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What parents don’t want an island get away? But leaving kids behind to travel across the Pacific ocean might not be in your comfort zone. We found an island in the lower 48 states that is tropical, easily accessible and less expensive than a hula holiday.
If you think of San Diego for Sea World, Legoland and surfing, we found that San Diego has a romantic side to it just right in price and tempo for a quick getaway. Leave the kids and the sippy cups and pack your swim suit and favorite black dress for relaxation on a very tropical island.
We stayed at the the Paradise Point Resort on Vacation Island to celebrate our 20th anniversatry. It is an island oasis in the lower 48 that offers amenities and relaxation without the need to fly across the Pacific. The island has so much to do that it was actually hard to think about leaving–and we didn’t for the first few days. With 5 pools, a marina with boats and other water toys to rent, bikes, segways, tennis courts, mini golf, tennis courts, and white sandy beaches, there really is no reason to leave.
We enjoyed our stay in a Bayside Bungalow on the lagoon side. The bungalow is a wonderful choice for a couple wanting a relaxing and romatic getaway. We had our own beach and lagoon to have evening strolls on and lounge on. The water was even warm enough to swim in (in California–the water can be very cold). We even saw lobsters walking along the bottom.
We enjoyed swimming in the pools and eating in the various restaurants on property. My favorite meal was eating poolside at the Tropics Cantina. The carne asada salad was delicious and the atmosphere was wonderful. We also enjoyed the lagoon-side lunch at the Barefoot Bar and Grill. Barefoot boasts a beautiful view of the marina and a lagoon filled with leopard sharks and rays. For a scuba diver, it was fun to watch them while eating. Dinner at Tidal, Paradise Point’s new restaurant, was a feast for the eye and the palate.
Even though it was hard to leave our island oasis, we did venture in to San Diego where we visited Old Town and ate at Casa Guadalajara. The fajitas were plentiful and delicious. We strolled Old Town looking at the various historic buildings. One that we enjoyed especially was the Mormon Battalion presentation. It is fun and interactive. Arthur even got to dress up as a battalion member and pan for gold.
We took a Harbor Cruise with Hornblower and it was quite interesting and enjoyable and gave us a great view of the San Diego skyline as well as many of the military establishments around San Diego. Located next to the USS Midway, the cruise was quite accessible–just bring quarters for the metered parking or be prepared to pay $10 for all day parking.
Finally, don’t miss out on Coronado island and especially don’t miss Sunday Brunch at the Hotel Del Coronado. It was amazing. The hotel and the meal are a feast for the eyes and the palate. I especially loved the ceviche, crab legs, shrimp, striped bass, and salmon. If you are not a seafood lover, there is a carving station that is incredible. Everything was abundant and delicious. Since I am gluten-free, there was an entire section of sandwiches and paninis that I did not even venture to. There was also a complete breakfast section.
Coronado beach was also incredible. The sand and the sea meet beautifully with a view of Mexico to the south and Point Loma to the North. We met another couple on a romantic getaway strolling the beach like we were. We enjoyed watching a man make a massive sand castle and kids jumping in and out of the waves. If we had more time, we would have taken some lounge chairs in front of the hotel and relaxed while being served by an impeccable staff.
San Diego makes the perfect easy get away since paradise is only 10 minutes away from the airport. We only drove 66 miles in our 4-day trip. Everything is close and easily accessible when and if you decide to leave Paradise. But if you decide not to leave Paradise Point, you could spend your entire vacation there and be perfectly content.