a group of people standing on top of a sandy beach
La Jolla Cove, part of a protected marine reserve, offers a safe and exciting environment where children can swim alongside colorful fish and maybe even spot a friendly sea lion.

12 Best Beach Hotels in San Diego for Families in 2024


You are in the right place because the 12 best San Diego family hotels are all featured here. How do I know they’re the best? I plan to visit San Diego with my family, and I have done extensive research to find the best hotels for us. I thought that this list could be useful for you too.

I have two kids. My daughter soon will turn 4, and my son is just 1,5 years old. I have been on several trips with the kids, and I know what to look for in a hotel so that it would be comfortable for small children.

Also, a family beach vacation means that the hotels on this list are actually on the beach. You need a beachfront hotel in San Diego if you want to be able to quickly get to your room when the kids get tired or need that one special toy that happens to be left at the bottom of your suitcase.

I have read uncountable reviews of San Diego hotels from the people who have actually stayed in them. With this knowledge, I’ve vetted all the hotels in this article to make sure they’re highly rated and well-reviewed — so all you have to do is book a San Diego beach hotel for your family and enjoy!

Photo: Expedia

Don’t have time to read the whole article?
I recommend booking the Pacific Terrace Hotel — with varying-sized rooms and suites, a fun oceanfront outdoor pool, and a great 8.9-star rating.

If the Pacific Terrace Hotel isn’t for you, don’t worry! Whether you’re looking for a resort on a private island or a beachfront hotel on Mission Bay with an oceanfront pool — I’ve still got you covered.

Wondering which of these San Diego beach hotels for families is best for you? Read on to find out — but now matter your choice, get ready to make fabulous memories and have the time of your life on your San Diego family vacation.

Our Top 3 Picks: Best Beach Hotels in San Diego for Families

Photo: Expedia

Pacific Terrace Hotel

✔️ Family rooms
✔️ Oceanfront outdoor pool
✔️ Beachfront hotel

Photo: Expedia

Paradise Point Resort & Spa

✔️ Five swimming pools
✔️ Located on a lush private island
✔️ Loads of activities for the kids

Photo: Expedia

Tower 23 Hotel

✔️ 2-minute walk from Pacific Beach Pier
✔️ Complimentary bicycles, beach chairs, and beach toys
✔️ On-site restaurant with ocean views

12 Best Beach Hotels in San Diego for Families

1. Pacific Terrace Hotel

⭐️ Rating: 8.9 out of 10 stars | Location: 610 Diamond Street, Pacific Beach, San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

Pacific Terrace Hotel is a gem for families looking for the perfect beach getaway in San Diego. Nestled in the vibrant Pacific Beach Park district, this hotel offers an oceanfront outdoor pool and a hot tub, making it a hit for both kids and adults.

The rooms at Pacific Terrace exude an island-inspired vibe with dark wood furnishings and tropical linens, ensuring a comfortable stay. For those seeking a view, select rooms boast breathtaking ocean vistas. Practical amenities like terry cloth robes and complimentary toiletries add a touch of luxury to your stay.

We loved everything about our stay. The rooms, the staff and location were amazing. We will definitely be returning for future family vacations to the beach.

Erika (see more reviews)

Families will appreciate the on-site bicycle rentals, perfect for exploring the scenic coastline. The hotel’s concierge service can assist with local dining reservations, and room service is available for those cozy nights in.

With private underground parking, a gift shop, and a modern fitness center, the hotel caters to all your needs. It’s also conveniently located within a short drive from Mission Bay Golf Course and the Gaslamp Quarter, as well as the San Diego Zoo.

2. Paradise Point Resort & Spa

⭐️ Rating: 8.2 out of 10 stars | Location: 1404 Vacation Road, Mission Bay, San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

Paradise Point Resort & Spa is a true gem for families looking for the perfect beach hotel in San Diego. Nestled on a lush private island in Mission Bay, this resort offers a full-service spa and tropical gardens that create a serene escape from the hustle and bustle.

The resort boasts exotic rooms with spacious patios, hardwood floors, and marble bathrooms, ensuring comfort for the whole family. With five swimming pools and sports courts, active guests have plenty of options, while nature walks, beach bonfires and poolside movie nights offer relaxed entertainment.

Families particularly love Paradise Point Resort’s amenities, like tennis, mini-golf, and bike rentals.

