42 comments on “Vacation ‘Village’ in San Diego

  1. I remember Vacation Village as a kid, too. Our parents let us ride those bicycles built for two all around the place. And Easter Bunny even found us there! It was the best, and I am going to take my family back there…

    • Great to hear that someone else remembers this place. It’s something that’s been in my memory for so long.

  2. In 1970 I lived in Phoenix and just had my second child. I always longed to visit the ocean.
    So we packed up and spent a week at Vacation Village. We had a cottage on the beach
    and I remember sitting there and soaking in the air and ripples on the water. It was a perfect
    stay for ambience and baby.

  3. I stayed there with my family when I was a little kid in the mid-1970s. My main memories of the place? They had ducks, and there was a little gift shop where my parents bought me a Mr. Potato Head. (Yes, I was very young!) The place stuck in my mind, though, so I must have had a fun time there! I thought of it again recently because I have a young son. Maybe its new incarnation as Paradise Point will be a destination for us when he’s a couple years older, although it looks like it’s a lot more upscale/pricy than it was before.

    • Ken, thanks for your recollections of Vacation Village. As I get older, I think back on things from my past, so that’s why I started the blog. I find it interesting hearing from others who have had similar experiences too. If you do decide to go to Paradise Point, I hope to see your comments, good or bad on my blog. Thanks for your comments!

  4. You might want to check out an episode of Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp (1970-72) entitled The Reluctant Robot. You can find it via youtube. I’ve been reliving my youth with my kids watching Lancelot. It was a show starring live chimps filmed with human wardrobes acting out spy tales. They shows are pretty funny and I was intrigued by the above episode and the tower you mentioned. The base of the tower had a peaceful-looking lagoon area. Anyway, I saw at the end of one of the episodes that they listed Mission Bay and Vacation Village as filming locations. We live in S. Orange County so today after the Miramar Air Show we attempted to scout out Vacation Village to find the lagoon. No luck -I should have done the requisite research first…which I’ve obviously done now. I like to take my boys to recognizable filming locations in So CA from time to time.

    Anyway, I’m gonna check out the rest of your site now. Thanks.

    • Too funny, now that you mentioned the Secret Chimp and after looking at that one episode, I remember watching this program too. Yes, that was definitely the tower from Vacation Village, it’s got some pretty unusual iron work on it. It’s too bad you didn’t get to scout out Vacation Village, maybe on one of your next family outings.

      I hope you enjoy reading my other posts and I look forward to reading your comments.

  5. I remember vacationing here with my parents and brothers as a kiddo in the 70s. I recall there being three swimming pools, and one of them was circular, and just shallow enough that I could walk out to the “deep” area in the middle on my toes. There was a little pool-within-a-pool in the middle, with a submerged bench that you could sit on.

    • Thanks for your comments! I remember so little about my stay there, it’s good to see that there are others out there that can share what they remember. I would have liked to have seen that submerged bench, sounds like the kind of place I would have hung out. : D

  6. Went there in the 60’s… Got my first kiss from the son of some friends of my parents who also went there for a vacation. Was a fantasy destination for decades after! 😉

    • Hi Dana

      Thanks a million for your recollection of your time at Vacation Village. Sounds like it was a very memorable vacation for you. :)

  7. I loved the place!! Spent many summer vacations there with my folks in the early 70’s. Does anyone remember the BareFoot Bar located at the village?

  8. Going through some boxes of things that had been packed away for a long time at home, yesterday I found a pair of glasses with the Vacation Village / Barefoot Bar logo.

    Something in those deep dark recesses of my mind make me think they came from one of those times I missed the boat from the Bahia, …and walked part-way around Mission Bay to get back to my car and home.

    • Hi Dennis, good question. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the answer either in the history of Vacation Village which was provided on Paradise Points website or through Google. If you find the answer, let me know and I’ll post it.

  9. I remember going there in the ’70s with my parents and sister. We would rent bikes to ride along the bike paths. There were playgrounds between some of the bunglows. We would rent paddle and sail boats. The main restraunt was a coffee shop. I remember tracking the foot prints into a cave that lead into the Barefoot Bar. The foot prints would end up on the ceiling. Magic to an eight year old kid!

    • My brother in law and sister ran the boat dock. I worked there for many years from the mid 60’s to 1974. My sister married a cook from Jacks Steak House which was the dinner restaurant back then and my good friend Pat was the bike boy back then. We were all friends who worked at the dock and still stay in touch. Those were great times. The Barefoot Bar was different back then but whenever I go back I always go have a drink for all of us. Wouldn’t trade away a second of those days. Pete, he ran the dock in the winter time and then I took it over at one point while attending Mesa College. Bahia Bell and Walt the Captain, the Coffee Houses in Mission Beach, singing around fires on the beaches, diving in the bay and of course sailing whenever we wanted. What a time……

  10. Yes I remember Vacation Village! Spend my honeymoon there back in 1981. It was already pretty good size then; I remember it had 5 swimming pools. I was a hick from the high-desert and had never been to San Diego before. Loved staying there with my new husband. That was 31 years ago. Went to San Diego for our anniversary last year, but didn’t stay at Paradise Point. Prices were just a bit out of our comfort zone. So we stayed next door, but still able to reminisce about the great resort we first stayed at as husband and wife. Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

    • Hi Joan, thanks for your comment. I’m glad I was able to spark that memory for you. I found some old family films that I had digitized and I saw some short clips of Vacation Village with the look-out tower. I may add this to my post in the future.

