Families looking for kid friendly resorts in California will find lots of options and varieties. There’s a reason why visitors often call the state “kid”ifornia! There are so many places to visit for all kinds of families. Whether you have college-aged kids who are coming with you, teens, tweens, little ones or a mix of them, there are some key features of a resort that make it family-friendly.
Are you looking forward to adventure or relaxation, active sports or artistic endeavors, mountains or beach…you can find all of this and more in California. Here are some features all families should look for in resorts if they want them to be kid-friendly.
11 Things to Look for Kid Friendly Resorts in California
- Spacious rooms that can accommodate parents with multiple kids
- Rooms are easily booked
- The resort offers a family rate for multiple rooms.
- There’s is something special at check-in for kids.
- The concierge provides pre-check-in recommendations for kid-friendly things to do.
- There are multiple restaurants and kid-friendly dining options.
- There’s family fun close to the hotel.
- Booking flexibility
- A Kids Club
- Easy food options for kids
- An overall kid-friendly aesthetic
If you are interested in booking a family retreat, California is the place to go. Up and down the coast and from far inland to the ocean, there are kid friendly resorts in California that will amaze you.
5 Best Kid Friendly Resorts In California
Check out some of our favorite places for a fantastic family vacation.
1. Waldorf-Astoria Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point, California
The Waldorf-Astoria Monarch Beach Resort is a breathtakingly beautiful destination and an ideal fit for families. Perched on 175 acres atop a 150-foot seaside bluff, it is a beachside resort with plenty of outdoor activities. This is a spectacular place to enjoy the California sun and get some fresh air. When we visited recently, we were impressed with the resort’s casual luxury, the number of activities and the high level of cleanliness we found there.
One of the highlights of our trip was the Stand Up Paddleboard lesson the girls took. They were able to enjoy the lesson directly from the private beach club at the resort. And the food? Oh the food – don’t get us started about all the deliciousness to please the entire family (even the picky eaters).
2. Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa, Monterey
This is a top-rated hotel for a reason. It’s just so cozy! The lobby of the Monterey Plaza Hotel is bounded by a row of windows, all looking out on historic Monterey Bay with perfect oean views. When we visited this family-friendly resort, we loved the roaring fire crackling in the plaza fireplace with cozy chairs surrounding it.
Not only is this oceanfront property located above the crashing surf of the Pacific Ocean, it’s smack dab in the middle of Cannery Row. Within short walking distance is the historic fishing village, reborn as upscale shops, restaurants, galleries and more. One of our favorite activities here was kayaking on the Bay. We paddled around sea otter families, sail boats and more sea lions than we could count! And for the golfers, Pebble Beach is just a quick drive down the road.
3. Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn
I’ve always wanted to stay at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, and last Spring we finally did. It was an even better experience than I thought it would be! The grounds are so gorgeous, the rooms spacious and the common areas very well designed. Our family really loved the outdoor fire pits dotted near the lobby, where we gathered before meals to plan our day. After dinner in the hotel’s very good restaurant, we headed back to the fire for some relaxing time.
Positioned ideally in the center of Sonoma Valley, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn was an ideal jumping off point. One day we visited farms on a cheese trail tour. Another day we wound up the curving road along the Russian River to hang out on the beaches near Bodega Bay. Of course we cannot forget the wines that Sonoma County is famous for. So many sips, so little time.
4. Ritz-Carlton Bacara Resort, Santa Barbara
This hotel is one of the best family friendly resorts in California, as well as one of the most luxurious. We drove up to the Ritz-Carlton Bacara Resort just north of Santa Barbara, and were impressed by the high-touch service and immaculate property. Driving down the long entrance road to the resort put us immediately at ease. The Bacara was the ultimate in luxury on our COVID-safe road trip to Santa Barbara last year.
There are three pools, two beaches and you can even book rooms with private fire pits! One day we played at the beach, walking for miles down the coastline. Another day, we laid in a cabana by the pool, fully stocked with delicious things to eat and drink.
If your family needs a little pampering, this is the ideal spot. You’ll want to check out some of the amazing things Santa Barbara has to offer while you’re staying here too!
5. Omni Rancho Los Palmas
Tucked away on a golf course in Rancho Mirage near Palm Springs, the Omni Rancho Las Palmas is the ultimate family getaway. I mean, golf course, world-class spa, tennis courts, several great restaurants and – what? – a kids pool complete with tubular water slides? This place is one your family will want to return to again and again, because there really is something for everyone.
We loved the colorful flowers, warm starry nights and easy luxury of this resort. Plus Rancho Mirage has a great many things to do for the whole family. Hiking in the nearby mountains is amazing in the early morning, followed by a coffee at Koffi (get it?!). Just up the road, there is a world-class observatory with guided star gazing and more. Into mid-century modern architecture and gorgeous manicured gardens? Check out Sunnylands, a sprawling former private estate now open to the public.
Other Kid Friendly Resorts in California?
These kid friendly family resorts in California will fit into a variety of budgets. And they will work well for families with kids of all ages. If you have younger kids, you may want to stay at a DisneyLand Resort or if you aren’t bringing the kids, go for a wine-filled weekend in Napa. Wherever you go, with whomever you go their with, just enjoy it with al your heart.