Family Travel Survival Guide: San Diego, CA

By Debbie K. Hardin
Page 4 of 5   |  
Hotel Coronado
PALACE, PLAYGROUND: The beachfront Hotel Coronado (courtesy, Hotel Coronado)

The city offers no shortage of stylish hotels, and there is enough variety to suit just about every taste and budget.

Hotel del Coronado (619.435.6611) is a favorite with locals (San Diegans especially enjoy the winter seaside ice skating rink) and visitors with children, who will find everything they need on site: great dining, shopping, recreational opportunities, children's camps, and even some literary history. Frank Baum wrote portions of The Wizard of Oz here, and legend has it he modeled the Emerald City on the hotel.

The brand-new Hard Rock Hotel (866.751.7625) is at the epicenter of the Gaslamp Quarter and draws youthful crowds to its clubs, lounges, and hip restaurants. Book an overnight here and your cool quotient will soar in the eyes of teenagers. Memorabilia like Madonna's bustier, Slash's top hat, and a microphone stand used by the Ramones decorate the public spaces. Standard guest accommodations come with huge flat-screen TVs, ultramodern bathrooms, and chic décor. Expansive suites have stunning views and plenty of room to party like a rock star.

The Omni San Diego (619.231.6664) is more than just a sleek downtown high-rise near the convention center—it's a baseball museum. Displayed throughout the property are baseball artifacts like Pete Rose's bat, Babe Ruth's contract, and Joe DiMaggio's spikes. The best part of this hotel for baseball fans? It is connected via a sky bridge to Petco Park, the San Diego Padres' new home field.

Downtown's Westgate Hotel (619.238.1818) will make the whole family feel like royalty. The property was designed to evoke Versailles. The opulent lobby is furnished with 18th-century European antiques and artwork and drips with enormous crystal chandeliers. Guest rooms are king-sized, with plenty of storage and a separate dressing room, which offers much-needed privacy when traveling with kids. A proper afternoon high tea is held in the Grand Lobby, including seasonal "teddy bear teas" that encourage parents to introduce their little ones to the finer things.

The Grande Colonial (858.454.2181) in La Jolla dates to 1913. This lovely property sits on some of the most coveted real estate in the city, across from La Jolla Cove and within steps of the finest upscale shopping and dining. A perfectly round, always-warm pool is just right for little ones. The hotel also manages two adjacent properties that offer a handful of suites equipped with kitchens, a great convenience for parents.

Sheraton Carlsbad (800.325.3535) is the closest hotel to Legoland, perched on a cliff overlooking the park. This new resort offers clean-lined guestrooms, spacious bathrooms, and serene views of the gardens and the ocean in the distance. Families traveling with young children will especially appreciate the grounds, which include a ping pong table, a bean-bag-toss court, and a large heated pool that comes pre-equipped with floating toys. (The management even provides free swim diapers on site.) The property offers discount tickets for Legoland and the new Sea Life Aquarium, and boasts a private entrance to the parks.

Published: 11 Sep 2008 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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