Mission Beach

In North America, Pet Friendly, Staycations by LA Travel Magazine

Whether your ideal summertime address is a luxurious oceanfront palace on a sun-washed California beach or a veritable pile of driftwood washed atop a windswept North Carolina dune, the American beach house is a classic symbol of summer.
Go ahead leave nothing but footprints, let the dogs run free to play and get the saltwater taffy tangled in your teeth. Mission Beach, CA is one of our favorite beach destinations for booking a beach house on your own sandy slice of paradise.  A stone’s throw from one of America’s greatest cities San Diego, Mission Beach offers easy access downtown, with the bonus of key organic beach getaway ingredients: meticulously kept sandy beaches, swaying palm trees and a wholesome family vibe that forces you to relax.
For our accommodation of choice we booked with Luv Surf San Diego again because after staying with them once you realize there is no better way to do Mission Beach.  With multiple options to choose from this time we went with 737 Windemere Court.  Neutral beach colors decorated the space and the rental came with every amenity one could need.  The dogs made themselves right at home again without missing a beat. This rental was perfect for our weekend getaway and warmly welcomed Miller and Dublin with lots of pet amenities sure to please all canine guests.  This rental even had a doggy door and although the boys had never used one before; they quickly figured it out.  This unit like the others is perfectly located between the beach and the bay.
After getting the boys and myself all unpacked it was time for dinner so we made our way to Gaslamp for Sushi at Katsuya. The restaurant décor is modern and sexy; the back wall provides a peek into the kitchen to see the Chefs working their magic.  We started with a round of cocktails which included the Watermelon Cucumber Mojito and the Berry Evocative, a concoction of Bacardi Oakheart  rum, hand-crushed strawberries and freshly squeezed lime juice, finished with a splash of citrus soda.  For appetizers we ordered the Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna, a Chicken and Short Rib Robata and a “Special Katsuya Roll” comprised of Tuna, Yellowtail, Salmon, Scallop, Crab and Avocado wrapped with Rice, Soy Paper and Cucumber.  The first course was outstanding and onto the entrees we went.  I had the Chicken Teriyaki while my other half went with a Wagyu Ribeye served over Mushrooms and topped with Truffle Butter.  The restaurant brings back special memories for us as we had our first date at the Katsuya at LA Live.  The San Diego location was just as good and brought us back to that special day without all the awkwardness of a first date.  After dinner we decided to keep it low key and take a walk on the beach before calling it a night.  The weather was the perfect temperature, not too cold with a light refreshing breeze and moonlight to guide us.

The next morning while taking a bike ride on the boardwalk (thank you Luv Surf for the bikes in the garage) we asked a few locals for a great breakfast spot in the area.  The majority recommended, The Mission.  Upon entering we were seated quickly, a task that according to our server can be very difficult on a Saturday or Sunday morning.  Getting up at the crack of dawn had paid off.  Looking at the menu there were so many great options, it was hard to decide.  After all was said and done we decided to share a couple plates, the Banana Blackberry Pancake, Mission French Toast, the Desayuno Burrito which was made of Scrambled Eggs, Potatoes, Cheese, Beans and Chipotle Cream and the Papas Locas made up of Scrambled Eggs, Rosemary Potatoes, Black Beans, Cheese, Avocado and Sour Cream.  We definitely ordered too much, my eyes are always bigger than my stomach but it was just so hard to decide!

It can be difficult to find a great breakfast when visiting a new city but you can never go wrong when you ask the locals.  We were as stuffed as the burrito we had just consumed.  When you leave the restaurant not only will you feel full but you can also feel good about your visit because The Mission donates proceeds to a variety of charities such as City of San Diego Literacy Programs, Mission Beach Women’s Club and the Humane Society.  Who doesn’t like eating for a good cause?

Mission Beach is a 3 mile peninsula just south of Pacific Beach and is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on one side and Mission Bay on the other. What does this mean to our family?  Lots of beach time with the dogs! And so we headed back for some more fun in the sun.  The last time we were visiting Mission Beach we didn’t have a chance to visit Mission Bay Park, this time we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss out so on this trip we made sure to add it to the schedule.  Mission Bay Park is the largest park of its kind in the world. The 4,600-acre aquatic playground is surrounded by 27 miles of meandering shoreline, with a variety of waterways, inlets and islets to explore.

After the park it was time to drop the dogs off and head out for a little alone time.  According to “The Best of La Jolla” Beaumont’s is not to be missed when visiting the area.  Entrenched in the heart of La Jolla’s admired Bird Rock seaside community, Beaumont’s is a central meeting spot for locals to gather for fabulous food, hand-made cocktails, and top-rate entertainment in a casual, yet contemporary atmosphere.  When you walk in the door you automatically feel like a local.  The vibe is fun and the live music is the perfect complement to the atmosphere.  When we arrived our server gave us the option of ordering brunch or lunch.  After dining at The Mission, lunch was the way to go.  The first thing I noticed on the menu was the Truffle Fries (you know me) and the next was the Remodeled Grilled Cheese with Kale, White Cheddar and Smokey Horseradish.  My order was complete, well except for a beverage.  Taking one look around I noticed almost everyone in the place was drinking a bright orange cocktail.  The server fills me in on their signature drink the “Don’t You Judge Me”, a cocktail made with Kettle One Citron, Champagne and a splash of Orange Juice.  Now we were acting the part and fitting in with the locals.  The food was great, especially my Truffle Fries.  My other half ordered his own portion, knowing I wouldn’t share with him and before I knew what was happening mine was gone and I was onto his.  That’s what boyfriends are for right?  We also tried Beaumont’s Burger which is their special 1/2 pound three meat blend; it was juicy and cooked just right.

After lunch we walked the various shops lined up and down the street, stopping at a few stores here and there and window shopping the rest. Once we had walked ourselves to the max we headed back to check on the dogs and take them for another dip in the bay.

We had been feeling a little guilty about leaving the dogs behind, so for dinner we decided to take them with us to The Patio on Lamont Street.  The Patio is a local pet-friendly restaurant that has amazing food.  Although it was a stretch to keep them calm with all the great food passing by them at every turn it was fun to have them out with us.   When you hear pet-friendly restaurant you don’t typically associate that with great food.  The Patio is a rare find and offers a great ambiance perfect for you and your dog.

The Patio is hip yet provides you with a relaxed beach vibe.  The mouth watering menu features seasonal, California cuisine created using only the freshest locally harvested ingredients, prime meats and fresh seafood. Once seated Miller and Dublin became celebrities and people were lining up to give them a pat which they were more than happy to receive.  For starters we had the Grilled Caesar Salad and the Beef and Blue Flatbread with Gorgonzola, Mushrooms and Garlic Sauce.  Delicious.  The boys sat waiting patiently under the table for crumbs to drop.   For our entrees we went with the Roasted Jidori Chicken and Filet Oscar, both were cooked to perfection.  The live music in the background was a crowd pleaser; looking around everyone was having a great time, including us.  Everything we had was fabulous; it is rare to find hidden gems like the Patio and The Mission.  These are a must the next time you visit Mission Beach so make sure you don’t miss out!

Back at the rental our weekend was sadly ending and the boys were getting restless trying to get one last beach run out of us.  Of course they won, they really know how to work us over and get what they want.  Saying goodbye to a Luv Surf rental is tough but knowing you will be back is what gets you out the door.  See you again soon Mission Beach, thanks for another weekend of great memories!