  11. I remember staying there with my mom, my aunt and uncle, and my two cousins. I know we went there more than once, but I was so young I don’t remember anything about the accommodations or amenities at all, not even the tower, lagoons, beach, cottages, or bicycles–and I ordinarily have a pretty remarkable memory. The only things I remember are 1) how excited my cousins and I were to be going to Vacation Village, and 2) that there was a guard shack on the right side as you drove in, and there was some kind of gift shop adjacent to it where I got a rubber vulture on a string that I treasured for years and years. So much for memories! I was very pleased to find your blog–I’m so glad you took the time to write this post!

    • I haven’t updated my post yet, but my wife and I went back to Vacation Village (Paradise Point) recently, just to walk around and see if I remember anything. The tower is still there and the bridges over the water are there too. I walked out to the beach area between the cottages and I didn’t get lost this time. :)

      I took so videos, so one day I hope to create an updated post along with the videos that I took that day.

      Thanks for your comments!

  12. we’d go every weekend with my mom, stepdad, and 2 step sisters. we bring our bikes and ride everywhere. At night we’d go from pool to pool, it was freezing. I remember the carousel pool. it was round, and had a round Jacuzzi with hot water in the middle. It was so hard to get out of the Jacuzzi, and into the cold, water to get out. but no choice…

    • Wow, every weekend, your family must have really loved this place. Thanks for the comment!

  13. We went to Vacation Village on a family vacation, I think it was ’72. Dad traveled alot and had been to all the places we went to on vacations. This was the first year my dad got 3 weeks of vacation. We drove from Illinois, saw the Grand Canyon. Spent a week at Vacation Village. We took Sail Boat lessons and rode the bikes. After VV we went to LA, San Fran and back to Illinios, the northern route.Thanks for having this on here. Mom and Dad are gone, but the memories live on!

  14. Dunno what made me recollect my vacations there in the late ’60s and early ’70s tonight, but I had some lovely vacations there as a kid. I appreciated reading others’ memories. Good stuff!

  15. Wow…such a walk down memory lane. Mom and dad and I moved from the east coast when I was 11, in the mid-60’s, and as newcomers to southern CA we took lots of excursions to get to know the area here after settling in OC. We spent 2 or 3 weekends every year at Vacation Village throughout my school years. The best memories ever, and a highlight of my childhood. As a young adult, I went on to stay there with friends, and then with my own husband and family. A very special memory was reserving a block of rooms together to house a family reunion to celebrate my husband’s mom’s 50th BD. It was a complete surprise to her, and a fabulous weekend. She became ill thereafter, and that was to be her final birthday – a landmark that we all were so grateful to have shared with her as it meant so much. I have not returned since the resort changed names, but plan to do so again after reading these wonderful posts.

    • Bonnie, thank you for your great story. Sorry to hear of your mother-in-laws passing, it was great that she was able to spend it with with her family in such a memorable place.

  16. A few days ago, I was remembering my trip to Vacation Village at Mission Bay in San Diego as a kid with my family at a cottage around 1971. I lived in San Diego while attending SDSU in the late 1980’s and never came across the place, didn’t see signage, etc. and wondered where it had been. I only recalled that it was close to Sea World and I did recall the tower.

    I am now Live Streaming a conference in San Diego and they mentioned that they are at Paradise Island. I had never heard of it, so while Googling, found it was formerly Vacation Village! What a fluke! Then I found this dialog about Vacation Village and all our memories!

  17. Honeymoon at Vacation Village in 1965. After one of those wonderful but exhausting fancy weddings (in Sacramento), the Village was the perfect spot for my bride and me to relax and get to know each other even better as a couple (that was before the days when couples first lived together and then got married). Haven’t been back since, but just received notice of an upcoming alumni event at Paradise Point for my university, so may finally see what it’s like there now.

    • Wow, of all the places that your university could have picked to have an alumni event and they picked your honeymoon spot! Is that a coincidence or what?! If you do decide to go, have a great time!

  18. I was just in San Diego this weekend, after driving my mom down to Yuma, AZ for the winter… I was talking with my mom’s niece in law and told her that we had honeymooned at Vacation Village back in 1975 and she did not know where that was…. but now that I know I will let her and maybe nest year my husband and I can make a return trip down there for our 40th Anniversary….. (I just pulled out the photos that I took back then of the little cabins, the Lagoon and us up on the tower) Thank you for the great trip down memory lane….

  19. Hi, WOW, did you refresh my memory. I stayed there in July of 1979,while on part of a convention trip with my parents. I was in that tower looking down on the closest pool and saw a friend from the trip,ran like crazy to bomb her in the pool,she was 5’11 and the water was up to her neck,I figured GREAT,ran,jumped and landed on the steps,she was sitting down!! lucky,for me I went feel first otherwise….. Anyway,it was a GREAT place to stay,we had our on bungalow,ordered room service every morning,who knows what that cost my parents!! Even took a boat out into the bay,so beautiful Years later,I think it might have been on an episode of Kojak or another TV detective show,they showed the tower! Thanks for your post,always wanted to know if it was still around!!!!

    • I bet that pool story is funny now, but you were probably in pain after hitting those steps. : D

      Thanks for sharing your memories!

  20. Thanks for all the comments about Vacation Village. It is a gigantic part of my past. I could comment for ever….

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