Looking for the best family hotels in San Diego?
With nearly perfect weather year round and unlimited family activities, I don’t blame you!
San Diego is a family vacation paradise. As you might expect, there is no shortage of hotels and family resorts that fit any budget.
San Diego is also pretty unique in that you’re never too far from a terrific beach, a fantastic museum, or a great theme park. The airport is so close to downtown that it won’t take your family long at all to start your San Diego vacation in a hurry.
Looking for things to do in San Diego?
Check out our guide! 18 Awesome Things to Do in San Diego With Kids
We’ve broken down our guide by region and have a good mix for any budget. We’re sure your family will love San Diego, and we know there’s a family friendly resort or hotel in this list that will be great for your San Diego vacation!
Picturesque La Jolla is just a short drive north where you can get a great hotel with awesome views, and everyone will love the sea lion colony at La Jolla Cove. A bit farther north and you’ll find Carlsbad, home of LEGOLAND California which is sure to please all the junior engineers in the family. North County and Carlsbad also have many of the top hotels in San Diego.
If San Diego beachfront hotels are what you desire, look no further than Coronado and Mission Bay. These areas are right next to downtown with great views of San Diego Bay and Mission Bay, and have all the features and amenities to make your San Diego family vacation perfect.
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Best Family Hotels in San Diego, CA
Mission Bay and Beach Areas
Paradise Point Resort & Spa
This luxury resort sits on 44 acres and gets an island all to itself right in the middle of Mission Bay. With five swimming pools and a host of activities, you’re sure to be a rock star with your kids!
The Balinese-influenced decor makes this hotel unique among hotels in San Diego. Bungalows range from the standard guest rooms with one king or two queen beds up to full suites. Rooms include a safe, mini-fridges, and private patios. Wi-Fi is included in the resort fee.
There are many things to do around the property, not the least of which is a one mile stretch of beach that surrounds the island. Arrange for a Segway tour or some surf lessons. Take a bike ride around the island, or enjoy some croquet or ping pong. Kids ages 4-12 can enjoy the Island Adventure Club, and on Saturday nights during the summer, catch a movie poolside. As with all Mission Bay hotels, the Pacific is just a short drive away, as well as downtown San Diego, Balboa Park, and all of the other great attractions in and around the city.
Four restaurants including the Caveman Pizza company give everyone some good dining options, and the on-site spa is available for mom and dad while junior plays at the kids club.
Things you’ll love: The Balinese bungalows are unique, and the endless activities will keep everyone happy. Proximity to major attractions is definitely nice.
Who should book: Families looking for a cool, upscale island adventure with unique decor and easy access to all that San Diego has to offer.
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina
With three water slides and lagoon pools, the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay is instantly in the running for the perfect family resort. Basic rooms with double queen beds sleep 4 which is great for families with younger children. For those wanting more space, consider the Sea World suite which has two rooms, bunk beds, and fun, Sea World-themed decor.
Besides the water slides and pools, the Hyatt schedules fun activities all day for kids to participate in and also has S’mores kits available for those chilly San Diego nights. Families will also love nearby Belmont Park or a walk around the boardwalk for some shopping. For a small fee, families can take the water taxi directly from the hotel to Sea World.
On-site restaurants include the Red Marlin, Market Mission Bay, and the Swim Bar and Lounge. Room service is also available. Wi-Fi is complimentary. For families wanting some beach time, Mission Beach is 4-blocks away. If using points, this is a category 4 property.
Things you’ll love: If Sea World is a priority, the Hyatt has you covered, and taking the water taxi directly back and forth is a winner for both the kids and tired parents. One of only a handful of San Diego hotels that have water slides.
Who should book: Families wanting a full service hotel who don’t consider direct beach access a priority, or who will be driving to other destinations around San Diego.
The Dana on Mission Bay
Mission Bay is full of family friendly resorts, and the Dana is no exception. It sits on 10 acres and affords guests fantastic views of the bay and beachfront. They offer Marina Cove rooms which are inland, and Water’s Edge rooms which are larger rooms and suites with with sweeping views of the bay. All rooms include refrigerators and microwaves.
