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Best Hotels for Families in San Diego County, California

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A stay at one of the best San Diego hotels will make a huge impact on your Southern California vacation. These San Diego hotels and resorts cater to kids, but parents will love them, too! I'm a former 15-year former San Diego resident who returns often to America's Finest City. I have stayed at all of these properties and personally recommend each one for different reasons. Take a look at this curated list of kid-friendly San Diego hotels. Then choose the one that best meets your family's needs based on location, amenities, budget, and focus of your trip.

Hotel del Coronado is one of the best hotels in San Diego
Hotel del Coronado in San Diego County (Photo credit: Hotel del Coronado)

1. Hotel del Coronado

Best Beach Hotel in San Diego County

If finding an incredible beach is your primary goal, then look no further than Hotel del Coronado on the Coronado Peninsula. The Del, as it's known to locals, is a tourist attraction in its own right.

This luxury hotel is renowned for its extravagant weekend brunch, high-end shops, and immaculate stretch of beach. Adding to the resort's glamorous vibe, many movies have been filmed here, most notably Some Like It Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe.

In summer, the resort offers family activities like Beach Bonfires and Movies on the Beach. During winter, visitors and guests alike can take a spin on the Del's outdoor ice skating rink.

This hotel was named one of the world's best beach hotels for kids, too! Reserve your room at Hotel del Coronado today.

Hotel del Coronado Ice Skating Rink
Oceanfront ice skating rink at Hotel del Coronado (Photo credit: Hotel del Coronado)

2. San Diego Mission Bay Resort

Most Playful Hotel for Families

Active families will be happy as clams at San Diego Mission Bay Resort. A palm-lined, zero-entry pool beckons to guests. There's also a splash pool complete with a fountain for the resort's youngest guests.

Families enjoy dive-in movies, S'mores Nights with all the fixings around beach fire pits, and live bayside music on select nights. Guests can also borrow recreation equipment for volleyball, basketball, ping pong, cornhole, and tennis rackets for play at onsite courts. There's a giant chessboard for friendly competitions, too.

If that's not enough, then it's easy to rent bicycles, surreys, jet skis, boats, and more to explore Mission Bay from water or land. Personally, I prefer the garden rooms to the more expensive water view options. Try to nab one with its own firepit!

I may be a bit partial to this hotel because this is where my husband and I tied the knot. Then again, I think you'll agree San Diego Mission Bay Resort is a wondrous place to stay and play! Learn more and book your room via Hotels.com.

San Diego Mission Bay Resort zero-entry pool
San Diego Mission Bay Resort zero-entry pool (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

3. LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Castle Hotel

Best Themed Hotels for Kids

Kids are the focus at LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Castle Hotel in Carlsbad. Located just outside LEGOLAND California, these sister properties provide an immersive amusement park experience.

Choose from six colorfully themed rooms: Pirate, Kingdom, Adventure, Pirate, LEGO Friends, or Ninjago. A disco elevator, outdoor pool, and LEGO bricks galore will make children go gaga. In fact, LEGOLAND Hotel is so kid-friendly, it made our list of the best hotels for families in the USA.

These kid-friendly hotels in San Diego book up fast, especially during spring and summer peak seasons, so reserve your room at LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Castle Hotel right away.

Pirate-themed room at Legoland Hotel in Carlsbad, CA
Pirate-themed room at LEGOLAND Hotel in Carlsbad (Photo credit: LEGOLAND California)

4. Paradise Point Resort & Spa

Best San Diego Hotel for Water Lovers

Located on the sandy shores of San Diego Bay, the Paradise Point Resort & Spa is all about water.

There’s plenty of splashy fun available for rental from the Paradise Point Marina. Enjoy the beauty of the bay via jet ski, sailboat, speed boat, or stand-up paddleboard. You can also book a waterski or wakeboarding adventure. Your family can even take a water taxi to visit nearby SeaWorld San Diego.

If pools are more your thing, then Paradise Point Resort boasts five swimming pools and Jacuzzis scattered throughout the 44-acre property.

Read my full review of this resort or book your stay at Paradise Point Resort & Spa.

Paradise Point Resort & Spa in San Diego
Paradise Point Resort & Spa in San Diego (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

5. West Inn & Suites

Best Suites Hotel for Kids and Pets

This surprisingly affordable hotel in Carlsbad makes a great pick for parents and pet owners. Fido and the kids are given a warm welcome at West Inn & Suites.

There’s also a complimentary full breakfast every morning. Keep kids content with a selection of board games to borrow. Each room comes equipped with a microwave and refrigerator and complimentary WiFi.

A free shuttle takes guests to LEGOLAND California, the Carlsbad Flower Fields, the beach, and anywhere else within a five-mile radius of the hotel.

