Put away the Spring Break FOMO—your guide to getting away (whether you have a few days or a little bit longer) when the kids are out of school is here
San Diego is one of the top vacation destinations in the United States and is known for its beautiful beaches, world-class attractions and year-round sunshine so it totally makes sense to plan a staycation taking advantage of world-class sunny beaches, stunning swimming pools and beautiful views. Thanks to a wide variety of activities and attractions, it’s also easy to find something to do—even for locals who have been there, done that. So whether you’re looking for an adventure with the family or something more low key get ready to hop in the car, explore the city, and have a fun and family-filled staycation in San Diego that will leave you with zero regrets about heading to the airport.
Best Hotels for a Staycation Getaway near San Diego
1. Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel
In case you haven’t heard, Disney is dropping its price, meaning a visit with the mouse is more affordable than ever. But rather than drive home after a long day of fun in the sun (or drive up there at the crack of dawn), book a staycation at Anaheim Majestic Garden Hotel. Located just 1/2 mile away from the entrance of Disneyland, you can’t get much closer to the park. And bonus? They have a free shuttle that will ferry you to and from the resort so you won’t have to navigate parking (IYKYK). Other perks to this staycation destination? The hotel has its own grand castle entrance, the largest hotel rooms in Anaheim (we all need our space), an outdoor swimming pool and onsite restaurants so you don’t have to worry about where to go to eat. But what we love most is you could head back here mid-day when you need a Disney break, and then head back in the evening to take advantage of that magical glow that Disney is so good at displaying when the lights go down.
900 South Disneyland Dr.
2. Loews Coronado Bay Resort
If this year hasn’t included as many trips to the beach as you had wanted, turn that around with a stay at Loews Coronado Bay Resort. The closest hotel to Silver Strand Beach (ahem, we’ve declared it the “Best Beach for a Staycation” in our guide to the best beaches in San Diego)you can choose either the warmer bayside for kiddos who prefer gentler waves, or go to the ocean side which is great for surfing, fishing and hunting for seashells along the beach—word has it that you can find the occasional sand dollar on Silver Strand Beach. Add to that, Loews has on-site tennis courts, on-site boat rentals and pools galore—making this relaxing, family-friendly resort on a private 15-acre peninsula feel like a luxe country club—without the annoying membership fees.
4000 Coronado Bay Rd.
Spring Break Destinations that are Close to San Diego
1. Catalina Island
Looking for an island escape that promises adventure, Mediterranean-style views, and a hefty dose of relaxation without months of planning or international travel costs? Hop on a 90-minute ferry ride from Dana Point Harbor to Catalina Island where sandy shores, sea lions, and plenty of family-friendly activities await. From oceanfront beach clubs to ziplining adventures, the options for making memories are limitless on this small but magical island. Check out our ultimate guide to visiting Catalina Island with kids for everything you need to know about how to get there, where to stay and what to do.
2. Big Bear Lakes
Get back to nature in Big Bear with some family hiking, camping and s’mores by the campfire. Not a camping family? There are plenty of cabin rentals available, but book them now if that’s your plan. If Big Bear is full, look nearby in Running Springs because it’s just 30 minutes away and halfway to Lake Arrowhead for another popular mountain retreat. Snow may last until mid-March, but if snow isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of other things to do. Check out rescued forest animals at the Alpine Zoo, ride the Miss Liberty paddle-wheel boat around the lake and find fun for the whole family at The Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain with go-karts, mini-golf, bobsleds (dry or snow), and an arcade. Bring your wheels, bikes, scooters, skates or blades and hit the Alpine Pedal Path for a 2.5 mile paved flat trail around the lake. Hiking is the most obvious activity in the mountains, but you can also glide through the trees on a zipline with Action Tours.
Big Bear Lake, CA
3. Palm Springs
The ultimate playground for Spring Break near San Diego with kids. Some of our top recommends for things to do with kids in Palm Springs are the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens and the Palm Springs Air Museum but there’s so much to do, we wrote an entire article about the best things to do in Palm Springs. Of course, don’t forget to plan time in your trip to visit Joshua Tree National Park for some great hikes, easy nature walks and cool rock formations (Skull Rock and Heart Rock are most notable and easy to traverse with kids).
Insider Tip: Stop at the Cabazon Dinosaurs on your way to or from for a truly unique roadside pit stop in SoCal.
Palm Springs, CA