1 . The Lodge at Torrey Pines

La Jolla, California

CALL DIRECT: +1 (888) 328 - 7125

WEBSITE

The Lodge at Torrey Pines, with its signature Craftsman style, harkens back to an era where quality, not quantity, was of real value. Here in the heart of La Jolla, you’ll relive a tradition of excellent craftsmanship, superior quality and creating things – and memories – to last a lifetime.

Inspired by the Torrey Pines State Reserve, the Lodge at Torrey Pines has been painstakingly appointed with hints of sandstone cliffs, pristine beaches and the rare pine trees that share its name. This beloved nature preserve is home to 17 types of sage and you’ll enjoy the healing effects of a select few when you indulge in the Spa at Torrey Pines’ signature treatments. The resort’s lobby, with its exotic mahogany, custom woodwork and stained glass, is a work of art in its own right, but you’ll find an even more stunning selection of paintings and sculpture at the nearby Museum of Contemporary Art. You’ll even find an assortment of masterpieces – culinary, that is – in the resort’s signature restaurant, A.R. Valentien. Traditional dining is transformed with Artisan Table Dinners on the terrace each Thursday, where four-course meals are served family style in this relaxed and intimate setting. When you’ve had your fill, head back to the comfort of your spacious guest room – appointed in the lodge’s signature Craftsman style. Arts and crafts furniture, including handmade beds and leather chaises, are a striking contrast to the California impressionist art that graces the room walls.

Highlights

The Lodge at Torrey Pines is home to 13,000 sq. ft. of versatile meeting space that can accommodate everything from elegant dinners to productive seminars.

Getting there

Follow I-5 South to Del Mar. Exit at Carmel Valley Road and turn right. Follow Carmel Valley Road to the end and turn left onto Camino Del Mar. This turns into North Torrey Pines Road. Proceed past the beach and up the hill. Exit at Torrey Pines Course/Lodge sign. Turn right at the stop sign onto Callan Road and left at the stop sign and into the lodge.

Fun facts

The lodge’s signature restaurant, A.R. Valentien, is named for the well-known early 1900s California artist of the same name and features some of his original works.

2 . L'Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa

Del Mar, California

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 514 - 1143

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“L’Auberge” is French for inn, but we think the San Diego resort and spa in our No. 1 spot is more reminiscent of a seaside estate than a traditional chateau. With a scenic location in the coastal village of Del Mar, L’Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa has set out on a mission to redefine the “So-Cal” experience – one guest at a time.

“Redefine” seems to be an appropriate theme for this Southern California luxury resort. In fact, from innovative spa treatments to creative new takes on culinary classics, every aspect of your stay at L’Auberge promises to transform you in some way. Take the signature Seaside Sojourns at Spa L’Auberge – a whirlwind journey through exotic ingredients like coconut and seaweed extracts used in spas around the globe. And evenings spent on the lighted rooftop Waterfall Terrace or in private cabanas at KITCHEN 1540 will forever alter the way you wine and dine. With neutral color palettes punctuated by vibrant greens and rich chocolate tones, the seaside-inspired décor at L’Auberge offers a modern twist on traditional tweeds and old-world velvets. Inside the resort’s luxurious guest rooms and suites, custom furnishings, cozy duvets and fireplaces are blended for a sophisticated – but never stuffy – style of coastal chic. Paired with private balconies and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, these stylish retreats are a winning combination for any kind of San Diego getaway!

Highlights

L’Auberge is located on the former site of the Hotel Del Mar – a Hollywood hot spot for major film stars and more.

Getting there

L’Auberge is a convenient, yet scenic 20-minute drive from San Diego International Airport. When leaving the airport, follow the signs to I-5. Veer right on Harbor Island Drive. Turn left on Laurel Street. Take I-5 North for approx. 20 miles. Exit Del Mar Heights Road. Turn left and go approx. one and a half miles. Turn right onto Camino Del Mar. L'Auberge is just past 15th Street. Turn left on L'Auberge Del Mar, then take an immediate left and proceed to the resort.

Fun facts

L’Auberge has been ranked among the best luxury resorts in the country by Condé Nast.

3 . Kona Kai

San Diego, California

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 566 - 2524

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A tropical island getaway in the heart of San Diego? We didn’t believe it either – until we set foot on the Kona Kai grounds. Surrounded by 11 acres of tropical gardens and facing San Diego Bay, the resort in our No. 2 spot lends a distinctly tropical flair to any style of Southern California vacation.

