La Jolla and North County, San Diego: Get Your Swing on and Experience Calm
We were searching for a weekend getaway to San Diego, and friends said the La Jolla Marriott was the hot ticket. “Book a suite on the concierge level and enjoy a weekend of fun. You will completely relax and not spend a bundle.” We were sold.
With an easy drive down from Los Angeles in the early afternoon, we checked in by 3:30pm.
As we rode the elevator up to the suite, we chatted with a guest holding a chilled glass of Riesling and another with a cooler of wine from a vineyard who had decided to start the weekend early. Agreeing with the Riesling-loving guest, we exited on the concierge level, which is equipped with a private key entry and suites. We liked the vibe of the concierge level immediately – we were sipping sparkling wine and eating chocolate-covered strawberries by 4pm.
One of my favorite San Diego beaches is in La Jolla Cove, only a five-minute drive from the hotel. We parked in the downtown area and walked a few blocks to The Cove and the Children’s Pool, which was occupied with lounging seals. We watched from just 10 feet away as they lounged in the sun, played, and fought over fish. At famous Windansea beach, only a stone’s throw away from the Children’s Pool at The Cove, we watched the sunset as we walked and worked up an appetite.
Tartare & Limes in the Blue Jewel Contemporary Bar
We were famished when we arrived back at the hotel and saw guests at the Blue Jewel eating what appeared to be delicious cuisine. We grabbed two bar seats and ordered the Tuna Tartare, steaks and margaritas made with pure lime juice and Patron tequila, and served with a smile. The Marriott, with its distinctive ambience and high, floating ceiling, provides a beautiful venue for dining if you want to watch the game or have a casual dinner.
Eucalyptus in the Sauna
Every morning, we enjoyed an in-room breakfast of eggs, bacon and fruit and then headed over to the Fitness Center sauna.. I recommend taking their eucalyptus-soaked hand towels into the sauna and placing one over your face and the other on your feet. It is suggested that you stay in the sauna till you are heated; exit, rinse off and then hop back in and repeat for pure relaxation. This was our prep for a day of golf, beach and sun.
Dan grabbed his golf clubs, I put on my bathing suit and we headed for Carlsbad, a 10-minute drive from the hotel. Carlsbad is located in San Diego’s North County and offers tons of special attractions including Legoland, beautiful beaches, watersports and several golf courses. If you have your children with you, Legoland is a must see.
I dropped Dan off at The Crossings Golf Course and drove five minutes to South Ponto, a vast beach split by a lagoon that flows under a bridge to the opposite side of the Coast Highway. During winter, the waves deposit a covering of polished stones onto Ponto, and in the summer the rocks are cleared for the public.
One of Ponto’s unique features is its plant rehab area to combat erosion. I enjoyed strolling through the beautiful succulents that sprout colorful flowers along a walkway that spans from parking lot to sea. Equipped with bathroom facilities, parking and a summer lifeguard, Ponto is ideal for surfing and swimming and perfect for kids and family picnics.
When I visited in March, the weather was a bit chilly – perfect for a long walk. If you continue walking a half-mile south, the beach will lead you past tall cliffs, and you may spot some of the area’s bountiful sea life, including the occasional dolphin.
Dinner on the Balcony with a View
After my day at the beach, I picked up Dan from The Crossings and we headed back to the Marriott just as happy hour approached. We walked into the hotel, ordered two glasses of wine from The Blue Jewel, and headed for the Jacuzzi.
If you don’t mind a crowd or have kids in tow, the Jacuzzi in the Fitness Center is the perfect place to drink wine and relax. . During the summer, head straight to the outdoor pool for the atmosphere and night view. Knowing we had a balcony in our suite and steaks from room service cooking up, we grabbed two more glasses of wine from The Blue Jewel and headed back. We asked room service to set up our dinner on the balcony and dined with an impressive view of La Jolla.
Golf Review of ‘The Crossings’ in Carlsbad During dinner, Dan told me about the ‘The Crossings’ golf course. He described it as a challenging course, and advised other golfers to hit it straight. “It has a healthy appetite for devouring wayward shots,” he said.
Golfers at The Crossings enjoy a view of the ocean and refreshing sea breezes. The front nine is next to the Callaway professional driving range, and offers a glimpse into the place where Phil Mickelson and other pros practice bombing it down the fairways. The crackling of nearby power lines was a surprise, but the price was right – it offers twilight rates, and the course is well-kept and the staff exceptionally friendly.
A week after our visit to San Diego, I wished we were still there. Our trip offered easy access to the beach, golf and other attractions without breaking the bank. With an ideal location boasting an enticing view, the La Jolla Marriott delivers a relaxing stay, delicious food and excellent margaritas.
San Diego Marriott La Jolla
4240 La Jolla Village Drive
La Jolla, California
San Diego Marriott La Jolla
The Crossings Golf Course
5800 The Crossings Drive
The Crossings At Carlsbad
Latitude: 33.103890 / Longitude: -117.318610
La Jolla Cove
Latitude: 32.8506028 – Longitude: -117.2714263