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This Mothers’ Day, my family and I felt so fortunate to visit The Seabird Resort in Oceanside, California, which is located in North San Diego County, a little more than a 2-hour drive from Los Angeles. I’m excited to give you the full review of the resort, but first, I have a confession…
I ALWAYS plan my own Mothers’ Day, Valentine’s Day and birthday… And, I like it that way! I usually have a vision for how I’d like to spend those holidays, so rather than getting disappointed when someone else’s plans don’t meet my expectations, I plan the holidays myself!
This year, my vision for a perfect Mothers’ Day was a nearby family beach vacation. Here were my requirements:
- Great for the whole family
- A beach resort that’s driving distance from Los Angeles (but not located in LA)
- A room with a view
- Quality hotel service
The destination needed to appeal to the whole family, because we’d be bringing my 2- and 4-year old, but I still wanted it to feel very adult. I’m not interested in doing a theme park for Mothers’ Day, okay? I wanted a beach destination that was driving distance from LA, but I was not interested any of the LA beaches that I’ve been to hundreds of times. I also desired a room with a beautiful view. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen that our home has a beautiful view of the San Gabriel Mountains. We’re so lucky that hanging out at our home’s pool with a mountain view already feels like a vacation, so I don’t want to go to a destination that’s less impressive than where we live. Lastly, the quality of hotel service is major to me for a couple reasons. First, I spent over 10 years working in public relations representing luxury hotels where I was spoiled with top-notch hospitality at some of the most prestigious hotels in the world. Once you experience that lifestyle, it’s really hard to bunk up at a motel, if ya know what I mean. Second, the increase in hotel room prices with inflation over the last couple of years has been insane, but I still expect the service to match the price we’re paying. As an experienced traveler, it pains me spending double the amount on a hotel room that I paid much less for pre-pandemic. If you’re going to charge a lot for a hotel room, make it worth it with exceptional personalized service, right?!
After a bit of research, The Seabird Resort in Oceanside, California fit all these requirements! I was thrilled to experience this new-ish resort that opened only a couple years ago with my family!
The Seabird Resort’s design was reminiscent of a quintessential California oceanfront estate. The aesthetic was timeless with its blue and white hues, but it felt fresh and modern with pops of yellow and contemporary art and furniture. The unique artwork was curated by the Oceanside Museum of Art, and it was fun perusing all the sea and beach inspired pieces. I loved that the lobby felt like an elevated yet cozy living room. It reminded me of a wealthy family’s seaside home, and I envisioned them sitting around the fireplace with cocktails after a day of surfing, sharing stories of their day on the water. What’s cool is that we got to live out this vision with our own family!
We pulled up to the hotel where the bellmen were extremely friendly and helpful. They took our bags while we went to the registration desk. The resort was bustling but there was no wait at registration. The receptionist shared information about the resort, dining and activities for the weekend. She said, “please wait here while I grab something for the kids,” and came back with an adorable yellow wagon filled with toys! The children each chose a special toy to take with them. They were already won over on The Seabird!
Side note: If you take a road trip or any kind of vacation this summer, check out my Must-Have Travel Products for Kids! I shared my top 5 essential products on KTLA Morning News, from the best packing cubes to activities that keep you kiddos entertained on long car and plane rides!
We stayed in a 2 Queen Beds with Ocean View Room on the 6th floor — the top floor of the resort. This was the way to go, as we had gorgeous views of the resort’s pool and ocean. If you have children, you know they can get stir crazy in a hotel room, but our kids loved sitting on the balcony watching the surfers — and, adults enjoyed this, too! Once we got the kids tucked into bed for the night, my husband and I enjoyed sitting on the balcony with a glass of wine watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.
Upon entering our room, we saw the Seabird staff once again surprised our children with gifts waiting for them on their bed – a seabird stuffy and a branded beach ball. The kids were thrilled! The room was about the average size for a typical hotel room, which can feel crowded for a family of four, but it was manageable since our kids are young. When they’re older, I’d love to come back and stay in one of The Seabird’s suites. Their Grand Estate Suite is the resort’s largest suite and like a true home away from home with one king bed, two queen beds, two spacious bathrooms, and an expansive furnished private balcony — with the iconic ocean views, of course!
The bathroom in our room was a good size and really modern, but it only had a large shower and no bathtub. Our kids are still very little and typically take baths, but the huge shower wasn’t too challenging. It was perfect for rinsing off after pool, beach and surfing.
See a full tour of our room on Instagram, below!
We ate at the resort’s restaurant, Piper, three times during our two-night visit — that’s how delicious and convenient it was! Piper had an elegant Mediterranean meets casual Californian vibe that made me feel fancy but also comfortable enough to bring my kids. Like everywhere else throughout this resort, Piper keeps kids in mind and brought out a coloring sheet and crayons to keep our children busy while waiting for food. We had an upscale dinner there on Friday night where I absolutely loved the Duck Confit A L’Orange made with sprouting cauliflower and celery root puree. As an avid at-home cook, I love ordering dishes I normally don’t make at home, and this meal knocked my socks off. My husband, however, sticks to the classics and got the Housemade Spaghetti and Meatball. I have to admit that I was a bit surprised he ordered that because I consider spaghetti a children’s dish, but let me tell you… that spaghetti was GOOD! And it was good for all ages! Not only did my husband and I enjoy the fresh housemade spaghetti pasta, but my 2-year-old-daughter ended up stealing a large portion of his meal! The kids enjoyed the flatbread with tomato sauce and cheese (basically a cheese pizza) and ordered a chocolate cake slice for dessert. We were on vacation, so, why not! They were in heaven. I also really loved Piper’s brunch buffet. It was filled with elevated classics, like avocado toast but with a variety of toppings you could add yourself, like salmon, a poached egg, capers, feta, and so many hot sauce options. Little known fact about me: I collect hot sauce! So the Piper hot sauce options were awesome! Our children loved the yogurt parfaits, bacon and chocolate croissants! We all agreed the brunch buffet deserved a 10/10 rating!