With a marina, resort and spa all rolled into one, the Kona Kai is a trifecta of sun, fun and a touch of pampering on Shelter Island. First, the Kona Kai Marina, visible from the resort’s pool and private beach, where sail boats can be rented and are frequently spotted gliding in and out of the sheltered harbor. Then there’s the resort, with its Spanish-inspired architecture and spacious, yet cozy island-themed suites. And the Kona Kai’s spa, with its full menu of relaxing treatments, is sure to have you saying “ahhh” in no time. A secluded location on the point of Shelter Island lends the Kona Kai the illusion of being worlds apart – yet this San Diego resort is just a short drive away from beaches, bluffs and big-name attractions. Kids can rub fins with Shamu, the infamous face of Sea World, or practically touch noses with zebras, rhinoceroses and giraffes at the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Back at the Kona Kai, the resort’s family-friendly Movies on the Lawn series, held each summer, features beloved family classics and new releases.

Getting there

Kona Kai has convenient access to all major freeways. The hotel is three miles from San Diego International Airport and just five miles from downtown San Diego.

Fun facts

There are 518 boat slips ranging in length from 30 feet to 200 feet at the Kona Kai Marina.

Related Onsite Offerings

With more than 75 commercial vessels, private charter yachts and a variety of half-, full-, and multi-day trips available, San Diego Bay is a must for fishing enthusiasts.

4 . Rancho Bernardo Inn

San Diego, California

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 439 - 7529

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The award-winning resort in our No. 3 spot has earned a reputation as San Diego’s most legendary inn. With a distinctly Spanish style, remodeled standard rooms turned Guest Retreats and a championship golf course as pleasing to look at as it is to play, we think the Rancho Bernardo Inn deserves a new title: San Diego’s quintessential golf resort.

There’s much to be said about the Rancho Bernardo Inn, but clearly the heart and soul of this San Diego resort is the championship golf course at its center. Originally designed by William Francis Bell, this award-winning course has played host to numerous pro tours and with good reason - all 18 holes boast challenging, yet rewarding play and stunning So-Cal scenery. They say there’s more fun in numbers, so grab a few friends or coworkers and make it a group golf getaway! With Spanish courtyard-style balconies and fireplaces both indoors and out, the two-story Palacio Suites are a surefire way to impress corporate guests. Even Rancho Bernardo’s Veranda restaurant didn’t stray too far from the picturesque golf greens and manicured fairways. We think this casual setting – with decidedly upscale menu offerings like watercress salad and pan-roasted sea bass – is an excellent way to end a day on the green. Then again, so is the all-new Buena Vista Spa. We could easily spend an entire day lazing around the spa garden, complete with soothing water features.

Average temperature

Low 45 degrees, high 84 degrees F.

Highlights

The inn’s Guest Retreats are luxuriously appointed with custom furnishings, Aveda bath amenities, deep soaking tubs and flat screen TVs.

Related Onsite Offerings

Rancho Bernardo Inn’s 45,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space is perfect for any style of gathering, from the intimate to the extravagant.

5 . The Grand del Mar

San Diego, California

CALL DIRECT: +1 (858) 314 - 2000

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The Grand del Mar’s rich architectural details pay homage to the innovative visions of famed architect Addison Mizner – and the three distinct styles that first inspired him. You’ll find hints of Spanish palaces, traces of France’s coastal retreats and even allusions to Florence’s traditional decorative arts at this San Diego resort.

The resort’s signature dining experience is filled with telltale signs of Mizner – and we don’t just mean the shared surname. The Grand del Mar’s Addison restaurant – Southern California’s only five-diamond eatery – perfectly captures his signature grace with elegant decor and seasonal four-course menus. And inside the Mizner Suite, multiple bedrooms and generous living spaces, including a kitchen, study and living room, do justice to the architectural legend of the same name. Tucked away in the picturesque Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, the Grand del Mar is a delightful blend of old-world charm and modern luxury. Like dark wood furnishings and exquisite Pratesi linens paired with state-of-the-art soaking tubs and top-shelf bath amenities – just a few special touches in the Grand’s suites. And onside the Cent’ Anni café, the Grand del Mar pays homage to its European heritage with a palate-pleasing menu of desserts. Savor the rich flavors of creamy gelatos, the uplifting bubbles of Italian sodas and the hotel’s scrumptious signature, the Grand, an Italian treat that’s simply to die for.

Fun facts

Spa magazine awarded the spa at The Grand del Mar the distinguished title of "Favorite New U.S. Spa."

Highlights

The Grand del Mar is home to an 18-hole course designed by famed architect Tom Fazio, who has 14 courses on Golf Digest's list of America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses.

