The Best Affordable Resorts in San Diego for Families!
Looking for a family friendly resort in San Diego? We recently had a last minute change in our travel plans and our kids were REALLY (like really, really, really) looking forward to the vacation…thus postponing the trip wasn’t an option (plus school schedules and all of that good stuff). Being just 2 days away, all the good Airbnb’s were sold out…so we did some resort research. We dug and dug for a good deal at a family family resort in San Diego that offered reasonably priced suites, and we were quite surprised to find there are a lot of great family friendly resorts in San Diego that didn’t break the bank – which means more money to spend on the fun stuff!
I knew there was lots fun stuff for the family to do in San Diego and I was so happy to find great resort options in San Diego for families, including hotels offering affordable suites, in-room kitchens, restaurants, beach access, water slides and much more! Plus, scroll down below the resort recommendations to see our top activities and things to do for families on your San Diego vacation!
What are the top 5 family-friendly resorts in San Diego that off surprisingly affordable suites?
- Bahia Resort Hotel
- Hyatt Mission Bay
- Mission Bay Resort
- Paradise Point
- La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club
Pros: Located on the bay, there is a private beach without waves or undertow so it’s great for kids! Suites are very affordable and some have kitchens. Check out the Bahia Belle Cruise – it’s a neat classic style riverboat (like the kind you’d take in Savannah, GA). Bonus, Bahia pet friendly and kids eat free.
Cons: While rooms have been refreshed (i.e. new mattresses and broken/worn items refurbished) and are clean, they have a drab decor compared to others. They could use a refresh with a lighter/brighter look IMO. Some rooms face the public beach, which has evening bon fires/beach parties and are loud and go late into the night. That might be a pro for some, but I think it’s a con for most families.
Tip: Recommend asking for an internal room or one that faces private beachside.
More Info: Bahia Resort Hotel
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina
Pros: The rooms here are very affordable, even the corner suites. The pool area is gorgeous and boasts THREE water slides (confirm availability during coronavirus before booking). They have whale watching, as well as yacht and catamaran charters on site.
Cons: There is no beach on the property…
More Info: Hyatt Mission Bay
Mission Bay Resort
Pros: Mission Bay Resort is beautifully updated, has two bayfront beaches (no waves/mother’s beaches), a marina for rentals and offers affordable rooms, studios and suites. It’s also pet-friendly. Boat rentals on-site.
Cons: There are very limited number of suites, so book this family friendly resort early to grab one of these deal-and-a-half suites.
We stayed here and I have a whole separate post and review of the Mission Bay Resort here.
Tip: They have rooms with your own fire pit, which is super fun for the kids in the evening! Bring your own smores sticks and ingredients!
More Info: Mission Bay Resort
Pros: This mostly single story resort offers lots of affordable bungalows and room options. Love the blue and white decor, and the waterfront location!
Cons: Most of the budget friendly rooms are small. The nice suites are not affordable.
More Info: Paradise Point
La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club
Pros: This is the most expensive option on this list, but the suites are 650 – 1300 square feet! They have one and two bedroom suites or cottages with a kitchen and it’s a beachfront club! La Jolla is a wonderful community and for larger families finding two-bedroom suites is a rarity. Regular rooms are far more affordable and you can’t beat this location for surfing kiddos.
Cons: Rooms aren’t as designer as you’d expect for La Jolla, but given the price point we think it’s a good compromise of size, location and affordability.
More Info: La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club
More Affordable Suites at Family-Friendly San Diego Resorts
Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort
We haven’t stayed here but a travel blogger friend of ours did…see her review here! They offer affordable suites and are right on the beach. Note: Carlsbad is a little north of San Diego, note the location relative to the activities you want to do to ensure it’s a good choice for your family 🙂
More Info: Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort
Omni La Costa
The Omni La Costa is also in Carlsbad, and we’ve stayed at the Omni La Costa many, many times – the pool area for kids is fantastic with a walk-in incline pool for young kiddos, waterslides and even a toddler waterslide…I’m not including it in the core recommended resorts list because the suites are not affordable…but if you’ve got a flexible budget or are looking for a more luxury stay, definitely take a look!
Note: the villas they offer are somewhat affordable…but they are nowhere near the kiddie pool…I recommend staying in a building that’s an easy walk to the kids pool. The building directly next to the pool is the best one – there is another closer to the lobby but some of those rooms have showers only (no tub). If it’s your first visit, I also recommend calling them on the phone to book your room and asking about proximity to the kids pool and the bath tub (if you are about a tub).
More Info: Omni La Costa Resort
Have you stayed at other family friendly resorts in the San Diego area that you would recommend I add to this list? PLEASE drop them in the comments!! I’d love to look into them, add to my list, and maybe we can stay there on our next vacation to San Diego!
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Okay, so now that you’ve chosen a hotel, are you wondering what to do with kids in and around San Diego?
What are fun things to do in San Diego with kids?
Here are some fun things to do for families in San Diego:
Torrey Pines Gliderport
Got dare devils looking to fly? Torrey Pines Gliderport offers paragliding, hang gliding and sailplane flights with instructions and tandem options. No minimum age requirements to fly tandem with a instructor.
Del Mar Racetrack
Feeling lucky? You can watch the thoroughbreds race to the winner’s circle at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. Closed circuit satellite viewing is available throughout the year. Good luck!
Looking for a small vacation town vibe? This tiny “island” is only 7.4 square miles in size! Coronado Island offers unique downtown shopping and eateries in addition to it’s award-winning beach.
San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
Looking for nightlife on your San Diego vacation? Head over to the southern part of 5th Avenue downtown, known as the historic Gaslamp Quarter. You’ll find San Diego’s premier shopping, dining, entertainment, and [lots of] nightlife.
Kids got energy? Balboa Park is the nation’s second largest park and it’s home to the San Diego Zoo, 15 of San Diego’s museums, renowned performing arts venues and beautiful gardens. Admittance to the park grounds is free, check with individual venues for ticket/entry fees.
San Diego Zoo
Got panda fans in the fam? The San Diego Zoo boasts the world famous Panda Bear exhibit from China with Hua Mei, the first surviving giant panda born in North America. Plus tons of other great exhibits.
Wild Animal Park
An extension of the San Diego Zoo, the Wild Animal Park wildlife preserve is home to some 2,500 Asian and African animals, including many endangered species. Unlike the Zoo, animals are in a more natural habitat setting and run freely.
Looking for fun? Belmont Park is a beachfront amusement park, a modern day version of the original 1925 amusement park. Free admission and parking. Rides and arcades as well as a number of outdoor adventures like rock wall climbing, tiki golf and zip lining.
Want to see a real aircraft carrier? The USS Midway is a real former US Naval Aircraft Carrier and it is HUUUUUUUGE! You can see more than 30 resorted aircraft and helicopters on display on it’s deck and hanger that were used in various battles and wars from the long history of the USS Midway.
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