Carlsbad

Spend time in the great outdoors at LEGOLAND California, the Flower Fields or surfing at Carlsbad’s beaches. Partake in the buzzing nightlife, eat at an inviting sidewalk café and walk to local shops. Stroll the boardwalk & pier where you can create memories with family while watching the marvelous sunset.
Carlsbad
Overview
Bundle & Save
Things to Do
Popular Activities
Places to See
Fun with Kids
Featured Hotel
Know Before You Go
Stay
Beaches
Similar Neighborhoods

Highlights

Carlsbad
Stay
LEGOLAND California
Tips
Overview
Stay
Play
Tips

Boardwalk, Beaches & Flowers Fields in Carlsbad

Bike Rental Shop in CarlsbadNorth Ponto Beach in Carlsbad

With seven miles of breathtaking coastline, exciting resorts and beautiful nature preserves, Carlsbad, California is perfect for people who love the outdoors. The city of Carlsbad is located in San Diego County, known as North County San Diego to the locals, and is close to downtown San Diego, but it has its own laid-back vibe that draws in locals and tourists. This popular vacation destination blends surf havens with gorgeous canyons, so it’s impossible to run out of things to do and see.

Carlsbad has three beautiful lagoons that provide crystal-clear waters, lush hiking trails and incredible sand. In total, they encompass over 1,000 acres, making it easy to relax completely in gorgeous surroundings. Places such as Batiquitos Lagoon provide space for getting some exercise with a breathtaking backdrop.

Golf is another big draw of this coastal city. Carlsbad is home to some of the most famous courses on the PGA circuit, letting you tee up in a golfer’s paradise. The rolling hills and amazing course design are on par with the best clubs in the world.

The city has a hip spring-break atmosphere, so you can always find somewhere to party for happy hour after the sun goes down. Sample delicious craft beer at one of the popular local breweries in the city while feasting on the best tacos and burgers around. Carlsbad has a vibrant food scene, focusing a lot on menu items that are tasty and fast.

By the time you leave, expect to have your own favorite taquerias, food trucks, taverns and sandwich shops. Stop at a local bistro to sample freshly made Italian pastries and oh-so-good coffee creations. Many of the upscale restaurants in the city feature beachfront views, so you can enjoy a romantic dinner for two surrounded by tropical palms and soothing sand.

One of the best parts of eating out in Carlsbad is the incredible seafood, from smooth sushi to crunchy fish tacos. There are many different kinds of cuisine on the menu, including Japanese, Italian, SoCal and New American. Authentic Mexican restaurants dot most street corners, and their flavorful and fresh bites are irresistible.

It’s a good idea to check the Carlsbad events calendar ahead of time, since the city has a lot of festivals and competitions throughout the year. For example, if you’re traveling in January, you may want to sign up for the Carlsbad Marathon. Suit up with 10,000 other runners to jog through the Village of Carlsbad and along Highway 101.

Carlsbad
Why you'll love Carlsbad
Carlsbad is an outdoor-lover’s paradise! Visit the Flower Fields, breweries, local parks & cafes. Hit the beaches and enjoy the sunset from the boardwalk.

Safari Park+Zoo = Go Pass

San Diego Zoo Safari Park
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Visit this 1,800 acre park featuring over 3,000 animals in their natural habitats as you ride the African tram! Buy an All-Inclusive Go Pass and admission to the San Diego Zoo is included!
Buy Now
Local Tips
What kind of deals does the Go Pass offer?

The Go San Diego Pass gives visitors the ability to save up to 55% on attraction admissions.

Combine our exclusive 5% discount to save even more and consider the All-Inclusive pass to maximize your savings. Plus the pass gives you the ability to skip the line when visiting select attractions.

Things to Do

Beach Fire Pits
Beach Fire Pits
Beach Volleyball
Beach Volleyball
Biking
Biking
Fishing
Fishing
Kayaking
Kayaking
LEGOLAND California
LEGOLAND California
Paddle Boarding
Paddle Boarding
Picnic Tables
Picnic Tables
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Skateboarding
Skateboarding
Sunbathing
Sunbathing
Surfing
Surfing
Swimming
Swimming
Waterpark
Waterpark

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.

Shopping

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.

Mountain Biking

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.

Local Tips
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.

Golfing

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.

Driving

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.

Grooving

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.

Popular Activities

Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Discounts Available
Learn More
San Diego Harbor Cruise
San Diego Harbor Cruise
$28 per person
Buy Now
Drive Your Own Speed Boat Tour
Drive Your Own Speed Boat Tour
$80 per person
Buy Now
Surf Lessons in La Jolla
Surf Lessons in La Jolla
$69 per person
Buy Now

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.

