Trying to decide where to stay in LA? You've come to the right place! For families traveling to the Los Angeles area, which includes Orange County about an hour to the south, there is an abundance of hotel options at every price point. While this is a good thing, it can sometimes make the decision of where to stay in Los Angeles even more difficult.
Lucky for you, this Frog Family hops over to LA quite a bit on our many visits to Disneyland Resort. (By the way, we can save you a bundle on theme park tickets too!) We like to stay as close to the parks as we can if we're just visiting the resort. If we have a couple of days in LA, we like to explore the hotels near other major tourist spots and beaches, as well. Sometimes it pays (in time and money) to hop around!
How to Decide Where to Stay in Los Angeles
Courtesy of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board
If you’re visiting multiple attractions across the Los Angeles area, expect to do a lot of driving no matter where you are. Visitors may want to consider booking a couple of hotels nearest to their itinerary destinations. Guests planning a few days in Disneyland and then the rest of the vacation elsewhere might want to split up the hotel stay. You can spend a few days in Anaheim and a few days in Los Angeles. If you are only planning to spend a day or two at Disneyland and the rest of your time among the other attractions, it may make sense to book a hotel in an area that offers an abundance of entertainment and dining options for the kids.
Where to Stay in Anaheim
Most of the Anaheim-area hotels where Disneyland is located are spread along Harbor Boulevard. A few of them are right across the street from the Disneyland Esplanade. The Esplanade connects Disneyland Park with Disney California Adventure Park. It's a five-minute walk, making these locations as convenient as some of the Disneyland Resort hotels. Some offer family-friendly pools with waterslides, perfect for cooling off in the middle of the day before heading back to the parks, such as the Howard Johnson Anaheim (as low as $239 a night) or the Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance. Many others along Harbor Boulevard are still within walking distance, and many offer shuttle service, such as Delta Hotels Anaheim Garden Grove. The Holiday Inn & Suites Anaheim is one block from Disneyland and has a splash zone. The Pirate-themed suite can accommodate up to 8 guests.
Of course, Disneyland also has three on-site hotels that range in price and accommodations. Did you know that you can now book discount rooms for Disneyland hotels through Undercover Tourist? You can stay at the luxurious Disney's Grand Californian Hotel (for as low as $511 per night) with a special entrance right into Disney California Adventure Park! You can book the original Disneyland Hotel for as low as $406 a night. And Disney's Paradise Pier offers beachin' accommodations as low as $381 a night. All three on-site hotels are within walking distance of the parks, offer character dining and have pools with waterslides.
Some hotels on Harbor Boulevard south of Katella are within walking distance of the free Toy Story parking lot shuttle bus, getting you as close as you can to the Esplanade, such as the Hyatt Place (as low as $135 a night). Homewood Suites by Hilton (as low as $221 a night) is next door to the Toy Story lot. This hotel has suites with kitchens, poolside grills and breakfast included.
Most guests will want a car for their vacation in the Los Angeles area. Should you decide not to rent a car, Lyft and Uber are options for getting to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County.
Where to Stay in Los Angeles — Near the Beach
Visitors who are looking for the quintessential California beach experience for splashing in the waves and enjoying beautiful sunsets will find a number of options nestled along the beaches of Orange and Los Angeles Counties, most notably Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Long Beach and Manhattan Beach, including the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point and the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach. The Marriott Newport Coast Villas offer spacious accommodations near the coast. In Huntington Beach (aka "Surf City USA"), the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach is just across from the beach and miles of beach trails. Hop over to our post on our favorite So Cal beach hotels for more beach getaway suggestions.
©Travis Conklin 2008 Courtesy of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board
While it’s a little more expensive, we like Santa Monica. It has great proximity to the water and the Santa Monica Pier, which boasts an amusement park, arcade, aquarium and more. Within walking distance of the pier is the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel (as low a $511 a night), complete with a heated pool. There is also a great shopping, dining and entertainment area along the Third Street Promenade. There are wide, paved sidewalks that run along the beach to the south towards Venice Beach. Along the way, you can take in the street performers, souvenir shops, graffiti walls and sports equipment. A little bit of paradise for the whole family!
The Long Beach harbor area places you between Orange County and the heart of Los Angeles. A good option in the area is the waterfront Hyatt Regency Long Beach, with its ocean view suites and pool. You can explore the coast by bike path, visit The Queen Mary, discover sea life at the Aquarium of the Pacific and enjoy shopping at the waterfront Shoreline Village.
Where to Stay in Los Angeles — in the Heart of Tinseltown
Visitors wanting to be in the heart of Hollywood will find an abundance of places to stay along Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, many of which cater to children and families, including the famed Beverly Hills Hotel.
The location is ideal for sightseeing. It's near many of the most famed locations in Los Angeles, including Melrose Boulevard and Rodeo Drive, and the nearby Hollywood Walk of Fame. West Hollywood is also convenient to Universal Studios Hollywood in nearby Universal City.
There are closer accommodations to Universal Studios, including two mid-priced hotels on property that offer shuttle service: the Hilton Universal City (as low as $234 a night) and the Sheraton Universal Hotel. Both are a short walk to the entrance of Universal Studios and and CityWalk. The Sheraton is a little further away and down a steep hill.
Here are more helpful resources on where to stay in Los Angeles if you're visiting Disneyland:
- Reasons to Stay Off-Site When You Visit Disneyland
- Exploring the Benefits of Staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel
We hope you've found this overview of where to stay in Los Angeles hopful as you plan your visit to LA and its surrounding areas. You'll find more resources and tips inside our Los Angeles Planning Guide.