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 Premium Outlets

One of the most popular shopping destinations in the San Diego area, Carlsbad Premium Outlets offers bargain-seekers big savings on premium and name-brand clothes, shoes, accessories, and home goods. Home to more than 70 shops and numerous restaurants—and with discounts up to 65% off—it’s a must-visit if you’re in North San Diego County.More

Carlsbad Village

Carlsbad Village is the downtown area at the heart—and waterfront—of Carlsbad, a fun-loving Southern California beach town. On a visit to Carlsbad, you’re likely to spend most of your time in the village. It’s where you’ll find the shops, restaurants, music venues, galleries, and hotels, including the famous Carlsbad Inn: a Bavarian-style hotel steps from Carlsbad State Beach.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

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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