This resort on a small island in Mission Bay offers comfy accommodations and lots of activities in close proximity of the treasures of San Diego.
Many families looking for fun in the sun head to Paradise Point Resort & Spa in San Diego’s Mission Bay. Insulated from the city, but not isolated from San Diego’s features and attractions, Paradise Point is on a private 44-acre island located 15 minutes from downtown and close to the airport.
A recreational haven that heats up with endless fun for all ages, the resort is surrounded by beautiful tropical landscaping along the shores of a gentle bay offering more than a mile of sandy beach. Hidden away in secluded pockets are 462 California cottage-style guestrooms, that include 99 lanai patio, garden, bayside and studio garden suites. Created with families in mind, amenities include kitchens featuring sinks, mini-refrigerators, microwave ovens, coffeemakers, cable TVs and in-room movies. An on-site self-service launderette is conveniently located.
Although the resort is well known for its family-centric atmosphere and activities, many celebrities and dignitaries including Janet Jackson, Michael McDonald, Paul Newman, Sandra Bernhart, Robert Wagner, Hulk Hogan, Mr. T, and Amanda Pays have been guests at Paradise.
Plenty for All On Land & Sea
Courts of all types, including five hard-surface tennis courts, can be reserved for family games and professional instructors are available to provide coaching and tips for any level player. A sand volleyball court inside the resort’s perimeter is available, or a court may be arranged beachside. And, it’s “Air Paradise” if basketball is the name of the game with the use of the resort’s own NBA regulation court. The 18-hole putting golf course is a perfect practice ground for aspiring junior PGA pros or just for a fun activity for the whole family.
Bocce ball, ping pong, horse shoes and lawn croquet round out the list of fun-in-the-sun things to do. Another popular activity is bike riding. Rental Cruisers and Quads make roaming near and far relaxing and fun. Can’t make a decision on what to do? The resort’s onsite Guest Recreation Department is happy to assist in planning activities.
The shoppers in the family will enjoy browsing at the Island Market that provides a wonderful selection of snacks, souvenirs, gifts and clothing. The resort also provides complimentary shuttle service to the Fashion Valley shopping mall, with more than 175 department stores shops and boutiques.
During the summer and holidays, Kids Kamp hosts swimming, tennis and basketball for kids aged 4-12. Also offered are arts’n’crafts, treasure hunts and guided nature walks through the abundant lagoons and gardens. Half-day and full-day programs are available. On certain evenings, the whole family can make a splash at “Dive-In” Movie Night when they can watch some of their favorite films poolside while lounging on a float or inner tube. When the sun goes down, kids and adults love sitting around a roaring bonfire on the beach sharing stories and laughs, roasting marshmallows and eating S’mores. For some adult time out, off-site baby-sitting services are available.
Being together has never been more fun. If the pastime of choice is lounging by the pool, an exhilarating jet ski adventure or bike ride along the bay, you can have it all. You can swim and splash in any of the five pools, including a waterfall pools, and a beautiful lagoon pool with a sandy beach area. There’s also a pool just for children, and one for adults only. Families love to walk on the clean sandy beach with shallow waters that stretch far into the Bay. For the little ones, a pail and shovel is all they need to be creative, and kite flying across the gentle afternoon breezes is a fun challenge to the older kids and adults.
Paradise Point is most well-known for its private full-service marina. Here aquatic activities such as sailing, sailing lessons, water skiing, jet skiing, motor boating and kayaking can be learned and enjoyed.
Pampering, Keeping Fit & Healthy Dining
The resort’s unique SpaTerre offers services for the whole family to indulge in. For the adults, the Indonesian-themed spa offers custom-designed Thai and Javanese-style massages and treatments for the body and face. Many treatments reflect San Diego’s seaside geography and culture, and use a blend of herbs and minerals indigenous to Southern California for the Pacific Seaweed Body Mask or Seaside Salt Glow.
