Things to do in Carlsbad

Things to do in  Carlsbad

SoCal, slowed down

Conveniently located between Los Angeles and San Diego, Carlsbad offers the best of Southern California’s coastal lifestyle, at a slower pace. Miles of sandy beaches beckon sun-worshippers for a day in the surf, while chic outdoor malls and the Carlsbad Premium Outlets are a shopper’s paradise. Families with kids will also find plenty of things to do in Carlsbad, as the city is also home to the LEGOLAND® California theme park and the SEA LIFE® Aquarium.

Top 5 attractions in Carlsbad

Carlsbad Village

Carlsbad Village is the downtown area at the heart—and waterfront—of Carlsbad, a fun-loving Southern California beach town. Visitors to Carlsbad spend most of their time in the village, as it’s where most of the shops, restaurants, and hotels are found, including the famous Carlsbad Inn: a Bavarian looking hotel on the corner of Carlsbad Village Drive and Ocean Street. A visit the Carlsbad Mineral Water Spa is a great way to relax with a massage or spa treatment using the local alkaline artisan mineral water. To mingle and pick up fresh local fruits, stop in at the Carlsbad Farmer’s Market, which happens every Wednesday. And of course the beaches and boardwalk that run along Carlsbad Village are the main draw. Tamarack Beach is a great, centrally located stretch that’s ideal for bike riding, surfing or sunbathing.More

Ocean Beach Pier

Between the South Mission Jetty and Pacific Beach Point stretch 3 miles (5 kilometers) of pure, unadulterated sun-kissed southern California beach scene. The center of this scene is Ocean Beach Pier, the largest concrete pier on the West Coast, perfect for strolling, fishing, and just watching the waves.Amid the swimsuit-clad crowd and the anglers, Ocean Beach Pier invites people-watching. Along the pier, you’ll find a café, benches, and bait and tackle shops should you want to try your luck with the fish. Under the pier, skillful surfers slalom the pilings.Ocean Beach Pier is part of Ocean Beach, San Diego’s most bohemian seaside community. You can get tattooed, shop for antiques, and walk into a restaurant barefoot. Ocean Front Walk bristles with joggers, in-line skaters and cyclists. Back from the beach, Mission Boulevard consists of block after block of surf shops, burger joints, and beer busts.More

Carlsbad Premium Outlets

Everybody loves shopping on vacation, and shopping for great deals at outlet stores is even better. Carlsbad Premium Outlets features a huge selection of designer and mainstream brands, with some 90 shops, including everything from Ralph Lauren and Barneys New York to Adidas and Crate and Barrel. The outlet mall boasts an outdoor setting, with storefronts along sunny walking paths, so shoppers can enjoy the Southern California weather as they peruse their finds. And just next door are the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, a vast flower garden that opens seasonally from March to May, where visitors can stroll the fields to see attractions like an American flag made out of red, white, and blue petunias.More

LEGOLAND® California

Unleash your imagination at LEGOLAND® California, a theme park built entirely out of colorful plastic LEGO® building blocks. With more than 60 rides, shows, and attractions, this 128-acre (52-hectare) theme park offers fun for the whole family. Modeled after the original LEGOLAND in Denmark, it’s the first of its kind in the US.More

SEA LIFE® San Diego Aquarium

Part of the LEGOLAND California Resort located just north of San Diego proper, the SEA LIFE® Aquarium comprises numerous habitat areas, diving shows, and other educational activities across 16 interactive zones. Popular among families with children of all ages, the aquarium makes it easy to discover the wonders of the deep sea.More
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All about Carlsbad

When to visit

Carlsbad’s breezy coastal climate makes it a year-round destination. Spring, however, can be special: Locals and visitors mingle at the Carlsbad Village Street Faire in May (and then again in November), while the giant Tecolote ranunculus flowers bloom at the Flower Fields in March. A smattering of nearby nature reserves, surf-worthy beaches, and golf courses make Carlsbad an outdoorsy paradise no matter the season.

Getting around

North County Transit provides public transportation, including the Coaster commuter rail line, which connects Carlsbad to Oceanside and San Diego, and the No. 101 Breeze bus line, which follows the coast from Carlsbad to Encinitas and Oceanside. Carlsbad is compact by American standards, but driving allows you to reach surrounding attractions with ease. Exploring on two wheels is a great option, with local shops offering regular and e-bikes to rent.

Traveler tips

The Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad is a series of three connected lagoons that flow out into the Pacific Ocean. Here, you can get out on the water in a sheltered environment. Choices among water sports are comprehensive: You can try boating, water-skiing, stand-up paddleboard yoga, windsurfing, kayaking, and more—you can rent the necessary equipment from shops near the entrance.

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People Also Ask

What is Carlsbad known for?

Carlsbad is best known for its stretches of beach along the Pacific, its village center with everything from gift shops to craft breweries, and activities for the entire family, like LEGOLAND® theme park, the Museum of Making Music, beach yoga, and surf lessons. It also boasts an alkaline water spring.

How do I spend a day in Carlsbad, CA?

Start your day with a coastal walk past the volleyball players and surfers. Breakfast at Swami’s to refuel, and then spend a few hours browsing Carlsbad Village. After lunch and a craft brew at Barrel Republic, take a tour of the Carlsbad Aquafarm. Then have a sunset drink at Vigillucis.

Does Carlsbad have a boardwalk?

Yes, Carlsbad has a 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) boardwalk along the road, with an option to dip down closer to the ocean along the seawall from Tamarack Beach. Most of the boardwalk runs along Carlsbad Boulevard, with bikers next to you, and dog walkers, strollers, and joggers sharing the lanes.

What is there to do in Carlsbad in the winter?

There is plenty to do in Carlsbad in winter. The weather’s still temperate, so exploring nature at Batiquitos Lagoon, Lake Calavera, or coastal walks are options. Shop a bit and eat at trendy restaurants or breweries—the town is especially pretty during the holidays. You’ll have pastel sunsets, too.

How far is Carlsbad Village from LEGOLAND®?

Carlsbad Village is a short 15-minute drive of 4.5 miles (7 kilometers) from LEGOLAND®. It’s a straight journey by Uber or in your own vehicle. The parking is ample, but there are parking fees. You can easily pop back to Carlsbad Village for dinner after a full day out.

Is Carlsbad worth visiting?

Yes, Carlsbad is worth visiting. Its laid-back coastal vibe encourages relaxing on the beach, walking on the boardwalk, or hiking in the Calavera Reserve. Plus, you can check out cute village shops, have cocktails at a Michelin-starred restaurant, sip beers at a local brewery, or dine with sunset views.

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