11 Family Vacations Along the West Coast

From big California cities to quiet Washington mountain towns, pack your bags and load the car for these spectacular family vacations on the West Coast

West Coast = Best Coast. Stretching from Washington to Southern California, this diverse slice of America features rainforests, coastal cliffs, sandy beaches, urban centers, and everything in between. Whether you’re looking for an amusement park weekend with your tiny tots or a week of mountain exploration for older kids, use this guide to book the perfect resort for your next family getaway.

A Family-Friendly Yosemite Gateway Retreat


Two Bay Area dads launched Rush Creek Lodge after realizing there were no family-focused hotels near Yosemite National Park. Set on a wooded hillside just beyond the park’s Big Oak Flat Entrance, the 20- acre property features adventurous playgrounds with surprises like steep ziplines and wild slides. Indoors, families can grab a casual meal at the Tavern or play a round of cards in the indoor game room.

Book a main lodge room for smaller families, or opt for a spacious hillside villa with multiple bedrooms, a large seating area, a fireplace, a mini kitchen, and an expansive private deck with alpine forest vistas. You won’t find TVs though – Rush Creek keeps it old school and supplies radios and games for entertainment instead of electronics.

When you’re ready to explore the Sierra Nevada’s wilds, book a private guided nature excursion with the Recreation Program at Rush Creek Lodge. Choose short walks into sequoia groves or lengthy climbs up granite domes, and discover quiet trails beyond Yosemite’s hotspots. After your hike, soak tired muscles in the heated saltwater pool, and cheers to a day of adventure with cocktails (and mocktails for the kids) at the Pool Bar.

Rush Creek Lodge At Yosemite

El Portal
9.4 Excellent (2017 reviews)

An Island Beach Getaway in San Diego


Seeking an island retreat without leaving the mainland? Head to Paradise Point Resort & Spa on Mission Bay in San Diego, California. With its bungalow-style rooms and tropical gardens, this 44-acre island gives you Caribbean vibes, but it’s actually right next door to Sea World. Stay to roam its mile-long sandy beach, take a plunge in one of five swimming pools, dine at one of five restaurants, or simply build a bonfire with your family on the beach.

Adventurous families can bike ride along the bay on nearby paths, putt around the golf course, or play lawn games outside. If sports are your family pastime, enjoy a round of basketball or tennis together. Beyond the resort property, find fast-paced fun at Sea World, see wild animals at the San Diego Zoo, or explore the shops of Old Town San Diego.

Paradise Point Resort & Spa

San Diego
8.4 Very good (5005 reviews)

A Mountain Resort with an All-new Aquatics Center


Escape to Oregon for a family retreat near Bend at Sunriver Resort. Set in the mountains along the Deschutes River, Sunriver is a place outdoorsy families can come to bike, float, golf, horseback ride, and play tennis together.

Choose to stay in one of 245 hip guestrooms and suites, or rent out a luxury home or condo—many with their own hot tub. If you’re bringing Rover along, don’t worry – pet-friendly accommodations are available.

Kids will love splashing in the new Cove aquatic center, built along the existing outdoor pool. This indoor-outdoor center offers year-round swimming, a zero-entry pool, a spiral waterslide, a large jetted spa, and a pool bar (for the adults).

Sunriver Resort

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (1779 reviews)

A Classic Washington Resort in the Cascade Mountains


Get away from it all in the Cascade Mountains with a rustic stay at Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort. The secluded location along Icicle Creek, just outside the Bavarian-style village of Leavenworth, features foothills to explore and gourmet onsite dining.

Use the resort as a basecamp and take your family apple picking in the Wenatchee Valley, or try zipline adventures and kayaking outdoors. When the snow falls, enjoy skiing, sledding, tubing, and even ice climbing nearby.

Guest rooms are uniquely arranged in clusters made up of several private rooms—perfect if you’re planning a reunion or other family gathering. You can also book the Rookery cabin, which sleeps up to eight in plush quarters.

Relax after busy days with a self-guided art walk or take a break from the kids and enjoy a deep tissue massage at Aspen Leaf Day Spa. Let teens explore the property on a self-guided art walk, or smell herbs in the resort’s organic garden.

Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (276 reviews)

A Happening Revamped Motor Lodge in the Heart of San Francisco


Enjoy a San Francisco vacay at Hotel del Sol—an old motor lodge transformed into a hip, colorful stay in the Marina District. This kid- and pet-friendly oasis includes touches like free milk and cookies in the afternoons, goodie-filled knapsacks for kids, and special children’s programming.

Adults will love this vibrant, beachy hotel too thanks to its affordable parking, outdoor courtyard, heated outdoor pool, and complimentary continental breakfast. Hotel del Sol’s Marina District neighborhood is a quick walk to landmarks like Union Street, Palace of Fine Arts, and Park Presidio.

Hotel Del Sol

Top rated
San Francisco
8.5 Excellent (2209 reviews)

Beachfront Property on Oregon's Rugged Coast


Take in Oregon coastline views at The Ocean Lodge, Cannon Beach’s premier waterfront hotel. Enjoy a long walk on the beach, explore tidepools with your family, and roast s’mores by moonlight. When the weather turns chilly, enjoy the lodge’s library of movies and games like chess, cards, and bocce.