The Dana does charge a resort fee and includes daily bottled water, discounts for food, beverages, and massage services. Wi-Fi Internet, parking (normally $20/night), and various other amenities are also available.
Activities around the hotel include two heated pools & Jacuzzis, bike, paddle boat, & aquacycle rentals, and ping pong. On the weekends, take in dinner and a movie at the pool. Kids can also sign up for summer youth classes at the on-site Adventure Watersports.
As with other Mission Beach properties, activities like Sea World and Mission Beach are just minutes away. Other local favorites like downtown, or Balboa Park are just a bit farther. This hotel has earned 4/5 stars on TripAdvisor.
Things you’ll love: A full service hotel with a great location that is also affordable.
Who should book: Families who want a good value and a good home base for exploring all of central San Diego.
Bahia Resort and Spa
Families looking for San Diego beach hotels will like The Bahia Resort Hotel, situated on a 14-acre peninsula on Mission Bay. It’s ideal for fun beach activities or a trip to Sea World San Diego. Accommodations range from basic rooms with queen beds to studios and suites for families needing more room or for those wishing to save money by cooking their own meals.
Complimentary Wi-Fi is included, and they don’t charge a resort fee which is really nice. Parking is also complimentary, making this a solid choice for families looking for a good value.
An Olympic-size pool and 30-person hot tub will keep the kids happy, or families can soak up some sunshine at their private beach with complimentary cabana chairs. For the active types, bike and paddle board rentals are available. Kids will also love the game room where they can play classic arcade games.
Food is available at the Café Bahia or the Tangier Lounge, as well as via room service. If you’re at the pool, have your order delivered right to your chair which is our favorite way to do it! The Bahia Resort has been rated 4/5 stars on TripAdvisor and is rated one of the best family resorts in San Diego.
Things you’ll love: Not getting charged for every little thing like parking or resort fees every day.
Who should book: Families looking for a good value with a private beach that is also close to the heart of San Diego.
The Hotel del Coronado is the granddaddy of Coronado Island hotels. This sprawling resort is situated on 28 acres on Coronado Island where they’ve been entertaining guests for over 128 years. It has even been designated a National Historic Landmark.
Rooms range anywhere from basic to ultra-luxurious beach cottages and villas. Resort rooms come with 1 king or 2 queen beds with junior suites also available. Families might want to consider one of their amazing Blue Octopus Family Suites. These 750 sq. ft. rooms feature two-bedrooms, two-bathrooms, and include a master bedroom with a king bed and an ocean-inspired kid’s bedroom with bunk beds and bean bag chairs. Win!
The separate living rooms also have a queen-size pull-out sofa bed. Childcare services are available as well as cribs, pack ‘n’ plays, toddler beds, and childproofing kits.
Amenities include Wi-Fi and a mini fridge with complimentary bottled water. The heated pool and jacuzzi will be a hit if the cold Pacific isn’t your thing. Spa and salon services are also on site.
Their kids program DelVenture is for children ages 4-12 and is located in their Kidtopia activity center. Adventures like future chefs, dinosaur digs, and ultimate olympics will keep the kids entertained. They’ll also feel welcome with a special treasure map and compass at check-in that will lead them on a treasure hunt around the resort.
Be aware that guests will be charged a $30 resort fee each night and overnight parking will cost $39 for self parking or $49 for valet. They also charge $25 for a rollaway in the room.
Food options are plentiful, and kids will like ENO Pizzeria. For something more fun and unique, consider a private beach fire pit with hot dogs, chips, and S’mores for dessert.
Hotel del Coronado has earned 4 stars on TripAdvisor and their Certificate of Excellence.
Things you’ll love: The Blue Octopus Family Suite will have the kids entranced, and the endless amount of resort activities will have everyone loving every minute.
Who should book: Families looking for prime San Diego accommodation with the budget to go along with it.
If you plan to stay on Coronado Island, a good alternative to the Hotel del Coronado is the Loews Coronado Bay Resort. Located on the other end of the island, the Loews Coronado Bay offers up gorgeous view of San Diego Bay and the Coronado Bridge. With nearly 500 rooms and suites, families will surely find something that’s perfect. All rooms have a safe, refrigerator, and free Wi-Fi internet access.
As you might expect, amenities around the property are extensive. There are 3 heated pools with a pool concierge to deliver all the icy cold beverages you need. A shallow children’s pool and dive-in movie nights are great for families with younger children. The nearby Silver Strand State beach offers guests fun in the sun while the resort offers complimentary beach chairs, towels and boogie boards, which is an awesome perk for families.
If you want to be a little more active, the resort offers treatments at their Sea Spa, or work out at the fitness center. Afterwards, guests can relax in the steam room or dry sauna. There are also many watersports to take advantage of like Jet Ski, water bikes, kayaking, or even sail boating right from their own marina.
Food options include the upscale Mistral (kid’s menu available), the more casual Crown Landing, Silver Strand Exchange (gelato!), La Cantina (street tacos!), and of course room service if you’d like. Downtown San Diego is just a short drive away, as well as Sea World’s Aquatica water park. The Loews Coronado Bay resort has earned 4/5 stars on TripAdvisor and their Certificate of Excellence.
Things you’ll love: A prime location with great access to the beach. Complimentary beach chairs are a great bonus for families.
Who should book: Families looking for a Coronado Island hotel that’s maybe a bit more affordable than the Hotel del Coronado.
Point Loma and Shelter Island
Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
Located on Shelter Island right next to Point Loma, the Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina is an ocean-side hotel that offers a great location at an affordable price to families looking to be near downtown, but also the beach.
Rooms run from singles all the way up to villas, with everything in between. Rooms come with complimentary Wi-Fi, microwaves, refrigerators and 42″ flat screen HDTVs. Suites offer full kitchens, a private patio and water views.
Family-friendly amenities at this hotel include free bicycle rentals to cruise up and down the water front, two heated swimming pools with poolside fireplace, a fitness center, tennis courts with complimentary racket rental, message therapy, and an onsite restaurant and lounge.
The Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina has warned 4.5/5 stars on TripAdvisor and their Certificate of Excellence, making it a solid choice.
Things you’ll love: Lots of room options to suit your family at prices you can afford and great views of the marina and bay.
Who should book: Families looking for a good value that is centrally located.
Downtown San Diego
Embassy Suites by Hilton San Diego Bay Downtown
Embassy Suites are almost always a good idea to check into because they’re great for families. Their all-suite hotels offer lots of space and are usually in great locations, and their complimentary hot breakfast and evening receptions (free drinks!) are awesome. The ES San Diego is no exception and is one of the best downtown San Diego hotels for families.
The Embassy Suites by Hilton San Diego Bay Downtown amenities and services include children’s menus at the restaurant, cribs, and high chairs. Spacious rooms include microwaves, refrigerators, coffee makers, and Wi-Fi.
This hotel is located just a short walk from the USS Midway Museum (something we loved during our visit), Seaport Village (shopping and dining), and is just minutes from all that downtown San Diego has to offer, like the Gaslamp Quarter.
Nearby beaches like Mission, Coronado, and Pacific Beach are easy to get to by car, or you can just hang out and swim at the indoor pool. This hotel is a Hilton HHonors Category 7 property if you’d like to use your HHonors points, and has also earned 4/5 stars and a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.
Things you’ll love: Access to downtown for shopping and dining. On-Site Baskin-Robbins ice cream, and hot breakfast included.
Who should book: Families who want room to spread out, don’t mind being away from the beach, and are looking for good value in a downtown hotel.
Residence Inn San Diego Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter
The Residence Inn San Diego Downtown is an all-suites property located right in the middle San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter, making it a perfect home base to explore all the fun and food of downtown. This may be the perfect hotel for families because of the full kitchens and full-size appliances allowing families to prepare meals and save some money.
