Grand Pacific Palisades Resort

Grand Pacific Palisades Resort

Grand Pacific Palisades Resort is as the name implies found in Carlsbad, California in the Pacific Palisades region.

Video by Jez Travel Vlog

Day One Travel & Arrival at Grand Pacific Palisades Resort

I am spoiling myself and doing the travel writer thing again. Moving from one resort to another. This saves me extra time, and flights, and generally makes this travel writing experience more amazing. I have just stayed at the Carlsbad Seapointe Resort and you can read about my stay there here.

This is a sister site and part of a Carlsbad Collection of resorts that are available to stay at in the area. So far my first impressions of this site are much the same as the sister resort. These are maintained well, clean, and well-planned resorts. This resort has a feel of Tuscany to me but on a more modern and larger scale. But the pool area, vineyard-like surroundings, and public areas feel that way to me for some reason.

On-site is the Karl Strauss Brewery Restaurant and when I have just flown I love to have a drink or two. So, to be able to grab a meal at a brewery restaurant was an ideal option. The location served amazing bar food fare and I had the beer sausages, with beer chili and green beans. I was in bad food choice heaven. Then I tried I think 6 of their 17 locally brewed goodies. They brew over 150 different beers during the year here which is incredible when you think about it. Not sure why they do not at least reference some of their beers on their website, maybe it is because they offer so many during the year?

I had a stout that was solid and an IPA that was good and hoppy.

My room at the resort deserved a better if half-eyed view now before bedtime. I am a big guy but I do not drink 6 beers often so I was not 100% attentive.

They offer 1 or 2 bedroom condo-style units here. That is how they refer to them. I guess they go with that label since they have full kitchens and the comfort of a home. From the description of their site.

Villa Amenities

  • Balcony/Porch
  • Blender
  • Cable TV
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishwasher
  • Ice Maker
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove/Range

Then the resort itself offers all of these options.

Resort Amenities

  • Free WiFi
  • Outdoor Pools
  • Business Center
  • On-Site Restaurants
  • Fitness Center
  • Concierge Services

Our spacious Bedroom Condo Suites accommodate three to four with a Queen sized bed in the master bedroom and a Queen Sofa Sleeper in the living room. Pamper yourself with fully equipped, condo-style living with a kitchen complete with all your home-away-from-home needs. All Suites provide roomy living spaces, large bathrooms, and heavenly accommodations, perfect for any family getaway! Room and bedding configurations may vary based on the availability of non-owner inventory at the time of check-in. Condo suites vary from 577-785 square feet.

Recent Reviews of this Resort

Great location, great staff, great view. Great price! We are a family of 6 and we can’t stay at a hotel without booking two rooms. This place is like your own getaway condo that fits us perfectly. Great activities for the kids and very comfortable rooms and we all slept like babies. Highly recommend. You cannot go wrong here.

We had an awesome stay here with our 4 kids. The staff was all super friendly and the resort had daily activities for the kids to do they even have beach toys, chairs, etc to take to the beach. Our condo was clean and spacious with a full kitchen. We loved our stay here!

Absolutely loved the location and views of this beautiful resort. The experience was just like home with a fully equipped kitchen and comfortable bedding and even sanitized rooms! We had our Christmas celebration here with family and used the game room as well as the pickleball courts. Thank you!

Had an absolutely wonderful time at the Sea Pointe Resort. The resort is very family-friendly and accommodating for kids. We had 4 different families with little ones on our trip and they all had a wonderful time playing at a play place, relaxing by the fire pits, and playing basketball, and games at the arcade. The resort is within a very short driving distance of grocery stores, markets, and restaurants alike. The rooms are very big and spacious. My 4-year-old son felt like a king having a whole pullout couch bed to himself. The staff was very professional and welcoming. At one point I even received a phone call from the concierge just to ask how I was enjoying my stay and if there was anything she could help me with. I totally look forward to going back.

We stayed at Seapointe Resort for 1 week. The property is well maintained. Friendly staff. Excellent location, however; it is not within walking distance to shops or restaurants, so you will have to drive. But, if you are looking for a beach getaway, this is a great place as you can walk to the beach. Some rooms have amazing ocean views.

Day Two Waking Up is Easy with California Sun

Ooops I did it again. I failed to close the blackout drapes. So, I woke up with the sun. Not at sunrise but less than 1 hour after for sure. When I woke I was hungry.

I went to Swami’s Café for breakfast. Doing so just based on their Google My Business reviews. They have all the standard breakfast greats here then buttermilk pancakes, waffles, and French toast. So, you can pick your pleasure. I wanted to try the pancakes but also get an omelet so that was what I did. I had fresh squeezed watermelon juice and that was very refreshing more places should offer that as an option.

Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park

From the website:
The Story of Leo Carrillo
Actor, preservationist, and conservationist,  Leo Carrillo

(1880-1961) was born in Los Angeles. But his beginnings were in San Diego’s Old Town where his grandparents Josefa (Bandini) and Boston-educated Pedro Carrillo, were married, maintained their residence, and raised a large family. As a wedding gift, Governor Pio Pico awarded them the title of Coronado Island which they sold five months later for $1,000. As Leo jokingly observed, “I think the family let it go too soon.”

As an entertainer Leo was highly successful, appearing in 15 major stage plays (several on Broadway) and more than 90 motion pictures in which he was featured in supporting or character roles. However, Leo’s greatest fame came from his portrayal of Pancho, the mischievous sidekick to Duncan Renaldo’s Cisco Kid in a pioneering television series of the early 1950s.

