SAN DIEGO: Seaport Village and Manchester Grand Hyatt

I just have to start by saying; I LOVE SAN DIEGO.  Honestly.

We took a trip last year to the California coast and I fell in love.  I took a LOT of photos and its taken me awhile to get through them all.  I just recently had the time to get my huge photo library (semi) organized and going through the images just brings me right back there! I thought I would share some of my favourite parts of this city over a few posts.  I know, I know, ‘we’re over seeing hundreds of vacation photos at the water cooler, Helen’, but stick with me.  I truly, highly recommend this vacation location, otherwise I wouldn’t post about it…repeatedly.  I am willing to bet you will too.


Our location within the city was definitely pretty touristy, which I normally try to avoid if possible, but this spot was not overrun with other tourists, and wasn’t even crowded in general.  We went in August, so I am not sure if that had anything to do with it, but the weather was perfect, and the sites were a dream.

We stayed right on the water at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, and oooooh baby, was it ever grand.  I mean look at the foyer, I think one of those outdoor lights is as big as my powder room.  It was a very nice hotel, with plenty of amenities.  There is a spa, two pool areas, one with a fire pit burning at night, and so many other perks.  If you are thinking of going I can, without hesitation, recommend the Hyatt.

The rooms are modern and spacious and the views are gorgeous.  This was my view from our room.  You can see the terrifying (more on that later) and beautiful Coronado bridge, and all the boats in the harbour.  The other image below is my most favourite as I lay on a chaise at the adults only pool…oh yesssss

We spent a lot of time here, lounging, reading, and having a cocktail or two.  The other pool area is very impressive.  It’s HUGE, and dotted with cabana areas filled with loungey furniture for families to hole up in for an afternoon.  I was even brought a complimentary frozen snow cone while I relaxed!  It does get busy here, but again, not at all chaotic like a family pool area could be.

…and then you step out the back door of the hotel.  Behind the Hyatt is a walking path that follows the waters edge for miles.  At least that is what it seems like.  We walked so far in both directions and never did find an end to it.  You can access the convention center, a bunch of restaurants with come hither patios, the ferry over to Coronado Island, and the USS Midway (an aircraft carrier that is moored as a permanent museum), without ever going out to the main roads, or taking transportation.  We. walked. so. much.  We do like to walk in this family, but this was just the most enjoyable and easiest way to get around this section of the waterfront.  The two towers below are both the Hyatt.  Its a big place.



Also just steps away from the back entrance of the hotel is Seaport Village.  Its a collection of shops (yes, selling mostly souvenir items) with little cafe’s, sandwich shops, and an entire outdoor food court.  I literally took a walk through this little village every single day we were there.  Its all cobblestone walkways, with a stream meandering through, pooling into ponds and trickling under tiny bridges.  Sound heavenly?  It is.

Some of the buildings have an adobe feel to them with the stuccoed brick and terra cotta roofs.  As you might be able to gather I spent a lot of time eating, walking, and just sitting around down here.  It is right on the waterfront so you can feel the sea breeze, hear the bells on the sailboats and just watch the ducks that have taken over some of the ponds.  The stuff of vacation dreams, I’m tellin’  ya.

We ate at a mexican restaurant in the outdoor food court one night and it was YUM.  I had never tried it, but we had mexican corn which is a corn on the cob with butter, mayo, cheese (traditionally cotija cheese, I think) and a squeeze of lime.  We of course added some hot sauce.  You might think; mayo on corn?  And to that I say; HELL YES.  Do it.

More bridges, ponds and streams.  Honestly, the coolest outdoor shopping area I have ever visited.

I especially fell in love with the vegetation in California.  Mostly hardy plants that can survive on less water and stand up to all that sunshine.  In fact, they were in a bit of a drought when we visited and everyone was conserving water.  Living in a climate that has a lot of sunshine, and little rain obviously means party all the time… but more realistically it means water accessibility issues. Nature will persist though, and voila, cacti!  I took far more pictures of the local flora than I will openly admit to…

These were just the experiences that were available in and directly around the hotel.  We did so much more on this holiday, and still felt relaxed and refreshed.  Over the next few weeks I’ll share a few more places I especially loved, so follow along if you have ever considered travelling to Cali.

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