Carlsbad, California is a family-friendly beach town located about 35 miles north of San Diego. Many families know it as the home of LEGOLAND California Resort. However, Carlsbad has lots of other fun activities too, making it worthwhile to make Carlsbad the base for your next Southern California vacation.
Visit Carlsbad California – 10 fun things to do in Carlsbad, California
Known as “The Village by the Sea,” Carlsbad offers the charm of a European town with the conveniences of a large city. As you wander streets lined with antique stores, boutique shops and sidewalk cafes, you’ll soon discover much more, including miles of coastline, beautiful flower gardens and world-class shopping. With a perfectly mild climate, each season offers a variety of unique events and activities, from street fairs to art walks.
Steps away sit clean, uncrowded beaches for swimming, sunbathing and surfing as well as beautiful lagoons for fishing, bird-watching and nature hikes. Venture further to discover the unique destinations of LEGOLAND® California and SEA LIFE Aquarium or the nearby attractions of San Diego and Los Angeles. Carlsbad provides a friendly small-town atmosphere and unmatched amenities. No matter what you choose to do on vacation, Carlsbad promises to offer up special experiences and fun-filled memories that will last a lifetime. Come and Visit Carlsbad and see why so many people love this town.
Here are 10 fun things to do in Carlsbad, California:
1. Carlsbad Village – 10 fun things to do in Carlsbad, California
Carlsbad Village is the downtown area of Carlsbad located right along the coast. The downtown area is very walkable, and the best way to experience Carlsbad Village is to set out on foot. You can explore all the shopping that Carlsbad Village offers – second hand clothing shops; antique stores, boutiques, art galleries, and several wine bars for wine tasting.
Carlsbad’s original train depot built in the 1880s is now a visitor’s center and worth a visit. Carlsbad is a hub for trains passing through to San Diego; the coaster travels from Oceanside to downtown San Diego and the AmTrak Pacific Surf-liner goes all the way to Washington State.
One of the more famous landmarks is the Alt Karlsbad Hanse House on Carlsbad Boulevard, site of the first mineral water spa in the town, a mainstay of Carlsbad since the 1880s. Carlsbad was named after the famous Karlsbad Spa in Europe (in the present-day Czech Republic).
The Carlsbad Farmer’s Market is a great place to buy local fruits and vegetables, among many other products and service. The market is held on Wednesdays from 3 – 6 pm on State Street between Grand and Carlsbad Village Drive.
3. The Beach – 10 fun things to do in Carlsbad, California
Carlsbad beaches are a hit with residents and visitors alike. While the beach runs continuously from one end of Carlsbad to the other, about 7 miles, there are some particularly popular beaches – Carlsbad State Beach (with camping sites), Ponto and Tamarack Beach; Frazee Beach is located at the end of Carlsbad Village Drive in the Village. There is a cement “boardwalk” along the beach in town running south from the small park as you enter the Village, offering views north to Camp Pendleton and south as far as La Jolla.
The beaches and the boardwalk are popular all year, especially for sunset watching, but can get fairly crowded during the summer months. It’s a great area to walk, ride bikes, or simply watch the surfers, pelicans and seagulls and other colorful characters that also enjoy the Southern California lifestyle that Carlsbad is so famous for. You’ll be charmed if you haven’t visited!
The north half of the Carlsbad coast is composed of a several small beaches divided by sea walls, while South Carlsbad State Beach is where you’ll find happy campers, riding bikes around the campground and body boarding on the often uncrowded beach below. Carlsbad Beaches have well-designed walkways, attractive sea walls and a host of facilities make the beaches in Carlsbad as pleasing to the eye as they are accommodating to visitors.
WHERE TO GO
- For some great local surfing, head to Tamarack (near its namesake street), Warm Water Jetty (by the large Electric Power Plant) and Terramar (near the lagoon).
- The Agua Hedionda Lagoon north of Cannon Road is home to a YMCA water sports camp, a private water-skiing concession and it is also great for stand-up paddling.
- South Carlsbad State Beach is a great place for overnight camping or day use. Plan and reserve ahead.
- South Carlsbad State Beach (better known as Ponto) has more well-defined peaks for surfing than the faster-closing beachbreaks on the main stretch. Come and hang ten in Carlsbad.
4. LEGOLAND California Resort – 10 fun things to do in Carlsbad, California
5. Carlsbad Flower Fields – 10 fun things to do in Carlsbad, California
Visit Carlsbad – The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch
Noted for being one of the most beloved spring traditions in the area, The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch opens annually in March for six to eight weeks showcasing the Giant Tecolote Ranunculus.
6. Craft Beer Tasting – 10 fun things to do in Carlsbad, California