Here is a list of the 20 best things to do in Carlsbad.
Legoland California, Sea Life Aquarium, The Making Music Museum, Pedgo Bike Rental, Carlsbad Village, Spa La Costa, Leo Carrillo Park, New Village Arts Studio, Carlsbad Farmer’s Market, Carlsbad Flower Fields, Carlsbad Antique Mall, Aviara Golf Club, Batiquitos Lagoon, Carlsbad Lagoon, GIA Museum, Alga Norte Park, Carlsbad Premium Outlet Mall, The Crossings at Carlsbad and South Carlsbad State Beach.
Carlsbad, California, is called “The Village by the Sea.” It is small, affluent seaside resort community about half way between San Diego and Orange County. Carlsbad has the charm of an old European city and the atmosphere of a typical Californian coastal community. With seven miles of fine white sandy beaches and the near perfect climate, the village is a popular weekend destination and a great place to live. Best things to do in Carlsbad, California with kids include Legoland California, Sea Life Aquarium and South Carlsbad State Beach.
California Beach Dreaming – 20 Best Things to do in Carlsbad
South Carlsbad State Beach is a beautiful stretch of protected coastline with white sand, coastal bluffs, and warm water. One of the Top 25 beaches via TripAdvisor. The beach offers an array of outdoor activities to enjoy – swimming, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, scuba diving and snorkeling, fishing, shelling, and of course just hanging out.
Paddle Out in our local lagoons for a relaxing and peaceful experience on the water. Be one with nature. For the more adventurous type,jump on your board and head for the ocean for an exhilarating ride on the waves. Hang ten, baby. Carlsbad is all about the water. Not only is the ocean important to us but so is our miracle alkaline mineral water, fresh water lagoons and our newest desalinization plant which provides approximately 10% or regions water.
South Carlsbad State Beach is one of the top Carlsbad attractions. With uninterrupted views of Carlsbad’s sunset views, what more could you ask for.
- For some great surf, head to Tamarack (near its namesake street), Warm Water Jetty (by the large Electric Power Plant) and Terramar (near the lagoon). These are popular with local surfers.
- The Agua Hedionda Lagoon north of Cannon Road is home to a YMCA water sports camp, a private waterskiing concession and an experimental fish farming program.
- South Carlsbad State Beach for overnight camping or day use. Plan and reserve ahead, and it can be among the most rewarding memories of a visit to San Diego.
- Between Cannon Road and Batiquitos Lagoon, the bluffs are tall and steep, offering few safe routes to the beach.
- South Carlsbad State Beach (better known as Ponto) has more well-defined peaks for surfing than the faster-closing beach breaks on the main stretch.
Local fishing in Carlsbad
- Fishing off of Ponto Jetty in South Carlsbad State Beach
20 best things to do in Carlsbad
1. Discover Carlsbad Village
Carlsbad Village is the heart of Carlsbad. It is located in the downtown village area of Carlsbad and is easily accessible on foot, which is, in fact, the best way to explore the area and all it has to offer. Carlsbad Village offers old world charms with new world conveniences. The Carlsbad Village Antique Mall boasts over 100 vendors selling countless treasures. Boasting an array of shops, restaurants, hotels, and many other services Carlsbad Village is the place to start your exploring.
Wine tasting is another great way to sample the village. Stop in at the Witch Creek Wine Tasting Shop for some of California’s best vintages or enjoy lunch at one of the many restaurants and cafés around the area. Visit the Carlsbad Mineral Spa on Carlsbad Boulevard, Alt Karlsbad Hanse House is a famous landmark in the village and the site of the first mineral water spa, dating back to the 1880s, and a good place to indulge in a mineral spa treatment or massage.
Carlsbad Village Association, 2788 State St., Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-453-7076
2. The Spa at La Costa – 20 Best Things to do in Carlsbad
At the Spa La Costa, you’re invited to immerse yourself into a world that redefines and transcends the typical “day spa” experience. Here, at our tranquil and secluded retreat, we provide you with the means to while away the afternoon, long before or after your treatment is complete.
3. Museum of Making Music – 20 Best Things to do in Carlsbad
The Museum of Making Music is dedicated to showcasing and celebrating the music products industry. The museum was established in 2000 and features an array of special exhibitions and it hosts innovative concerts and educational programs, features that focus on providing cultural enrichment as well as preserving musical heritage.
5790 Armada Drive, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-438-5996
4. Carlsbad Food Tours – 20 Best Things to do in Carlsbad
Walking tour in Carlsbad
Take a culinary and history tour of the village of Carlsbad with Carlsbad Food Tours. Facilitated by gourmand tour guides with a love and passion for Carlsbad and its best eateries, tours wind their way through Carlsbad’s most scenic and historic neighborhoods where you will learn about the history of the village and get to taste some of the best food on offer.
