chairs and umbrellas and go to the beach and relax by the pool.
The Club Dining Room and Bar are open all day for food service, but for something unique, book a beach barbecue. Reserve your spot on the beach, order your favorite grilled items, and just come to the cook.
Pro tip: While it is possible to check into your hotel and stay for a few days, take your time to explore La Jolla. Visit Prospect Ave. shop, check out the sea lions at La Jolla Cove, or take an ocean-view hike to Torrey Pines State Park.
With 266 sunny days a year in San Diego, your trip is practically guaranteed. So choose your dates, make reservations (well in advance for the summer), and head to one of the most laid-back cities in the United States
San Diego is a year-round travel destination with some amazing sights. Cash: