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The words “family vacation” don’t always conjure images of a relaxing experience. Whether you have energetic little ones or older children who need more exciting entertainment, finding time to unwind can be a challenge when the whole family travels together.

Luckily, it is possible to enjoy some downtime, and even some romance, on a family vacay. Finding the right hotel will play a big part in the way the trip goes. You’ll want to stay at a comfortable, restful place, but you’ll also want plenty of activities around you, whether onsite or close by. These hotels fit that description—and they’re all family-friendly.

The Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa, Pismo Beach


The Dolphin Bay’s relaxing accommodations and rejuvenating spa will definitely attract the adults in the family, but the activities will lure in people of all ages. They offer complimentary bike rentals, kayak tours, boat tours, and they have an amazing heated infinity pool. The onsite restaurant, Lido, has a great kids’ menu. Plus, you can explore Pismo Beach together. 

Pacifica Beach Hotel


Quiet, comfortable and relaxing, the Pacifica Beach Hotel is an attractive and reasonably priced oceanfront property. Each room has its own jacuzzi tub, so you can soak while your kids watch a movie (cable is provided). The pool has a panoramic ocean view the whole family will love, and the onsite restaurant makes mealtime convenient.

Surf & Sand Resort, Laguna Beach


Surf & Sand has won numerous awards and was recently rated one of the top 20 resorts in Southern California. The goal here is to make sure the entire family has a great experience, from the stunning pool to the abundant dining options. The resort is close to the Laguna Beach Trolley which offers free rides through Laguna Beach.

Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point


The Monarch Beach Resort has it all: Fine dining, golf, a fitness center, beautiful pools, and a spa. But if you’re traveling with children, it’s the Kids’ Club that will be the most appealing. While your kids play games, listen to stories, swim and hang out with other little ones, you can enjoy a romantic meal or treat yourself to a soothing massage.

Newport Beach Hotel


When it comes to location, it really doesn’t get better than this. Located steps from the ocean and the Newport Beach Boardwalk, this hotel is a great choice for families. They offer a free continental breakfast every morning, bikes and beach chairs to borrow, and books and games are available at the front desk.

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Carlsbad

The Omni La Costa in Carlsbad is known for its world renowned spa, where you and your other half can get a couples’ massage and relax by the Roman Waterfalls. Your kids will be enjoying Kidtopia (for ages 3-12) where they can swim, make crafts, and journey through a magical forest (and a water park). When you reunite, you can participate in the resort’s family scavenger hunt and try to win the prize.

Terranea Resort, Palos Verdes

Between Terranea’s Tide Pool Kids’ Club and the Point Discovery activity center, you’ll have plenty of time for spa services, gourmet dining and walks on the Palos Verdes beaches. The resort boasts 228 fire pits, so make sure to pick up a S’mores kit from the onsite Catalina Kitchen to enjoy as a family.

Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel

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Between the beach and the Santa Monica Pier, this is a destination for children of all ages. Luckily, Loews has a Loews Loves Kids program designed to make your experience fun and easy. Every child under 10 receives a welcome gift bag upon arrival, and the little ones are welcome to the Kids Closet, complimentary items to use such as books, strollers, toys, baby bathtubs and night lights. To top it off, their poolside pampering means you can lie back in a lounge chair and watch the kids swim while the staff brings you chilled towels and smoothies.

Loews Coronado Bay, San Diego

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Loews Coronado is another gorgeous place to visit with the family. While the children are having a blast watching a magic show or going on a treasure hunt organized by the Loews Loves Kids club, you can sip champagne and explore the Coronado Cays in a gondola or book yourself a spa treatment. There’s even a Teen Lounge with video games.