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Boats, sea breezes, sunshine and food, food, food on Shelter Island

Shelter Island in San Diego is not an island. It's connected to the mainland by a strip of land. But that's a good thing. You can drive right onto the tiny area to enjoy its marinas, hotels, restaurants and bayside park.

If you plan right, you can even catch a show at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, which features big-name entertainers.

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The bed

A cozy room at the Kona Kai Resort & Spa features fresh colors.
A cozy room at the Kona Kai Resort & Spa features fresh colors. (Irene Lechowitzky)

My husband and I stayed at the recently restored Kona Kai Resort & Spa, which used to be a private yacht club that drew such luminaries as Clark Gable and Gregory Peck. Our room had clean, modern lines with refreshing pops of teal and orange to offset its neutral color scheme, a 42-inch flat-screen TV, and a pool and marina view from the balcony.

The meal

A peppery Reuben slider and braised pork taco at the Vessel Restaurant at the Kona Kai Resort & Spa.
A peppery Reuben slider and braised pork taco at the Vessel Restaurant at the Kona Kai Resort & Spa. (Irene Lechowitzky)

There were two eateries we wanted to hit, so we split the difference and dined on appetizers at both. First up: Kona Kai's Vessel Restaurant, where we ordered peppery Reuben sliders and braised pork tacos.

Then we  headed to the other end of Shelter Island and the Bali Hai Restaurant and its fabled Mai Tais (a "no juice added" cocktail of dark and light rum, orange liqueur, orgeat syrup and sweet-and-sour mix). We ordered  Hawaiian tuna poke, coconut shrimp and vegetable spring rolls.

If you feel the need to picnic, try Point Loma Seafoods for fresh, inexpensive seafood salads, sandwiches and plates.)

The find

The pool and Tiki Bar at the Kona Kai Resort & Spa are a draw on hot days.
The pool and Tiki Bar at the Kona Kai Resort & Spa are a draw on hot days. (Irene Lechowitzky)

About those concerts: If you can't afford the tab to see one of the acts atHumphreys Concerts (Mudcrutch, Bob Dylan, Boz Scaggs), you might consider the Humphreys Backstage Live lounge.

Kona Kai Resort & Spa's rooms and lobby, seen here, were recently renovated.
Kona Kai Resort & Spa's rooms and lobby, seen here, were recently renovated. (Irene Lechowitzky)

Resources: Kona Kai Resort & Spa, www.resortkonakai.com; Bali Hai Restaurant, www.balihairestaurant.com; Point Loma Seafoods, www.pointlomaseafoods.com; Humphreys Concerts, www.humphreysconcerts.com; Humphreys Backstage Live, www.humphreysbackstagelive.com.

Have an incredible road trip story or a useful tip? Share your memories and suggestions with us in the comments.

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