Hotels in San Diego, California Where Kids Stay Free

by Lisa Fritscher

San Diego is filled with activities designed to appeal to kids of all ages. Examples include the San Diego Zoo, Legoland and SeaWorld. Southern California has a reputation for being expensive, but some hotels try to draw families by allowing kids to stay free. Always double-check the details on any offer to ensure your family meets all requirements.

Mission Plaza Hotel and Suites

Mission Plaza Hotel and Suites is a clean and comfortable budget hotel less than 10 minutes from the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park. The hotel offers rooms with two queen-sized beds or one king-sized bed, two-bedroom suites and even suites with bunk beds in the kids’ room. Children under 18 stay free in their parents’ unit, and those under 10 receive a free breakfast. Hotel amenities include a 24-hour restaurant, free high-speed Internet access and complimentary access to a nearby fitness center.

Holiday Inn Bayside

The Holiday Inn Bayside provides sweeping views of downtown San Diego or the bay. The heavily themed kids’ rooms are especially designed for families with young children, featuring bunk beds, CD players and video game systems. Kids under 18 stay free in their parents’ room, and kids under 12 eat free in the attached full-service restaurant. Hotel amenities include a variety of outdoor facilities such as a heated pool, nine-hole miniature golf course and shuffleboard courts. FlytePass Kiosk allows you to check flight information and print your boarding passes, while the business center has printing, fax and copy facilities.

Best Western Blue Sea Lodge

The Best Western Blue Sea Lodge is on the beach along the famous Strand. Kids under 18 stay free in their parents’ room. The hotel offers a variety of guestrooms and suites in configurations appropriate for couples or families. Hotel amenities include an oceanfront pool and spa, bottled water in each guestroom, flat-screen televisions and private balconies or patios. Although there is no on-site restaurant, the Strand offers dozens of dining options in every price range within easy walking distance of the hotel.

Hampton Inn San Diego Kearny Mesa

The Hampton Inn San Diego Kearny Mesa is centrally located just one mile from the airport, six miles from the San Diego Zoo and 20 miles from Tijuana, Mexico. Kids under 18 stay free in their parents’ room. Guestroom options include traditional rooms with one king or two queen beds and rooms with a king bed and sofa sleeper. Hotel amenities include a heated outdoor pool and fitness center, wireless Internet access and a daily hot breakfast buffet.

About the Author

Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer specializing in disabled adventure travel. She spent 15 years working for Central Florida theme parks and frequently travels with her disabled father. Fritscher's work can be found in both print and online mediums, including She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of South Florida.