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Top Things to do in Carlsbad – in beautiful North County San Diego California

Carlsbad Lagoon

Top Things to do in Carlsbad

Posted on July 22, 2017 | By Cherimarie Poulos

Author:  Cherimarie Poulos
Carlsbad is a popular San Diego vacation destination with 7 miles of gorgeous sandy beaches, absolutely stunning especially at sunset. Carlsbad also has some of San Diego’s best resorts; Omni La Costa Resort, Park Hyatt Resort, and the Grand Pacific Palisades just to name a few.  The list of the top things to do in Carlsbad is long but here are a few suggestions from a local’s perspective.

Carlsbad “The Village by the Sea”

Carlsbad, CA. Picture-perfect vacation serenity. Located about 35 miles north of San Diego, Carlsbad is often called “The Village by the Sea.” This is a piece of old world charm that entices vacationers who want a relaxing break from routine, but desire world class attractions, things to do, awesome oceanfront lodging, great ocean-view restaurants, scenic beaches, boutique shopping and even a campground atop bluffs that overlook coastline horizons that reward tourists with perfect weather and romantic sunsets. That’s Carlsbad, California. Perfect vacation place for families with kids as well as romantics on a honeymoon.  Top things to do in Carlsbad.

Shopping in Carlsbad

Carlsbad Premium Outlets is beautiful outdoor shopping center in Carlsbad offers an exciting collection of 90 designer and name-brand outlet stores including Barneys New York, Coach, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and many more, all offering savings of 25% to 65% every day.
The Forum Carlsbad is an elegant shopping complex in Carlsbad which includes Anthropology, Talbot, Free People, and Victoria Secret.
Carlsbad Village Art and Antique Mall is in downtown Carlsbad. It offers art, antiques, decor, and gifts.
Village Faire Shopping Center is in the heart of the historic village of Carlsbad, California near the corner of Carlsbad Boulevard and Carlsbad Village Drive.
Carlsbad Village Boutiques there is a wide variety of specialty boutiques and shops in Carlsbad ranging from beach décor to clothing to antique stores. Top things to do in Carlsbad

Water sports on the Lagoon

Test your balance on a stand-up paddle board or kayak in Carlsbad by renting a variety of water sports equipment at Carlsbad Lagoon. I have rented the jet ski and was fun. The variety of rentals include speedboats, aqua cycles and much more. Learn to Stand-up Paddle Board
Learning how to stand-up paddle board is one of the best things to do in San Diego when on vacation here other than surfing, of course.  Stand Up Paddle board
Top things to do in Carlsbad

Museum of Making Music

Visit the fun and rhythmic Museum of Making Music—a hands-on museum that highlights the evolution of musical instruments from the late 19th century to present day. This is a great place to take kids who already love music or who are thinking about taking lessons. They will be able to see, touch and feel how guitars, pianos, drums, and other more exotic instruments work. And, the docents are amazingly helpful. Top things to do in Carlsbad

Leo Carrillo Ranch

Take a walk back into Hollywood history at Leo Carrillo’s historic ranch and roam the 27-acre property along with the resident peacocks. As the name implies, actor Leo Carrillo once owned the ranch. Guests can take a self-guided tour and it’s a very popular spot for photos because of the adobe buildings and stunning landscape. Top things to do in Carlsbad

Batiquitos Lagoon Walks

Enjoy friendly conservation talks, birding and hands-on events hosted by the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation. It’s 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. Top things to do in Carlsbad

Grab A Slice of Delicious Pizza

Taste Carlsbad’s best pizza at the Intergalactic Headquarters for the Pizza Port Empire. Adults will appreciate the extensive list of craft beer on tap. Try the Monterey Pizza with artichoke hearts, pepperoni, mushrooms, and onions. It’s one of the best places to eat in Carlsbad. Top things to do in Carlsbad

Carlsbad Flower Fields

Start your own spring tradition at the Carlsbad Flower Fields a distinctly Carlsbad attraction—the field opens in March for six-eight weeks, highlighting the vibrantly blooming Ranunculus flowers. Visitors enjoy tractor rides, mazes, the orchid greenhouse, rose garden and much more over the 55 acres. Top things to do in Carlsbad


Interact with the underwater creatures at the SEA LIFE Aquarium, located adjacent to LEGOLAND California. This popular Carlsbad attraction also has a quiz trail, great counter-order dining area and some touch pools.
LEGOLAND California is a theme park, miniature park, and aquarium located in Carlsbad, California, based on the Lego toy brand. Opening on March 20, 1999, it was the third Legoland park to open, and the first outside of Europe. Top things to do in Carlsbad

Visit A Skate park

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

Enjoy Local History

Learn about Carlsbad’s rich local history at the Carlsbad Mineral Spa while enjoying a taste of our miracle water.
Visit the Twin Inns one of Carlsbad’s most famous historical sites in the village. Top things to do in Carlsbad

Take an Electric Bike Tour

Take an electric bike tour through the village with Pedego Electric Bike Rental. These electric bikes allow you to pedal put in as much pedaling effort as you like. If a tour isn’t your thing, rest assured that they also rent bikes including tandem bikes, road bikes and even kids’ bike trailers. Top things to do in Carlsbad

Book A Tour with Carlsbad Food Tours

Take a bite out of Carlsbad’s culinary best on a Carlsbad Food Tour where you’ll visit 7-8 eateries and wine tasting while learning insight about the architectural details and history of the village area. Come for the beach and stay for the food. Top things to do in 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 and roam its historic walls and surrounding rose gardens. Top things to do in Carlsbad

Play Golf

One of the best places to improve your swing is at the Arnold Palmer designed Aviara Golf Club, located adjacent to the lovely Park Hyatt Aviara hotel.
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa has hosted some of the most illustrious names in golf history. The San Diego resort is home to 36 holes of some of the most challenging and The Crossings in Carlsbad with beautiful Pacific Ocean to the West and foothills rising to the East, this 18-hole championship municipal golf course and event facility offers visitors a magnificent setting in a relaxed California Coastal environment.
Located in North San Diego County this course is named for the five bridges – or crossings – that were designed into the layout to meet existing environmental and topographic conditions. The Crossings at Carlsbad is nestled among the natural habitat and wildlife on more than 400 acres of Carlsbad’s coastal terrain. Top things to do in Carlsbad

Learn to Surf

If you would like to learn to surf. In Carlsbad, the pros at So Cal Surf Lessons will be glad to help you hang ten. Top things to do in Carlsbad

There are so many ways to enjoy Carlsbad you might have to stay an extra week to see everything. For more information about Carlsbad visit our webpage at Carlsbad Food Tours Blog page.  Every day is like summer vacation in Carlsbad! Top things to do in Carlsbad