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12 of the Best California Beach Resorts for Families (in 2020)

Back view of a family of four vacationing on a beach.

Thinking of vacationing in California for a few days or weeks with the entire family? You’re in luck because there are some great family-friendly beach resorts in California where your family can have an unforgettable vacation.

California has about 840 miles of coastline, which means there’s no shortage of amazing resorts with great beach views. And the best part is that many of these resorts are not too expensive, even though they are exquisite and offer lots of great fun for the whole family.

Here are 12 of the best California beach resorts (in no particular order) that are suitable for family vacations.

1. The Waterfront Beach Resort, Huntington Beach

The Waterfront Beach Resort, Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach is nicknamed “Surf City” because of the surfing culture. It is home to the International Surfing Museum and the U.S. Open Surfing. Little wonder the Waterfront Beach Resort lives up to that reputation!

All the guests can access up to 10 miles of spotless and beautiful beachfront at this Hilton Hotel. There’s simply no dull moment for the kids as there’s plenty of special programs designed for them. Adults are not left out, too! There’s access to beach equipment such as fire pits, cabana rentals, and surfboards to ride the waves of the beach.

Depending on what package you choose, you can have breakfast buffet (and kids under four years old can eat for free!), wi-fi access for streaming Netflix chilling at the magnificent pool, plus children’s menus.

Here’s one more huge plus for the Waterfront Beach Resort: apart from being a kid-friendly resort, small pets are welcomed, too! That means you don’t have to leave your small dog all by itself or hire someone to look after it while the whole family is gone.

Your family deserves to have a taste of one of the most exquisite California beach resorts!

2. Terranea Resort, Palos Verdes

Terranea Resort, Palos Verdes

Situated close to the beach, the Terranea Resort is an excellent choice if you want your whole family to experience a true beach vacation. The resort is one of the few large ones in the southern parts of California. It offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, plus you can enjoy nature trails and hike right in the resort!

The kid-friendly resort has luxurious rooms that are large enough to accommodate families of five comfortably. Many of the suites have private balconies with ocean views.

There are lots of kid-friendly activities, including bike rentals, an adventure camp, and a tide pool kid’s club. Adults too can enjoy an adults-only pool and other pools, including a pool with 140-feet waterslide. You can also enjoy activities such as stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and surfing.

Guests have free wi-fi access on the property. And while you’re at Terranea Resort, you can enjoy their professional spa and gym, and also play golf on a nine-hole golf course.

3. Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa, San Diego

Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa, San Diego

If you’re looking to get some rest and recreation in the San Diego area, the Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa is just the right spot. Plus, staff members are particularly friendly and welcoming. The hotel offers an unforgettable view of the beach.

There’s complimentary breakfast, free wi-fi access, and adults have the option of drinks by the pool. Children age 12 and under can participate in the Kei-Kei-Club with loads of fun activities. Exotic birds put up a great show for kids daily, and your young ones can also enjoy arcade games.

And if you’ll like other attractions, the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld are just a few miles outside the resort.

4. Surf and Sand Resort, Laguna Beach

A short stroll from Laguna Beach will bring you to the Surf and Sand Resort. Some of the rooms have balconies, but every single one of them promises a great view of the ocean. The onsite restaurant is not left out, too! You can see the crashing waves just inches from the restaurant.

There’s a kid-friendly pool surrounded by cabanas, making it a great spot for watching the sunset with your family.

A family fun package is part of the deal at the Surf and Sand Resort and includes free cookies and milk for kids. You also get cleaning and laundry services (available on request).

5. Blue Sea Beach Hotel, San Diego

The strikingly beautiful Blue Sea Beach Hotel is one of the perfect family vacation spots in San Diego. Staying here gives you quick and direct access to the beach.

The spacious rooms offer a full view of the ocean. There’s also a huge pool where you can relax while watching the beach. Other amenities include access to wi-fi and video games.

You will get plenty of recommendations for kid-friendly activities from the staff. Plus, you’ll be warmly welcomed with cookies!

6. Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, Santa Barbara

Entrance to the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, Santa Barbara.

The condo-style apartments and the largest outdoor pool in the region are among the coolest things about Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront. Plus, you get a great view of the beach from any of the units.

This luxury resort has tennis courts, and a huge public playground is just a stone throw away from the beachfront resort. And as an added bonus for staying here, the breakfast buffet is completely free for kids.

7. Sanctuary Beach Resort, Monterey

Sanctuary Beach Resort, Monterey

You can access the best of the beach directly from the Sanctuary Beach Resort. The rooms here are modern and equipped with a TV, mini-fridge, and a kitchen. There’s also access to free wi-fi on the property.

Your kids will definitely not want to miss the resort’s bonfire tradition at the beach. They can swim in the cold water or opt for the heated pool if they prefer something warmer. Hit the sands early in the morning if you want to spot whales and dolphins playing in the waters.

8. Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado

Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado

The Loews Coronado Bay Resort is one of the California beach resorts designed with both kids and adults in mind. You’re sure to give your children a kid-centric vacation while having plenty of fun yourself at this resort.

The rooms are modern and large, with many of them offering a spectacular view of the ocean. There’s an adults-only pool so that kids won’t bother other adults.

Kids can enjoy the shuttle travels to the beach, and other attractions near the resort, as well as have fun with the over-sized outdoor chess set.

9. Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, Huntington Beach

Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, Huntington Beach

If you’re looking for a hotel that offers complete comfort, large pools, and a playground for your kids, Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa fits that bill perfectly. And the best part? It all comes at an incredibly affordable price.

Located just a couple of feet away from the beach, this amazing resort offers two lagoon-style pools, a hot tub, a wading pool for kids, and a Slyders Playground with three slides. As if that’s not enough fun, Hyatt also offers a playroom and a Game Zone arcade that even adults will find very tempting.

You’ll find a small retail plaza with a grocery, a coffee shop, and plenty of restaurants just outside the resort.

10. Tamarack Beach Resort & Hotel, Carlsbad

With so many fun activities lined up at the Tamarack Beach Resort and Hotel, your whole family is likely to forget that Legoland is just a few minutes away from the resort.

Tamarack offers one and two-bedroom suites, with many of them offering guests a great view of the beachfront. The whole family can enjoy the Ping Pong table and the pool, while adults have the option of lounging in any of the several hot tubs in the resort. There’s also a recreational room with an old-school pool table.

You can take a break from all the activities and take a leisurely walk on the beach while enjoying the great sunset experience that’s unique to Tamarack Beach Resort.

11. Monarch Beach Resort at Dana Point, Dana Point

The Monarch Beach Resort is just a stone throw from the beachfront. Most of the suites and rooms allow you to see the great ocean view.

But Monarch Beach Resort is not only a beach resort; it has a beautiful open lawn area, too – one of the few family-friendly California beach resorts to offer the amenity.

There is a kid’s club and two heated pools where the whole family can enjoy. During the summer, one of the pools is an adults-only pool.

12. Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica

Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica

The Shutters on the Beach is one of the California beach resorts with a huge family-sized rooftop pool with chaise lounges overlooking the beach. You can’t miss the spectacular views from the kid-friendly pool.

The onsite dining options are superb as they come with lots of kid-friendly menus. Other amenities include a kitchen per unit and access to wi-fi.

If you enjoy riding with older kids, you can request for bicycle rental services from the front desk. Additionally, you can ask for babysitting services if you need one for younger kids.

A father loading up the car for the beach trip with the kids.

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