On Saturday night, we ate at The Shore Room, the resort’s oceanfront cocktail bar that’s located just off the lobby. An upscale yet relaxed venue like The Shore Room is one of my favorite ways to dine on vacation. I loved that it felt like we were in a beautifully designed living room with views of the ocean; yet, we had a waiter taking care of our every need. Our family was able to sit back, relax and order as we felt like it. My husband and I ordered a bottle of Whispering Angel and talked while the kids drank milk and doodled in their Water Wow books (a must-have with kids on vacation!). We then shared the ahi stack, french fries, margarita flatbread and Seabird classic burger. Don’t let your stay at the Seabird go by without getting the Seabird classic burger made with two beef patties, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickle, thousand island, American cheese — so good!!
We didn’t get a chance to order food from the resort’s third dining venue, The Shelter Club, which serves drinks and snacks poolside. We did get to enjoy the space for a Little Seabird activity (more on that below) and poolside wine, though! The Shelter Club is a nice place to hang out when you want reprieve from the sun, as the room hosts quite a few games, like a pool table, chess, checkers and other board games.
Resort Amenities & Activities
Beach Rentals: The Seabird Resort has everything you could want for a family vacation, so you really don’t have to leave the property except for walking across the street to access the beach! Speaking of which… If you want to spend a day at the beach, The Seabird has an adorable Beach Rambler located on The Strand where you can rent complimentary chairs and umbrellas, in addition to purchasing retail, sundries and locally-sourced snacks to ensure you’re family is prepared for a full day in the sun!
Beach Playground: While it’s not officially associated with the resort, an adorable beach playground is easily accessible right in front of the resort. This was a favorite activity of our kiddos and perfect for kids under the age of 5.
Little Seabirds: One of my favorite perks of staying at this resort was the Little Seabirds program, which offered curated activities for kids to explore, play and learn about the ocean every day. During our visit, my 4-year-old son and I participated in the Little Seabirds’ Mommy-and-Me Craft Hour, where we got to make some sweet artwork together that doubled as a nice little Mother’s Day gift. We did this while my youngest child and husband took a nap in the room, and I really loved this rare one-on-one time with him. At the time of our stay, Little Seabirds offered a Kids Club for ages 4-14 on Friday and Saturday nights where parents could enjoy a night out alone while the kids played and did crafts. We didn’t take advantage of the Kids Club this time, because our youngest daughter was too little, but we’ll definitely do this when she’s older! What a nice treat for parents AND kids!
Oceanfront Pool: We spent lots of time at the Seabird Resort’s heated pool, which was great for our stay with overcast weather, also known as “May Gray” to local Californians where the cold Pacific Ocean and lack of sun can make for too chilly beach days. The pool has a hot tub, poolside food and drink service from The Shelter Club, and cabana or daybed rentals. We loved lounging in the pool chairs with iconic ocean views while our kiddos splashed in the pool.
Surfing: The resort’s oceanfront location in front of the pier is perfect for surfers! If you want to learn to surf, the resort offers lessons through partnerships with North County Surf Academy and Whitlock Surf Experience. My husband is an experienced surfer, so we didn’t do lessons, but we found it very convenient that the resort could easily store his surfboard and equipment on site!
Fitness: There’s two types of people on vacation — those who workout and those who don’t. I’m the one who LOVES to workout on vacation. I always feel like I get better workouts in new environments, because I have to be creative with my movements in an unfamiliar space. The first morning we were at The Seabird, I went for a jog along the beach, which was very peaceful. I saw lots of security and police officers around the pier which was a nice change compared to LA beaches. I felt totally safe striking out on my own jogging up and down the beach path. On the second morning, I used the resort’s fitness center, which was awesome! Some hotels have small rinky-dink gyms, but not The Seabird! Tons of cardio machines were available including treadmills, stationary bikes and rowing machines, and the gym offered weight machines and free weights. Lots of space to spread out from your fellow resort guests, too!
Spa: Lastly, there’s Sunny Spa & Beauty Lounge, which I didn’t have an opportunity to check out this time, sadly. The space is so cute and cheerful with its bright yellow and blue hues, but it also feels calming with its ocean views. Did I mention this resort has amazing views yet? I can’t stop talking about it! Cool fact: the spa at Seabird was recently voted the No. 2 Best Hotel Spa in the country by USA Today! I definitely want to experience a treatment the next time we visit this resort — and there will be a next time!
Watch our family vacation vlog at The Seabird below!
Would you vacation with your family at The Seabird in Oceanside? What other great oceanfront resorts have you visited? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t hesitate to reach out with questions about our stay by following me on Instagram and TikTok!