Lovely relaxed feel, loads of activities for the kids eg tennis, basket ball, table tennis, mini golf, kayaking and sailing.

Rosalind (see more reviews)

Dining at Paradise Point is a delight with the Tidal Restaurant serving up excellent seafood and craft drinks. For those looking to explore, SeaWorld San Diego is just a five-minute drive away, and the San Diego Zoo is within easy reach, about 9 miles from the resort.

3. Tower 23 Hotel

⭐️ Rating: 9.1 out of 10 stars | Location: 723 Felspar Street, Pacific Beach, San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

Tower 23 Hotel is a gem for families seeking a modern beachfront experience in San Diego. Located just a 2-minute walk from Pacific Beach Pier, this hotel offers a minimalist design paired with a sleek sophistication that families and couples alike appreciate.

The hotel boasts exceptional accommodations with flat-screen TVs and luxurious goose-down duvets, ensuring a comfortable stay.

Families can enjoy a variety of activities such as surfing, fishing, and golfing nearby, and SeaWorld San Diego is only a 15-minute drive away.

We signed out bicycles, beach chairs, beach blankets /towels that were at no additional charge. Located right next to the pier; the boardwalk was fun, and watching all the surfers was a blast!

Bruck (see more reviews)

One of the highlights of Tower 23 is the complimentary amenities for beach fun, including bicycles, beach chairs, and beach toys for children.

The on-site restaurant, JRDN, offers a modern ambiance and serves American seafood, perfect for a family meal with ocean views.

4. Del Mar Beach Hotel

⭐️ Rating: 9.2 out of 10 stars | Location: 1702 Coast Boulevard, Del Mar, San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

Del Mar Motel on the Beach is a delightful spot for families looking to enjoy the quintessential San Diego beach experience. This beachfront motel is not just close to the ocean; it’s literally on the beach, offering guests direct access to the sands of Del Mar.

After a recent renovation, the motel now features modern amenities in each room, including a 60-inch cable TV, air conditioning, a mini-refrigerator, and a coffee machine. The rooms are designed to provide comfort and convenience, ensuring a hassle-free stay for families.

In the hotel you can borrow surfs, boogie boards for free. Hotel is next to the lifeguard headquarter so you can feel very safe. Nice places to eat are in walking distance.

Gabriela (See more reviews)

What sets this motel apart is its complimentary beach amenities. Guests can borrow surfboards, boogie boards, beach chairs, towels, and umbrellas, perfect for a day under the sun. Plus, the oceanfront sundeck is ideal for those who prefer to relax and soak up the coastal views.

The on-site picnic area and barbecue facilities mean you can enjoy meals with a view without leaving the comfort of the motel. And when you’re ready to explore, the Del Mar Fairgrounds are just a 7-minute drive away.

5. La Jolla Shores Hotel

⭐️ Rating: 8.7 out of 10 stars | Location: 8110 Camino Del Oro, La Jolla, San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

La Jolla Shores Hotel is a fantastic choice for families planning a San Diego beach vacation. Located in the picturesque La Jolla region, this hotel offers a comfortable and convenient beachfront experience.

The hotel’s location is right in the heart of the action, with easy access to the soft sands and gentle waves that make La Jolla Shores one of the most family-friendly beaches around. The oceanfront views are a major draw, ensuring that your family can enjoy the beauty of the Pacific from the comfort of your room.

Great location on beach, easy access walk into town for restaurants.

Shelley (see more reviews)

Guests have praised the hotel for its clean and spacious rooms, which come equipped with modern amenities to make your stay as relaxing as possible. The hotel also boasts a range of facilities, including an outdoor pool, perfect for a dip after a day at the beach.

The proximity to local attractions is a huge plus. You’re just a short drive away from San Diego’s famous attractions like the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, and the vibrant Gaslamp Quarter.

6. Ocean Park Inn

⭐️ Rating: 8.9 out of 10 stars | Location: 710 Grand Avenue, Pacific Beach, San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

Ocean Park Inn is a gem for families looking to enjoy the sunny vibes of San Diego’s beaches. Nestled in the heart of Pacific Beach, this hotel boasts an excellent location near the beach.

Each room at Ocean Park Inn comes with free WiFi, a flat-screen LCD TV, a fridge, and a coffee machine, ensuring a comfortable stay for all guests. Families will appreciate the outdoor pool and hot tub that are open year-round, perfect for a relaxing dip after a day in the sun.

