SeaWorld San Diego is one of our most sought-after attractions, especially for visiting families. It’s easy to find hotels near SeaWorld San Diego as it’s on the edge of the Mission Bay neighborhood, near several other popular tourist neighborhoods, and close to the San Diego airport.
What to Know About Hotels Near SeaWorld San Diego Before Booking
I help people plan San Diego family vacations and have insider knowledge about our local hotel inventory. Which location to choose when a vacation is centered around SeaWorld San Diego is often confusing so I’ll cover this and how to save money on SeaWorld San Diego tickets. (If you book a hotel or buy SeaWorld tickets using my links, I may be compensated.)
Already know which location to choose and how to buy tickets? Jump to my hotel picks.
Tips for Choosing a Location
There are no hotels near SeaWorld San Diego that are closer than a nearly 25-minute walk. The good news is that driving there is easy to do, thanks to its large parking lot. You can also easily take a rideshare like Uber.
This list is designed to cite best-reviewed hotels in all price ranges that are as close to SeaWorld San Diego as possible. It’s a bit more varied than others I’ve put together because it covers multiple neighborhoods. To give you an idea, the Mission Beach and Old Town neighborhoods are both near SeaWorld San Diego.
Though they’re a bit further afield, Downtown San Diego hotels and La Jolla hotels would also be completely fine for a SeaWorld-centric visit as well. I recommend looking in these two areas for those seeking a true luxury hotel option, as there are none on this list.
Hotel Names Do Not Mean Close Locations
Some hotels with SeaWorld in their names are not as close to the park as this naming implies. If you’re considering a hotel that isn’t on this list, check the distance on Google maps or similar to avoid disappointment. Speaking of distance, here are a couple of things to note about getting to the park.
I’ve mentioned how far each hotel is from SeaWorld San Diego on foot when it’s possible to walk. Otherwise, I’ve mentioned the drive time.
The driving distance might be shorter or longer than walking distance. Walking paths and driving routes differ because there are bridges over the bay and busy streets one must safely cross in certain areas to get to the park entrance.
Buy Tickets in Advance to Save Money
You also should DEFINITELY purchase SeaWorld San Diego tickets online, in advance, before arriving at the park to receive the lowest prices as there are often online-only special offers. The best deals will be on their website or on aRes Travel if you’d like to get seven consecutive days for the price of one or all-day dining included.
Tip: General parking at SeaWorld San Diego is free for annual pass holders, but the cost for everyone else is $25 per car. You can save time by purchasing parking online and depending on where your hotel or resort is, you might save money by taking an Uber.
And, now let’s get into what I believe at the best hotels near SeaWorld San Diego.
1. Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina
Distance to SeaWorld San Diego: 1.4 miles (23-minute walk)
Why go: Families love the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina and it just completed a $65 million renovation. It’s one of the only hotels with water slides in San Diego (there are three and guests must be 42″ or taller to use them). Walk four blocks to Belmont Park, our seaside amusement park, and the ocean beach at Mission Beach where there are also quite a few restaurants and shops along the beach boardwalk and main street.
Beach amenities: While located on Mission Bay, there is no bay beach at the hotel but one of the best things to do at Mission Bay is watersports. Mission Bay Sports Center rents jet skis, kayaks, boats, water skis and bikes to use on the bay. And you can enjoy private and group charters by Gone Sailing which depart from the hotel’s marina, too.
- Pillow top Hyatt Grand beds
- Flat-screen televisions
- In-room coffee pot by request
- A full-service eco-friendly spa
- Three swimming pools and three water slides
- Live music at the Red Marlin restaurant every Friday and Saturday
- Seasonal games like hula and Bingo at the pool
- An on-site market with coffee, bagels, snacks and more
- Pool bar and lounge
- Private marina
- Complimentary WiFi
- Rentals for everything from speedboats to roller skates (kayak and paddleboard rentals are included in the $35/night resort fee)
Good to know: This hotel used to have a Regency Club, but it’s no longer in service. You will read mixed reviews but many are from before the renovation. It is one of my top picks in the area for well-rounded amenities and things to do nearby. They do offer connecting rooms, and these are:
- Ocean View Corner Suite to Ocean View Queen
- Marina View Corner Suite to Marina View Queen
Pool day pass: Day guests may purchase passes to the pool and spa in addition to renting cabanas and rooms by the pool for the day through ResortPass.
