Local Shelter Island Guide: Neighborhood Places to Visit
San Diego is a city with amazing surprises around every corner. Our vibrant neighborhoods are filled with unique attractions, world-class restaurants, and eclectic shops. It’s tough to go wrong when exploring around here.
Even so, we think our little corner of the city is extra special. Shelter Island is located in San Diego’s Point Loma region, and it’s one of the loveliest spots around in a city filled with little else.
If you’re looking to stay close to “home” during your stay with us, here are some of our favorite neighbors from around the area.
Shelter Island Pier
This jewel of the island is an angler’s paradise. Halibut, bass, and boneheads are plentiful here, so it’s a great place to drop your hook — no fishing license required. The views are also gorgeous and unobstructed, affording panoramic city views. Then, when you’ve pulled all you like from the bay, head over to Fathom Bistro Bait & Tackle, and dig into the catch of the day on their extensive menu where seafood is truly the star.
Hit the Water
There are a lot of places in and around Point Loma that are on the bay. Shelter island is actually IN the bay — the isthmus extends into the water, so it’s surrounded on all sides. Because of this, getting out and enjoying the waters of the bay is always a popular pastime. We recommend heading over to our neighbors at Next Level Sailing and chartering a trip on the yacht America. Next Level offers tours, whale watching treks, and more. There’s no better way to see the best of the bay.
Visit the Friendship Bell
Yokohama, Japan is one of San Diego’s sister cities. The Friendship Bell, which sits at the southwestern tip of Shelter Island, was presented to the city in 1958 as a symbol of our healing relations post-WWII. The massive cast-bronze bell was designed in a style reminiscent of the Bonshō prayer bells used in Buddhist practice and is housed in a traditional pagoda structure that protects it from the elements. It still stands today as a testament to the power of unity.
Explore Shoreline Beach Park
Shoreline Beach Park occupies a stunning stretch of the northeast corner of the island and presents a truly lovely exploration opportunity. Not only does the park offer some of the best views of the city, but visitors will also find a public boat launch, fishing pier, bike paths, picnic areas, and lots of public art. Of course, San Diego’s famously mild year-round weather makes it a great place to spend your day any time you visit.
Walk the Shelter Island Loop
Shelter Island is an easy span of land to walk. A complete circuit of the island’s very pedestrian-friendly shoreline circumference is only 2.3 miles. Many who walk for health or leisure make use of the island’s footpath to enjoy the weather, the views, and the many attractions along the route (such as Tunaman’s Memorial, the “Pearl of the Pacific” at Pacific Rim Park, and the aforementioned Friendship Bell). If you’re looking to get in your steps for the day, there’s no better place to do it!
Take in a Show
Our sister hotel Humphreys Half Moon Inn has long been renowned in the area for its summer concert series, which runs from April to October. World-famous acts like Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Ringo Starr, and Steely Dan have graced their beautifully situated, 1,450-seat stage in years past. Humphreys’ concert series took a brief hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic, but the 2021 schedule is filling up fast with top draws like They Might be Giants, Boz Scaggs, and Jason Isbell.
Kick Back at Best Western Island Palms
If you’re looking for a little R&R during your stay with us, you won’t have to go far. We’ve made sure to build in plenty of good times right on our own gorgeous waterfront property. You’re always welcome to grab a drink and a bite of coastal cuisine at our own Blue Wave Bar & Grill, relax by our poolside fireplace, and take a dip if it gets too warm. We even offer complimentary equipment rentals so that you can enjoy our on-site tennis courts!
There’s never a shortage of things to do in and around Shelter Island. We hope to welcome you soon, and are looking forward to hosting you while you explore!