California

California Amusement Parks: 8 Best Hotels For a Fun Weekend Getaway

The Golden State is the roller coaster capital of the U.S. and these hotels will get you closer to each and every one.

When you walk through the front entrance of an amusement park, it’s almost as if you’ve walked through the gates to another world. One where funnel cakes are a totally acceptable breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) and your biggest worry is whether or not you can handle one more go-round on that super-tall coaster.

With amusement parks spanning from north to south, there’s no shortage of opportunities to escape the everyday in California. These eight hotels put you close to the action and have everything you need to restore your energy after a long day of walking, riding, and eating your way through California’s famed amusement parks.

Map of Featured Hotels:

Family-Friendly Hotel Within Walking Distance to Disneyland

Because Disneyland® sits just off Anaheim, California’s main thoroughfares, you don’t quite get that feeling you’ve escaped the real world and entered a world of magic until after you pass through the main gates. The upside to this is that you can easily walk to Disneyland from many of the nearby family-friendly hotels, including the recently renovated Howard Johnson Anaheim, which is less than  10-minute walk to the Happiest Place on Earth.

The entire property has a vintage feel (a throwback to the mid-century modern style of the original Howard Johnson hotels) and even the newly made-over rooms have touches of HoJo’s signature orange and blue. Each clean, spacious room also has a mini-fridge, microwave, Disney artwork, and plush, comfortable beds. Some rooms and suites even have bunk beds to accommodate larger families.

Before heading out for a day at Disneyland, families can stop by the Main Street Market for snacks, souvenirs, and theme park essentials like sunscreen and water. When you’re ready for a break from the thrills (and California sun), you can relax in the secluded garden pool while the kids can splash in the pirate-themed water play area.

Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground

Top rated
Anaheim
8.6 Excellent (7464 reviews)

Retro-New Hotel Just Minutes From Where the Movies Are Made

The Tangerine hotel is situated smack dab in the middle of the movie studio capital of Burbank, California, home to studios like Paramount, Warner Brothers, and Sony. One of these, Universal Studios Hollywood, is not only a real working movie studio, it’s also a world-famous theme park. You’ll love the crazy coasters and immersive, family-friendly rides, but the hour-long studio tour is a must-do.

The exterior of this 31-room boutique hotel boasts a distinctly retro vibe, while the guest rooms mix old-Hollywood glamour with contemporary murals and modern amenities. Rooms are equipped with a mini-fridge, coffee maker, and luxury toiletries.

Before picking up your discount Universal Studios tickets at the front desk, be sure to grab some fuel in the form of complimentary coffee and pastries. Universal is only a five-minute drive from the hotel, or you can leave your car in the hotel parking lot (where parking is free for guests) and catch a Lyft to the park.

The Tangerine

Top rated
Burbank
8.7 Excellent (3271 reviews)

Lego-Themed Hotel That Kids Will Love

The LEGOLAND Resort Hotel puts guests just steps away from the LEGO-themed amusement park, water park, and aquarium that are all part of LEGOLAND California Resort in Carlsbad, California. While this hotel isn’t actually made from LEGOs, the giant LEGO brick facades and LEGO sculptures throughout the hotel (including your guest room) will definitely have your kids believing it is.

Don’t worry, the brick-building fun doesn’t end there. There are daily interactive LEGO activities throughout the hotel, a giant pit of LEGO bricks in the lobby, and even a treasure hunt that unlocks a secret treasure chest in your room. In each room you’ll also find a mini-fridge, coffee maker, and separate sleeping area for kids with their own TV, bunk beds, and a pull-out trundle bed.

After filling up on the included breakfast, hotel guests can enjoy early access to LEGOLAND before it opens to the public. At the end of a long day, guests can dine with LEGO characters at Brick’s Family Restaurant, cool off in the zero-entry pool, or catch a “swim-in” movie (shown seasonally). Self-parking and valet parking are available for a fee, but you do save the hassle of having to drive to and from the park each day.

Hotel Legoland California Resort

Top rated
Carlsbad
8.8 Excellent (994 reviews)

Onsite Hotel With Knott's Berry Farm Roller Coaster Views

Knott’s Berry Farm isn’t just a catchy name and a reason to have a yearly Boysenberry Festival. Knott’s began as a real working boysenberry farm back in 1920 in Buena Park. Now Knott’s Berry Farm is home to looping coasters, dangerously-tall drop rides, a Snoopy-themed area for kids, a water park, and even a place to stay – the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel.

