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Shelter Island is a neighborhood of Point Loma in San Diego

Hosted by:
  • Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel
  • 2051 Shelter Island Drive - San Diego
  • California 92106 - United States
  • 619-222-0561
  • [email protected]


Shelter Island is a scenic neighborhood located in San Diego, California. Situated in San Diego Bay, it is known for its picturesque views, marinas, hotels, and recreational activities. The history of Shelter Island is intertwined with the development of San Diego and its maritime heritage. Here's an overview of its history:

  • Early History: Shelter Island, originally a sandbar, was created in the 1960s as a result of dredging activities in San Diego Bay. The project aimed to deepen the channel and create a protective breakwater, but the accumulated sediment formed a new island.
  • Navigational Beacon: In 1928, a 25-foot-tall wooden navigational beacon called "Shelter Island Light" was constructed on the island. It served as a guiding landmark for ships entering the bay until it was replaced by a modern steel tower in 1984.
  • Yachting Center: Shelter Island's location and natural harbor made it an ideal spot for boating and yachting enthusiasts. In the 1950s, the area underwent development, with the construction of marinas, boatyards, and yacht clubs. Today, it remains a hub for sailing, boating, and various water sports.
  • Hotels and Tourism: With its waterfront location and stunning views, Shelter Island became an attractive destination for tourists. In the mid-20th century, several hotels and resorts were built, catering to visitors seeking a relaxing coastal getaway. These establishments continue to offer accommodations and amenities to this day.
  • Fishing Industry: San Diego has a rich fishing history, and Shelter Island played a role in the local fishing industry. The island's docks and marinas were home to commercial fishing vessels and provided facilities for processing and storing seafood.
  • Public Parks and Recreation: Shelter Island offers public parks and recreational spaces for both locals and visitors. The island's parks feature picnic areas, walking paths, and open spaces where people can enjoy the waterfront views and engage in outdoor activities.
  • Sculptures and Memorials: Shelter Island is also home to several sculptures and memorials that pay tribute to San Diego's maritime heritage. Notably, the "Kissing Sailor" statue, inspired by the iconic photograph taken on V-J Day in Times Square, is located on the island.

Overall, Shelter Island's history reflects San Diego's maritime roots and its transformation into a popular tourist destination with a focus on boating, yachting, and coastal recreation. Its scenic beauty, waterfront attractions, and connection to the city's nautical past continue to draw visitors and residents alike.

Top Tourist Attractions

  • Shelter Island Shoreline Park: This waterfront park provides breathtaking views of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline. It features grassy areas, picnic spots, walking paths, and benches where visitors can relax and enjoy the scenery.
  • Shelter Island Pier: The pier extends into the bay and is a popular spot for fishing. Anglers can try their luck catching a variety of fish while enjoying panoramic views of the water and skyline.
  • Humphreys Concerts by the Bay: Humphreys Concerts is a renowned live music venue that hosts a variety of performances, including concerts by well-known artists. The outdoor venue allows guests to enjoy concerts in a beautiful waterfront setting.
  • Kissing Sailor Statue: Located near the Bali Hai restaurant, the Kissing Sailor statue commemorates the iconic photograph taken in Times Square on V-J Day at the end of World War II. The statue is a popular spot for taking photos and has become a symbol of Shelter Island.
  • Yacht Clubs and Marinas: Shelter Island is known for its numerous yacht clubs and marinas. Visitors can stroll along the docks, admire luxury yachts, and soak up the nautical atmosphere. Some clubs offer dining options and social events.
  • Water Sports and Rentals: The island's marinas provide opportunities for water sports and boat rentals. Visitors can try their hand at sailing, kayaking, paddleboarding, or rent powerboats to explore the bay and nearby islands.
  • Restaurants and Bars: Shelter Island boasts a variety of dining options, including waterfront restaurants offering picturesque views while enjoying delicious cuisine. Visitors can indulge in fresh seafood, enjoy sunset dinners, or have a drink at one of the island's bars.
  • Point Loma and Cabrillo National Monument: Although not on Shelter Island itself, the nearby Point Loma Peninsula is worth mentioning. It is home to Cabrillo National Monument, which commemorates the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the first European to set foot on the West Coast. The monument offers panoramic views, a lighthouse, hiking trails, and exhibits on the area's history.

