A low-key beach community near San Diego, Carlsbad offers picturesque Pacific Ocean beaches, state parks, flower fields and a charming farmer’s market selling local produce and arts. It’s also home to family-friendly theme parks, such as LEGOLAND California and Sea Life Aquarium.
Things to do in Carlsbad
Beaches in Carlsbad include protected habitats, such as the Secluded South Carlsbad State Beach, where you can go camping, surfing and picnicking. Tamarack Surf Beach is a short walk from Avenue and Carlsbad Village, making it one of the most accessible strips of sand in the region. Rent a kayak or join a scuba diving expedition, then go fishing off the Carlsbad jetties.
LEGOLAND California is popular for its family-friendly ambience and hands-on activities. Older kids will love cutting-edge attractions, such as Lego Ninjago The Ride with its interactive lightning, fireballs and shockwaves. Cool down with aqua fun at LEGOLAND Water Park, then explore the world of oceans and sea habitats at Merlin’s Sea Life.
All ages can engage with creativity at the Museum of Making Music, an interactive tribute to the city’s musical history and ethnic instruments. Enjoy live concerts and try your own hand at creating songs. If you’re visiting in the spring, make the annual pilgrimage to see giant Tecolote ranunculus in The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch.
Save time for visiting Leo Carrillo Ranch, named for the noted actor appearing in almost 100 films from 1927 to 1950. Take a self-guided tour to see restored historic buildings, handcrafted adobe homes, a vintage cantina, carriage house tack shed, barn and foundry.
Getting around Carlsbad
Pick up a rental car at San Diego International Airport, about a 40-minute drive from Carlsbad. Trains, buses and shuttles run between Carlsbad and San Diego, while ride-shares and taxis offer transportation in town.