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Best Family-Friendly Getaways Near Los Angeles

road trip 610 header family
(credit: istockphoto)

Does your family need a vacation? How about going out of town to get that mojo back with your particular clan? If you answered yes to either of these questions, pay attention. The following five places are great kid-friendly vacation spots convenient to the City of Angels. Pick one and then clear your calendar for a very special getaway with your clan.  

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay Beach Hotel & Resort
(credit: Love L./Yelp)

Embassy Suites Mandalay Bay Beach Hotel & Resort
2101 Mandalay Beach Rd.
Oxnard, CA, 93035
(805) 984-2500

The jumping-off point for the Channel Islands, Oxnard is a convenient place to stay if you're looking for a laid-back location that gives you a multitude of family-friendly experiences right on the ocean. Thirty miles south of Santa Barbara and only an hour north of Los Angeles, this Embassy Suites is just that: a full-blown hotel with accommodations that offer multiple rooms, and roomy rooms at that. Bikes are on standby for folks of all ages who want to ride around and discover their new environment while an active pool has its own bar for all kinds of libations, from Shirley Temples to gin and tonics. High-chairs, playpens and cribs are at the ready as are a number of places to wander on a sprawling Pacific-front facility ripe with waterfalls, gardens and streaming lagoons.

Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground
(credit: Tracie P./Yelp)

Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground
1380 S. Harbor Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 776-6120

With Southern California home to such high profile theme parks as Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, it's nice when you are able to settle down right across the street from these two hot spots to take advantage of all there is to offer at these storied, family-friendly venues. The Howard Johnson Anaheim is actually a mini-theme park in and of itself because right on the premises is an extensive water playground that will keep your youngsters busy for hours. This area of the destination resort is called Pirate Cove, where toddlers have a wading pool to keep them cool and where older kids can experience the drench bucket and pirate ship complete with a variety of slides. Also on hand is a techie game room, accommodations with bunk beds and a hot tub for 15.

Omni La Costa Resort Carlsbad
(credit: Jordan S./Yelp)

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa 
2100 Costa Del Mar Rd
Carlsbad, CA 92009
(760) 438-9111

Very convenient to Legoland and Sea World, Omni La Costa has been the go-to place for golf for decades. There's also one of Southern California's best spas on the property. But that's just the beginning of this sunny wonderland that boasts everything, including a special pool meant for your little ones. This watery nirvana even has a beach as well as three waterslides. Nearby, the adult pool is a great place to swim in silence or just kick back and enjoy a drink or two. Kidtopia is also part of the mix. This kids' club is supervised so your offspring can do their own thing while you do yours. Sounds like a great time will be had by all, don't you think?

Related: Travel Snack Ideas for the Whole Family

la quinta resort
(Credit: La Quinta Resort & Club)

La Quinta Resort and Spa
49499 Eisenhower Dr.
La Quinta, CA 92253
(760) 564-4111

Imagine 41 pools on a 45-acre campus where every 10 rooms have their own special place to swim and splash. That's La Quinta, a destination resort in the desert near Palm Springs. This is a full-fledged operation where your pets are welcome and where a highly praised kids' club for children ages four through 12 is a great place for the little ones to interact with other littles ones. Meanwhile, teens will love to borrow a hotel bike to take a look around this marvelous outpost with its ten golf courses, two dozen tennis courts and seven restaurants satisfying just about any craving. While in the area with your clan, plan a ride up the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway to experience all kinds of climates, from the desert floor to the wintery wilderness.

hilton universal
(credit: Christy M./Yelp)

Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City
555 Universal Hollywood Dr.
Universal City, CA 91608
(818) 506-2500

Sometimes a getaway from the sprawling city of LA means making your vacation a staycation, especially when time is of the essence. That's where the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City comes in. You can drive to this Hollywood adjacent hot spot or you can take the Metro to check into arguably the best hotel convenient to Universal City in which your family will bond in a hurry before heading uphill to Universal City. There, you'll come across all kinds of fun, from the theme park at Universal Studios, to a bunch of movie theaters showing the latest films, to City Walk, a chance to stroll together while hitting up the fun shops and lively restaurants in this rarified area that is as much fun for the adults in your clan as it is for the kids. 

Related: Best Kids Art Classes in Los Angeles

Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on

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