Southern California resorts and hotels that families love! Looking for a local family getaway where there’s relaxation for adults and fun for the kids? These resorts offer plenty of amenities for families -- guaranteed to make memories that last a lifetime.
Hotel del Coronado
1500 Orange Ave., Coronado
The storied halls. The sparkling beach. The legendary playground by the sea. The Del has witnessed the wonder of children growing up and then returning with little ones of their own. It's been the backdrop of happy holidays and celebrations for more than 128 years and inspired generations of family traditions that bring you closer to the ones you love.
The holidays are a magical time at Hotel del Coronado. From its enormous lobby tree decorated with seaside accents to strolling Victorian carolers and more than 100,000 twinkling white lights strung throughout, The Del is pure holiday enchantment. Whether you’re there for a few days or just a few hours, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to get you into the holiday spirit.
The iconic Del is an adventurous world all its own, where beach-loving families from near and far write their fondest stories on its glittering sands. From surf camps and boogie boarding to sandcastles and coastal bike rides, the best memories begin at The Del.
Everyone wants discount tickets to Disneyland, right? Well, good news! Hilton has partnered with Disney, which means families who stay at a Hilton property for a minimum of two nights can purchase regular-priced park tickets or multi-day passes to either Disneyland or California Adventure at a 5% discount — it adds up to significant savings for families. Hilton has several hotels less than a mile from Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, some offering family-friendly amenities such as suites, kitchens, pool, jacuzzi, free WiFi, and most importantly, free cookies in the evening! At Hilton’s newest property, Hampton Inn and Suites in Anaheim, you’ll find an extensive free hot breakfast (a huge benefit for families!), and safety features such as gated parking and secure elevators (no one can go up without a key). Shuttle to Disneyland for a nominal fee, or take a quick and easy Uber ride to the passenger drop-off area near the park entrance. The hotel is within a block of several popular restaurants and just across the highway from Angel Stadium — convenient for anyone attending a baseball game or other event at the stadium. Learn more at Travel.Hilton.com/Disneyland.
Great Wolf Lodge
12681 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove
Looking for an awesome one-of-a-kind getaway for your family? Great Wolf Lodge is the only indoor waterpark and resort of it’s kind in California. The indoor waterpark—available to lodge guests only—features a variety of attractions that satisfy everyone from toddlers to teenage thrill-seekers, making it perfect for families. Some highlights include River Canyon Run (raft ride), a lazy river, children’s activity pool, tube slides, a 40-foot drop slide and Fort Mackenzie, a multi-level structure with suspension bridges, spray stations and a giant bucket that dumps water on people below.
The resort also features numerous attractions on “Main Street”: glow-in-the-dark mini golf, an arcade, Build-A-Bear Workshop, and Ten Paw Alley (pint-sized bowling balls!).
Don’t miss the Forest Friends animatronics show and evening story time, where families are invited to attend in pajamas. “My son and nephew loved story time,” says mom, Jennifer, “and they loved the dance parties!” And then there’s MagiQuest, an interactive virtual game that takes participants on quests throughout the lodge, wielding a magic wand. The wands also make characters come to life in themed suites such as the Wolf Den and KidCabin.
Several eateries on the property make Great Wolf Lodge a one-stop family destination. They even have a Dunkin’ Donuts. Great Wolf is located just 90 minutes north of San Diego and down the street from Anaheim. There is a shuttle that will transport Great Wolf guests to Disneyland for the day.
So, why does SoCal need an indoor waterpark? Here are some of the benefits:
- It’s an all-weather destination. Great Wolf Lodge keeps the air and water at 84 degrees at all times.
- No need for sun protection.
- No fear of sunburn, tan lines or losing sunglasses.
- No wind means you don’t freeze when you’re wet and standing in line for the next waterslide.
- No birds to steal your food.
- It’s not like any other resort experience in SoCal.
8860 Lawrence Welk Dr., Escondido
Mario Kart tournaments. Free kids golf clinics. Family puzzle challenges. Mini-golf madness. Toddler finger painting. Build-a-Sundae Night. This is a sampling of the regularly scheduled activities you’ll find at Welk Resort in Escondido. Surprised? Perhaps you thought Welk Resort was a timeshare property for seniors. It’s true that Welk is mostly a timeshare community (for all ages), but a number of renovated villas are available for the public to reserve, making their family-friendly awesomeness accessible to anyone. Although it’s just 40 miles north of downtown San Diego, the beautiful grounds and surrounding mountains will separate you from the demands of daily life.
Local mother of four, Rachel Hensley, has taken six one-week trips to Welk Resort with her family. “Being so close, Welk is ideal because we just pack up our food and go,” says Hensley. “We love the waterslides, organized crafts and pool games, candy sushi-making, game room with pool tables and foosball, catch-and-release fishing, ice cream socials and on-site pizza delivery. It’s relaxing for everyone and a good place to spend family time together.”
Paradise Point Hotel
1404 Vacation Rd., Mission Bay
This 44-acre tropical island resort offers a number of holiday events for families, including a Kids Kandy Kane Race, Afternoon Cookie & Cocoa Break and the Jingle Shells Bay Sail. Finish your evening with s’mores at a beachside fire pit.
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
2100 Costa Del Mar Rd., Carlsbad
Omni features several beautiful pools, waterslides and a splash landing activity pool, the Omni Kids Crew program, Kidtopia Kids Club, teen fun in the Vibz Game Lounge or sport court, and family activities such as s’more roasting and dive-in movies.
5885 The Crossings Dr., Carlsbad
A LEGO-lovers dream come true! Choose a pirate-, adventure- or kingdom-themed hotel room featuring a separate kids sleeping area with bunk bed and trundle. Your stay includes nightly kids entertainment, kid-friendly breakfast buffet and early access to LEGOLAND.
The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
3649 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside
Whether you stay overnight or go for the day, The Mission Inn Festival of Lights is not to be missed, featuring more than 4 million lights, animatronic characters, nightly carolers, horse drawn carriage rides, visits from Santa and more.
Lisa Gipson is the managing editor at San Diego Family.