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Kid-Favorite California Lodgings

Bringing the whole family? Check out these hotels and resorts that the kids—and kids-at-heart—will love

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For most kids, the top draw of any hotel is the pool. Add the family-friendly bells and whistles—special activities, in-room treats, accommodations that feel like private playgrounds—and your little ones will think you’re the coolest parents on the planet. From Disneyland and LEGOLAND California to beachfront and ski-in resorts, consider one of these kid favorites on your next family vacation, listed south to north.

Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado

A bustling resort located on a 15-acre peninsula, Loews Coronado makes a splash with onsite family-friendly action (wading pool, family pool, ping-pong, Kids’ Club and more), plus it’s a great spot for launching into San Diego Bay–inspired fun. Kayak, stand-up paddleboard, sail, or zoom on a powered craft across the salty waters or stroll to Silver Strand Beach to wiggle those toes in the sand. (more)

Hotels at LEGOLAND California, Carlsbad

Whether or not your family spends hours piecing together small plastic bricks, LEGOLAND California’s ability to wow via its gazillion-piece structures extends to its two, colorful hotels. Both the original LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Castle Hotel contain 250 themed rooms (pirate, princess, Ninjago warrior, and more) as well as restaurants, pools, and playful features (like a slide in the lobby and a knock-knock themed door that tells jokes). And, yes, there are spots to relish a grown-up cocktail while the kids play. (more)

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, Huntington Beach

Located oceanside in hip Surf City USA, the chic Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach and Spa is the perfect spot for chilling out in a cabana or launching a family adventure. Bike the beachfront boardwalk, catch waves in the Pacific, cool off via onsite pools and water slides, or sidle up to a fire pit for s’mores. Check out Camp Hyatt for kids ages three to 12. (more)

Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa, Rancho Mirage

The centerpiece of this 444-room Palm Springs resort is Splashtopia, a two-acre water playground featuring a lazy river, sandy beach, 100-foot-long water slides and fountains. Grownups can join their kids—or soak in the posh onsite amenities, such as spa treatments, golf or a dip in the adults-only pool. (more)

Great Wolf Lodge, Garden Grove

While staying at the 603-room Great Wolf Lodge, located just outside Anaheim, you have guest-only access to 105,000 square feet of indoor water features—14 slides, a wave pool, lazy river, and surf simulator—as well as a huge arcade, a mini bowling alley, glow-in-the-dark mini golf, two interactive games and an ice-cream-themed kids’ spa. Consider splurging on the KidCabin and Wolf Den suites, where kids bunk up in a cabin- or cave-style alcove, or catching the free, three-mile shuttle to Disneyland Resort. (more)

Lodging at Disneyland Resort, Anaheim

Catch a little onsite respite from the whirlwind theme park adventure by checking into one of three Disneyland Resort hotels—all of which have pools, waterslides and family-friendly attractions in Anaheim. The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa replicates the soaring wood-and-stone styling of Yosemite’s The Ahwahnee Hotel. For a sleek, retro-modern getaway, Disneyland Hotel offers specialty accommodations, like the Mickey Mouse Penthouse or the sumptuous Fairy Tale Suites. And Paradise Pier Hotel captures the spirit of a 1920s-era beach boardwalk with a modern spin. (more)

The Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo

Giddy up for whacky, and whimsical room themes—pink-hued Floral Fantasy, cowboy-inspired “Yahoo” and the Caveman Room complete with rock walls—at this 110-room hotel perched on a hill near San Luis Obispo. Outdoors, splash at a hilltop pool with a 45-foot waterfall that plunges into a lagoon or saddle up for a trail ride, thanks to the onsite stables. The kids can play while you sit back and take in sweeping views of San Luis Obispo and the surrounding coastal hills. Kids under 18 stay free. (more)

Hotel Del Sol, San Francisco

Located within walking distance of Fisherman’s Wharf in the Marina District, the cheery Hotel de Sol is the ultimate parent- and kid-approved home base for exploring San Francisco. At check-in, little ones get goodie-filled knapsacks, bath accoutrements include tub-toys, and cookies and milk are served every afternoon. Plus, the brightly colored accommodations, come in a range-of family-friendly layouts (you can even request a baby-proofed room). (more)

Camp Richardson, South Lake Tahoe

Generations of families have been coming to the shores of Lake Tahoe to make memories at this classic, outdoors-centric retreat. Unwind in traditional rooms in Camp Richardson’s historic, two-story South Lake Tahoe Hotel, book the seven-bedroom Richardson House or a cabin at the smaller Beachside Inn—or embrace the wilderness with a site at the pine-shaded campgrounds or RV Village. In the summer, partake in marina-infused action, from paddleboards to power boats. In winter, hit the cross-country ski trails or pop over to nearby Heavenly Resort for some alpine skiing and snowboarding. (more)

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

Winter or summer, this mountain retreat delivers white-glove treatment and stunning views in the midst of family-friendly Northstar California resort. Hone your s’mores-making skills at the fire pits, take part in an “Indoor Campout,” sign up for Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe’s Ritz Kids alpine, culinary, and craft-themed activities, and dive into whatever seasonal sojourn delivers smiles: skiing, skating, hiking, golfing and beyond. (more)

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