2. Paradise Point Resort & Spa
Distance to SeaWorld San Diego: 1.5 miles (25-minute walk)
Note: At some point in 2020, this hotel will rebrand to a Margaritaville.
Why go: Paradise Point Resort, is a 462-room, four-star, bungalow-style resort set on Mission Bay that was established in 1962 by famous Hollywood Director Jack Skirball. The 44-acre resort actually feels like a secluded tropical island as over one mile of bay beach circles its perimeter. Guests enjoy five swimming pools, tranquil lagoons, and lush gardens. The bay beach lacks waves (which appeals to families of small children) and guests can take advantage of onsite water sports rentals.
The resort is on the opposite side of Mission Bay from the beach. You’ll need to take a 2-mile drive around the bay to get to the ocean (you should take Uber during summer as beach parking is difficult). It feels like the closest hotel to SeaWorld because you can see the park when you pull into its entrance but the walk from door to door still takes 30 minutes.
Beach amenities: Along the bay beach, you’ll find 14 bonfire pits, beach games like volleyball, bocce ball, and horseshoes. Beach toys and accessories available for purchase at the Island Market. Daily surfing lessons by the Paradise Surf Academy (participants take a boat across the bay to their headquarters) at the ocean beach.
- Five swimming pools including an adults-only pool
- 462 Balinese-inspired bungalow rooms including 73 suites with private patios, mini refrigerators, and in-room coffee (suites have wet bars and microwaves)
- A full-service marina with sailboats and ski boats
- Wakeboarding, waterskiing, kayaks, paddleboats, and fishing
- 18-hole putting golf course
- Five dining venues including two waterfront restaurants
- Award-winning, island-themed spa with kids’ treatments
- Pet-friendly with no weight restrictions
- Island Adventure supervised kids’ club on Friday and Saturday evenings (5–9 p.m.)
- Tennis and basketball courts
- Beach cruisers and surreys
Good to know: It is isolated as there isn’t much to do nearby in the way of restaurants and shops. You’re also going to read mixed reviews of this resort, but they are consistently better (still some complaints about service and cleanliness) since the renovation. The resort is quite large, so there can be a decent amount of walking, though golf cart rides are available.
They used to have a water taxi to SeaWorld San Diego but have discontinued this. As you will pass SeaWorld San Diego while driving to and from the resort, you’ll feel more like you’re near SeaWorld San Diego than you would at other hotels and resorts on this list.
Awards: San Diego Magazine – Reader’s Choice: Best Kid/Family Friendly Hotel 2019; Conde Nast Traveler – Reader’s Choice #19 Resort in Southern California 2018
3. San Diego Mission Bay Resort
Distance to SeaWorld San Diego: 2.3 miles
Why go: The newly renovated San Diego Mission Bay Resort is an excellent option for those who check in to visit SeaWorld and other parts of San Diego as the resort offers excellent freeway access (we did not hear freeway noise) but also newly renovated rooms, a great heated pool, and water sports. It’s a nice bay beach hotel choice.
The Mission Bay boardwalk is right in front of the hotel as is a nice sandy beach. Do book a fire pit room as s’mores kits are available in the onsite shop.
The resort recently was formerly known as Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa but is now a part of the Noble House Hotels & Resorts collection of experience-driven upscale properties.
Beach amenities: The Sandbox rents bikes (surreys, beach cruisers, kids’ bikes, and trailers) to ride on the boardwalk and sand toys for use on the beach. Action Sports Rental at the resort marina rents aqua cycles, Segways, stand-up paddleboards, pontoons and more. There is a beach volleyball net (balls are available from the front desk)
- Guest rooms, studios and suites (some have bay views) all with luxury bedding, small refrigerators and private balconies or patios
- Waterfront pool and wading pool for young kids
- Poolside cabana rentals and menu service
- Pets up to 75 lbs are welcome (two per room)
- A nice market and boutique with plenty of grab-and-go food and wine for the room
- Fire pits in some rooms (s’mores kits are available in the market)
- Waterfront dining at Acqua California Bistro
- Full-service spa
- Championship tennis courts
- Seasonal kids’ club
- Seasonal dive-in movies
- Game check-out at the front desk
- Pool day passes are available through ResortPass
Good to know: Similar to Paradise Point the beach is on the other side of the bay, however, you feel less isolated at this hotel because of the boardwalk and freeway easy access. It is about a 4-mile scenic car ride around the bay to the ocean at Mission Beach.
