Things to Do in Carlsbad
Carlsbad is the ideal beach city, with plenty of nightlife and entertainment within city limits and stunning nature preserves outside of town. That makes it a popular getaway for people who prefer a mixture of relaxation and outdoor excitement. Here are a few ways to enjoy the perfect California summer:
Walking, Hiking and Backpacking
The area in and around Carlsbad Village has over 65 miles of trails, making it one of the best places to immerse yourself in nature. Go backpacking in the forested terrain around the city, take a walk to a secluded lagoon or go beach-combing in front of the ocean. Some trails offer long excursions with stunning overlooks and others are perfect for a romantic stroll near sunset.
Don’t let Carlsbad’s laid-back exterior fool you — there are countless shops, malls and hot spots in this hip city. Visit Carlsbad Premium Outlets or The Forum to watch the latest movies and check out California fashion trends in an open-air shopping environment. Downtown Carlsbad features art galleries, craft chocolatiers, shoe outlets and other cool stores.
Discover California’s best off-road destinations by taking a mountain bike through forests and rocky terrain. The trails around Carlsbad reward you with incredible views of striking cliffs, blue skies, hidden beaches and miles of ocean.
Did you know?
Carlsbad is famous for its Flower Fields which bloom from early March to early May.
Places to See
Outside Carlsbad, Batiquitos Lagoon offers 561 acres and 1.3 miles of guided walking and hiking trails. The Buena Vista Lagoon acts as an ecological preserve for many species of birds, including the Vermillion Flycatcher and the Great Blue Heron. All in all, it’s home to 103 bird species, making it popular with birdwatchers and nature lovers.
From mid-March to mid-May, visitors can observe a stunning display of carefully chosen flowers at The Flower Fields. From purple orchids to Persian buttercups, the blossoms at The Flower Fields are a treat for nature lovers. With over 50 acres of Tecolote Giant Ranunculus, you can snap photos of a sea of color.
With period adobe buildings and stables, the Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park is a must for architecture lovers and history buffs. This completely restored hacienda provides a look at California’s rich cultural heritage, and it is home to flocks of iconic peacocks. Visitors can explore the buildings and trails of this 27-acre estate, including the main house, reflecting pool, cantina, cabana and carriage house.
If you want to walk in the footsteps of the masters, you need to schedule a tee time at Omni La Costa Legends and Champions golf courses. These picturesque 18-hole courses have been part of the PGA circuit for decades. Golf legends such as Tiger Woods have played here, along with Hollywood greats including Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope.
The Crossings at Carlsbad is another well-known golf course. Enjoy verdant fairways that look out over the Pacific Ocean. This course stretches 6,835 yards along hills and valleys, with 18 magnificent holes and multiple types of terrain.
If you love golf, this is set to be one of your favorite destinations. It’s beautiful.
Historic Highway 101 runs through Carlsbad along Southern California’s magnificent coast. Enjoy the freedom of the open road, visiting beaches of Encinitas further south La Jolla. This is a great way to see California’s authentic beauty, tasting the menu at roadside diners or kicking back on secluded beaches.
If you are looking to go to the San Diego Zoo, the drive from Carlsbad to San Diego is only about 30 minutes along the I-5 freeway.
For three days in September, the Carlsbad Music Festival brings everything to life. Watch live music with well-known jazz, pop, folk, classical and world music performers. TGIF Concerts in the Parks offers free concerts at parks throughout the city on Friday evenings from late June to the end of August.