Tours take you to locally owned and operated specialty food shops as well as ethnic and local eateries where you can meet the chefs and artisans and sample their wares. Visit Carlsbad’s Urban Wineries to sip award-winning wines grown in California and stop in at favorites such as Gregorio’s Italian Restaurant, Caldo Pomodoro Italian Restaurant, Café Topes, Witch Creek Winery, Gaia Gelato, and Chocolate Bar (always a winner!). Tours are available 1:30am – 3:00pm, ticket prices include all food and wine tastings.
Carlsbad Food Tours Videos
1778 Callisia Court, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-990-0690 – 760 215-9433
Indulgence Food Tours: Enjoy some Carlsbad’s newest and tastiest eateries: Barrel Republic, The Goods, Cicciottis & Park 101.
5. Pedego Carlsbad – 20 best things to do in Carlsbad
Pedego Carlsbad offers a unique and fun way to see and experience the coastal town – on an electric bike! Bikes a very popular way to check out the town. Simply call to book your tour, hop on your bike, and go.
355 Carlsbad Village Dr, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-729-2453
“Must See Places to Visit in Carlsbad, CA & Destination
6. Walk the City Tours
Walking tour in Carlsbad
Carlsbad has long been a place to gather, relax, and heal. The kick-back beach culture, along with a rich and varied history, makes the city the enchanting spot it is today.
7. The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
For over sixty years, Mother Nature has transformed the rolling hills of north San Diego County into one of the most spectacular and coordinated displays of natural color and beauty anywhere in the world. The nearly fifty acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers that make up The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch® in Carlsbad, California, are in bloom for approximately six to eight weeks each year – from early March through early May – literally bringing the famous fields back to life. This annual burst of color, which has become part of the area’s local heritage, also is one of nature’s official ways of announcing the arrival of spring here in southern California.
The Flower Fields History
Today, the fields are a direct result of over 85 years of floral cultivation that began when Luther Gage, an early settler and grower settled in the area in the early 1920’s. Mr. Gage brought Ranunculus seeds to the area and began growing them in his fields next to Frank Frazee’s small vegetable farm in South Oceanside. This started a business called “Luther Gage Giant Tecolote Ranunculus bulbs”. The name “Tecolote” came from the owls that nested on his property.
Carlsbad Flower Fields are noted for being one of the most beloved spring traditions in the area, the ranch opens annually in March for six to eight weeks showcasing the Giant Tecolote Ranunculus
Carlsbad Flower Fields
5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-431-0352 Photo: The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
8. LEGOLAND California – 20 best things to do in Carlsbad
LEGOLAND California Resort promises fun for all ages, especially kids. Located in Carlsbad, CA the theme park is home to over 60 rides, attractions and shows. And don’t forget about the fantastic themed LEGOLAND Hotel, a great place to stay while you are in town.
One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-918-5346
9. Sea Life Aquarium
Sea Life Aquarium is a family-friendly interactive sea aquarium located on Legoland Drive in Carlsbad. The aquarium is home to more than 5,000 sea creatures, including clownfish, octopus, rays, sea horses, and sharks. Children are given the opportunity to touch some of the animals, including crabs and sea stars.
Legoland California Resort, One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-918-5346
10. Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park
Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park is a municipal park that sits in a 27-acre canyon and one of the best things to do in Carlsbad, California. Opened in 2003 and designated as a Historic National Landmark, the park is a former working ranch that was at one time owned by actor Leo Carrillo. In addition to the beautiful natural landscape, the park includes a reflecting pool, old windmills, adobe buildings, and other historic buildings.
The park is home to many plants such as birds of paradise, bougainvillea, and agave as well as various kinds of trees. There are also many peacocks that walk around the park and add to the unique ambience.
11. New Village Arts Theatre
New Village Arts Theatre is a performing arts theater that presents dramatic and musical productions. It is an intimate theater with a total of 99 guest seats. They hosts productions arranged by a local ensemble group. This group is made up of 14 actors, designers, directors, and stage managers. Every show is fantastic, season tickets are available and are a must have for locals.
2787 State Street # B, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-433-3245 Photo: New Village Arts Theatre
“Top Romantic Things to Do at Night in Carlsbad”
12. Discover Carlsbad Village Farmers’ Market
Carlsbad Village Farmers’ Market is a weekly Wednesday farmers’ market that offers fresh organic produce, flowers, handmade arts and crafts, locally prepared hot and cold food, and plants.
Farmers’ market allows consumers to buy directly from farmers and helps to support the many small farming operations in the area. Carlsbad Village Farmers’ Market also free concerts performed by local musicians.
2788 State Street, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-453-7076