Getting there

From San Diego International Airport, take I-5 North and exit on 56 East to the Carmel Country Road Exit and turn right. Proceed one-quarter mile on Carmel Country Road and turn left at Grand Del Mar Way. Turn right on Grand Del Mar Court and continue down the hill to the resort entrance.

6 . Town and Country Resort and Convention Center

San Diego, California

CALL DIRECT: 1-800-77-ATLAS

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You know what they say: all work and no play makes for a very dull day – and an even more dreary San Diego vacation. Fortunately, the resort in our No. 6 spot is a firm believer in mixing business with pleasure, meaning you’ll find ample opportunities for both at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center!

You don’t even have to leave the resort to have a productive San Diego corporate event or conference. Town and Country has versatile options for any style, with business-ready rooms in the executive conference center, a multi-purpose ballroom and an exhibit hall that’s perfect for trade shows. Golf courses have a history of closing deals outside the boardroom walls, and nowhere is the atmosphere finer than on one of more than 85 San Diego courses nearby! Choose from Town and Country Resort’s modern suites or cozy garden bungalows; either way, you’ll find everything you need for your San Diego business trip, like coffee makers to start your day off right, plus high speed internet access and late-night room service. Looking for a way to unwind after a productive day? At Trellises Garden Grill, the ho-hum drink specials and blasé appetizers of traditional happy hours have been banished with Attitude Adjustment Hour. Breezy tropical elixirs and spiced-up hors d’oeuvres like Shrimp Poblano Queso are just the cure for those work-day blues.

Population

1,336,865

Related Onsite Offerings

With pool tables, a hearty burger menu and a wide range of microbrews, it’s all about fun, food and spirits at Charlie’s.

Highlights

Town and Country has a sparkling pool, spacious sundeck and even a day spa for relieving residual work-related stress.

7 . Welk Resort

Escondido, California

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 932 - 9355

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Deluxe villas tucked away in the peaceful San Diego foothills, yet surrounded by the biggest names in So-Cal entertainment? Sounds like a winning combination for a memorable San Diego family vacation. But don’t take our word for it – pack your bags, load up the crew and see for yourself at Welk Resort!

Learning doesn’t have to be tiresome, tedious or (let’s face it) boring – at least not when you have so many sporting, cultural and historical attractions nearby. And it isn’t just for the kids; your whole family will find plenty of chances to broaden their horizons at this San Diego family resort. Strike up some friendly competition at two onsite 18-hole golf courses. Become a culture expert with a Broadway-worthy stage production at the Actors’ Equity Theatre. And you might just have a zoologist (or two) in training once you’ve completed your tour of the nearby Wild Animal Park. Welk Resort’s one- to two-bedroom villa suites are the perfect base camp for fast-paced San Diego family vacations. En-suite kitchens (dishes included) make impromptu snack preparation and cooking with kids a cinch. Of course, this is a vacation, so we don’t blame you if you forgo the hot stove in favor of casual dining at the Canyon Grille. Filet mignon for mom and dad, chicken fingers for the little ones and an Oreo chocolate cake that you’ll have to fight over, it’s that good!

Getting there

Take I-15 North and exit at Deer Springs/Mountain Meadow Road. Turn right at the end of the exit ramp. Turn left onto Champagne Boulevard. Continue two and a half miles and turn right at the gas station onto Lawrence Welk Drive and into Welk Resort – San Diego.

Fun facts

In 1964, Lawrence Welk went for a drive in the country north of San Diego, California planning to invest in a grove of orange trees. Instead he bought a motel and a nine-hole golf course – and thus, Welk Resort was born.

Related Onsite Offerings

The Broadway Hill Recreation Center is home to two spas, a swimming pool and lap pool, and a variety of arcade games including pin pong, foosball and more.

8 . Hotel del Coronado

Coronado, California

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 468 - 3533

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The hotel in our No. 9 spot has been named a National Historic Landmark – an honor that it clearly deserves. More than 120 years of celebrity-studded history, and even a ghost story or two, are housed within the Hotel del Coronado’s walls. Of course, a few updates over the years ensure you all the modern comforts when you stay at this San Diego hotel.

The Hotel del Coronado has been recognized for enjoying more fame and historical significance than any other hotel in North America. The likes of Frank Sinatra and the entire Reagan clan have returned to the Del time and again, but it really only takes one visit to see why this enchanting Coronado hotel has become an American treasure. Whether you choose the richly-decorated Victorian rooms or breezy seaside Beach Village villas, this is one San Diego resort that exceeds all expectations. The Hotel del Coronado has been the center of attention for centuries and now it’s your turn with the storybook San Diego beach wedding you’ve only dreamed of – until now. Set on 28 oceanfront acres, this American icon is the only true beachfront resort in San Diego – and the only place for your seaside ceremony. The soft white sands beneath your bare feet as you stroll down a flower petal-strewn aisle, your friends and family beaming from either side. And the only sounds as you say “I do?” The Pacific Ocean waves gently lapping at the shore behind you. Ah, wedded bliss.

