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Carlsbad is a Family-Friendly Seaside Beach Village

Family Foodie Tour

Carlsbad is considered one of the best cities for families in San Diego. It is very family-friendly with a strong community feel. We have a lot of fun things to do with kids, that adults will love as well.

Carlsbad, California is an upscale coastal resort city with old-world charm in northern San Diego County. Carlsbad also has seven miles of white sandy beaches that stretch down the Pacific coastline in northern San Diego County, California. Carlsbad is a beach town because it touches the ocean, inlets, and bays. Beach towns are often seen as tourist destinations, beautiful scenery and waterfront activities attract visitors and locals.

Carlsbad also has a lot of reserved open space to protect its natural setting and beauty. This has resulted in miles of walking trails in its rolling hills and along its three lagoons. The city has mild Mediterranean weather throughout the year and calls itself the golf capital of the world with four award winning courses within the area, plus many of the Golf Companies are stationed here: Taylor Made, Calloway and Adias. Lagoons, golf, so many fun things to do in Carlsbad for families. Carlsbad is a winning combination of resort and working city, refreshing open space and historic structures, beauty, and the seaside.

The following is a list of fun things to do in Carlsbad with your family:

Carlsbad Mineral Water & Spa

In 1880’s spring water was discovered (with qualities like the Bohemian city of Karlsbad) and put Carlsbad on the map as a resort destination. Named after the famous spa in Karlovy Vary or better known as Karlsbad, due to the qualities of its fresh water, Carlsbad’s growth as a resort was quick in the 1880’s. Carlsbad Mineral Water Spa is housed in a beautiful European-style building constructed on the site of the original historic mineral water well that brought thousands to Carlsbad in the 1880s for the touted “special healing powers” of the water. The spa is designed to duplicate the unique ambiance of early Egypt, Rome, and Asia

Carlsbad Beaches

Beautiful panoramas await from the beaches’ bluffs, reefs, and sand. Surfing, swimming, walking along the shore and fishing are enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.  The beaches are quiet and absolutely stunning with cliffs and rock formations.

Legoland California

Carlsbad’s popular theme park, LEGOLAND California, is geared toward LEGO enthusiasts of all ages, but specializes with young children under the age of 10 years. It has about sixty rides, hands-on LEGO pits and other interactive park experiences. Experience a day of imagination and fun during a trip to LEGOLAND California. More than sixty attractions are designed to entertain and expand your mind as you explore the amazing world of LEGO.

Carlsbad is centrally located between downtown San Diego and Orange County which is a fantastic location to see all of Southern California’s great Amusement Parks. If you are planning a trip to So Cal and you would like to go to the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, The Wild Animal Park, Legoland, Disneyland and or Knott’s Berry Farm, then Carlsbad is the place, it is an excellent location for visiting Southern California’s Amusement Parks – Right in the middle!

SEA LIFE Aquarium at LEGOLAND California Resort

SEA LIFE Aquarium is your child’s first interactive guide to the life of the sea, combining active hands-on learning with fascinating educational talks, and up-close encounters with sea creatures including sharks, octopus & rays!

Book A Food Tour with Carlsbad Food Tours

Take a bite out of Carlsbad’s culinary best on a Food Tour where you will visit six local eateries while learning insight about the Carlsbad’s architectural details, art scene and history of the village. Carlsbad Food Tours are a wonderful way for kids to get a true taste of Carlsbad.

Magee House

Take a glimpse at what life was like in the late 19th century at the Magee House, one of Carlsbad’s oldest structures, it is also Carlsbad’s History Museum.

Carlsbad Village Faire

The Carlsbad Village Faire, the largest single day street fair in the nation, held in May & November100,000 people will take in the beauty of our seaside city while browsing through unique booths, indulging in delectable eats and enjoying family entertainment when the largest one-day street fair in the nation.
The Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce hosts the fair in May and November. The free event has grown to be so popular that it not only continually attracts people from all over Southern California.

New Village Arts Theatre 

Carlsbad’s award-winning New Village Arts Theatre has become the most critically acclaimed theatre in North County San Diego.

TGIF Concerts in the Parks 
Summer in the city means TGIF Jazz in the Parks, a tradition that has truly become an integral part of the community’s life. For over 30 years, the City of Carlsbad Cultural Arts Office has presented live music events throughout the city. When summer rolls around in Carlsbad, everyone gears up for TGIF Concerts in the Parks! It features great music, food, and a chance to dance the night away with friends and neighbors in a beautiful outdoor setting.

The Gemological Institute of America 
Known for more than 70 years as the world’s leading educator to the gen and jewelry industry, the GIA offers tours through the irresistible world of diamonds, gemstones, and jewelry.

Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park 

Once part of the original 2,538 acre working rancho and vacation retreat of Leo Carrillo (who acted in almost one hundred films from 1927n to 1950 and co-starred in the TV series The Cisco Kid,) this historic ranch is an extraordinary educational and recreational resource.

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 fifty acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers that make up The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch® in Carlsbad, California, are in bloom for 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.

The Army and Navy Academy 
Established in 1910, this college-preparatory, military, residential and day school for young men grades 7 through 12, celebrated its centennial in 2010.

The Spa at La Costa 
At the Spa at La Costa, you are 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.

Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center 

Agua Hedionda Lagoon is a saltwater wetland and watershed and offers year-round recreational and commercial use. Assess your balance on a standup paddleboard or kayak in Carlsbad with kids (or without) by renting a variety of watersports equipment at Carlsbad Lagoon.

Batiquitos Lagoon 

Batiquitos Lagoon is a 526-acre coastal salt marsh with tidal mud. Enjoy kid-friendly conservation talks, birding and hands-on events hosted by the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation. It is one of the only remaining tidal wetlands in Southern California. There are also a few nice and easy walking trails that are stroller and wheelchair friendly. Maps are available at the Nature Center.

