Dive Into the Best Beachfront San Diego Family Resorts

Mimi Slawoff Avatar

La Jolla shores beach in San Diego

From the best beaches to exciting theme parks, San Diego is a popular destination with families. There are also many fabulous choices when it comes to family-friendly hotels in San Diego. No matter where you stay, you’ll be close to beaches, golf courses, shopping and attractions like the San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND and water parks.

Whether you prefer a classic hotel or full-service beach resort, you’ll be pleased with the many fabulous San Diego family resorts.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Hotel del Coronado

1500 Orange Ave.
Coronado, California 92118
(619) 435-6611

Debuting in 1888, the historic Hotel del Coronado is a beachfront resort on Coronado Island. It’s an iconic San Diego family resort with one of the best beaches in San Diego. Accommodations vary from historic to contemporary and luxurious. In the original Victorian building, no two rooms are alike, and the garden is furnished with Queen Anne-style furniture. Contemporary furnishings and features are found in the Cabanas, Views, Beach Village and Shore House.

Families will find dining options galore from a beachfront taco shack to full-service restaurants.

Resort activities include swimming pools, yoga, golf, bike rentals, tennis courts and a surf academy. In addition, families can enjoy private beach bonfires and s‘mores. The resort‘s children‘s program, Ocean Explorers, for ages 5 – 12, offers half-day and full-day sessions with a boatload of activities.

Why the Hotel del Coronado is great for families

  • Best beach in San Diego
  • Children’s programs for ages 5 – 12
  • Swimming pools
  • Surf academy
  • Bike rentals
  • Private beach bonfires

Pacific Beach in San Diego
The beautiful Pacific Beach in San Diego. Photo credit: Pixabay

Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa

3999 Mission Blvd.
San Diego, California 92109
(858) 488-1081

Say aloha to the Polynesian-themed Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa, which sits on a private beach on Mission Bay in the Pacific Beach neighborhood. Enjoy the casual elegance with lush landscaping, palm trees, tiki torches, koi ponds, waterfalls and exotic birds. Plus, the tropical hideaway is minutes from top family attractions such as SeaWorld San Diego.

All accommodations have a balcony or patio with views of Mission Bay, the Pacific Beach neighborhood and coastline or tropical gardens. Catamaran Spa is San Diego’s only beachfront spa.

Guest amenities include an outdoor pool and whirlpool, beach cabanas and open-air fitness center. For a unique experience, families can gather for an interactive show with the resort’s colorful talking macaws.

SheBuysTravel Kim Orlando and her daughter enjoy staying together at this resort for the many activities and water sports. The onsite Action Sport Rentals offers equipment for exciting outdoor activities like standup paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing and bike riding.

Operating seasonally, the Bahia Belle is a turn-of-the-century, Mississippi-style sternwheeler boat that cruises Mission Bay between the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa and its sister property, the Bahia Resort Hotel.

The beach resort has several enticing dining options, including seasonal Sunset Luaus, a festive celebration of Polynesian food, music and dances. Guests receive a lei, Mai Tai, all-you-can-eat buffet and entertainment.

Why the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa is great for families

  • Swimming pool
  • Seasonal Sunset Luaus
  • Arcade
  • Beach concierge
  • Interactive bird show
  • Boat rides available
  1. Photo: Bahia Resort HotelAlt text: Young boy jumping into dad’s arms in swimming pool at the Bahia, one of the best family resorts in San DiegoCaption: Families enjoy the beach resort’s swimming pool. Photo credit: Bahia Resort Hotel
Woman paddlenboarding on Mission Bay in San Diego California
Mission Bay. Photo credit; Pixabay

Bahia Resort Hotel

998 West Mission Bay Dr.
San Diego, California 92109
(858) 488-0551

Located on a secluded 14-acre peninsula in Mission Bay, the waterfront Bahia Resort Hotel is an ideal home-base for a San Diego family vacation. Families will find a selection of deluxe guest rooms, studios and suites with modern bathrooms and kitchenettes as well as a balcony or patio. Rooms are situated among exotic palms, colorful flowers and duck ponds.

The beach resort also has a children‘s playground, tennis courts, swimming pool and other family amenities. Dining options include the signature bayfront restaurant Dockside 1953 and an Airstream Grab ’N Go café.

Families can walk to the oceanfront amusement park, Belmont Park, or opt for a quick ride to nearby SeaWorld San Diego, the San Diego Zoo and other attractions.

Operating seasonally, the Bahia Belle is a turn-of-the-century, Mississippi-style sternwheeler boat that cruises Mission Bay between the Bahia Resort Hotel and its sister property, Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa.

Why the Bahia Resort Hotel is great for families

  • Private beach
  • Complimentary cabanas
  • Children’s playground
  • Arcade room
  • Tennis courts
  • Fitness center
  • Whirlpool
  • Free WiFi
  • Rooms have mini refrigerators

Paradise Point Resort & Spa

1404 Vacation Road
San Diego, California 92109
(858) 240-4913

Enjoy an island getaway at Paradise Point Resort & Spa on Mission Bay. Stay in comfortable bungalow-style rooms amidst tropical gardens and lagoons at this family-friendly resort. Situated on a 44-acre island, the family-friendly resort has five swimming pools, beach bonfire pits, five dining venues and a spa. In addition, the resort’s sandy beach is next door to SeaWorld.

