Where to Stay in San Diego with Family: A Handy Guide for Top Accommodations


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San Diego, known for its sunny weather and stunning beaches, has quickly become a popular family vacation destination. With its unique blend of culture, history, and entertainment, this Southern California gem offers countless attractions for families to enjoy together. From exploring the world-famous San Diego Zoo to visiting the historic USS Midway Museum, there’s never a dull moment in this vibrant city.

Deciding on the perfect spot to stay in San Diego with your family can be an adventure in itself. Luckily, several neighborhoods and hotels cater to family needs to ensure a fun and memorable trip. Consider staying at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in the heart of the city or opting for more budget-friendly options like the Embassy Suites located on the waterfront. Whichever you choose, rest assured that you’re never far from the city’s exciting activities and picturesque beaches.

As you embark on your family vacation in San Diego, you’ll quickly discover that there is something for everyone – from the excitement of Legoland and SeaWorld to the serene beauty of La Jolla Cove. This diverse city offers an array of unforgettable experiences that will leave your family with cherished memories of their time together in sunny California.

Top Family-Friendly Neighborhoods

When planning your stay in San Diego with your family, it’s important to find the perfect neighborhood that offers not only comfort but also fun things to do and places to visit. Here are three family-friendly neighborhoods you should consider:

La Jolla

La Jolla is a beautiful coastal neighborhood known for its stunning beaches and outdoor recreational activities. Families in this area can enjoy a variety of attractions such as:

  • La Jolla Cove: A popular spot for snorkeling, scuba diving, and wildlife watching
  • Birch Aquarium at Scripps: An excellent place to learn about marine life and enjoy interactive exhibits
  • Torrey Pines State Reserve: Offers scenic hiking trails with breathtaking ocean views

La Jolla’s upscale village also has plenty of shopping and dining options to keep everyone entertained.

Mission Bay

Mission Bay, a water-filled playground located close to downtown, is another great area for families. Some popular family-friendly spots include:

  • SeaWorld San Diego: An oceanarium, theme park, and marine mammal park all in one
  • Belmont Park: An amusement park with rides, games, and eateries
  • San Diego Mission Bay Resort: A family-friendly hotel with an array of water sports, swimming pools, and other recreational facilities

The neighborhood also has beautiful parks and beaches where you can ride bikes, have picnics, or simply soak up the sun.

North Park

North Park is a trendy, family-friendly neighborhood with a strong sense of community. It offers an excellent balance of residential, commercial, and recreational spaces. Families can explore:

  • Balboa Park: A famous park with gardens, museums, playgrounds, and the San Diego Zoo
  • North Park Community Park: Offers sports facilities, playgrounds, and picnic areas
  • Local farmers’ markets: A fun way to buy fresh produce and engage with the community

In addition, North Park has a vibrant shopping and dining scene, with plenty of restaurants offering diverse cuisines.

Fun Fact or Interesting Story

Did you know that La Jolla is also known as “The Jewel” of San Diego? It’s not just because of its beautiful beaches and picturesque scenery! Back in the 19th century, La Jolla was named after the Spanish word “La Joya,” which means “The Jewel.”

Things to do

No matter which neighborhood you choose, San Diego has plenty of family-friendly activities and attractions to keep everyone entertained during your stay. From outdoor adventures in La Jolla, marine life experiences in Mission Bay, or cultural discoveries in North Park, the whole family is sure to have a memorable time in this beautiful city.

Beachfront Accommodations

Paradise Point Resort & Spa

Paradise Point Resort & Spa is a family-friendly option for your San Diego vacation. Located on a 44-acre island, this resort offers various dining options and comfortable accommodations. The property includes multiple swimming pools and a beach, ensuring a pleasing and relaxing stay. Here, you can embark on various leisure activities such as:

  • Paddleboarding
  • Bike rentals
  • Bonfire nights
  • Tennis

Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, this resort caters to every family’s needs.

Beach Haven Inn

Beach Haven Inn, situated in the heart of Pacific Beach, offers proximity to the ocean and various San Diego attractions. This resort provides modern and comfortable rooms equipped with kitchenettes, making it ideal for families. Enjoy a day at the beach or explore San Diego’s vibrant neighborhoods. Nearby attractions include:

  • SeaWorld San Diego
  • San Diego Zoo
  • Belmont Park

Ocean Park Inn

Ocean Park Inn boasts a prime oceanfront location near Crystal Pier. This boutique hotel offers a delightful blend of modern convenience and beach living. Guestrooms are well-appointed, and many offer private balconies with ocean views. Family-friendly amenities, such as a heated outdoor pool, a sun terrace, and complimentary WiFi, add to the experience. Top nearby attractions include:

  • Pacific Beach Boardwalk
  • Mission Bay Park
  • SeaWorld San Diego

Fun Fact: San Diego’s coastline spans over 70 miles, offering diverse beach experiences, from tranquil coves to vibrant shorelines.

