#TravelTuesday: Look What’s Sitting on the Dock of Mission Bay

by Dana and Brian Maass on May 12, 2020 in Travel,
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Off the Pacific shore of San Diego sits a beautiful saltwater habitat called Mission Bay.

This trip was taken before the coronavirus pandemic. In these days of social distancing and staying safely at home, we continue to bring you travel features in the hope you find new places to love (or stay connected to the places you already love) through our stories and photographs.

The largest man-made aquatic preserve in the United States, Mission Bay Park encompasses a grand total of over 4,000 acres, on which you will find the recently renovated Mission Bay Resort and Spa. After undergoing a $20 million makeover, this family-friendly resort is ready to welcome you to their lush retreat on the water. 

An aerial view of the beach at the San Diego Mission Bay Resort. Courtesy photo

San Diego Mission Bay Resort is ideal for families to relax and explore this naturally beautiful destination. Just two miles across the bay lies SeaWorld. Within minutes, sit the world famous San Diego Zoo, Safari Park and Birch Aquarium. To the north are the pristine beaches of La Jolla, filled with tide pools and natural sea life. And the energetic downtown Gaslamp District beckons adults. 

Time for Downtime

Balancing your itinerary with a little downtime is a breeze at Mission Bay. Rooms are spacious with high definition large-screen televisions, just right for movie night. A wet bar is conveniently located inside bayside suites, in addition to a small private patio for unwinding. One of our favorite features is the boardwalk. Here you can rent bicycles, stand-up paddle boards or kayaks only steps away from your waterfront suite. Stop by Aroma Coffee House for a specialty drink on property before hitting the trail, or grab some sandwiches for a picnic on the Bay. Head to South Mission beach to drink in a peaceful sunset and savor every drop of the (typically) all-season weather perfection. 

Balancing your itinerary with a little downtime is a breeze at the San Diego Mission Bay Resort. Courtesy photo

A Dining Jewel in the Crown

In search of a great happy hour spot, fine dining, or a casual breakfast, without running an internet search or catching an Uber? Look no further than Mission Bay Resort’s dining jewel, Acqua California Bistro. Sit down with your travel partner for a romantic dinner for two, complete with top-notch service and a wine list with selections from California to France and beyond. This restaurant offers bayside al fresco dining, cozy indoor tables, and even a private room for larger parties. For dinner, start with the savory mizzuna and frisee salad, topped with blue cheese, asian pears, and a house-made balsamic vinaigrette. Follow up with a main course of seared diver scallops and pancetta-wrapped jumbo shrimp, served over fresh lobster potato puree for a harmonious seafood trio. The perfect pairing is a glass of Perles de Sauvignon Blanc by Gertrard Bertrand.

After a day at the beach or a night on the town, the San Diego Mission Bay Resort dining options have what you’re craving next. Courtesy photo

Raise your bar (burger bar, that is), with a Wagyu Burger from family-owned and sustainably sourced Snake River Farms in Idaho. Topped with blue cheese and applewood bacon, this gourmet burger does not disappoint. Also pairing nicely with the Spanish Tempranillo Termes, the prime Wagyu beef is packed with flavor. A slow and careful marination process is carried out by the culinary team at Acqua, and you will taste the love. Be sure to sweeten your experience with the creme brûlée or flourless chocolate cake for a warm and rich finale to your special meal. Interested in learning how to prepare some of these delightful dishes? Be sure to check the resort activities calendar for a “Culinary Saturday” class with Acqua’s head chef. 

New American cuisine comes to life in Acqua California Bistro overlooking Mission Bay.
Photo courtesy San Diego Mission Bay Resort

Soaking it Up, Poolside

Grab your hat and reserve a poolside cabana, while ordering a few fresh dining selections, brought directly to your chaise lounge, from Fresco’s restaurant. Take in a tennis lesson, try a morning yoga session at Brezza Spa, or sign up for a game of beach volleyball. This resort even offers bocce ball and croquet. Check the daily schedule on-line, or stop by the front desk to find out what’s happening during your stay. The Olive Lounge offers daily happy hour specials, and you’ll want to pull up a chair to their fire pit. Select evenings at Mission Bay Resort also feature Bayside S’mores-making events around the fire, for added outdoor fun. A sweet treat under the night sky. 

Grab your suit and reserve a poolside cabana, while ordering a few fresh dining selections, brought directly to your chaise lounge, from Fresco’s restaurant. Photo courtesy San Diego Mission Bay Resort

Dining Out

While the resort offers ample dining options, you don’t want to miss the ultimate market experience at nearby Liberty Station. Formerly the naval training center in San Diego, this historic location is now a center of community activity.

Formerly the naval training center in San Diego, Liberty Station is now a buzzing center of community activity. Courtesy photo

Buzzing with positive energy, Liberty station provides a large gathering point for locals and visitors to sample local and global flavors, support local artisans, and hear local musicians who regularly perform at a number of market venues. Seaport Village is another excellent nearby spot for unique eateries, shopping, and entertainment. 

Mission Bay Resort offers special packages year-round. Whether your main goal is relaxation at the spa, exploration of the zoo and other family-friendly sites, or diving into the city’s history through surrounding museums and sites, there is something for every type of traveller. The resort website highlights package details and ideas to plan your next San Diego excursion.

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Cover photo courtesy San Diego Mission Bay Resort

Brian and Dana Maass are married and live with their dog, Chester, in Round Rock, Texas. When not traveling, writing, and taking photos, they can be found hiking on trails, visiting new spots in the Hill Country, serving the community, or catching a live performance. Follow them on Instagram at @Dana_Maass_Adventures and @Brian_Maass_Adventurer.