Children’s massage and beauty services are also available in SpaTerre or in the privacy of a guestroom. They consist of the Kid’s Facial that includes a gentle cleansing, exfoliation mask and massage using Pure Fiji’s simple and natural product line, and the Ultimate Teen Facial, created especially for young skin that includes an in-depth cleansing to remove impurities and correct imperfections. Manicures and pedicures are available for all ages.
The Fitness Center features the latest cardio equipment, including treadmills, stationary bicycles and elliptical machines, free weights, steam rooms, dry saunas and locker room. Personal trainers are available.
Island inspired and healthy casual fare for the whole family is served all day at the Barefoot Bar & Grill which is set alongside a waterfall and offers a panoramic view of the Bay. Favorites for lunch and dinner include salads, burgers, fish and chips, blackened salmon, roasted luau chicken, and tacos. Food for the “little Keikis,” 12 and younger, include macaroni and cheese, corn dog and fries, chicken fingers and cheeseburgers. For poolside nibbles it’s the Tropics Bar & Grill located at the main pool and spa, where choices include delicious grilled entrees, cold salads, snacks and refreshing tropical drinks.
Get dressed up in your best outfit to set the mood for a special family dinner in BALEENsandiego, uniquely positioned overlooking Mission Bay. Al fresco dining will give you a glimpse of the setting sun, but indoor dining with views of the bustling, wide-open exhibition kitchen and glowing fireplace is definitely an option. Although they take their cuisine, presentation and service very seriously, a whimsical monkey motif lends a lighthearted air.
The menu offers land and sea cuisine infused with regional flavors. There’s a signature chef’s tour of fish and shellfish and other entrees include filet mignon and rack of lamb. Selected wine flights are offered. The “icing on the cake” includes a crÃ¨me brulee trio, a flourless cake with light and dark chocolate mousses and a Monkey Love banana split for two. Young ladies and gentlemen are never an afterthought here. Small portions of rather “grown up” choices are offered on a special menu, which includes a petit filet, wood roasted chicken quesadilla, tempura fried shrimp, grilled Kobe style burger and spaghetti with butter and parmesan cheese.
Exploring the Area’s Theme Parks & Museums
It’s a short hop to SeaWorld (800/25-SHAMU; 500 SeaWorld Drive, San Diego 92109), the 190-acre marine life entertainment park, and close to other major theme parks including the San Diego Wild Animal Park (760/747-8702; 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, CA 92027), dedicated to the preservation and display of endangered species, and Legoland (760/918-5346; 1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008), where everything is based on, or built with, brightly colored plastic Lego blocks.
Kids of all ages will thrill to a visit of the famed 100-acre San Diego Zoo (619/231-1515; 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92112) located in Balboa Park, and home to over 4,000 rare and endangered animals representing more than 800 species. The top attractions are the six Massai giraffes that have moved into their new home on Elephant Mesa. They’re ready to have guests over for lunch or dinner Thursday through Sunday, from noon to 1pm and from 5 to 6pm. Biscuits can be purchased for a nominal fee with proceeds helping conservation efforts in the Northern Rangelands Trust region of Kenya.
Families can see nature in action by exploring the area’s diversity and history at the San Diego Natural History Museum (619/232-3821; 1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101). Begin your visit viewing the presentation of Ocean Oasis shown in the giant-screen theater that takes you on a fascinating journey into two remarkably different linked worlds, Mexico’s Sea of Cortes and the Baja California Desert. The museum showcases many exhibits and photos including the Fossil Mysteries that takes you through the regions prehistoric past and rich fossil history. If you’re here on Sunday, the young ones will love the “Magic School Bus” performance shown at 12:15 and 2:15 that explores the wondrous world of bats, dinosaurs, habitats and more. Both shows are free with museum admission.
Photos by Mel Greenberg
Resort Report Card
|Name:||Paradise Point Resort & Spa|
|Address:||1404 Vacation Road
|Phone:||1 (858) 274-4630|
|Seasonal Rates:||$$ – $$$$$|
|Choice of Activities:||A|
|Quality of Amenities:||A|
|Bonus:||Truly a paradise for families: beautiful property with well-appointed bungalow rooms filled with light.|
|Note:||Very close to all major theme parks, making it a perfect all-around homebase.|
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