Paon Restaurant Carlsbad

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Shelter Island

Dock and dine, cast a line, stroll the shore and picnic at this nautical playground situated right on sparkling San Diego Bay.

Nestled at the foothills of Point Loma, the island is connected to the mainland via a narrow strip of land — Shelter Island Drive — that bisects two harbors. The harbors "shelter" sailboats, cruisers, yachts and yacht clubs. To the east, take in America's Cup Harbor, rimmed by a pretty promenade. Here, locals and tourists enjoy pubs, pizza and seafood as well as fishing charters such as H & M Landing, providing rewarding offshore experiences for generations of anglers since 1935. Also explore Point Loma Marina Park, a 10,000-square-foot green space, popular for weddings and receptions.

Traveling along the 1.2 mile drive that loops around the island, find more marine dealers and boatyards, island-themed hotels and restaurants, and plentiful waterfront park space.

For ocean activities, Shelter Island's the place. Local boat owners often use the busy public boat launch at Shoreline Park to head out for a day of sailing or deep-sea fishing. The scenic park, owned and managed by the Port of San Diego, is also home to a fishing pier where locals hope to reel in a bite. The park further features an urban beach and picnic table benches that look across San Diego Bay to the city skyline. A paved path follows the shoreline of Shelter Island making it a perfect spot to get out and explore.

Notable pieces of public art include the Tunaman's Memorial dedicated to tuna fishermen, who once played an instrumental role in the San Diego economy; the Yokohama Friendship Bell, a gift from San Diego's sister city of Yokohama, Japan in 1958; and Pacific Rim Park at the southwestern end of the island. Explore them all on the approximately one-mile route.

The island's dock-and-dine offerings include Bali Hai, Red Sails Inn and the Kona Kai Vessel Restaurant, all featuring fresh fare and waterside views. Also choose from fine-dining options at other resorts along the way.

For music and entertainment, check out Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay running late spring through early fall. Humphrey's lineup features nationally known artists and boasts one of best outdoor concert settings anywhere.

For more information on Shelter Island, visit the Port of San Diego online or by calling (619) 686-6200.