After traveling all over the globe for the past 5 years I have begun to grow a greater appreciation for my home state of California. I was born & raised in the sunny south part of the state and although I have always loved where I am from I really had never taken the time to explore my state as a tourist would. So, lately, I have been making up for lost time by taking mini staycations like my recent visit to Kona Kai Resort in San Diego.
A San Diego Staycation- at the newly renovated Kona Kai Resort
Throughout my travels, I have bumped into many people who have excitedly told me about their CA adventures when they found out where I was from. Stories of sandy toes and delicious fish tacos in San Diego, gorgeous sights along the PCH, and beautiful butterfly forests near Santa Barabara. So, I have begun taking more staycations and exploring more of the gorgeous state I was lucky enough to be born in.
One of my most recent finds was Kona Kai Resort in San Diego. Kona Kai is located on Shelter Island in San Diego in 1959. The resort just completed a $30 million, 20,000 square foot expansion and with their sweeping views of Point Loma and San Diego Bay this moderately priced resort is an excellent find.
New King Guestroom with Marina View at Kona Kai Resort & Spa
Besides fantastic views, Kona Kai also delivers on both style, comfort, and entertainment too! With 170 luxe guest rooms and 41 newly remodeled lavish suites are inviting with an island-inspired decor and plenty of space. I really enjoyed the oversized balcony and beautiful bathroom. I also noticed that some rooms even have fireplaces in them. I will have to grab one of those ones next time. You can check out my room tour below.
Kona Kai Resort- San Diego Room Tour
Besides being blanketed in luxurious rooms there is also plenty of fun to be had at Kona Kai Resort with their own private beach, multiple swimming pools (including one for adults only), and an award-winning spa. Not to mention all of the amazing tourist attractions conveniently located nearby like San Diego’s historic downtown Gaslamp Quarter, Sea World, Petco Park, museums and more. Check out my Top 40 things to do in San Diego here (20 of them are completely FREE).
Speaking of all the things to do and see nearby, it was actually really great having the NEW Toyota Highlander with us on this trip. This car is the perfect vehicle for family road trips with seating for up to 8 passengers, five USB ports to charge all of your devices, and a ton of cargo space. Plus, Mike really enjoyed the cruise control features and when the kids are with us they have a blast watching movies on the rear entertainment system.
Another notable mention is the amazing restaurant on-site at Kona Kai Resort in San Diego. Whether you are looking to grab cocktails and apps with a view or you are ready to spoil yourself with a five-star quality dinner you can find what you are looking for at Kona Kai.
My husband and I enjoyed a relaxing afternoon outside on the deck at the beautiful Vessel Restaurant. We happened to arrive at the hotel just in time for their Happy Hour. I remember wishing I was a tad hungrier because the happy hour menu offered plenty of delicious bites like Grilled Fish Tacos, Brussels Sprouts Fritto, and Wild Mushroom Flatbread.
With smaller appetites we opted for these tasty cocktails and chips and guac- I feel like that’s a pretty standard Californian afternoon choice and I highly recommend it!
We enjoyed our afternoon bites so much that we made reservations and returned to Vessel for dinner that same night!
I was surprised by the level of service and quality food that Vessel served that night. The Tuna Tataki appetizer was just the right size and all of the flavors melded together perfectly in my mouth.
For entrees, I chose the Seared Diver Scallops and Mike opted to be a bit more adventurous and try the Charred Octopus after our waiter recommended it. Both plates were absolutely divine and Mike was pretty excited about trying octopus for the first time.
I also noticed the resort offered plenty of space for meetings and events too! I bet it would be the perfect spot for a wedding.
Check current prices for your dates right here on TripAdvisor.
Have you visited Shelter Island? Do you act like a tourist in your hometown?
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*Disclaimer- we were invited by Kona Kai Resort for a media visit to check out the renovation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.