Studio rooms have a queen bed and a sofa bed and will sleep 3, but cribs and/or a rollaway are permitted if you require it. Families will appreciate the complimentary hot breakfast buffet and the rooftop pool. Other amenities include free Wi-Fi, a small dining area, coffee maker, and microwave.
If you want to take in a game, Petco Park is less than a 10 minute walk away, as well as the Convention Center. San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter is full of great restaurants and shops, so this is a perfect hotel to take advantage of that. This hotel has earned 4.5/5 stars and a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. If you’d like to use Marriott points towards your stay, it is a Marriott Category 7 property.
Things you’ll love: Space to spread out, a full kitchen, and a prime downtown location. Free hot breakfast is a great perk and rare for hotels in downtown San Diego.
Who should book: Families who don’t need a beach right at the hotel and would rather explore the city on foot
Mission Valley and Old Town
Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel Old Town
For families who appreciate some local flavor, consider staying in Old Town San Diego. The Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel Old Town sits right in the middle of Old Town with easy access to all of the unique shops, parks, and delicious Mexican food. We loved walking around Old Town and think it’s a great place for families to explore.
This hotel offers basic rooms and suites with space for 4-5 people. Although not a luxury resort, families will appreciate the heated pool and hot tub, microwaves, refrigerators, and guest BBQs that are available. Cribs and rollaways are also available.
Old Town State Historic Park sits nearly on their doorstep, and is full of interesting history and things for families to explore. Old Town is just minutes by car to Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, and several of the best museums in San Diego. This hotel has earned 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor.
Things you’ll love: This is a unique, mission-style hotel with lots of charm and is a good value.
Who should book: Families who want to stay somewhere other than a luxury beach resort, enjoy local culture, and love easy access to warm homemade tortillas!
La Jolla Shores Hotel
La Jolla Shores Hotel is located right on the beach and offers up amazing views and a cool, laid-back SoCal vibe. Families will love the direct beach access and the complimentary beach chairs, towels and umbrellas. Make arrangements for a beach BBQ or some nearby snorkeling or kayaking.
Rooms are large and comfortable. Studios and suites are also available with kitchens for families wanting to try to save some money by cooking their own meals.
La Jolla Shores offers a free shuttle service within the area which is great for families without a vehicle wanting to explore the local area. Wi-Fi, heated outdoor pool, jacuzzi, cribs, and rollaways are also available. Dine at the Shores Restaurant for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Kids under 8 get free breakfast and free dinner on Sundays which is a fantastic deal!
Things you’ll love: Sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean from your room and a short walk to the beach. Complimentary set-up of beach chairs and umbrellas is awesome for parents with their hands full already.
Who should book: Families who want to make La Jolla their home base while visiting San Diego and want spacious rooms with kitchenettes for making meals.
La Jolla Cove Suites
La Jolla Cove Suites are located just steps from the famous La Jolla Cove and their famous sea lion colony. Situated right in the middle of La Jolla, this hotel also offers easy access to all of La Jolla’s chic shops and restaurants.
Kids will enjoy the heated saltwater swimming pool, rooftop ping pong and pool tables, and fire pits. Parents will love the tranquility, sweeping vistas, and complimentary continental breakfast in the morning. Everyone will appreciate the free game and DVD rentals.
Amenities include flat screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi. Basic rooms only accommodate 2 adults, but their suites will sleep 2 adults and 2 kids with plenty of room. For larger families, consider a larger suite that will sleep 6 or one of their one or two-bedroom vacation rentals that offer a kitchen.
Things you’ll love: Free breakfast is always a winner, and the beach access to beautiful La Jolla is awesome.
Who should book: Families who want to be right in the middle of La Jolla, but don’t want to pay the mega-resort prices.
North County and Carlsbad
Located in Carlsbad right at the entrance to LEGOLAND California, the LEGOLAND Hotel is all about family fun. This brick-themed hotel will have the kids in awe from the moment they step through the door. Rooms are decked out floor to ceiling with all your kid’s favorites, like pirates, Lego Friends, castles, and, coming in spring 2017, Ninjago! An entire castle-themed hotel is slated to open in 2018.