Set on sandy shoreline with miles of beach to play on, you can walk from the lodge to see the legendary Haystack Rock jutting out of the ocean. With only 45 rooms, service is top notch and includes thoughtful features like fresh baked cookies, a wood-burning fireplace in the lobby, and daily breakfast.

The Ocean Lodge

Cannon Beach
9.8 Excellent (1044 reviews)

Indoor Waterpark Resort in Grand Mound, Washington


Don’t wait for summer to visit a water park! Great Wolf Lodge in Centralia, Washington has an indoor waterpark with slides, river rides, splash pads, and a wave pool that are open year-round. Wow the kids with a stay in a themed suite with fun cave-style bunk beds and receive free waterpark passes for the whole family.

When tummies are grumbling, grab pizzas at Hungry as a Wolf or fancier fare at Lodge Wood Fire Grill, then treat yourselves with dessert at Bear Paw Sweets & Eats. Keep the crew entertained by making a stuffed animal at Build-A-Bear, play a few rounds in the arcade, or explore the lodge on a magical quest.

Great Wolf Lodge Grand Mound

8.4 Very good (2081 reviews)

A Theme Park Resort for Lego-loving Families


Treat your kiddos to the ultimate vacation and sleep right outside Legoland California at Legoland California Resort Hotel in Carlsbad. Fanatics will go crazy for themed rooms with ninjas, castles, and pirates and the LEGO shop filled with goodies that kids can construct right in your guestroom (just watch out if you’re walking barefoot).

Expect interactive features throughout the hotel and nightly children’s entertainment. Breakfast is included with your stay at Bricks Family Restaurant, while lunch and dinner are served onsite at Skyline Café.

Legoland itself caters to ages 2-12 and has over 60 sliding, bouncing, rollercoastering rides that kids and grownups will love. Don’t miss realistic Lego reconstructions of New York City, New Orleans, and San Francisco.

Hotel Legoland California Resort

8.3 Very good (188 reviews)

A Family Favorite Right in Fisherman's Wharf


Stay in the heart of San Francisco’s action at Hotel Zephyr, a youthful property near Pier 39, Ghiradelli Square, and the Museum of 3D Illusions —all tourist attractions you and the kiddos will love. The maritime theme ties into its by-the-bay location and most rooms boast waterfront views. Seafaring décor bedecks the hotel lobby—to the delight of kids and the young at heart.

A sculpture-filled outdoor play area called The Yard brings families together to compete in giant Connect 4, foosball, and shuffleboard. Start the day right by grabbing Belgian waffles or croissants from The Camper food truck, and return to The Yard at night to roast marshmallows around the fire pits.

The adjacent Zephyr Walk houses seven eateries and four tour operators—all offering discounts to Zephyr guests. Choose from Big Bus Tours, Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals and Tours, San Francisco Segway Tours, and more.

Hotel Zephyr San Francisco

Top rated
San Francisco
8.7 Excellent (3368 reviews)

Go Glam at This Stunning Lake Tahoe Retreat


Whether you come to ski Nortstar California’s slopes in winter or paddle and sail Lake Tahoe’s azure waters in summer, the Ritz-Carlton- Lake Tahoe is the perfect AAA Five Diamond home base for your family getaway. Located mid-mountain with lakefront views, the Ritz exudes luxury but is welcoming to families. Spacious guest rooms features floor- to-ceiling mountain-facing windows and in-room fireplaces for chilly nights.

Tiny tykes (and their parents) will love the Ritz Kids program and its schedule of kid-friendly programming. Expect dive-in movies at the pool on summer nights, Telescope Tuesdays where littles can stare up at brilliant stars, a daily scavenger hunt, and a complimentary s’mores kit.

Looking to explore beyond the property? Ride the gondola to Village at Northstar or explore the historic town of Truckee. Get into the great outdoors on a naturalist-led family hike to Sawmil Lake. Unwind after by relaxing under a private cabana at the pool. When you need a parents’ day out, schedule massages at Ritz-Carlton’s luxurious 17,000-square- foot spa, followed by an al fresco dinner at Slopeside Backyard Bar and BBQ.

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (618 reviews)

A Pacific Ocean Beauty on the Southern California Coast


Set on the southwestern tip of the Palos Verdes Peninsula near Los Angeles, Terranea Resort is a luxurious retreat known for its spacious bungalows, casitas, and villas that fit your whole family. While Terranea has four swimming pools, families will love the Main Pool most thanks to its 140-foot waterslide and Pacific Ocean vistas.

There’s endless terrain to explore through the resort’s Experience Center, which books nearby adventures on land and sea. However, you may be tempted to just stay at the resort and enjoy delectable dining, award-winning golf, an impressive spa, and boutique shopping—all perched on rugged coastal cliffs.

Terranea Resort

Top rated
Rancho Palos Verdes
8.9 Excellent (2463 reviews)