Our Beachfront Getaway to Kona Kai Resort on Shelter Island

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Find out where to stay on the beach in San Diego without spending a fortune. Kona Kai Resort is a gorgeous and affordable resort situated on Shelter Island!

You might think we are constantly taking relaxing vacations, but the truth is that our trips are usually far from restful. We want to see as much of a destination as possible when we travel and this can lead to exhaustion instead of recharging our batteries. Therefore, we try to fit in a couple of trips near home, to places we have already visited and don’t feel obligated to explore.

After a full travel itinerary last year, we both felt overdue for a relaxing weekend getaway and lucky for us, we didn’t have to travel very far to find the perfect spot.

Beachfront Getaway in San Diego at Kona Kai Resort

Our Beachfront Getaway to Kona Kai Resort on Shelter Island


Small Town Feel in a Big City

We rarely visit the areas near downtown San Diego because we prefer the small beach towns along the North Coast of the county, so spending time on Shelter Island was new for both of us. Kona Kai Resort is situated on Shelter Island — a neighborhood of Point Loma — just west of downtown San Diego.

The “island” is 1.2 miles, with a single street (Shelter Island Drive) and is connected to the mainland via a causeway. It’s a popular spot to launch boats — especially with boat surfers in search of uncrowded waves — and is known as a destination for luxury yachts because it’s one of the few marinas in San Diego with a deep enough harbor.

Kona Kai Resort San Diego, California

As we explored the small surrounding area of the resort, we noticed a large percentage of the people we encountered were locals. It wasn’t uncommon to see runners or couples strolling along the boardwalk of the harbor and we were a little surprised to see locals drinking and enjoying the live music at the Vessel Bar in the evenings.


Kona Kai Resort on Shelter Island

Kona Kai Resort offers rooms with a view of the bay as well as rooms with a view of the Kona Kai Marina. Our favorite part about staying here (besides waking up to a gorgeous harbor view) is that you can step outside of your room and have a bonfire on one of the only private beaches in California.

At 8pm on Saturday night, one of the staff members met us at the beach pit, started our fire and brought us all the fixings to make s’mores.

Kona Kai Resort San Diego, California
The water activities are endless here, which makes it hard to choose which one to try first. From paddle boarding and kayaking to chartering a sailboat or fishing off the pier — there’s really no need to leave the resort’s grounds.

The pool area is large, overlooks the marina and has a ping pong table and giant checkers game. I’m excited for the summer concert series where they host free live shows on their private beach.

Kona Kai Resort San Diego, California
Bonfire at Kona Kai Resort San Diego, California


Bed and Breakfast Package

What is our second favorite part about the resort? The breakfasts! Every dish on the menu at Vessel Restaurant has a unique flair and meticulous presentation.

I don’t usually like when restaurants stray from the typical Huevos Rancheros recipe, but this particular dish was one that I couldn’t help but order two days in a row. Corn tortillas instead of flour, black beans instead of refried and queso fresco — which tastes similar to Oaxaca cheese — equals the perfect combination.

The Pulled Pork Benedict with green chili hollandaise was another breakfast favorite of ours.

Huevos Rancheros at Kona Kai Resort San Diego, California

Sunday brunch is $29 and you have the option to add alcohol ($10 bottomless mimosas or $14 Bloody Mary Bar). In addition to the breakfast menu, you can choose from several lunch dishes, including their popular fish tacos.

Fish tacos at Vessel Restaurant Kona Kai Resort San Diego, California

The “Bed & Breakfast Package” is $10 per night more than the “Best Flexible Rate” and includes breakfast for up to two adults daily as well as complimentary parking. Breakfast with this package includes tax and gratuity, and the savings works out to be more than $80 for a two-night stay.

Harbor Sunset Kona Kai Resort San Diego, California

Plan Your Trip to San Diego

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  1. Corinne Vail says:

    It definitely looks relaxing!

  2. Jessica Meddows says:

    This place looks gorgeous, and those brunches sound pretty good. I’m curious – is there easily accessible beach front swimming from the resort?

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Yes, you can swim on the other side of the resort or you can do water sports on the marina side.

  3. Traveling Ted says:

    First of all, I love the floppy hat, and smores on a private beach sounds wonderful. I am relaxed even thinking about it.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Haha. Thank you. 🙂 The beach was so quiet when we were there!

  4. Andi Perullo de Ledesma says:

    What an awesome getaway!!!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      It really was! And so close to home.

  5. Ben Leigh says:

    Looks Grand of you both there !!! I be attracted to private beach bonfire. more exciting to move along with young family !!! 🙂

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      We did see some families in the pool area, but not an overwhelming amount of kids. I think a lot of couples come here to get away.

  6. Pamela Morse says:

    I would like to do a concert and doe breakfast at that place. Looks great.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      It’s one of our new favorite spots. It’s just a little too far from our house for breakfast, unfortunately. 🙁