Shot entirely in color – a first in tv production – its 156 action-western episodes ran for six popular years. (The Cisco Kid was based on an O. Henry short story. The television characters drew their inspiration from Cervantes’ Don Quixote. In this classic Spanish novel the sidekick was named Sancho Panza.)

As his showmanship blossomed Leo experienced parallel success as a politically well-connected supporter of recreational and cultural resources for the public.

He served 18 years on the California Beaches and Parks Commission and the Leo Carrillo State Park near Malibu is named in his honor. He was a key factor in the development of the Los Angeles Olvera Street complex, the Los Angeles Arboretum, and the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Most notably, his personal relationship with the family led to the acquisition of the exquisite Hearst Castle at San Simeon. He toured the world as the state’s official Ambassador of Good Will. Small wonder Governor Edmund G. Brown called Leo “Mr. California.”

At the peak of his film career Leo felt an intense yearning to find a retreat where he could re-create an Old California-style working rancho, an important cultural asset he felt was rapidly disappearing. In 1937 he came across Los Kiotes in what is now southeast Carlsbad and which was once owned by the Kelly family, very large, long-standing landowners in the area. Leo quickly snapped up his first 840 acres and immediately began construction of 18 structures necessary for his ranch operation.

In 1977 the city acquired a tiny 10.5-acre remnant that contained and protected the most critical original buildings. Thanks to a state preservation grant and matching funds contributed by local civic organizations, some of the buildings were seismically retrofitted and partially restored in 1992. A $5.5 million catch-up round of restoration has now been completed.

A required transfer of 16.4 acres from contiguous residential developers has expanded the
Park site to 27 acres.

The neat thing about this fairly small 27-acre ranch is that it seems encapsulated in time back to the ranches in the area from the early days of California. It has a feeling of a real working ranch from that time period and that is what makes your visit special. I enjoyed my visit and made a modest donation before leaving to say thanks for the tour and to help preserve this for future generations.

After seeing what a working ranch was like so long ago I wanted meat. Not sure why my stomach chose cattle on a plate but that was what was being called for.

I headed for a well-reviewed steak house Texas de Brazil this is a Brazilian-style cooked meat paradise. One of the locations where they bring cooked meats around and cut off or slide of the meats of you chose while you combine that with sides from great buffet style bars.

The meat list was insane. There was just about every kind of meat you can imagine. Everything that made it to my mouth and stomach was well received and tasted wonderful. The few places like this near me in Virginia have not lasted long. They are a giant hit at first but eating mass quantities of meat is not a weekly thing for most, so you have to have enough of a local market to support this style of restaurant. Texas de Brazil was well run and the quality was high so it could certainly make it.

After almost an hour in meat heaven, I was done. I felt like I had taken on one of those crazy eating challenges you see on cable TV. But I was a happy man. My inner beast was calmed and I did not feel like I needed to go found my own ranch now.

Day Three Hot Air Balloon Ride

Near Carlsbad are Temecula, CA, and the home of Skyrider Tours a hot air balloon company that offers flights. Now, this is something you should do with a date for sure. But I have never ridden more than 100 ft in a hot air balloon. When I was young I did go up in a hot air balloon that was tethered to the ground to just get a feel for being 100-200ft in the air. I wanted the full experience and it was one of those things I thought a couple would want to do that might benefit from hearing my two cents worth.

That also may have just been my excuse to myself to go do this bucket list item. It also was a nice story to tell the pilot of why I was this poor lonely guy going up in a balloon. The closer I got to my flight the more self-conscious I became about going up solo. So, as I sometimes do I invited a stranger along on a whim. Talk about an odd pickup line.

“Hey want to ride in a hot air balloon?” Well, 25 years earlier I would use “hey want to go sailing” as a pickup line when I often would go sailing with a friend and his father during midweek sailing races in nearby Hampton Virginia. Also, I was not really trying to pick someone up for a date, as much as save myself some embarrassment of going solo. This is with the fringe benefit of treating someone to a new experience and also seeing things through their eyes. Long story short I asked two ladies and they politely avoided the topic as best they could. Well, there goes my illusions of having any game at all these days.

They say 3rd time is a charm but literally on the doorstep of the adventure I found 2 younger ladies who were watching the balloons go up. They seemed to be daydreaming about going up so when I offered they looked at each other and then decided in an instant to go. I think it helped that there were two of them so, they felt safer going up with the stranger and the pilot into a balloon.

With my new instant friends in tow I adjusted my booking and we were ready to go. I had already booked for me which was a large balloon for my giant self, so adding two more guests was not hard to do. They also worked me a deal on the price. So, I got to play experience hero or fake big spender and take my new friends with me for the ride.

It was an amazing experience. Now the hot air balloon thing is hard to book and keep due to weather on occasions the wind can not be too high, and the weather must be very nice. But this is California so the odds are in your favor.

The views from the balloon were amazing. Also, the sense of freedom you get in a balloon up a few thousand feet is amazing. My guess is that it would not be fun to be caught in a storm in one, but on a clear day, it was close to magical. I was also glad I brought the last-minute guests on board. They made it much more memorable and fun. Great younger ladies both of them.

After the flight I exchanged information with me new friends and headed on my way back toward the resort. This area is about 1-hour form the resort so not too far out of the way but still a bit of a drive back.

Want to take your own California adventure? You would do worse than this resort almost anywhere. It was a great experience and highly recommended just make sure you book via TZort.

P.S. If you are staying here with kids or a Lego fan remember you are within walking distance (almost the same parking lot) as Legoland. So, put that on your list as a possible stop on your trip as well.


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