Summer Vacations on Shelter Island

Welcome to Shelter Island, where summer dreams come to life in San Diego! With its sun-kissed shores, endless blue skies, and relaxed coastal vibe, Shelter Island is the ultimate summer getaway destination. Nestled within this paradise, our hotel offers a tropical oasis of comfort and relaxation amidst the natural beauty of the island. Join us as we explore this hidden gem, where every day feels like a getaway and memories are made against a backdrop of palm trees and ocean breezes. Planning to be our guest for your San Diego summer vacation? Here’s just some of what you can look forward to both on-property and in the nearby Point Loma area once you arrive! 

Aloha Thursdays

(Video: @island_palms)

When “Tiki” themes became all the rage of the 1950s, new zoning requirements mandated that all of Shelter Island’s new structures were to match a Polynesian theme. So before long, our peninsula became known for its tropical-style culture and “a little bit of Hawaii” reputation. Here at Island Palms, we celebrate these island vibes every week with our beloved Aloha Thursdays! Join us for tropical drink specials and captivating Polynesian dance shows by our outdoor pool, where the essence of the tropics awaits your arrival. Get excited—this fun-filled evening will be returning very soon, just in time for you to experience the magic of summer on Shelter Island!

Live Music on Weekends

A Man playing the guitar

Indulge in the soulful sounds of live music while basking in the blissful ambiance of our poolside oasis. Starting Memorial Day Weekend, immerse yourself in the talents of San Diego’s finest musicians at our very own Blue Wave Bar & Grill. Every Friday from 5pm to 9pm and Sunday from 10am to 2pm, unwind with a refreshing drink or savor your favorite menu selections as you’re serenaded with a diverse repertoire of contemporary rock, pop, soul, and even jazz. Let the sunshine be your spotlight and the marina your backdrop as you soak up the melodies under the open sky. Plus, on Saturday afternoons, delight in the enchanting tunes of live ukulele, adding an extra touch of island charm to your weekend retreat.


Pool Party Fridays

There’s simply nothing more timeless than a classic SoCal pool party. That’s why we live it up every Friday at the Island Palms pool! Great games? We’ve got ‘em. Poolside food and drink specials? You bet. And our resident DJ will be cranking the jams (and taking your requests while you splash, swim, and enjoy the day. So soak up some sunshine and awesome views every Friday from 1-5pm from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. 


Happy Hour Specials

Happy Hour Specials at Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel

Every hour spent on Shelter Island is a happy one. Still, we felt like we could kick it up a notch. Our popular Happy Hour is on every day from 4 – 6 pm. Stop by Blue Wave Bar & Grill for specials on your favorite menu items (like our delicious Filet Mignon Tacos, Mac & Cheese Dippers, Korean BBQ Spring Rolls, and more). Plus, the chill vibes, sunsets, and marina views are always 100% free!


Shelter Island Biking

(Photo: @island_palms)

The Shelter Island Loop is a combo biking / hiking trail that covers the circumference of the island. It’s a calm, level, and leisurely path that takes those who travel it past stunning water views, multiple pieces of public art (like the Yokohoma Friendship Bell, Tunaman’s Memorial and Pacific Portal), and the grand green space at Shoreline Park. Didn’t pack a bike? No problem. Island Palms offers guests a complimentary two-hour bike rental — ideal for taking in all the sights the island has to offer.   


Get Out On the Water

Shelter Island is home to one of the most active marinas in the city, so Island Palms is only steps away from many sportfishing trips, cruise liners, and other maritime activities. We highly recommend heading over to our partners at Next Level Sailing and chartering a trip on the yacht America. They offer tours, whale watching treks, cocktail cruises, and other seafaring adventures. If you’d like to know more about Next Level, take a look at this recent chat we had with them that goes more in-depth about who they are, and what they offer.  


Big Bay Boom

Get ready to celebrate Independence Day in style in San Diego! On July 4th, 2024, the Big Bay Boom fireworks will illuminate the sky, launching from four barges across San Diego Bay. Join us on Shelter Island for a front-row seat to this spectacular display. Bring your lawn chair, settle in, and prepare to be amazed by the colorful bursts lighting up the night sky. It’s a family-friendly event filled with food, music, and fun that you won’t want to miss!


Summer Concerts at Humphreys

(Photo: @humphreysshows)

Savor the magic of summer evenings at our sister hotel, just a short stroll down the road, at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. This outdoor venue, nestled under the stars, offers an unforgettable musical experience against the backdrop of San Diego’s skyline and sparkling waters. From rock to jazz, enjoy world-class performances in an intimate setting surrounded by palm trees and ocean breezes. This Shelter Island concert venue promises unforgettable nights of music all summer long that perfectly complement your coastal escape. View this year’s lineup!


Relax and Refresh at Island Palms

(Video: @island_palms)

Even if all that’s on your agenda is kicking back and soaking up a little SoCal sun, Best Western PLUS Island Palms Hotel & Marina is the perfect spot to do just that. Our plush accommodations, copious guest amenities and stellar service all come standard. Plus, guests are always welcome to avail themselves of our tennis and pickleball courts, two waterfront outdoor pools and whirlpool spas, all located right on the marina — which always offers amazing summer sunset views. Take a look at our Special Offers page, and select the San Diego travel deal of your dreams at our Shelter Island escape.