These attractions make Shelter Island a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, offering a mix of natural beauty, recreational activities, live entertainment, and dining options in a picturesque waterfront setting.


Shelter Island experiences a Mediterranean climate characterized by mild, pleasant winters and warm, dry summers. Here are some key features of Shelter Island's climate:

  • Mild Winters: Winter months, from December to February, are typically mild with average daytime temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to low 70s Fahrenheit (17-23 degrees Celsius). Nights can be cooler, with temperatures dropping into the 40s to low 50s Fahrenheit (4-11 degrees Celsius).
  • Dry Summers: Summers, from June to August, are warm and dry. Daytime temperatures range from the high 70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (25-30 degrees Celsius), occasionally reaching the 90s Fahrenheit (32+ degrees Celsius). It is common for Shelter Island to experience periods of low humidity during this time.
  • Limited Precipitation: San Diego, including Shelter Island, receives most of its precipitation during the winter months. The average annual rainfall in the area is relatively low, typically ranging from 9 to 13 inches (23-33 centimeters). Rainfall is infrequent during the summer, with the majority of precipitation occurring between November and March.
  • Marine Influence: Shelter Island's proximity to the Pacific Ocean influences its climate. The ocean moderates temperature extremes, resulting in relatively stable and pleasant weather throughout the year. The maritime influence also contributes to the characteristic coastal fog that can occasionally occur during the mornings and evenings.
  • Sunshine: Shelter Island enjoys abundant sunshine throughout the year. The region experiences more than 260 sunny days on average annually. The sunny and clear weather provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities and exploration.

It's important to note that weather patterns can vary from year to year, and occasional heatwaves or cooler periods may occur. However, Shelter Island's climate generally remains pleasant, making it an attractive destination for outdoor enthusiasts and visitors seeking enjoyable weather conditions.

  • Location: Shelter Island is situated within San Diego Bay, which is connected to the Pacific Ocean. It is located just west of the downtown area of San Diego, making it easily accessible for residents and visitors.
  • Shape and Size: The island is long and narrow, stretching approximately 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers) from east to west. It has a maximum width of about 0.2 miles (0.3 kilometers). The overall land area of Shelter Island is relatively small compared to other islands, covering approximately 56 acres (0.09 square miles or 0.23 square kilometers).
  • Topography: Shelter Island is relatively flat and low-lying, with its elevation only a few feet above sea level. The land is primarily composed of sedimentary deposits resulting from the dredging activities that formed the island.
  • Coastal Features: The island's coastline faces the waters of San Diego Bay. It features a combination of sandy beaches, rocky shores, and protected harbors. The shoreline is dotted with marinas, docks, and yacht clubs, providing facilities for boating and water-related activities.
  • Vegetation: Shelter Island is landscaped with a variety of trees and plants, including palms, eucalyptus, and other coastal vegetation. Parks and green spaces are interspersed throughout the island, offering shaded areas and recreational opportunities.
  • Views and Surroundings: Due to its location within San Diego Bay, Shelter Island offers scenic views of the bay, downtown San Diego, and the surrounding coastal areas. Visitors can enjoy panoramic vistas of the city skyline, Coronado Bridge, and the nearby Point Loma Peninsula.
  • Connectivity: Shelter Island is connected to the mainland by a road bridge, allowing easy access for vehicles and pedestrians. The causeway leading to the island offers a convenient link to the rest of San Diego and its various attractions.

The unique geography of Shelter Island, with its waterfront location, picturesque views, and proximity to downtown San Diego, contributes to its appeal as a popular destination for boating, recreation, and enjoying the coastal lifestyle.