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SoCal's Best Theme Park Hotels

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(credit: LEGOLAND)

Whether it's summer or winter in Southern California, its always a great time to plan a trip with your family or a significant other. While theme parks are typically family types of places, these days you're finding couples who love to get away and enjoy places like Disneyland. Luckily, Southern California is not lacking in the theme park department. In addition to offer a variety of thrilling rides and attractions, many offer great hotels, too. Staying near these resorts enriches these family-friendly experiences and is a great way to create special memories.

(credit: Liz Laing)

5885 The Crossings Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(877) 534-6526

There's no denying that the LEGOLAND Hotel was made for kids and adult kids, too. Designed with bright colors, this interactive LEGO building offers play areas and kid-themed rooms which is right what kids love about this Carlsbad hotel. At check-in, guests are welcomed by 5,000 LEGO mini-figures that adorn the wall behind the reception desk, a fraction of the more than three million LEGO bricks used throughout the hotel in 3,500 LEGO models.
Since it opened its doors, the nation's first LEGO-themed hotel has been quite a hit and offers four types of themed rooms: Pirate, Kingdom and Adventure and Lego Friends. Affordably priced, the Pirate Rooms offer plenty of space and even a welcome treasure hunt with a LEGO prize. In addition, take part in building LEGO bricks during your stay here. Want to try something different? The Kingdom room will make your kids feel like they are truly royalty. Whether you're a king, a queen, a prince or a princess, you'll feel the nobility here. The Adventure Room is perfect for the little explorers with a treasure hunt and more to keep them occupied. With the LEGO Friends room, endless fun awaits.
There are plenty of restaurants to choose from inside the hotel as well, which serve breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets with a large variety of healthy and tasty items.
Situated just steps from the LEGOLAND theme park, it's the perfect getaway for young ones.

(credit: Paradise Point Resort & Spa)

Paradise Point Resort & Spa
1404 Vacation Road
San Diego, CA 92109
(800) 344-2626

Situated on a 44-acre private island with a mile of sandy beach, the stylish Paradise Point Resort & Spa will help you escape to paradise on your own fantasy island. The luxurious resort in Mission Bay, San Diego sits just across the street from SeaWorld, making it the perfect place to stay while you visit this animal sanctuary. The California-cool resort features comfortable, beach bungalow-style rooms, surrounded by tropical gardens and meandering lagoons.
Having completed a $20 million renovation several years back, the guest rooms and suites are contemporary and sophisticated with a turquoise and gold color scheme, teak furnishings and custom Javanese batik-style bed throws. Paradise Point is an ideal setting for families and offers many fun activities, such as biking on beach cruisers or surreys, swimming in any of the five pools and making a bonfire on the beach (complete with s'mores!). Make sure to head down to the marina for a variety of activities, including sailing and surfing lessons, kayaking, paddle-boarding, jet skiing and boating.
When you're ready to go to SeaWorld, you're in for a surprise. You can arrive in style in a water taxi, after a relaxing 15-minute cruise across the bay. All summer long, guests can travel back and forth to the aquatic park and not have to worry about parking or standing in line.

(credit: Starwood Hotels)

Sheraton Universal Hotel
333 Universal Hollywood Drive
Universal City, CA 91608
(818) 980-1212

Perched on a hill next to the famed Universal Studios, the Sheraton Universal Hotel is the place to stay if you're looking to visit the theme park. Offering stunning views of the Hollywood Hills on one side and the San Fernando Valley on the other, the hotel was known as the 'Hotel Of The Stars' during Hollywood's Golden Era.
Even though the Sheraton Universal Hotel is located within walking distance of Universal Studios Hollywood and CityWalk, you'll probably opt for the free shuttle from the hotel that runs daily, every 10 to 15 minutes.

(credit: Disney Grand Californian Hotel)

Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
1600 Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92803
(714) 635-2300

When visiting Disneyland or Disneyland's California Adventure Park, there's really only one place to stay. Built in American Craftsman style, the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, is a rustically- elegant hotel that offers luxury accommodations and an array of amenities and services, including early access (through a private entrance) to Disney California Adventure Park.
Premium accommodations are found in all the guest rooms and suites, and further enhanced in the Club Level rooms where guests have access to the exclusive Craftsman's Club lounge, featuring an evening wine and cheese reception, late night desserts, DVD players with complimentary movies and breakfast. Family-friendly rooms with bunk beds are available, as well as sleeping bags and floor pads, slumber party-style.
Want to stay on site and relax after a day at the theme park? Three sparkling pools (including a water slide) will keep the kids busy and offer a reprieve for adults. Other activities include a scavenger hunt for kids and an Art of the Craft Tour, for those interested in the California Arts and Crafts movement, that shows guests how the forest theme is reflected in the lobby artifacts and dining locations.
Dining options at the hotel include the award-winning Napa Rose, which offers a fine dining experience with spectacular views of Disney California Adventure and the less formal Storyteller's Café, with Disney characters on-site.

Liz Laing is a writer, web designer and photographer who lives in Los Angeles. Her latest projects may be followed on Liz Laing.
Disneyland Hotel
(credit: Disney Parks)

Disneyland Hotel
1150 Magic Way
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 778-6600

Immerse yourself in the spirit and wonder of Disneyland and stay at their official resort if you're planning to go to the famed theme park. Whether you stay in the Adventure, Fantasy or Frontier tower, you'll notice that each is a homage to the sights and sounds of the park.

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