SeaWorld San Diego is one 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 not too far from the airport.
What to Know About Hotels Near SeaWorld San Diego
There are no hotels near SeaWorld San Diego that are closer than about a 25-minute walk. The good news is that driving there or using Uber is easy to do, thanks to its large parking lot.
Tip: General parking at SeaWorld San Diego is free for annual pass holders, but the cost for everyone else is $22 per car. You can save time by purchasing parking online.
You also should DEFINITELY purchase SeaWorld San Diego tickets online, in advance, before arriving to the park. They will be less expensive than gate pricing. 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.
Some hotels with SeaWorld in their name are not as close to the park as their name implies. Check the distance on Google maps or similar to avoid disappointment. Speaking of distance, I’ve mentioned how far each hotel is from SeaWorld San Diego on foot. However, the driving distance might be shorter or longer. Walking paths and driving routes are not straight because there are bridges over the bay and busy streets one must safely cross in certain sections to get to the entrance.
This list is designed to cite best-reviewed 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. The Mission Beach and Old Town neighborhoods are both near the 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 and are recommended for those seeking a luxury hotel option, as there are none on this list.
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina
Distance to SeaWorld San Diego: 1.4 miles (23-minute walk)
Why go: Families love the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina. It’s the only hotel in San Diego with multiple water slides (age restrictions apply). This hotel is four blocks to Belmont Park, our seaside amusement park, and Mission Beach. Here, there are also quite a few restaurants and shops to enjoy, too.
Beach amenities: While located on Mission Bay, they do not have a bay beach at the hotel. Mission Bay Sports Center rents jet skis, kayaks, boats, water skis and bikes to use on the bay.
- Pillow top Hyatt Grand beds
- Flat screen televisions and iPod docks in every room
- In-room coffee pot by request
- A full-service eco-friendly spa
- Three swimming pools
- 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
Good to know: This hotel used to have a Regency Club, but it’s no longer in service. While it is my top pick in the area for well-rounded amenities and things to do nearby, it’s a 3.5-star property. Like many other Mission Bay hotels, it receives mixed reviews. They do offer connecting rooms, and these are:
- Ocean View Corner Suite to Ocean View Queen
- Marina View Corner Suite to Marina View Queen
How to book: For stays of two nights or longer, email your preferred room type (check Hyatt for this) and dates to katie @ lajollamom.com. I can add Hyatt Prive benefits that include breakfast for two, a $100 hotel credit, a room upgrade and more for stays at Hyatt Regency Mission Bay (and other Hyatts around town). Or, use the TripAdvisor link below to compare rates.
Paradise Point Resort & Spa
Distance to SeaWorld San Diego: 1.5 miles (25-minute walk)
Why go: Paradise Point Resort, a Destination Hotel, 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 the perimeter. Guests enjoy five swimming pools, tranquil lagoons, and lush gardens. The bay beach lacks waves, which families of small children like and offers a multitude of water sports.
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 there.
Beach amenities: Along the bay beach, find 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 renovated Balinese-inspired bungalow rooms including 73 suites with private patios, mini refrigerators, Gilchrist & Soames amenities, and in-room coffee (suites have wet bars and microwaves)
- A full-service marina with sailboats and ski boats
- Wakeboarding, waterskiing, kayaks, paddle boats and fishing
- 18-hole putting golf course
- Five dining venues including two waterfront restaurants
- Award-winning, island-themed spa with kids’ treatments
- Pet-friendly to 15 lbs or less
- Seasonal kids club (roughly Memorial Day through Labor Day)
- 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 and management change. 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 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 than you would at other hotels and resorts on this list.
Awards: Conde Nast Traveler – Reader’s Choice #21 Resort in Southern California (2017)
How to book: Email your preferred room type (check online for options) and dates to katie @ lajollamom.com. I have access to Travel Leader Select perks that I can add to Paradise Point Resort & Spa bookings. Or, use the TripAdvisor link below to compare rates.
Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa
Distance to SeaWorld San Diego: 2.3 miles
Why go: My daughter and I recently enjoyed a staycation at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa with another family. It’s an excellent option for those who intend to explore Mission Beach and other parts of San Diego as the resort is next to the freeway (we did not hear freeway noise). It also could be a good choice for those looking to redeem Hilton HHonors points.
The Mission Bay boardwalk is right in front of the hotel as is a nice sandy beach. Do book the room with a fire pit as s’mores kits are available in the onsite shop.
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 paddle boards, pontoons and more. There is a beach volleyball net (balls are available from the front desk)
- Choose between 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
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.
How to book: Booking on Hilton using the Hilton Honors rate (it’s free to join) is usually the best way to go when it comes to Hilton Hotels in San Diego.
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 The Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa which means there is transportation between the two.
To get to the ocean at Mission Beach, guests need to walk a pleasant and comfortable 10 minutes. The walk passes Belmont Park, San Diego’s beachfront theme park.
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 Stearnwheeler 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 complimentary parking
- 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.
Awards: TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
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, motor boat rides, wave runners, aqua cycles, paddle boards, kayaks. They also offer seasonal youth classes where kids can learn water sports. Beach chair and umbrella rentals.
- 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)
- Firefly restaurant is also pet-friendly
- 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 the SeaWorld shuttle.
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,” the hotel is located on the 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 State Park, a top San Diego tourist attraction, and the Transit Station there (where one can catch the Trolley to downtown san Diego and even to the U.S.- Mexico border).
We also appreciate that it’s been family-owned and operated for three generations. It’s one of our city’s best-reviewed budget hotels.
- 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 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. It’s in an industrial location but a 10-minute walk to Old Town San Diego.
Awards: AAA 2-Diamond hotel, TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
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 both Old Town State Park and its many restaurants, historic sites, and shops in addition to 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 the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld San Diego, the beaches, as well as 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.
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. It’s a budget hotel option that gets positive reviews overall.
- Free self-parking
- 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 ear plugs as the streets here are busy.
How to book: Sign up for IHG Rewards to book directly and save.
And, don’t forget to buy your SeaWorld San Diego tickets.