At the hotel, travelers will find oversized rooms that sleep anywhere from two to six people (with the ability to connect up to three rooms for larger parties), a pool and Jacuzzi with a kids’ play area, fitness center, and lighted tennis courts. Families traveling with small children may prefer the “Camp Snoopy” wing of the hotel, which includes Snoopy decor, two Snoopy plush dolls to take home, and a special visit from Snoopy when it’s time to tuck in for the evening.

The theme park is only a five-minute walk from the hotel and discounted tickets are available in the lobby. The parking fee is not included, but a free shuttle to Disneyland is available if you want to venture off property for a day of Disney fun during your stay.

Knott's Berry Farm Hotel

Buena Park
7.8 Good (5870 reviews)

Hip Boutique Hotel in Silicon Valley Close to California's Great America

Hotel Avatar‘s unassuming exterior gives way to an unexpected hip, techy vibe that fits perfectly in Silicon Valley. From the lobby to the guest rooms, you’ll be treated to deep, jewel-toned colors, rich fabrics, and modern decor.

Less than a mile down the road is California’s Great America, where you can slip, slide, play, ride, and get a little wild. You can purchase discount tickets at the front desk, and even save on parking by walking and leaving your car in the hotel’s free parking lot. When you arrive at the park, be sure to add on the optional “Fast Lane” pass that lets you skip the line on some of the park’s most popular attractions.

Back at your hotel, you can head inside for a happy hour (which includes a selection of snacks and alcoholic beverages) at the Commons Lounge or relax by the heated outdoor pool in a lounge chair or private cabana. Inside each room you’ll find funky furnishings, inviting beds, a mini-fridge, and a Keurig coffee maker.

Hotel Avatar Joie de Vivre

Santa Clara
8.2 Very good (2112 reviews)

A Waterfront Haven Within Walk Distance From Belmont Park

Blue Sea Beach Hotel is a dreamy, surf-chic seaside property in San Diego that can get even the most reluctant beachgoer into a California state of mind. The only beachfront hotel on Pacific Beach, this laid back, 126-room property feels like a secluded paradise, but is within walking distance from a multitude of shops, restaurants, and one fascinating amusement park.

Thanks to its beachfront location and easy access to the Ocean Front Walk, Belmont Park is an easy (and gorgeous) one-and-a-half mile walk from the hotel. Although not as expansive as some of the amusement parks on this list, Belmont Park’s storied history and vintage Boardwalk feel more than make up for its size. It’s also home to the Giant Dipper, a wooden coaster that’s been around since 1925.

With its cheerful, sunny decor and comfortable bedding, you might have a hard time leaving your room at all, but the outdoor heated pool and retro game table in the lobby will change your mind. All rooms have flat screen TVs, Keurig coffee makers, and private furnished balconies, while suites feature a wet bar and private poolside cabana. Onsite parking is available for an additional fee.

Blue Sea Beach Hotel

Top rated
San Diego
8.5 Excellent (3509 reviews)

Home Away From Home in the Santa Clarita Valley

If you’re looking for all the comforts of home in a modern, family-friendly setting, look no further than the Embassy Suites Hilton by Valencia. This property is only three miles from Six Flags Magic Mountain and its next-door waterpark, Hurricane Harbor.

Each two-room suite has either one king or two full-size beds, two TVs, sleeper sofa, mini-fridge, coffee maker, and microwave. Start off your day of fun right with the hotel’s free cooked-to-order breakfast and stop by the nightly Manager’s Reception for complimentary snacks and drinks. The hotel’s onsite restaurant, The Grove, is open daily for dinner and also offers room service.

There’s both an outdoor pool and fitness center available for exercise enthusiasts and self-parking is available for a fee. Discount Six Flags tickets are available at the front desk and the seasonal Santa Clarita Trolley can take you on a free ride from the hotel parking lot to the park.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Valencia

Top rated
Valencia
8.6 Excellent (1772 reviews)

No-Frills Hotel Near to Six Flags Discovery Kindgdom

The Quality Inn Vallejo is clean, simple, and less than two miles from Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. What makes this park in Vallejo different than others are the various animal encounter experiences that are offered – you can feed a giraffe and even swim with dolphins.

Hot breakfast and coffee are normally included on the hotel rate and are served daily in the bright and open lobby. Just outside in the courtyard is a pool and patio, and a fitness center and laundry facilities are also available.

Rooms sleep from two to six people, and feature basic-but-modern amenities and premium bedding for a good night’s rest. Some rooms also have a mini-fridge, microwave, and pull-out sofa bed.

Quality Inn near Six Flags Discovery Kingdom-Napa Valley

Vallejo
7.6 Good (1970 reviews)