If you love spending time in the sun, it’s time to plan a trip to Carlsbad, where you can experience more than 200 bright, sunny days a year. Carlsbad is a seaside city situated on a lovely 7-mile stretch of Pacific coastline in North San Diego County. You’ll be just 35 miles north of San Diego, where you can experience even more excitement.
This Californian city is a welcoming community with world-class golf, relaxing spas and plenty of shopping to enjoy, as well as museums, outdoor spaces and other cultural attractions to explore year-round.
Things to Do in Carlsbad
- LEGOLAND: If you were, or still are, a fan of the eternally popular building blocks, you can’t miss out on LEGOLAND. There are more than 60 rides, attractions and shows that the whole family can enjoy. At the entrance, Bronte greets you, a bright red welcoming dinosaur standing 9 feet tall and 24 feet long made entirely of LEGOS. Inside, check out Dino Land, Duplo, Fun Town, Pirate Shores and so much more!
- Oceanside Pier: The first pier was built in 1888, but was destroyed by storms in the winter of 1890. At the foot of the pier you’ll find the Junior Seau Pier Amphitheatre, which hosts a variety of events throughout the year. The pier is a popular place for fishing, so grab your tackle box and pole and settle in for an afternoon waiting for the fish to bite. You can also grab a meal at Ruby’s Diner, a 1950s-style diner, or try your hand at surfing at the north and south sides of the pier.
- Museum of Making Music: If you find pleasure in museums and music, the Museum of Making Music brings together two of your passions. The museum displays public exhibits relating to the history of American popular music, the creation of musical instruments and the history of music production from the 1890s through present day. The galleries feature more than 450 vintage instruments and artifacts, as well as hundreds of audio samples and an area where you can interact hands-on with different instruments. The MoMM also holds public events, performances and lectures about music.
- Carlsbad State Beach: It’s a protected beach that is part of the state park system and features cool coastal bluffs. Carlsbad State Beach is the perfect place to take a refreshing swim, catch a wave on a surfboard, fish or check out local aquatic life while scuba diving. The amenities include showers, bathrooms and more, so you’ll be covered if you need to change out of your swimsuit to head to a local eatery for lunch or dinner.
- Carlsbad Flower Fields: Take some time to stop and smell the roses at Carlsbad Flower Fields. Explore special nurseries and gardens, including the award-winning rose garden with its 50 acres of beauty on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Shopping and Dining in Carlsbad
- Carlsbad Premium Outlets: If you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, head to Carlsbad Premium Outlets. This shopping center boasts an exciting collection of stores and shops to fit you every want or need. Plan a trip to pick up some souvenirs to remember your vacation.
- Pizza Port: If you want to sample the west coast’s take on pizza, visit Pizza Port. This laid-back eatery opened in 1987 and is known for it’s funky atmosphere with a classic menu. Pizza Port embraces the idea of flavor-driven pizza, and it's also a wonderful spot to relax with a one-of-a-kind brew. In 2008, the owners opened a premium bottle shop with more than 600 craft beers.
- Paon: The menu options here combine California cuisine with a French twist. Dine on the gorgeous patio to take in the natural sights or inside among the Art Deco-inspired interior. The menu here boasts seasonal, locally grown organic ingredients and produce, including prime meats, game and fish. After your delicious dining experience, stop by the wine shop to pick up something to sip on back at home while you recall your favorite memories from your trip to Carlsbad.