Pool day pass: Day guests may purchase passes to the pool and spa in addition to renting cabanas through ResortPass.
Awards: #8 for The Best Resorts in San Diego, 2019 (U.S. News and World Report); #2 for The Best Family Resorts in the US in 2019 (TODAY)
4. Bahia Resort Hotel
Distance to SeaWorld San Diego: 2.5 miles
Why go: The Bahia Resort Hotel was Mission Bay’s very first hotel. The Mediterranean-themed resort is located on a secluded 14-acre peninsula that juts out into Mission Bay and has its own private bay beach. It’s the sister property to Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa, which means there is transportation between the two hotels, and known for providing good value.
To get to the ocean at Mission Beach and Belmont Park, guests need to walk a pleasant and comfortable 10 minutes. This is another beach hotel choice because you have the bay beach and nearby ocean beach.
Beach amenities: Guests may rent complimentary cabanas on the private bay beach and enjoy seasonal kids’ beach activities, summer beach concerts, and summer clambakes. Rentals of wetsuits, boogie boards, rafts, paddle boats, kayaks, powerboats, wave runners/sea-dos are available year-round.
- 314-rooms which include beach-front cottages, studios with panoramic views, and spacious bayside suites
- Bayfront suites have direct beach access and Studios offer full kitchens and dining areas
- Driver service to The Catamaran Spa
- Two complimentary lighted tennis courts
- Heated swimming pool with Jacuzzi
- The Bahia Belle Sternwheeler boat which takes guests on family hour and cocktail cruises
- Pond with ducks and two rescued seals (kids will love them)
- No resort fees and free parking for overnight guests (1 vehicle)
- A Moroccan-inspired lounge with live music
- Fitness center
Good to know: It is an older resort which partially explains why it’s great value for money given the location. Bahia also has a reputation for good service. This is one of the hotels with family suites near SeaWorld San Diego that sleep six across two queen beds and a sofa bed.
5. The Dana on Mission Bay
Distance to SeaWorld San Diego: .9 miles (23-minute walk)
Why go: The Dana on Mission Bay is a casual, low-key hotel that also welcomes guests with a tropical atmosphere. It is the closest hotel to SeaWorld San Diego and about a mile to the heart of the action in Mission Beach. The 10-acre resort has two main buildings: Marina Cove and Water’s Edge.
Beach amenities: Onsite Adventure Watersports rentals include jet ski’s, powerboats, paddle boats, bicycles (single and tandems), water-skiing, wakeboarding, motorboat rides, wave runners, aqua cycles, paddleboards, kayaks. They also offer seasonal youth classes where kids can learn water sports. Beach chair and umbrella rentals as included in the resort fee as is 4 hours of bicycle rental.
- Flat-screen HDTVs, refrigerators, microwaves, single cup coffee and tea makers in all rooms
- Wet bar, hand-crafted furniture, balconies and patios, water views in Water’s Edge section
- Pets up to 80 lbs are welcome (maximum 2 per room)
- Bayview infinity pool and spa; tropical pool and spa
- Onsite restaurant and seasonal pool bar
- Private marina with boat slips for hotel guests (reservations necessary)
- Laundry facilities
- Seasonal dive-in movies
- Lawn games
- Complimentary shuttle service to SeaWorld San Diego
Rooms for larger families: The 600-square-foot Park View Double Queen Suite can sleep six people between the two beds and a sofa bed.
Good to know: As mentioned above, the ocean beach at Mission Beach is about a mile away but you can walk or ride a bike there easily. It is an older property which is why it can price well. They do have a $32/night resort fee that covers quite a few amenities including 50% off of breakfast and a SeaWorld San Diego shuttle.
