Southern California

San Diego Family Resorts That Will Entertain Kids - And Parents Too!

Bring your family closer together and create lots of unforgettable memories, with kid-friendly attractions and activities at these San Diego family resorts.

For me, strolling along Oceanside City Beach in north San Diego County is like walking down memory lane. It’s a place for my family to reconnect over Thanksgiving, meaning time with my parents, my sister, my brother-in-law, and my niece and nephew. This slice of what the locals call “North County” means more to me than good weather; it’s also where my nephew learned how to make sandcastles and my mom and sister go shell searching.

Plenty of families come to San Diego to make memories. With Legoland, the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld and a host of other attractions for kids, the city is the sixth-ranked in the country for family travel, according to US News and World Report. There are experiences for both children and parents to enjoy here in the year-round Southern California sunshine – and these resorts and hotels are custom-made for the whole clan to enjoy.

Explore San Diego's Coronado Beach With the Family

While the famous Hotel Del Coronado undergoes a $200 million renovation next door, the sister property Beach Village at the Del offers family experiences that satisfy both kids and adults.

As the name would indicate, the Village is situated right at the edge of Coronado Beach, which is consistently rated as one of the top beaches in America. The resort leans into its location with boat rentals and beach games for the family to enjoy, along with special kid-friendly activities based around the season (or the holiday, depending on the calendar), such as beachside movies during warmer months and s’mores toasting in the fall and winter.

In addition, guests of the Village have access to the facilities of the Hotel Del Coronado, most of which are unaffected by the resort’s renovations, meaning that families can utilize the Delventure “kids club” with activities for the young ones each evening – freeing adults up to enjoy a nice meal on their own.

Beach Village at The Del, Curio Collection by Hilton

Coronado, 3.8 miles to Silver Strand State Beach
8.9 Excellent (37 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.9 / 10
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Beach Village at The Del, Curio Collection by Hilton

Coronado
8.9 Excellent (37 reviews)

The Best of the Beach and La Jolla From This Family Hotel

Situated right between La Jolla Shores Beach and the main street of the neighborhood, La Jolla Shores Hotel combines the best of small-town life and oceanside activities. With the sand just outside the doors of the resort, your kids will be able to get all the time in the sun they desire. Dinner can become a beachside activity, as well; the family can enjoy a barbecue dinner right on the shore.

When not playing or eating on the beach, kids can take part in tennis, golf or swimming lessons at the hotel’s Beach and Tennis Club. And during the summer, the Kids’ Club features daily activities like treasure hunts, games and crafting.

Finally, La Jolla Shores Hotel is right in the middle of the tony La Jolla suburb, where children (with supervision, of course) can explore the La Jolla Cove, meet sea lions at Seal Rock, and visit the Birch Aquarium. Each of these attractions is two miles or less from the hotel, making it possible to keep the family out of the car for the entire vacation.

La Jolla Shores Hotel

La Jolla, 1.1 miles to Cold Stone Creamery
8.4 Very good (2921 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.4 / 10
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La Jolla Shores Hotel

La Jolla
8.4 Very good (2921 reviews)

Family-Friendly Rooms and Activities Near Legoland in San Diego

Hotel Legoland California Resort is an obvious choice for travelers looking to make the Legoland theme park a centerpiece of a family San Diego trip. It is, as you’d likely expect, the closest hotel to the attraction, steps from the main entrance, and hotel guests can get early admission to the park.

While Legoland is enough to keep kids occupied on its own, your youngsters will be surrounded by blocks when coming back to the hotel, too. The rooms are Lego-themed; you and your children can choose from pirates, explorers, friends, and the very popular Ninjago characters for in-room companions. No matter who is on the walls and in the toy chest, each unit also comes with a kids sleeping area with bunk beds and their very own television.

The resort also adds a family restaurant, Bricks, to the attraction list. Featuring a kids-only buffet and live entertainment from costumed “Hotel Heroes” (pirates, knights, jesters, and others), it might be hard to get the entire crew away from the lunch or dinner table. Your young ones will want to be back to the hotel early in the evening, too, to prepare for the nightly Lego Building Competition. Even the resort’s pool is block-friendly, with “soft bricks,” spongelike Legos, essentially, for building in the water.

Hotel Legoland California Resort

Top rated
Carlsbad, 0 miles to Legoland California
8.8 Excellent (994 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.2 / 10
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Hotel Legoland California Resort

Top rated
Carlsbad
8.8 Excellent (994 reviews)

Go Inland For San Diego Family Resort Fun

While the Fairmont Grand Del Mar is not beach-adjacent, the resort is expansive enough to keep a family entertained for days on end, taking advantage of Southern California’s abundant sunshine to provide outdoor activities on 400 acres of land in a nearby canyon.

The Del Mar has its own equestrian center, allowing kids to explore Los Peñasquitos Canyon on horseback or take riding lessons (both with advance notice). The Explorers Club, open to children between five and 12 years old, has video game systems and movies to complement arts and crafts, and the Grand Junior Golf Academy teaches the sport to kids on Friday afternoons.

While the beach may be a short drive down the road, the resort does its best to give youngster the chance to splash around, too. Family and children’s pools feature music underwater and a sand pit area that makes sure everyone can still make sandcastles.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Top rated
San Diego, 14.6 miles to Balboa Park
9.8 Excellent (2950 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.7 / 10
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Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Top rated
San Diego
9.8 Excellent (2950 reviews)

Cruise San Diego's Mission Bay At This Family-Friendly Resort

Less than three miles from SeaWorld and mere blocks from the nearly-century-old Belmont Park, the Bahia Resort Hotel is ideally located to take advantage of San Diego’s family fun.