Its proximity to the airport, downtown San Diego, the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park and the Gaslamp Quarter rank it among the best hotels for families.

Guests can also enjoy kayaks, paddleboards and jet skis at the full-service marina. More resort amenities include a nine-hole putting golf course with adult putting green, lawn games, tennis courts and bike rentals. The poolside Island Market has coffee, snacks, apparel, sunscreen, gifts and more.

Why Paradise Point Resort & Spa is great for families

  • Proximity to SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Gaslamp Quarter and other top attractions
  • Five swimming pools
  • Beach bonfire pits
  • Water sports at the full-service marina

San Diego Mission Bay Resort

1775 East Mission Bay Drive
San Diego, CA 92109
(619) 677-1161

Situated on the bay, San Diego Mission Bay Resort accommodates families with an assortment of guest rooms and suites. Accommodations have garden, resort or Mission Bay views. Choose from a private balcony or patio. The resort has onsite restaurants; room service is available.

TripAdvisor reviewers recommend this hotel for its waterfront pool and a separate shallow wading pool for kids. Those ages 3 and younger or those who are not potty trained are required to wear swim diapers and must play in the children‘s pool only. Poolside cabana rentals are available.

Resort amenities include tennis courts, a spa, fitness center, badminton, volleyball and bean bag toss. Water sport rentals range from standup paddle boards to jet skis or speed boats. Seasonal bonfires and s’mores nights are held at one of the beach fire pits. It’s a free activity.

In addition, the property is also located near the Mission Bay Aquatic Center, Belmont Park, Sea World, Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo and LEGOLAND.

Why San Diego Mission Bay Resort is great for families:

  • Children’s wading pool
  • Waterfront swimming pool
  • Boardwalk for bike riding, strolls, etc.
  • Seasonal s’mores nights
  • Proximity to major attractions

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa

2100 Costa Del Mar Road
Carlsbad, California
(760) 438-9111

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa spoils families from the moment they check in and kids receive a backpack stuffed with goodies. Situated on 400 acres of lush gardens with lovely paved pathways, the resort’s spacious rooms and suites feature luxurious bedding and many amenities.

Golf courses, eight swimming pools, water slides, a sandy beach and cabana rentals are among the family-friendly features at this San Diego hotel. Adults can enjoy spa treatments, Roman waterfall showers and walk on Southern California’s only reflexology pathway in the luxurious spa. Meanwhile, children six months through 12 years old will have fun with peers in the Kidtopia Kids Club. More activities include dive-in movies and evening s’more roasting.

Another perk: The resort is a short drive to LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad.

Why Omni La Costa Resort & Spa is great for families

  • Kidtopia Kids Club
  • Eight outdoor pools with waterslides and a sandy beach
  • The resort is near Legoland

The Lodge at Torrey Pines

11480 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, California 92037
(858) 453-4420

Located about 20 minutes from downtown San Diego and the San Diego International Airport, The Lodge at Torrey Pines is a laid-back luxury resort. The kid-friendly hotel is near beaches, forests and has a golf course and Pacific Ocean views. Upon arrival, guests are greeted at the grand porte-cochere by doormen wearing kilted Scottish dress.

The lodge has 170 guest rooms including seven suites, a full-service spa, two restaurants and fire pits. Family amenities include a heated swimming pool, cabanas, whirlpool, summer arts and crafts for kids, children‘s scavenger hunt and croquet. In addition, there are guided nature walks, a fitness center, live music, yoga classes and electric bikes.

Why The Lodge at Torrey Pines is great for families

  • Swimming pool
  • Guided nature walks
  • Seasonal arts & crafts
  • Live music
  • Concierge staff can assist with transportation and babysitting inquiries

La Jolla Shores Hotel

8110 Camino Del Oro
La Jolla, California 92037
(855)923-8058

Soak up the iconic California beach lifestyle at the kid-friendly La Jolla Shores Hotel. The classic beachfront hotel has 128 guest rooms, including 19 with kitchenettes. TripAdvisor reviewers give this beachfront hotel a thumbs up for location, cleanliness and friendly service. Staff works hard to please guests with ice cream and treats in the afternoon and movies at the swimming pool.

You‘ll find an array of La Jolla activities at your fingertips. Have a picnic at the adjacent Kellogg Park, and enjoy nearby water sports and tide pools. Plus, it’s a short drive to the Birch Aquarium and other San Diego attractions.

Why La Jolla Shores Hotel is great for families:

  • Swimming pools
  • Beach location
  • Casual beach resort
  • Near tide pools
Mimi Slawoff Avatar
Native Angeleno and seasoned travel journalist Mimi Slawoff writes for numerous print and digital publications. She is also the author of Oldest Los Angeles (Reedy Press, 2022). A lifelong world traveler, Mimi is an award-winning journalist who writes about outdoor adventures, cruises, Europe and cultural activities. Mimi has three grown kids and lives with her husband and their dog, Maya, in Los Angeles.
Read full bio