My husband and I like to joke that we run an after-hours speakeasy out of our home. When the kids are finally asleep for the night and the dishes are all done, we bust out the fancy cheese and crackers, open a bottle of wine, and unfurl the tin foil around a decadent bar of dark chocolate. Of course, we have to hide the evidence from prying eyes, so in the morning we don’t have to answer questions about the chocolate wrapper, wine cork, or ice cream scoop. We laughed at each other the other day while cleaning up the evidence of our adults-only snacktime when we agreed that the best gift we could give each other was a night in a hotel room, so there weren’t any dishes to do, and plenty of activities during the day to keep our ourselves – and our offspring – entertained.
San Diego’s Mission Bay happens to be the answer to our gift-giving conundrum, as well as the speakeasy solve: a close-to-home, family friendly travel destination that happens to have everything we need for a getaway after the last chaotic year and a half. Classically beautiful weather year round makes San Diego one of the country’s most desirable vacation destinations, and with its proximity to Orange County and LA, a quick drive down the coast is as easy as can be. The man-made saltwater bay was created from more than 2,000 acres of wetlands and marshes, and boasts activities ranging like theme parks like Seaworld and an old fashioned roller coaster at Belmont Park to water activities.
Mission Bay’s Catamaran Resort is perched in popular “PB” – what the locals call Pacific Beach, and with gorgeous rooms facing out to the Bay, or over the glittering Pacific, every accommodation offers a beautiful view. Over 1,000 tropical trees and plants adorn the property, making it a proper urban jungle hideaway: koi ponds included. The resort’s tropical vibe artfully blends with the Aloha spirit where each of the property’s 310 luxurious suites, studios and hotel rooms feature a private balcony or patio with breathtaking views of Mission Bay, the Pacific Beach neighborhood and coastline, or the property’s lush tropical gardens.
A Polynesian-themed resort wouldn’t be complete without the aforementioned robust list of water based activities, and the Catamaran certainly comes through. If Mom or Dad are feeling the fitness center or on-site spa, options include facials and massages, marine and botanical-based products to take home and luxuriate in, or a full range of state-of-the-art exercise equipment to fuel your day. Various watersports abound on property, with the waters of the bay beckoning beyond (think boat rentals, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and more via actionsportrentals.com/catamaran-resort-hotel-spa located right at the resort’s water’s edge). Prefer land activiites? One of the best ways in which to enjoy San Diego’s premier land and sea resort destination? Simply basking bayside in a covered lounge.
Our family opted for a lovely, leisurely late afternoon tooling around the bay aboard a pair of funcats – chaise-lounge style electric catamaran boats, followed by an equally equisite dining experience at the resort’s signature restaurant, Oceana Coastal Kitchen. There was something for every palate on the menu – abundant seafood selections for me, beef and chicken entrees for my meat-and-potatoes husband and a variety of kid-friendly faves including delicious flatbreads – the sweet fennel sausage and classic pepperoni was a big hit!
A beach concierge can set the family up with umbrellas, towels, and chairs, or simply spend the day poolside: surrounded by the resort’s towering palm trees. The best part about all of it being (of course) that you don’t have to hide the candy wrappers at the end of the night, because the whole family gets to escape at the same time.