Highlights

Celebrity hair stylist Billy Yamaguchi was the first to integrate the ancient philosophies of Feng Shui into modern hairdressing techniques and has a salon within the Hotel del Coronado.

Getting there

From San Diego International Airport, exit the airport and turn left onto North Harbor Drive. Turn left onto West Grape Street. Look for the on ramp to I-5 South and merge onto I-5 South. Travel through downtown San Diego and merge onto California 75 Coronado Bay Bridge. After crossing the bridge, stay to the left on Third Street. Turn left onto Orange Street and follow this street approximately two miles to the Hotel del Coronado.

Fun facts

The Spa at The Del was recently named one of the Top 20 Hotel Spas in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine.

9 . Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa

Carlsbad, California

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 325 - 3535

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Outfitted with a world-class spa and boasting an ideal location between San Diego and L.A., we think the resort in our No. 10 is perfect for those looking for a little rest and relaxation between touring the nearby Carlsbad attractions. We’re sure you’ll find plenty of ways to pamper and play at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa!

We promised you opportunities for indulgence, and with a little help from the Ocean Pearl Spa, the Sheraton Carlsbad comes through. Like the freshwater treasure it’s named for, the Ocean Pearl Spa is a real gem. Surrounded by shimmering fabrics, sparkling light fixtures and iridescent surfaces, you won’t find a more stylish space for spoiling oneself. We suggest the spa’s signature Pure Rituals, sure to restore radiance and leave every complexion with a youthful glow. Don’t think we forgot our promise of new ways to play. For those looking for a more distinguished way to spend the day, the Del Mar Racetrack boasts an exhilarating surf-and-turf summer racing season. Check out the Pacific Classic – a horse race that showcases the country’s finest thoroughbred stock and awards a cool $1 million to the most swift-footed steed. For those seeking a more subdued experience, we recommend the Carlsbad Flower Fields, where you can meander through more than 50 acres of blossoms and butterflies at your leisure.

Getting there

From the north, take I-5 South to the Cannon Road Exit. Proceed east on Cannon Road to Grand Pacific Drive. Turn right onto Grand Pacific Drive and continue to the hotel. From the south, take I-5 North to the Cannon Road Exit and follow the directions above.

Fun facts

Bring your pampered pooch – the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa is dog-friendly!

Related Onsite Offerings

The Spa at The Del offers a selection of carefully designed specialty packages, with options available for girlfriends, couples, bridal parties and more.

10 . Bay Club Hotel & Marina

San Diego, California

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 775 - 2728

WEBSITE

Sheltered from mainland California is the aptly named Shelter Island. On it perches the Bay Club Hotel & Marina. If you are thinking of taking a trip to sunny San Diego, read on and be delighted in what the Bay Club has to offer.

The moment you step out of the airplane, the Bay Club Hotel & Marina’s superior amenities already present themselves. You will be driven, for free, to and from the airport for your utmost satisfaction and convenience. Close your eyes on the drive, because the Bay Club Hotel is San Diego’s best kept secret. Rooms come with breathtaking waterfront vistas, and delicious complimentary breakfast is served every morning. Children 12 and under stay for free, so bring the little tykes and all their friends. Ok, just your own kids then. Frolic in the heated pool and let the hot tub transport you to San Diego paradise after a big day of shopping and attractions. The Bay Club offers discounts to a lot of attractions, including a beefy 20% off at their own bar and grill. See why the tacos make such a splash in the culinary community, or come for Wine Wednesday for a romantic evening. Perhaps the hotel’s biggest advantage is the Bay Club Marina. Beautiful aesthetics and a five minute boat ride to a fueling station make this both a practical marina and an attraction to passersby. Marina tenants enjoy full access to hotel amenities, including use of the pool, spa, fitness room, and airport shuttle service, not to mention discounted room rates! Whether by boat or by plane, your San Diego paradise is waiting.

Address

2131 Shelter Island Drive San Diego, California 92106

Population

Interestingly, a 2010 census recorded 2,228 people, however the population can be as high as 8,000 during summer months.

Related activities

San Diego Bay is a shimmering roadway for yachts, sailboats and even aircraft carriers, floating back and forth each day. Shelter Bay is in the middle of the action. Learn about the boats you're watching at the San Diego Maritime Museum, conveniently on the island.

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