Romantic San Diego

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In most parts of the U.S., baby boomers are waiting for winter’s freezing temperatures to end. I’m dreaming of a romantic weekend at the beach. How about you? In today’s guest post, Billie Frank of Santa Fe Travelers suggests a romantic weekend in Grand Del Mar Resort, San Diego .

Aria Pavillion at Grand Del Mar
Aria Pavillion at Grand Del Mar

Sometimes when you live in the southwest, you need to see the ocean. San Diego, an easy, non-stop flight from just about any major airport in the southwestern United States, is the perfect spot for a baby boomer romantic weekend. Pack your bathing suit, some sunscreen, your golf-clubs and head for the sun and sea.

If you’re a boomer looking for a romantic getaway in a luxurious private world, leaving the hustle and bustle behind, the 5 Diamond Grand Del Mar Resort and Spa is a great choice. Located about a half-hour northwest of the San Diego airport, the hotel provides a secluded place to relax, de-stress and reconnect. The Mediterranean Villa-style Grand offers well-appointed, beautifully furnished rooms and opulent suites. If you don’t want to rent a car, take a taxi, shuttle or limo to the hotel, then let the hotel do the driving once you’re there. Grand Del Mar Resort vans will drive guests anywhere within a 14-mile radius.

Lush grounds at Grand Del Mar
Lush grounds at Grand Del Mar

Baby boomers will be tempted to spend the entire mini-vacation in this self-contained Eden. Relax-indulge yourself with a romantic couples massage in the luxurious renaissance-inspired, Forbes Five Star full-service spa. Pull out all the stops and treat yourself to the Couples Classic package: a bath, wrap and massage for two. When you emerge, relax in the sun at the pool adjacent to the spa to read, doze or swim; it’s much quieter than the other pool which is family-friendly. If you’re hungry or thirsty, order a drink, snack or even lunch. If you want to spend ocean time, have the hotel’s van drive you to the beach in Del Mar. They’ll set you up with beach chairs, an umbrella and some bottled water. Prearrange a pick-up time or call them to come get you when you’ve had enough sun and surf.

Tom Fazio golf course
Tom Fazio golf course

Are you a boomer interested in more energetic adventure? The Tom Fazio-designed golf course awaits. The par 72 course wends its way through beautiful Los Peñasquitos Canyon, providing a challenging game for duffers. Or perhaps you’d prefer a game of tennis on the Grand’s courts. Hikers will enjoy the miles of hiking trails through the property. Be sure to sign up for the hotel’s guided hike on Saturday mornings. Me, I prefer breakfast in bed and a soak in the big tub in the fabulous, all marble bath.

One of the things that makes a 5 Diamond property special is the service. The Grand Del Mar hits all the marks.The staff is friendly, professional and there to make your romantic weekend special. They do. From the valets that greet you, to the front desk staff, to housekeeping, room service and restaurant service (and all the rest) you are made to feel welcome and pampered.

In the spirit of not leaving the grounds, the resort has diverse dining options. The 5 star, 5 Diamond Addison Restaurant offers a superb dining experience. It has to be to earn those accolades. If you want a more relaxed experience, try Amaya. Located on the hotel’s lower level, Amaya offers a wonder view of the Aria Lawn with its classic Aria Pavilion and the rolling golf-course beyond. The service is attentive, but not over the top and the Mediterranean influenced food is excellent. The patio is the perfect place to dine in warm weather. Breakfast and lunch are also served. The hotel’s bar is a great option for lunch or a casual dinner. For a casual lunch or snack, check out Cent’ Anni near the lobby. They serve coffees, organic teas and light fare.  Friday through Sunday afternoon tea is served in the library.

Looking to dine off-grounds but don’t have a car or don’t want to worry about how much wine you have with dinner? The hotel’s van service will drive you to the restaurant of your choice, within the 14-mile radius. Within that distance, there are lots of dining options.

At the end of your stay, head home, relaxed and reconnected, planning your next baby boomer getaway at the Grand del Mar. The luxury resort is positively addictive.

Off site dining options:

  • Yu Me Ya Sake House in Leucadia is a funky joint specializing in sake and Japanese small plates.  Let the sisters who run the front of the house in this family-owned eatery suggest both sakes and dishes to order. They don’t take reservations on weekends, so prepare to wait.
  • Prep Kitchen is a small, charming take-out or eat-in place. An offshoot of the upscale Whisknladle, the premise is to offer great food at affordable prices (“affordable” is not necessarily inexpensive—just less expensive than the pricey Whisknladle).
  • El Pescadore Fish Market and Restaurant is a great place for fresh fish with no frills. The fish is fresh, simple, delicious and inexpensive.
  • For an excellent breakfast, try the Hideaway in Solana Beach, it’s where locals go.


  • California Modern at Georges at the Cove offers contemporary cuisine in an equally contemporary setting overlooking La Jolla Cove.
  • The Marine Room at the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club offers excellent food and ocean-side dining; perfect for a romantic dinner. The incredible view is even more spectacular at high tide when the water comes up to the building. In stormy seas, waves break against the building.
  • There is even a branch of Nobu offering the gourmet Japanese cuisine of star-chef Nobu Matushisa.
  • Sbicca in Del Mar features contemporary American cuisine. The concept is casual fine-dining in a neighborhood setting. Opt for the outdoor deck on the second level, it’s quieter and has fabulous ocean views.
  • Pacifica Del Mar features fresh seafood and panoramic ocean vistas. They source their food locally and organically when they can.

All photos in this post are courtesy of Steve Collins.

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