We loved all the little touches including the room decor, buffet breakfasts and pool. Our room had a view of the beach and pier and was quiet.

Alice (See more reviews)

For those interested in exploring, the historic Belmont Park is a mere 5 minutes’ drive away, and the charming seaside village of La Jolla is just 12 minutes by car. The hotel’s proximity to Crystal Pier, only a 4-minute walk, adds to its allure, offering easy access to one of the area’s notable landmarks.

Guests have mentioned the convenience of underground secure parking and the proximity to local restaurants and shops. The continental breakfast included with the stay is a hit among families, making morning routines a breeze.

7. The Wayfarer San Diego

⭐️ Rating: 8.4 out of 10 stars | Location: 707 Pacific Beach Drive, Mission Beach, San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

The Wayfarer San Diego stands out as a family-friendly beachfront hotel, offering a memorable stay just 1 mile from Mission Bay Park. Imagine waking up to the soothing sound of waves from your room’s balcony, a feature that every guest can enjoy.

Rooms are well-equipped with a 50″ LCD TV, refrigerator, and coffee maker, ensuring comfort and convenience. The added perk of in-room video games is a hit with families, making downtime more enjoyable for everyone.

For those looking to relax, the oceanfront pool and hot tub are perfect for unwinding, while the outdoor picnic area and retro video games in the lobby offer a touch of nostalgia and fun. Active families can take advantage of bike rentals to explore the scenic surroundings.

Great location with pool and hot tub and steps away from the beach. Very walkable to nearby restaurants and bars.

Rozafa (See more reviews)

The location is a major plus, with easy access to Sea World Park, UC San Diego, and a variety of water sports and shopping options. Guests have praised the clean rooms, friendly staff, and the hotel’s proximity to shops, bars, and entertainment.

While some have noted the parking fee and noise issues, the overall sentiment remains overwhelmingly positive. The Wayfarer San Diego is a top recommendation for families seeking a beach hotel that combines comfort, convenience, and location for a truly enjoyable San Diego experience.

8. San Diego Mission Bay Resort

⭐️ Rating: 8.1 out of 10 stars | Location: 1775 East Mission Bay Drive, Mission Bay, San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

San Diego Mission Bay Resort is a fantastic choice for families looking for a beach hotel experience in San Diego. Located just 2 miles from SeaWorld San Diego, this resort offers not just a stay but an experience with its outdoor swimming pool, private parking, and a garden.

The resort is known for its family-friendly ambiance and offers some rooms with private balconies to enjoy the view. The proximity to the beach is a huge plus, with Mission Bay’s calm waters right on the doorstep, making it ideal for families with young children.

We played tennis and had fun paddle boarding and the restaurants had some tasty food. The staff were very friendly and helpful.

Barry (See more reviews)

An on-site restaurant means you don’t have to venture far for a family meal. The resort also features a spa and wellness center, perfect for a bit of relaxation while the kids enjoy the pool.

For those bringing their furry friends, the resort is pet-friendly, although charges may apply. And for the active family, there’s plenty to do nearby, including a bike ride to Mission Beach.

9. Ocean Beach Hotel

⭐️ Rating: 8.0 out of 10 stars | Location: 5080 Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach, San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

Ocean Beach Hotel is a charming spot for families looking to soak up the San Diego sun. Situated directly on Ocean Beach, this hotel offers a prime location with spectacular ocean views and easy access to beach activities.

The hotel is 100% non-smoking, ensuring a comfortable environment for all guests. Each room is equipped with modern amenities including free WiFi, a TV with cable channels, a microwave, and a refrigerator. Select rooms also boast balconies where you can breathe in the fresh ocean air.

We love this place. We have stayed here a total of 4 times. The location is great, the value of the room and view is wonderful. Staff is friendly and accommodating. Parking is free.

Crystal (see more reviews)

The hotel’s vicinity is bustling with shopping, dining, and beach life, all within walking distance. Families will appreciate the proximity to SeaWorld San Diego, just 2 miles away, making it an easy day trip.

The 24-hour front desk, garden, and on-site laundry facilities add to the convenience. Plus, with free private parking, you can have peace of mind about your vehicle.