Things to Do: During your stay at one of these beachfront accommodations, take advantage of the numerous activities available, such as surfing, swimming, building sandcastles, or exploring the picturesque shoreline with a scenic bike ride.

Kid-Friendly Listings on Airbnb

Tropical Oasis in La Jolla

This beautiful Tropical Oasis in La Jolla offers a perfect getaway for families looking to enjoy San Diego’s stunning coastal areas. The property features:

  • Sleeps 4 (2 bedrooms, 3 beds, 1 bath)
  • Breezy shaded patio
  • Outdoor dining area
  • Hammock and lounge chairs

Take a break from screens and immerse yourself in nature with plenty of easy hikes and trails nearby for the whole family to enjoy.

Family Beach Bungalow in Mission Beach

Nestled close to the beach, this idyllic Family Beach Bungalow in Mission Beach is a comfortable retreat for families. Stay close to all the best San Diego attractions, such as:

  • San Diego Zoo
  • Downtown San Diego
  • Old Town

The charming bungalow accommodates guests comfortably and even has a resident cat, Honey Mustard, who lives in the common areas.

Luxury Villa in Del Mar

Indulge in a luxurious vacation at this Luxury Villa in Del Mar. Families with children of all ages will appreciate the wide range of amenities available, including:

  • Supervised kids’ clubs (ages 5-12)
  • Babysitting services

Affordable Budget Options

Days Inn by Wyndham San Diego Hotel Circle South

Located close to attractions like SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo, and Balboa Park, the Days Inn by Wyndham San Diego Hotel Circle South provides an affordable stay for families. The hotel offers spacious rooms, an outdoor pool, and free parking.

Fun Fact: The hotel is just a short drive away from Old Town, where you can experience the rich history of San Diego.

Things to do: Visit the nearby attractions like the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, and Balboa Park, or take a stroll in Old Town to explore local shops and restaurants.

Comfort Inn & Suites San Diego Zoo SeaWorld Area

Another budget-friendly option for families is the Comfort Inn & Suites San Diego Zoo SeaWorld Area. The hotel offers a variety of family-friendly amenities such as an outdoor pool, complimentary breakfast, and spacious rooms.

Interesting Story: In 1916, Dr. Harry Wegeforth heard a lion roaring from a nearby zoo and had the idea to build the San Diego Zoo.

Things to do: The hotel’s central location allows guests to easily access popular tourist attractions like the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, and the USS Midway Museum.

Old Town Inn

For a unique and budget-friendly stay in San Diego, consider the Old Town Inn. Situated in the historic Old Town neighborhood, this charming hotel offers a family-friendly atmosphere, comfortable accommodations, and easy access to nearby attractions.

Fun Fact: Old Town San Diego is considered the “birthplace” of California, as it was the first European settlement in the state.

Things to do: Families can explore the historic buildings, museums, and parks in Old Town, or use the hotel’s complimentary shuttle service to visit nearby attractions such as SeaWorld or the San Diego Zoo.

Closing Thoughts

San Diego offers a range of family-friendly accommodation options, catering to various budgets and preferences. A popular choice for a family stay is the Holiday Inn located in La Jolla. Well-known for their beachy, light ambiance, they provide free breakfast for families on a budget. Another great option in the heart of the city is Hotel Indigo Gaslamp Quarter, which boasts luxurious and modern accommodations.

When in the city, there are plenty of attractions and activities for kids such as:

  • LEGOLAND California
  • The New Children’s Museum
  • La Jolla Cove
  • USS Midway Museum
  • San Diego Zoo

Families can also explore numerous beaches, parks, and monuments like Coronado Central Beach and Cabrillo National Monument during their stay. A popular kid-friendly beachside resort is the DelVentures, part of Hotel del Coronado. The resort offers activities, flat sandy beaches, and tide pools for children, making it a memorable experience.

Fun Fact: San Diego is home to over 7,000 farms, more than any other city in the United States. Be sure to explore the local farmers’ markets to enjoy some fresh produce and handcrafted goods during your visit.

In summary, San Diego has something for every family. With numerous lodging options, attractions, and outdoor adventures, you’re sure to create lasting memories in America’s Finest City.

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