But excitement for kids doesn’t have to come with an admission ticket. Bahia has plenty to do for your youngsters as well, with tennis courts (including complimentary rackets), shuffleboard, a playground, and even an arcade at the resort. And families can shuttle between the hotel and its equally family-friendly sister property, the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa, via a Mission Bay cruise on the Mississippi River-style ship, the Bahia Belle. Take those family photos with a jaw-dropping bay sunset as the backdrop!

The resort’s studios and select suites include kitchenettes, meaning your family has the choice of going out for dinner or staying in after a full day frolicking in the sun. And, of course, there’s the Bahia’s private beach, just steps from the hotel.

Bahia Resort Hotel

San Diego, 6.5 miles to Balboa Park
8.2 Very good (8770 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.1 / 10
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Bahia Resort Hotel

San Diego
8.2 Very good (8770 reviews)

Go Tiki With The Family While Staying in San Diego

Just 1.5 miles up the Mission Beach coast, the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa is the bookend to the Bahia, but it adds a Tiki flavor to any San Diego family vacation. The Catamaran can make families feel like they’re thousands of miles away on a Polynesian island, with forest-like vegetation and even wildlife included.

Kids will enjoy watching the koi swim in the hotel’s ponds and admiring the resort’s waterfall. But the star attractions might be Rita the cockatoo, Bianchi the macaw, and the other birds of the property, many of whom are quite vocal; according to the property, Bianchi likes to do animal impressions. The birds depart for the day around 3:30 p.m., meaning no midnight squawking for those staying in one of the hotel’s tropical garden-facing rooms. Studios here also include full kitchenettes, and Bay Front rooms and suites open up directly onto the beach and the Mission Bay boardwalk.

Like its southern sibling, the Bahia Resort Hotel, the Catamaran also features an arcade, along with its family-hour cruise down Mission Bay. And its Mission Beach Boardwalk location is perfect for a Segway tour to check out the performers and local atmosphere.

Catamaran Resort Hotel And Spa

San Diego, 7.4 miles to Balboa Park
8.4 Very good (5483 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.3 / 10
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Catamaran Resort Hotel And Spa

San Diego
8.4 Very good (5483 reviews)

Mini-Golf, Sailing and Manicures At This San Diego Family Resort

Named Best Kid/Family Friendly Hotel by San Diego Magazine, Paradise Point Resort and Spa is a haven for families, with everything from surfing to mini golf on site.

The resort has five pools, including one ringed by fire pits (think s’mores!) and one with waterfalls. These add to that massive body of water, the Pacific Ocean, just steps from the property. Boat tours of Mission Bay bring families up close and personal with local wildlife, including sea lions and pelicans. And for those a little less water-friendly, there are spa services like the kids’ manicure/pedicure, and miles of beachside walking paths.

Kids can even get multiple chances to find a new hobby, with surfing and sailing lessons available, alongside kayak, speedboat and jet ski rentals. One stay here, and your children, no matter where you and they live, will have their sea legs.

Paradise Point Resort & Spa

San Diego, 4.3 miles to Balboa Park
7.5 Good (3563 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.7 / 10
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Paradise Point Resort & Spa

San Diego
7.5 Good (3563 reviews)

A Literal “Kidtopia" at a San Diego Family Resort

From limbo and hula hoop competitions to tennis lessons, kids will have a blast at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in north San Diego county. But the centerpiece of the hotel’s family appeal may be Kidtopia, a kids club with a 600-gallon saltwater aquarium as a centerpiece. During the day, it’s a nursery for the youngest of children (six months to three years old), with stimulation both physical and mental. At night, it opens up to kids three years of age or older, with a movie lounge, books and other games.

The resort makes sure to plan for older kids as well, with the Vibz Game Lounge providing air hockey, skeeball and video games, and tennis lessons split up by age – no more playing only against a younger sibling. And while La Costa is not directly next to a beach, its sandy beach family pool is the next best thing, with an oceanside-style entry and plenty of the beige stuff to make sandcastles and other delights. For those looking for the real thing, South Carlsbad State Beach is less than five miles away. All in all, the La Costa was named one of the eight best family vacations in America by the Travel Channel, and it’s certainly with reason.

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa

Top rated
Carlsbad, 3.6 miles to Legoland California
8.5 Excellent (847 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.9 / 10
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Omni La Costa Resort & Spa

Top rated
Carlsbad
8.5 Excellent (847 reviews)

A Private Beach for San Diego Family Vacations

Just minutes from downtown San Diego and San Diego Airport, Kona Kai Resort and Spa features a host of activities both for families and parents looking for some time alone. Located on a private beach on Shelter Island, the resort offers oceanside cabanas, which parents can stock with diversions to make a full beach day go smoothly, along with beach cruisers (helmets included!) to explore the area. There’s also a rental desk for water activities like kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding for slightly older kids.

In the evenings, Kona Kai stays family friendly with Friday Night Flix, which takes place at the pool and features kid-appropriate films, including seasonal fare. In addition, there are nightly bonfires by the beach, with s’mores kits available for purchase (the money goes towards kids, as well – supporting a local Girl Scouts troop).

Kona Kai Resort & Spa

San Diego, 5.2 miles to Balboa Park
7.8 Good (873 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.6 / 10
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Kona Kai Resort & Spa

San Diego
7.8 Good (873 reviews)