10. Bahia Resort Hotel

⭐️ Rating: 7.9 out of 10 stars | Location: 998 West Mission Bay Drive, Mission Bay, San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

Bahia Resort Hotel is a family-friendly oasis located on the scenic Mission Bay in San Diego. It’s a place where you can enjoy the best of both worlds: a private beach for a serene escape and a public beach for more vibrant seaside activities.

The hotel offers a variety of room options, all featuring free Wi-Fi and kitchenettes, with deluxe suites boasting views of the bay. The outdoor swimming pool and 30-person hot tub are perfect for family fun, while the tennis courts and games room offer more ways to stay active and entertained.

Gorgeous all the way around. Firepits, walkways, cabanas, food truck.

Deborah (see more reviews)

Dining at the hotel is a breeze with Cafe Bahia, which serves Southern California cuisine on a spacious heated patio. For a more casual setting, the Tangier Lounge provides cocktails and light meals.

Families will love the proximity to SeaWorld, just a 5-minute drive away, and the San Diego Zoo, which is within a 15-minute drive.

11. Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa

⭐️ Rating: 7.2 out of 10 stars | Location: 3999 Mission Boulevard, Mission Bay, San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa is a beachfront haven that promises a memorable stay for families visiting San Diego. Located less than 100 meters from the Pacific Ocean, this resort is not just about the rooms but the overall experience it offers.

The resort features an outdoor pool and a full-service spa, perfect for both excitement and relaxation. Rooms at the Catamaran each opens up to a balcony or patio, offering views that can range from the resort’s garden to the breathtaking bay.

Families will appreciate the in-room amenities like an iPod docking station and a flat-screen TV with HBO channels for entertainment.

We love the ambiance of the Catamaran. We’ve stayed here before. We like the options of activities on site and near by.

Leonardo (See more reviews)

Dining is convenient with the Oceana Coastal Kitchen on-site, and the resort also provides bike and water sports equipment rentals, adding to the fun. For beach enthusiasts, the resort has its own private beach area, and for those looking to stay active, there are beach volleyball courts and yoga classes.

And with pet-friendly policies, even the furry members of the family can join in on the holiday fun.

12. Hotel del Coronado

⭐️ Rating: 7.1 out of 10 stars | Location: 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, San Diego | Check Rates and Availability

Nestled along the pristine shores of the Pacific coastline, Hotel del Coronado stands out as a top choice for families looking for a beach hotel in San Diego. This historic hotel, dating back to 1888, combines Victorian charm with modern luxuries.

Families can enjoy a variety of water sports right on the hotel’s doorstep, thanks to its beachfront location. The hotel offers a spacious outdoor pool and the chance for some relaxation with a beach-side massage. For those traveling with pets, the hotel is pet-friendly, ensuring your furry friends can join in on the family fun.

The Hotel del Coronado is not just about the beach; it also provides six on-site restaurants, catering to all tastes from American to Mexican cuisine.

The location was gorgeous and isolated enough to feel that you are somewhere far away yet we were 1 mile away from San Diego.

Cynthia (see more reviews)

Located conveniently close to San Diego’s attractions and just a 25-minute drive from San Diego International Airport, it’s a great choice if you wish to see more of San Diego without traveling too far.

Families that have stayed here loved the nearby beach. However, you have to be careful when booking your room. Check the photos to make sure that the room is not on the top floor, as it might be harder to get the kids and the luggage there.

Best Beach Hotels in San Diego for Families: FAQ

Is San Diego safe for families?

San Diego is generally considered a safe destination for families. Like any large city, it has areas that are safer and some that might be more prone to crime.

However, San Diego is known for its family-friendly attractions, beautiful beaches, and parks, which are well-maintained and secure for visitors.

Where to stay in San Diego with kids?

San Diego offers a variety of family-friendly neighborhoods and hotels that cater to those traveling with children. Here are some of the best areas to consider when staying in San Diego with kids:

  1. Mission Bay: This area is perfect for families who enjoy the water. It’s home to SeaWorld, many family-friendly resorts, and calm beaches ideal for younger children.
  2. Coronado: With its wide, sandy beaches, gentle waves, and the iconic Hotel del Coronado, this island community is a picturesque and safe place for families.
  3. La Jolla: Known for its beautiful coastline and the family-friendly La Jolla Cove, where kids can snorkel and observe sea lions, La Jolla is a great upscale option for families.
  4. Pacific Beach: This neighborhood has a more laid-back vibe, with lots of beachfront hotels and casual dining. It’s also close to the popular Mission Beach and Belmont Park amusement park.
  5. Downtown San Diego: Staying downtown gives families access to the New Children’s Museum, Petco Park, and the historic Gaslamp Quarter. It’s also convenient for taking the ferry to Coronado or visiting the USS Midway Museum.
  6. Carlsbad: If you’re planning to visit LEGOLAND, Carlsbad might be the best place to stay. It’s a bit north of San Diego but offers a variety of family-friendly accommodations.
  7. Del Mar: This area is quieter and more relaxed, with good beaches and parks. It’s also close to the San Diego County Fairgrounds, which host the Del Mar Fair, a big hit with kids.

When choosing a hotel, look for family-friendly amenities such as pools, kids’ clubs, family rooms, and complimentary breakfasts. Hotels that offer suites with kitchenettes can also be convenient for families, as they allow for easy snack and meal preparation. Always check recent reviews for up-to-date information on the suitability of the hotel for children.

Is San Diego worth visiting?

San Diego is widely considered a great travel destination and is definitely worth visiting for a variety of reasons.

San Diego boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in California, such as La Jolla Cove, Coronado Beach, and Mission Beach, which are perfect for sunbathing, surfing, or just enjoying the sunset.

With its year-round mild climate, San Diego is an ideal place to visit any time of the year.

San Diego is home to family-friendly attractions like the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, SeaWorld San Diego, and LEGOLAND California.

How long should you stay in San Diego?

The ideal length of a stay in San Diego can vary depending on your interests and the pace at which you like to travel. However, a good rule of thumb is to plan for at least 3 to 5 days. This allows you to explore the city’s major attractions without feeling too rushed.

What is the best month to go to San Diego?

San Diego is known for its mild climate year-round, but the best month to visit often depends on what you’re looking to do and your personal weather preferences.

Late Spring – Early Summer (May to June):

  • The weather starts to warm up, but you might encounter the famous “May Gray” and “June Gloom,” where overcast skies are common in the mornings, though it usually clears up by the afternoon.
  • These months can be less crowded before the peak summer season, making it a good time to take advantage of lower rates and fewer tourists.

Summer (July to August):

  • This is peak tourist season due to the warm weather and the fact that schools are out. Expect the best beach weather and lots of sunshine.
  • It’s also when the city hosts several events and festivals, including the San Diego County Fair and Comic-Con International.
  • Be prepared for higher prices and more crowds.

Early Fall (September to October):

  • Many locals consider this the best time to visit. The summer crowds have left, the “June Gloom” has lifted, and the weather is still warm enough for the beach.
  • The ocean water is at its warmest in September, which is great for swimming and surfing.

Late Fall – Winter (November to February):

  • These months are cooler and there’s a higher chance of rain, but it’s also the off-season, so you’ll find fewer crowds and better deals on accommodations.
  • The winter months are also when gray whales migrate, making it an excellent time for whale watching.

Spring (March to April):

  • The weather starts to warm up again and the city sees fewer tourists than in summer.
  • It’s a great time for outdoor activities like hiking and enjoying the blooming wildflowers.

Overall, if you’re looking for the best beach weather, aim for July to September. If you want to avoid crowds and don’t mind a bit of unpredictability in the weather, late spring and early fall are excellent choices. For the best deals and fewer tourists, consider late fall to winter.

Final Thoughts: Best Beach Hotels in San Diego for Families

As you can see, kid-friendly San Diego exists! With 12 great options for accommodations, this article has answered the where to stay in San Diego with kids question, so the only question left is — Which place will you choose?

Pacific Terrace Hotel
(Photo: Expedia)

Still unsure which San Diego beachfront hotel to book? I recommend Pacific Terrace Hotel for its large rooms and suites, oceanfront pool, and near-perfect rating.

If that one’s not for you, there are plenty of other artsy, chic, trendy, and rustic options available on this list of top-notch San Diego family hotels.

I hope this article helped you discover the perfect hotel for you and your family.

There’s no better way to make your San Diego vacation once in a lifetime than with a great hotel, so no matter which of these best family beachfront San Diego hotel you choose, you can’t go wrong… so go ahead, book your favorite, and relax. It’s going to be awesome!

Additional San Diego travel blogs

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5 Best Whale Watching Tours in San Diego

11 Best Beaches in San Diego for Families With Small Kids