6. Old Town Inn San Diego
Distance to SeaWorld San Diego: 2.9 miles
Why go: While this 73 room hotel is in a self-described “industrial pocket,” Old Town Inn San Diego is located on Pacific Coast Highway and adjacent to the city’s primary freeway, the I-5. It’s just a 10-minute drive to the San Diego International Airport and to SeaWorld San Diego. It is also a 10-minute walk to Old Town San Diego, a top tourist attraction, and the Transit Station there (where one can catch the Trolley to downtown San Diego and even to the United States – Mexico border area).
We also appreciate that it’s been family-owned and operated for three generations, dating back to 1945. It’s one of our city’s best-reviewed budget hotels and suits families looking for hotels near SeaWorld San Diego who prioritize a location near public transportation.
- Free breakfast
- Free high-speed Wi-Fi internet in public areas of the hotel and in each guest room
- Heated outdoor swimming pool with available poolside BBQ
- Free parking (self-parking)
- Free DVD library
- Wake-up calls
- Arcade/game room
- Laundry facilities
- Fax services
- 24-hour front desk
- Free newspapers in the lobby
- Safe deposit box at the front desk
- Meeting room for small groups
Rooms for larger families: The family suite sleeps six people across two queen beds in a separate bedroom and sofa bed in the living room.
Good to know: Pet-friendly. For four-legged pets and even birds. Entirely non-smoking and never a resort fee. It’s in an industrial yet convenient location.
Awards: AAA 2-Diamond hotel, TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2019
7. Hilton Garden Inn Old Town/SeaWorld Area
Distance to SeaWorld San Diego: 2.9 miles
Why go: It’s a newer hotel with Mission revival-style architecture that is walking distance from Old Town State Park with its many restaurants, historic sites, and shops in addition also a short walk from the Old Town Trolley Station where one can catch the Trolley to downtown San Diego and even to the U.S.- Mexico border.
Hilton Garden Inn Old Town/SeaWorld Area is also about a 10-minute drive to San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld San Diego, the beach, and downtown San Diego (and Little Italy and Petco Park). It’s a good location.
- Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
- Heated outdoor pool
- Fitness room
- Room service
- Business center (with free printing)
- 24 Hour Pavilion Pantry Market
- Hotel restaurant, the Verde Kitchen & Bar
- Bar area
- Coin laundry
- Safe deposit box
- High chairs
Good to know: Their king rooms also have a sofa bed which is nice for parents who prefer to sleep in a larger bed (while kids sleep on the sofa bed). Self-parking is $21/night.
How to book: Use the Hilton Honors discount and book online.
8. Holiday Inn Express San Diego-SeaWorld Beach Area
Distance to SeaWorld San Diego: 4 miles
Why go: This Holiday Inn Express is in Pacific Beach within walking distance to Mission Bay and Mission Bay Golf Course though sort of in a busy pocket right off of the freeway. The upshot is easy freeway access but you definitely need a car to get to the beach and SeaWorld. It’s one of the cheap hotels near SeaWorld San Diego with free breakfast, too, and positive reviews overall.
- Free parking (self-parking only)
- Free breakfast buffet/continental breakfast
- Wireless internet available, and free to all IHG Rewards Club members
- Heated outdoor pool
- Fitness center
- Business center
- Meeting room
- Laundry facilities available
- Ice machine
- Language interpretation
Good to know: Pets not allowed with the exception of service animals. Rubio’s, Sushi Ota (some of our city’s best sushi) and some other conveniences are with walking distance. I might bring earplugs as the streets here are busy.
How to book: Sign up for IHG Rewards to book directly and save.
Vacation Rentals Near SeaWorld San Diego
The South Mission Beach neighborhood near SeaWorld San Diego is one of the most popular vacation rental areas in all of San Diego. These homes and condos are often beachfront or just steps from the ocean beach and bay beach. Not to mention the beach here is stunning and family-friendly. You can search VRBO to get an idea of what is available if you’re trying to decide between a hotel and a home.
And, don’t forget to buy your SeaWorld San Diego tickets.