Paradise Point Resort & Spa Celebrates 50 Years on Mission Bay in San Diego | 12 Historic Reasons to Visit

September 10, 2012

Tucked away on gentle Mission Bay, Paradise Point is a luxurious 44-acre island resort located minutes from the heart of downtown San Diego and across the street from SeaWorld. This plush four-diamond resort is surrounded by a mile of sandy beach and features beach bungalow-style guest rooms amidst lush, tropical gardens and meandering lagoons. The historic 462-room property which recently underwent a $20 million renovation, has its own marina, island-themed spa, private water taxi service to SeaWorld and 14 beach bonfire rings in the sand.

Opened in 1962, this hotel has historic foundations in San Diego and has been the destination for celebrities, locals, and tourists alike.  Listed below are 12 historic reasons to visit Paradise Point Resort & Spa:

Paradise Point
1. In 1914, iron-cast El Camino Real bells are brought to the area to line California’s first roadway. Paradise Point is home to 20 of the original bells, the largest collection in the country.

2. In 1958, the city of San Diego creates 4,600-acre, $60 million Mission Bay Aquatic Park for recreational use. The bay is dredged to to form the 44-acre “Tierra del Fuego” manmade island the hotel now resides on.

Jack Skirball
3. Hotel founder Jack Skirball started construction on the $1.6 million project in 1960. Truly a “jack of all trades”, he was an ex-rabbi, movie producer, cattle rancher, and owned chains of bowling alleys and movie theaters.

4. The hotel first opens in 1962 as Vacation Village, with room rates at just $8 a night.

5. The hotel quickly became an escape for L.A.’s rich and famous. Notable guests include Johnny Cash, Natalie Wood, Paul Newman, and Andy Williams.

6. During his Hollywood days, Jack Skirball produced several Alfred Hitchcock films including Saboteur and Shadow of A Doubt and won an Academy Award.

7. Mission Beach’s Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster first opened to the public on July 4, 1925. Still in operation today, its design was the inspiration for the sloping roof of the hotel lobby.

8. Skirball incorporated pieces from his Hollywood movie sets into the property including the porpoise fountain from Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor and the decorative masonry above guest room doors.

9. Architect Eldridge T. Spencer was commissioned to build a unique, 75-foot observation tower in the center of the island. Famous for his work at various national parks and Ivy League campuses, Spencer topped the now-iconic tower with an intricate metal sculpture designed to “join land and sky”.

10.  Over 600 diverse species of plants grow on the 44-acre island, including over 1,000 of the regal bird of paradise.

11. An extensive $20 million renovation was completed in 2009, upgrading all 462 guest rooms to have a more luxurious look and feel.

12. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012, Paradise Point is holding a year-long celebration including special hotel packages, historic walking tours, concert series on the bay and special retro menu items and drinks at the iconic Barefoot Bar & Grill.

Paradise Point is located at 1404 Vacation Rd, San Diego, CA, 92109.  For more information, visit their website at, or call 858-274-4630 or 800-344-2626 for reservations.