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What to do in Carlsbad?

Carlsbad California Beaches

Carlsbad, California is an upscale coastal resort city with old-world charm in northern San Diego County. Carlsbad also has 7 miles of white sandy beaches that stretch down the Pacific coastline in northern San Diego County, California.   Beach towns are often seen as tourist destinations that attract visitors and locals together to enjoy the beautiful scenery and waterfront activities. There are many fun things to do in Carlsbad, CA.

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.
Carlsbad Golf
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.Karlsbad “Karlovy Vary”
In 1880’s spring water was discovered (with qualities similar to 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 now has a population of 112,930 and is the fastest growing area in San Diego. It also boasts the headquarters of medical technology and manufacturing firms as well as the first Legoland outside of Europe. So many fun things to do in Carlsbad, for kids of all ages.

Carlsbad Flower Fields
Carlsbad is also proud of Flower Fields, an amazing early March through May display of colorful giant tecolote ranunculus In May and November, the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce hosts the Carlsbad Village Street Faire, the largest one-day fairs in the nation with 900 vendors and 100,000 attendees each.

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. Carlsbad is a winning combination of resort and working city, refreshing open space and historic structures, beauty and calm.

Carlsbad Trail System & Lagoon
With an extensive 38-mile-long city trail system and outstretched sandy beaches–most of which are part of the California State Parks system–there are ample opportunities to enjoy hiking and the Southern California beautiful weather.

Carlsbad Location
Carlsbad is centrally located between downtown San Diego and Orange County which is a great location to see all of Southern California’s great Amusement Parks. If you are planning a trip to So Cal there are so many fun things to do maybe 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 for you.

We also have many world class attractions located in Carlsbad: Legoland, SeaLife Park and the famous Flower Fields. Come and see for yourself what Carlsbad has to offer.

Carlsbad California

  • Things to do in Carlsbad – Events, Activities & Attractions
  • Carlsbad Restaurants, Eateries and Specialty Shops
  • Carlsbad Hiking Trails
  • Carlsbad Hotels & Resorts
  • Carlsbad History

More Things to do in Carlsbad 2017

Carlsbad Village Faire

The Carlsbad Village Faire, the largest single day street fair in the nation, held in May & November.
100,000 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 faire in the nation.
The Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce hosts the faire in May and November. Now in its 40th year, the free event has grown to be so popular that it not only continually attracts people from all over Southern California.
Grand Avenue from Carlsbad Boulevard to Jefferson Street, and all of the cross streets in between, will be closed for the event.

Carlsbad Village Theatre

This historic Theatre is located in the popular Carlsbad Village commercial area directly across the street from the Coaster Train Station. The Theatre was built in 1927.

La Costa Film Festival

The La Costa Film Festival aspires to deliver a new cultural experience to our community, through a greater appreciation of the art of film making.

New Village Arts Theatre

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

The Art Foundry at New Village Arts

New Village Arts, already known as the artistic heart of the Carlsbad Village for its risk taking, award-winning professional theatre, has expanded its cultural influence by opening The Foundry as a space for working artists Founded in 1999, the William D. Cannon Art Gallery’s mission is to promote, interpret and present to the community the art of emerging, mid-career and established artists from culturally diverse Southern California and to showcase the cultural creativity and art from other parts of the world. The curatorial focus of the gallery includes painting, sculpture, photography, print-making, mixed-media, folk art, design and installation works.

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! The 2016 season runs Friday nights from June 24 through Aug. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. (all fields open at 4 p.m.) and 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 100 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 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.

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.
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 the Orient.

The Spa at La Costa

At the Spa at 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

Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center

Agua Hedionda Lagoon is a saltwater wetland and watershed and offers year-round recreational and commercial use. The lagoon includes mud flats, salt and freshwater marsh, and deep water and is actually comprised of three lagoons: a 66-acre outer lagoon, a 27-acre middle lagoon and 293-acre inner lagoon

Batiquitos Lagoon

Batiquitos Lagoon is a 526-acre coastal salt marsh with tidal mud.

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.


Carlsbad Events

Carlsbad 5000

The Carlsbad 5000 features a fast and fun seaside course where 16 world records have been set. Both rookie 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 600 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 5 longest running triathlons. It is a sprint distance race, consisting of a 1K open-water ocean swim, 25K bike and 5K runs.

Venue: Carlsbad Village

Whitlock Surf Experience

Surfing lessons from beginners to advanced.

Stand Up Paddle-Boarding

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 kneepads required.

The Barrio Museum – Lola’s Mexican Deli

Also know 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.

The Village Faire

Welcome to the Village Faire Shopping Center, located in the heart of the historic village of Carlsbad, California near the corner of Carlsbad Boulevard and Carlsbad Village Drive.

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 winemaking 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!). With gourmet  restaurants, a wide variety of shopping and several wine bars, Carlsbad Village is the ideal way to enjoy all the charm that laid back Southern California has to offer.

Charles Kenneth Speakeasy


The Charles Kenneth Speakeasy was originally an actual speakeasy in the mid 1920’s.  After prohibition the speakeasy was sealed off from the rest of the building and forgotten until the reopening.

More fun things to do in Carlsbad 

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.5800 The Crossings Drive, 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? Our Shopping Package gives you discounts on premium outlets and treatments at our in-house spa!

Carlsbad Premium Outlets is an outdoor outlet mall featuring upscale retail and dining options including Banana Republic, Barneys New York, Brooks Brothers and Kenneh Cole.

Carlsbad Farmers Market
The Carlsbad Farmers Market at Carlsbad Village happens 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

Callaway Golf

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

2180 Rutherford Road, Carlsbad

Check out the newest irons and drivers at the TaylorMade Golf Headquarters.

5545 Fermi Court, Carlsbad

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

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 chose 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 in the waves.  If you are looking for fun things to do in Carlsbad, check out TripAdvisor Reviews.

Every year TripAdvisors identifies the top things to do in Carlsbad, see what fun attractions made the top 20 list things to do in Carlsbad.