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The 12 Best Family Friendly Hotels in San Diego

AnnaMaria Stephens | April 30, 2018

San Diego is one of the most family-friendly destinations in the country, with mild weather, a famous zoo, several world-class theme parks, and 70 miles of stunning coastline with sandy beaches, crashing waves, and curiosity-stoking tidepools. When it comes to hotels, families have a lot of options, from Downtown high-rises with cool perks for the pint-size set to bayfront resorts within easy reach of SeaWorld.

Getting around San Diego without a car can be tricky, especially with kids in tow and a long list of attractions to visit. If you're traveling sans auto, consider staying Downtown close to public transit or at a beach or bayfront resort with enough amenities and activities to keep you happy without venturing out every day. With a car, you'll have easy access to all that the sprawling region has to offer. Click through hotel profiles for detailed info on location, parking, and more.

Now all that's left to do is tell your kids about your San Diego vacation plans. They're going to flip their lids!

Related Ultimate Guide: 12 Ultimate Things to Do in San Diego


Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina

Why it made the list

Set on Harbor Island, right on the water, the sprawling Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina has a lot to offer, including rooms with panoramic views of the city skyline and bay, three pools, on-site dining and drinking options, a spa, and a private marina with watersports rentals. The Port of San Diego runs a $3 waterfront shuttle servicing hotels and attractions along the bayfront, including the USS Midway Museum and Seaport Village.

Set on Harbor Island, the Sheraton has a nautical vibe and a Read More


The Dana on Mission Bay

Why it made the list

Set around an Omega-shaped cove on Mission Bay, the Dana is the closest hotel to SeaWorld and offers a free shuttle to get you there. The sprawling property, which was built in the late ‘60s, has plenty more to keep guests busy, including two outdoor pools, a restaurant, a private marina, and watersports rentals so you can play on the bay. Many recently refreshed rooms feature views of the Dana’s lush tropical landscaping or waterfront.

Set on Mission Bay, the Dana is the closest hotel to SeaWorl Read More


Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Why it made the list

This 30-story high-rise -- which overlooks Petco Park, the Gaslamp Quarter, the Coronado Bridge, and beautiful San Diego Bay -- is just steps from a trolley station, making getting around a breeze. Naturally, there’s a pool -- and it’s a nice, big one. Set within throwing distance of the bay, and lined by palm trees, the saltwater pool has a unique shape that caters to serious swimmers and splashing kids alike -- a long lap pool connects in the middle to a half-moon pool.

Across the street from the Convention Center, this high-rise Read More


Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina

Why it made the list

The Hyatt Regency Mission Bay has all the amenities you’d expect from a beach resort, including panoramic views, a spa, and a fabulous pool area replete with lagoons, waterslides, and a poolside bar (it's hands-down one of the best pool areas in San Diego). The hotel also has a private marina with jet ski, kayak, and sailboat rentals. A summer water taxi service to SeaWorld is another perk.

Right on the waterfront, this Hyatt on Mission Bay features Read More


Holiday Inn Express–SeaWorld Area

Why it made the list

For families whose kids dream of dancing dolphins and the Shipwreck Rapids, this Holiday Express is just a 10-minute drive from SeaWorld. While it’s on the dated side, it’s easy on the wallet and gets the job done, and a pool and free parking are pluses. The hotel is also right by the freeway, offering easy access to other San Diego attractions like beaches and the San Diego Zoo.

Not far from SeaWorld, this Holiday Inn is a popular choice Read More


Omni San Diego Hotel

Why it made the list

Luxury and convenience are hallmarks of this upscale high-rise that occupies the first 21 floors of a 32-story high-rise overlooking the Gaslamp Quarter. Pint-size guests get the VIP treatment at check-in, including a complimentary Omni Kid Crew backpack filled with goodies like activity books with stickers, crayons, card games, binoculars, and a small tabletop game. The hotel also delivers milk and warm cookies on the first night of your stay.

Luxury and convenience are hallmarks of this high-end high-r Read More


Paradise Point Resort & Spa

Why it made the list

This resort on Mission Bay features bungalow-style cottages along a mile-long stretch of beach, lush landscaping, and resort amenities like pools, ping-pong, croquet, tennis courts, and a putt-putt course. Mission Bay Park is basically a giant playground, with fishing, boating, watersports, beach bonfires, and more. Most of Vacation Isle is occupied by the sprawling 44-acre hotel, giving Paradise Point a secluded vibe.

Minutes from SeaWorld but hidden in a quiet part of Mission Read More


Loews Coronado Bay Resort

Why it made the list

The gated beachfront property on a private peninsula features panoramic views of the bay and ocean. With a private 81-slip marina, a huge pool, a serene spa, sandy beaches, and lots of activities, including guest-only tours of the Living Coast Discovery Center, you might not want to leave the upscale resort. If you do, a complimentary shuttle bus makes it easy, delivering guests to Coronado attractions like the Hotel del Coronado and Coronado Beach.

Set on its own peninsula, the upscale Loews Coronado Bay Res Read More


La Jolla Shores Hotel

Why it made the list

Just steps from one of the best beaches in Southern California, the large La Jolla Shores Hotel has been a popular vacation destination for decades. The hotel staff puts out complimentary beach chairs, towels, and umbrellas for guests, and there are tons of activities at La Jolla Shores Beach, including surfing and snorkeling in 600-acre underwater eco-reserve just yards off the beach. You can even arrange a private beach BBQ for you and the kids.

Just steps from one of SoCal's best beaches, the large La Jo Read More


Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

Why it made the list

There’s no such thing as a bored kid at this high-rise bayfront hotel thanks to the BackYard (seasonal), a hub of activities for kids, including foosball, table tennis, giant-sized Jenga and Checkers, and all sorts of arts and crafts. Every Friday night, the hotel hosts a game night with rounds of Pictionary, Connect 4, Scrabble, Twister, Sorry!, and more. The hotel also hosts family-friendly cinema nights on select Saturdays during the summer.

The two sky-high towers of the bayfront Manchester Grand Hya Read More


Catamaran Resort Hotel

Why it made the list

On the shores of Mission Bay in Pacific Beach, the Polynesian-themed Catamaran Resort Hotel & Spa has the feel of a tropical getaway. Set on the beach of the bay, not far from the ocean, the Catamaran has plenty of sand, a big pool, and water sports rentals. The Catamaran also hosts luaus and a classic 74-foot sternwheeler, the Bahia Belle, provides complimentary family-hour cruises on the bay for guests.

On the shores of Mission Bay, the Polynesian-themed Catamara Read More


Hotel Del Coronado

Why it made the list

During the summer, the family-friendly beachfront resort hosts a ton of fun activities ranging from bonfires to mermaid pool fitness classes. The Del pulls out all the stops for the winter holidays, too, with twinkling lights, beautiful Victorian decorations, and an ice-skating rink by the sea. The hotel’s DelVenture activity center hosts supervised evening and weekend adventures for kids from 4 to 12 years old and families can rent bikes, boogie boards, volleyballs, wetsuits, and surfboards.

With its signature red turrets and idyllic oceanfront locati Read More

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