San Diego’s Premier Beachfront Destination for Family-Friendly Fun
When folks picture Southern California, they might bring up a mental image of Disneyland, or perhaps the golden coastline and its accompanying aqua waters. But I can guarantee at some point in their imaginings, they’re thinking about sunny San Diego.
Nearly perfect weather all year round, miles of sandy beaches, lush tropical gardens, and the spectacular Mission Bay which plays host to an incredible number of recreational activities on and off the water.
Tucked away on a private fourteen-acre peninsula on the west shore of Mission Bay, the Bahia Resort Hotel is the ideal home base from which to explore the environs – whether you are looking for a relaxing retreat lounging poolside with frosty libations or a more active adventure defined by biking, kayaking or motorized boating.
Recently renovated rooms and suites are amenity rich and literally steps away from the water’s edge with views of the marina, white sand beach or the property’s lush private gardens and grounds.
For our part, our family of four opted for one of the newly updated Marina Suites (each with a private patio or balcony) overlooking the beautiful dockside boats on Mission Bay. The resort’s suites offer more space to spread out with a separate bedroom and living area and included a kitchen with stove, oven and compact refrigerator for a convenient, casual opportunity to refuel between activities during the day.
The Bahia’s new upscale restaurant, Dockside 1953 is certain to make waves (pun intended) on the city’s coastal dining scene with its picturesque waterfront setting, nautical-inspired design and eclectic menu of mouthwatering dishes by new Executive Chef Bryan Stuppy.
Chef’s culinary offerings feature “a strong focus on sustainable seafood from local fishmongers and the highest quality produce from local growers and producers.” Seafood aficionados like me will have their work cut out for them in deciding between the literal bounty of “raw” standouts like locally caught Rockfish ceviche, Ahi Tuna tostada or Chef’s crudo. Can’t choose? The Seafood Tower offers an impressive sampling of oysters on the half shell, shrimp, ceviche and seared tuna.
I’m personally a fan of making a meal of several appetizers and the menu here provided a delicious opportunity to share an array of delicious dishes – from the melt-in-your-mouth seared Day Boat Scallops and fragrant Bistro Steam Mussels to the pasture fed Wagyu and Lamb Meatball with whipped Valibreso and Calabrian Chili tomato sauce.
The warm, welcoming ambiance takes inspiration from its scenic waters edge locale with a light, airy casual-Californian beachside design (table tops and menu boards that resemble boat decking, brass signage, nautical light fixtures, furnishings done up in seafoam blue and sand). Several paintings of classic motor yachts and notable San Diego icons including the Star of India, Point Loma Lighthouse and the Giant Dipper rollercoaster adorn the walls. A handcrafted scale model of a vintage speedboat serves as an eye-catching centerpiece of the restaurant. But the restaurant’s spacious outdoor patio with cozy firepits and unobstructed views of the bay are its piece de resistance.
As we discovered on our family’s previous staycations here at Bahia, there is no shortage of outdoor activity. Much to the delight of our teenage kids, options include tennis, taking a dip in the Junior Olympic swimming pool, stand up paddleboarding, afternoon bike rides, boat rentals for a scenic spin around the bay or lounging in a cabana with a good book on the secluded beach.
Endeavoring to meet the needs of all aquatic enthusiasts, Action Sport Rentals (actionsportrentals.com) is located right on property. Rent a single or tandem kayak, stand up paddleboard, pedal board rental or body board rental. Prefer a leisurely watercraft, Action Sport Rentals offers sailboats, fishing boats or pontoon rentals. For those with a need for speed, guests can rent a Hurricane or Rinker powerboat. We spent an exhilarating hour with a spin around the bay aboard a 20’ Hurricane Deckboat – 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 a wind-through-your hair ride at speeds topping 40 mph.
Experience the best of beach living with direct access to the sand or choose a balcony view of the tidal teal just steps away. Take advantage of on-site gourmet dining, or the plethora of outdoor activity. Newly renovated, there isn’t a better spot in San Diego to stop and relax, all year round.