Rooms and suites are available to accommodate families of all sizes (up to seven in a room) with different combinations of bunk beds, king beds, and sleeper sofas. They’re sure to have a room and a theme that will make your entire crew giddy with excitement!
Besides the obvious cool factor, staying at this hotel has other benefits as well, like being just steps from the park entrance. Guests also receive early park access (changes seasonally) of up to one hour before general admission guests, giving your family a nice head start on all the fun. Breakfast is included for guests each morning at the Bricks Family Restaurant which we love. Skyline Cafe and Mini’s Lounge are other dining options.
While there is a swimming pool at the hotel, remember that admission to LEGOLAND also gets you admission to the Chima Waterpark, so be sure to check that out! The LEGOLAND Hotel has earned 4.5/5 stars on TripAdvisor and also comes in at #16 on TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice 2017 list of Top 25 U.S. Hotels for Families.
Things you’ll love: All the Bricktastic rooms and Lego-themed spaces across the entire hotel. Free breakfast is also a big plus for families.
Who should book: Families who are making LEGOLAND California a part of their itinerary. This hotel is also good for families wanting to explore to the north (like Newport Beach or Anaheim) but also be close to San Diego.
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
Located in Carlsbad, the Omni La Costa is less than an hour from San Diego, about 1.5 hours from Anaheim to the north, and only 15 minutes to LEGOLAND California. This is a luxury resort that has all the ingredients of a great family vacation. Kids will be in heaven with eight pools, three water slides, and the Splash Landing water playground.
Beautifully appointed rooms will accommodate 2 adults and 2 children in double queen rooms. Suites and family suites are also available for families that would like the extra room to spread out. The Omni also offers villas with fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, and multiple bedrooms.
Dining options vary between six different restaurants including a steakhouse and the Splash Cafe serving up kids meals, desserts, and cocktails poolside. Kids can spend time at the Kidtopia kids club, and mom and dad can head to the spa. Activities for the entire family include S’mores roasting, movies, the Vibz game lounge, and surf camp.
A $30 resort fee applies each day per room and covers Wi-Fi, access to the athletic club, and other resort amentites. Parking is $20 or $28 for valet. Rollaway beds are $25 per night. The Omni La Costa has earned 4/5 stars on TripAdvisor
Things you’ll love: The pool complex and water slides will be a hit, and parents will love the beautiful surroundings, spa, proximity to attractions in SoCal, and luxurious rooms.
Who should book: Families wanting a luxurious resort experience who aren’t looking to stay right on the beach.
Fairmont Grand Del Mar
If the ultimate in luxury is how you roll, then you’ll want to pay attention to the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Taking the No.1 spot on TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice 2017 list of Luxury U.S. hotels, you can be sure that you’re in for a treat.
As you might imagine, this hotel pretty much has everything: horseback riding, swimming, golf, tennis – the list goes on and on. This resort could be a destination on it’s own.
Kids will love the family pools where they pipe in music to the underwater speakers. Parents can retreat to the adults-only pool while the kids hang out at the Explorer’s Club where they can enjoy daily programming and activities. Hike through Los Peñasquitos Canyon with a local naturalist, or head to the beach with complementary towels and chairs.
Child care and babysitting services can be arranged if you require them. Spa services are available.
Stunning guest rooms include twice-daily housekeeping service, marble bathrooms, flatscreen TVs, large in-room safes, bottled water, Nespresso coffee machine, and Wi-Fi Internet. Cribs, microwaves, and refrigerators are available in some rooms. Rollaway beds (suites and king guestrooms only) are also available.
Children’s menus are available at Amaya, the Resort Pool, and Club M. Parking is $35 per day.
As far as San Diego luxury hotels go, you can’t do any better than this property which has earned a perfect 5/5 stars on TripAdvisor.
Things you’ll love: If you’ve got the budget for it, everything! This is a knockout resort that’s consistently high on every San Diego hotel list I’ve seen.
Who should book: Families wanting to stay at one of the best resorts in San Diego and who want total relaxation, pampering, and luxury.
Do you have a favorite hotel in San Diego? Let us know in the comments!
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