San Diego, California

Photo: Paradise Point

This isn’t something you ever expected to say: Family time is desperately needed. After a few hours with your passive-aggressive mother, bossy sister, and whiny nieces and nephews, you’ve usually had enough. You’ve learned that small doses work best. But, aside from chaotic video chats, you haven’t been able to see any of them for the last few months. You’re actually craving some real family contact. It might be time to start planning a trip for everyone.

Where to begin? It’s probably best to stay in the United States for now. It’s going to be a while before most international routes start again. A fairly big airport is also a necessity since regional ones are more likely to have last-minute cancellations. Plenty of space is still needed, though. It still wouldn’t be good for your mental or physical health to have everyone on top of each other.

So you zero in on San Diego. In 1769, California’s southernmost city became the birthplace of the state when the first European settlement was established. The Golden State’s second-largest metropolis is now considered America’s Finest City. It’s easy to see why. A natural, deep-water harbor. Mild weather all year. Gorgeous beaches and parks. More than 1,500 miles of biking and hiking trails. Endless views of the Pacific Ocean. Now you can add a family-friendly resort to that list.

Photo: Paradise Point

Paradise Point Resort & Spa is in Mission Bay, a man-made bay where SeaWorld, Fiesta Island, and several beach communities are located. The resort sits on 44 acres on appropriately named Vacation Isle, which has its own beaches, lagoons, marinas, and golf course. Add bungalow-style accommodations for a tropical island resort right in San Diego.

You’ll sense a Polynesian vibe as soon as you enter the resort. The lobby features a stone floor, a bamboo ceiling, and ohia wood columns. Seating areas are filled with rattan furniture and colorful pillows, as well. Beyond the lobby, there are guestrooms, suites, and bungalows in plenty of sizes and price ranges. They all have nautical themes with wooden shutters, navy accent walls, and spacious patios. You opt for a Bayside Fireplace Suite for both the cozy fireplace and the French doors that open to a gorgeous bay view.

Not that you’ll spend that much time in your suite. There’s sure to be group activities, dinners, and water time as a family. There are five pools, one for only adults, at the resort. The sandy beach is a mile long. Kayaks and paddleboards, sailboats and speedboats await you at the marina. A Surf Academy and an NBA-regulation basketball court will keep the boys occupied. While you and your sister can take your mother to the 7,000-square-foot spa.

Then everyone can regroup for happy hour and a seafood dinner on Tidal’s terrace. But save room for dessert. S’more fixings will be set out around one of the wood-burning bonfire pits. The gooey mess will be completely worth it when everyone is laughing and smiling together. The family vacation will be, too.


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