Buena Vista Lagoon 
This Lagoon is the only freshwater lagoon in CA. & its 350 acres is home to dozens of varieties of migrant & resident waterfowl.

The Barrio Museum – Lola’s Mexican Deli 
Also known as Barrio Carlos, has moved from its original center located at Roosevelt and Walnut. The museum is dedicated to celebrating the contributions of early agricultural workers to the life and growth of Carlsbad. The museum is not open daily, visitors should call ahead.

Museum of Making Music 
The music products industry has a multifaceted history (1890s to today) that is showcased in the fascinating Museum of Making Music-a division of the NAMM Foundation

Wine Tasting/Witch Creek Winery 
Founded in 1993, award-winning Witch Creek Winery is located on historic Highway 101 in the heart of the coastal village of Carlsbad, CA. Our boutique winery focuses on quality over quantity, by producing small-lot, handcrafted wines using traditional wine making techniques. The result is full-bodied well-balanced wines rich in flavor that have earned twenty medals in the last three years at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. The Carlsbad tasting room is located on site at the winery (just one block from the beach!).

Enjoy American History

Enjoy a traditional shepherd’s pie and some U.S. colonial history at the Green Dragon Tavern & Museum in Carlsbad.

Carlsbad Premium Outlets 

Carlsbad Premium Outlets is an outdoor outlet mall featuring upscale retail and dining options including Banana Republic, Barneys New York, Brooks Brothers, Kenneth Cole, Ralph Lauren, and Theory among many more. Love Carlsbad shopping?

5620 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad

Carlsbad Farmers Market 

The Carlsbad Farmers Market at Carlsbad Village is held every Wednesday from 3pm-7pm during summer months and 3pm-6pm during winter months. Shop from local organic produce, locally prepared foods, homemade crafts, and live entertainment. Located on State Street between Carlsbad Village Drive and Grand Avenue.2930 Roosevelt Street, Carlsbad

Carlsbad Events and Activities:

Carlsbad 5000
The Carlsbad 5000 features a fast and fun seaside course where sixteen world records have been set. Both newcomer runners and serious speedsters alike enjoy running or walking in one of seven people’s races.

Carlsbad Grand Prix 
The Carlsbad Grand Prix is a cycling criterium circuit along a 0.9-mile closed course that loops through Armada Drive and Fleet Street in Carlsbad. The finish boasts a sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean. This full day of races will feature more than six hundred junior, amateur, professional, and Paralympics hand cyclists racing in timed races for prizes and/or cash in front of 2,000 spectators.

Carlsbad Marathon 
Carlsbad is a winter marathon and half marathon unlike any other. From our ideal weather conditions to our spectacular coastal course, our award-winning event will wow you.

Carlsbad Triathlon 
Carlsbad Triathlon ranks in the world’s top five longest running triathlons. It is a sprint distance race, consisting of a 1K open-water ocean swim, 25K bike and 5K runs.

Whitlock Surf Experience 
Surfing lessons from beginners to advanced.

Junior Beach Ranger

Become a Junior Beach Ranger with Cape Rey Carlsbad. Families meet up at the Campfire Center at Carlsbad State Beach campground.

Carlsbad Skateboard Park 

This 15,000 square foot boarder’s paradise featuring bowls, concrete, a street course, and a beginners’ area. Helmet, elbow pads and knee pads required.

Bring the skateboard. Not only is Carlsbad Tony Hawk’s home, but there are plenty of skateparks for all levels, including Alga Norte Skatepark.

Go Karts Racing

Yes, the largest indoor karting facility on the West Coast is at K1 Speed Go Kart Track.

Helicopter Tour

Take in the amazing aerial views of the Pacific in an epic Icon Helicopter Tour. Tours can be customized based on what guests would like to see from above.

Take An Electric Bike Ride on the Coast Highway

Take an electric bike tour through the village with Pedego Electric Bike Rental.

Play Golf

Carlsbad is home to top golf resort destinations Omni La Costa Resort & Spa and Park Hyatt Aviara, along with The Crossings at Carlsbad and Rancho Carlsbad.

Aviara Golf Course

Is part of the world-class Park Hyatt resort, has been known as one of San Diego County’s best-conditioned courses and the only course in the area designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer.

Legends Course of the La Costa Resort

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa is a world-renowned, two-course destination. Its Legends Course is a player-friendly golf course. They hosted the PGA TOUR’s Tournament of Champions from 1969 – 1989.

The Crossings at Carlsbad Golf Course 

The Crossings at Carlsbad golf course captures the warm friendly spirit of its own unique seaside community. The Crossings at Carlsbad is a “must-play” golf course for those seeking a challenging, risk-reward golf adventure.

Golf is a popular and growing industry in Carlsbad. Many of the top Golf Companies are in our Southern California Oasis. Come and see for yourself why Carlsbad is home to Taylor Made and Calloway Golf.

Callaway Golf Corporate Headquarters 

Take a stroke off your game with a custom club fitting at the Callaway Performance Center at the Callaway Golf Corporate Headquarters. Their innovative technology was originally designed for research and development and is the same technology they use for Tour players.

Taylor-made Golf Headquarters

Check out the newest irons and drivers at the Taylor-made Golf Headquarters.

In Carlsbad, something wonderful is around every corner. Perfectly situated between the laid-back vibe of downtown San Diego and the glamour of Orange County, the world is at your fingertips, while your toes are in the sand. Whether you enjoy golfing or beaching, Carlsbad has it all. With picture perfect weather you can choose to do both in one day if you would like. Play a round in the morning and then go down to the beach for a relaxing afternoon on the waves with the kids.