San Diego has long been known as one of the country's most family-friendly cities. From the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, to SeaWorld and LEGOLand, the parks alone could keep parents and kids busy for at week. And that's without mentioning all the smaller attractions, such as the old-school Belmont Park and the numerous beach towns of North County, to name just a few.
With that list in mind, the one question that still begs is, Where to stay? If you're asking me (and I'm assuming you are, since you're reading my column), my money's on Paradise Point Resort. Aside from being ridiculously affordable, given all that comes with your rate, the property is ideally located a shell's throw from SeaWorld and on its own spit of land that juts into Mission Bay, one of the city's most popular playgrounds for watersports, including sailing, windsurfing, and, in the summer, parasailing.
The resort's 44 acres have a distinctly tropical feel, with several pools, a spa, miniature golf, and an activity calendar, which is far more robust in the summer months but still noteworthy year round. Beach firepits allow for late-night smores-making or simply gazing at the stars, lending the resort a decidedly camp-like amongst the otherwise upscale trappings. (The resort's Baleen restaurant continually makes the region's annual "best of" lists, as well as being a popular wedding locale.)
One of the key draws of Paradise Point is its accommodations: quaint casitas that afford both privacy and, for larger parties, the option of adjoining rooms in their own self-contained environment. The resulting effect is like a close-knit community, with neighbors often becoming friendly enough to invite new friends across the koi pond for a late-night smore. If anything says "vacation" more than that image, I've yet to find it in San Diego.