Family-Friendly Fun on the Bay
My husband and I were talking recently about the possibility of once again coordinating family travel in the not-too-distant future. The past year and a half has been one full of cancelled plans, rerouting expectations, and daydreaming about when things open back up. But the real kicker of the conversation was the silver lining - the discovery that we haven’t actually had to go far from home to find some incredible vacation destinations.
With a short leash like we had over the last fifteen months, there was at first an immense creative pressure in order to keep ourselves entertained, in addition to our two kids. But the magic of stay-cationing meant that we didn’t have to spend an inordinate amount of time in the car on the road, or paying exorbitant fees for parking at this tourist trap or another. There are a remarkable amount of places to go across Orange County and the greater Southern California region. And, marked by gorgeous weather and long summer days, San Diego tops the list.
Positioned on a sparkling stretch of private beach in San Diego’s Mission Bay, the Bahia Resort Hotel is only an hour drive from Orange County, easily accessible and amenity rich - a perfect prescription for the current times.
Guests enjoy easy access to the beach with rooms and suites literally steps away from the sand. All accommodations feature relaxing views of either Mission Bay or the property’s lush private gardens and ground floor accommodations come with a private patio. The resort’s suites offer not only more space with separate bedroom and separate living room area, but some also include a kitchen with stove/oven, microwave, mini-fridge and sink for a convenient dining option during your stay.
For our part, we opted for a little of both - stocking the mini-fridge with drinks and munchies to keep the kids hydrated and nourished between activities and stepping out to dine al fresco on the spacious patio at Cafe Bahia. Only the freshest ingredients, locally sourced, make the menu. Including all of the traditional breakfast favorites and delectable dishes of eclectic American fare for lunch or dinner. Our family are particularly eclectic eaters: My husband, Tim, is a strictly meat-and-potatoes man; I love all things seafood; our son loves burgers and fries and our daughter still prefers classic kids’ favorites like Mac n’ Cheese and chicken tenders.
The menu here offered something for everyone. The Braised Short Rib was delicious, paired with taleggio roasted corn grits, cumin carrots, red wine demi, pearl onions and balsamic glaze and I thoroughly enjoyed the flavors and textures of the seared salmon entree - roasted tomato vinaigrette, accompanied by a quinoa primavera cake, baby mache and dried cranberries.
San Diego is one of Southern California’s most activity-full cities itself, and the Bahia certainly takes advantage. The gorgeous year-round weather lends itself to tennis, taking a dip in their Olympic swimming pool, lounging in a cabana on the private beach, stand up paddleboarding, afternoon bike rides, boat rentals for a scenic spin around the bay or simply using the resort as a jumping off point for any one of the city’s numerous activities: from family-friendly Legoland to the world famous San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Tucked away in its own peninsula on the Bay, the resort is a tropical vacation without the plane ride to get there.
Right on property, San Diego’s premier land and water sports rental company - Action Sport Rentals (actionsportrentals.com) - endeavors to meet the needs of all aquatic enthusiasts - for active options, rent a single or tandem kayak, stand up paddleboard, pedal board rental or body board rental. If you prefer a leisurely watercraft, Action Sport Rentals offers sailboats, fishing boats or pontoon rentals. For those who have a need for speed, guests can rent jet skis or a powerboat. We spent the entire day outdoors - starting with a spin around the bay aboard a 20’ Hurricane Deckboat. The powerboat we chose is a fast, fun craft that’s also a super comfortable ride for up to 10 passengers - while boaters stay within the bay, our experience alternated between a leisurely cruise in the channels and an exhilarating ride at speeds topping 40 mph. We worked off lunch with a bike ride around Mission Bay and ended the day curled up on the patio’s lounge chairs to enjoy the picturesque views.
Home to all of California’s iconic palms, amazing annuals, and even a rescue seal and duck pond, you don’t have to step far away from your room to stroll the sand at sunset or sip your favorite drink du jour from Tangier Bar’s delicious list of offerings. No wonder TripAdvisor named it a Best Value Hotel. Don’t believe me? Take your own trip to the bay.
998 W. Mission Bay Drive