Read my full review or book your stay at West Inn & Suites via Hotels.com now.

West Inn & Suites in Carlsbad, CA
West Inn & Suites in Carlsbad (Photo credit: West Inn & Suites)

6. Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa

Most Tropical San Diego Hotel for Families

The Catamaran Resort feels like a trip to Hawaii without a flight over the ocean. The resort boasts a Polynesian theme. Enjoy koi ponds and tropical landscape winding their way through the property. They even offer sunset luaus on the bay!

Located on Mission Bay, the beach right out front is absent of big Pacific Ocean waves. This makes it a fabulous choice for families with young children.

Read reviews of the Catamaran Resort and book your stay via Hotels.com.

Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa in Pacific Beach, San Diego
Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa in Mission Bay, San Diego (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

7. Residence Inn San Diego/Gaslamp Quarter

Best Kid-Friendly Hotel in Downtown San Diego

If you want to stay downtown within walking distance of a plethora of restaurants and shops, then Residence Inn San Diego/Gaslamp Quarter is the place for your family. Expect suites with full kitchens, an outdoor grill for barbecues, a 24-hour in-lobby market, and an on-site fitness center. For a refreshing respite, take a dip in the rooftop pool with a view of the San Diego skyline.

Similar to other Residence Inn locations, this hotel offers budget-savers. Expect complimentary evening socials, free hot breakfasts, included Internet access, and discounts for longer stays. They’ll even go grocery shopping for you at no additional charge (besides payment for the groceries, of course).

Read reviews of Residence Inn San Dieg/Gaslamp Quarter on Hotels.com.

Residence Inn San Diego/Gaslamp Quarter
Residence Inn San Diego/Gaslamp Quarter (Photo credit: Residence Inn)

8. La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club

Best Family Beach Party Hotel

A vacation at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club will be long remembered. Its oceanfront suites open right onto the sandy shores of the Pacific Ocean.

Despite the luxury price tag, this hotel/private club isn’t all that fancy. La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, however, has bragging rights no other property in San Diego County can claim. This hotel is home to the only oceanfront beach in San Diego where alcoholic beverages can legally be consumed. As a private beach, the local no-drinking-on-the-beach law does not apply.

You needn't be a big drinker to appreciate this detail, either. Each summer evening, this exclusive stretch of sand becomes the best family beach party in Southern California with bonfires galore.

Nab your spot at the beach party!

La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club in La Jolla, California is one of the most kid-friendly hotels in San Diego County
La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Save Money on Your San Diego Vacation

Want to save money on your San Diego family vacation? Of course, you do! Use discount code TravelMamas to get $10 off any two-night or longer Southern California package (hotel and two ticket minimum) when you book through Get Away Today. Also, find San Diego deals including attraction ticket discounts!

It's well worth investing in a Southern California CityPass for big savings on bundled attractions!

Lastly, it makes good sense to check Groupon for discounts on activities and restaurants in your destination, and San Diego is no exception. Take a peek at Groupon San Diego deals now.

Learn More about San Diego

Planning a trip to San Diego? Be sure to read our picks for the best San Diego restaurants for families and the top attractions for kids in San Diego!

No trip to San Diego would be complete without a visit to its world-famous zoo. Take a look at our tips and itinerary for visiting the San Diego Zoo with kids.

Many vacationers forego Birch Aquarium in favor of glitzier SeaWorld San Diego. But there are many reasons to visit this smaller, educational sea life attraction. Explore all the things to do at Birch Aquarium.

Want to explore more of California? Discover the best California with kids vacation spots.

Dolphin-spotting on the private beach at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club in California
Dolphin-spotting on the private beach at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Keep this List of San Diego Hotels for Families

To remember these kid-friendly San Diego hotels for a future visit, simply save the image below to Pinterest. I hope you’ll follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!

Best Kid-Friendly Hotels in San Diego

Have you stayed at any of these kid-friendly San Diego hotels? In the comments below, share your comments and questions about the best hotels in San Diego for families!

A Note from The Travel Mama: Over the years I have been hosted by some of these resorts. I have paid for personal stays at these San Diego hotels, too. I would never recommend a product or brand I did not truly enjoy myself. All opinions are mine, as always.

About Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama

Colleen Lanin, MBA, is the founder and editor-in-chief of the popular travel blog, TravelMamas.com. She is an expert in travel with kids and without. As the author of the book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents how to make the most of traveling with babies and children. Colleen loves sharing tips on hotels, cruises, spas, theme parks, and global lifestyle topics. When she is not traveling the world, she lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments
  1. WanderlustBeautyDreams says

    Never been to San Diego but looks like a wonderful place to visit. These hotels look so great.

    • Colleen Lanin says

      There’s so much to love about San Diego…including these hotels! 😁I hope you can visit someday soon!

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