Featured Activity

Kids mesmerized by the life-size legos at LEGOLAND
LEGOLAND Hopper Ticket
Enjoy the 2nd day FREE with this LEGOLAND® California Hopper Ticket! Save BIG when your 2nd visit occurs within 9 days of your 1st to LEGOLAND California, SEA LIFE Aquarium or the LEGOLAND Water Park.
Learn More

Carlsbad With Kids

What kid doesn’t love LEGO bricks? LEGOLAND California gives the traditional theme park a kid-friendly spin with rides, roller coasters and high-tech 3D adventures inspired by the world of LEGO. Kids can also spend hours building their own LEGO creations, tour a LEGO factory or walk around giant LEGO replicas of famous landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge.

If you are looking to save, consider bundling your tickets for LEGOLAND California with other popular attractions like the San Diego Zoo or SeaWorld San Diego. The San Diego Go Card lets you do this and you can save big. You can also save more by using our exclusive discount link for extra savings.

For even more LEGO fun, check out LEGOLAND Water Park. Kids of all ages have a blast at this water park that mixes building blocks with towering waterslides. Get drenched together at the Soak-N-Sail pirate ship or battle with other families at Pirate Reef’s floating coaster.

SEA LIFE Aquarium gives kids an up-close look at underwater creatures such as manta rays, sharks and octopi. There are interactive exhibits and hands-on learning experiences, such as walking through a cool bioluminescent pond in the dark. Hopper Packages are available to include these aquatic adventures with tickets to LEGOLAND California.

Featured Hotel
Cape Rey Carlsbad Beach, A Hilton Resort & Spa
Pool Cabanas at Cape Rey Carlsbad Beach
Beaches
Beaches
Couples
Couples
Shopping
Shopping
4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Cape Rey Carlsbad Beach is an upscale resort & spa, located just steps from the coastline. Welcoming to families & couples seeking a unique vacation spot.
Prices Starting at $152
Check Availability

Know Before You Go & Tips

Amazing Sunsets
Amazing Sunsets
Boardwalk
Boardwalk
Cafes
Cafes
Parks
Parks
Shopping
Shopping
Trolley Stop
Trolley Stop
Walkable
Walkable

The Best Beaches Around Carlsbad

One of the biggest draws of Carlsbad are the miles of beaches within walking and biking distance of the city. They offer beautiful vistas, exciting watersports and a pleasant surfing village vibe. Here are a few must-visit beaches in the area:

South Carlsbad State Beach

Enjoy a unique vacation experience by camping near the water at South Carlsbad State Beach. Laugh around a bonfire on the beach and fall asleep to the gentle sounds of surf and stars. Campsites tend to fill quickly, so it’s a good idea to make reservations well ahead of time.

Carlsbad State Beach

Carlsbad State Beach covers an extensive stretch of breathtaking coastline, including places such as North Ponto Beach, Tamarack Surf Beach and Warm Water Jetty. This is one of San Diego’s most popular beaches, and it appeals to couples, families and adventurers because of the huge variety of things to do. Fun water sports here include surfing, kite-boarding, kayaking and swimming, and you can also enjoy sand volleyball, hiking, biking and fishing.

There are three seawalls at different parts of Carlsbad State Beach, such as the one extending from Cannon Road to Tamarack Avenue. When you’re in the mood for a relaxing stroll along the Pacific Ocean, these seawalls provide views unlike anything you’ve seen before. Couples love to gather here near evening to share an unforgettable sunset.

South Ponto Beach

This family favorite has enormous sand dunes to explore, and it’s also one of the widest beaches in California. This gives you space to relax away from the hustle and bustle of city life. South Ponto Beach is equipped with showers and restrooms for a complete afternoon on the sand, and it’s located right across Highway 101 from Batiquitos Lagoon.

Carlsbad City Beach

If you’re looking for something a little more secluded, head off the beaten path to one of the Carlsbad City Beach. There are public access areas to this beautiful beach at places such as Rue des Chateaux, Grand Avenue and Carlsbad Village Drive.

Terramar Beach

The ideal location for surfers, Terramar Beach is a hidden gem with awesome waves. It doesn’t have a lot of amenities, but that adds to its charm for beach lovers since it keeps crowds to a minimum. Don’t forget to pack your surfboard and your camera so you can capture vibrant photographs of California’s orange sunset reflecting off the miles of cliffs.

Tamarack Beach

Technically part of Carlsbad State Beach, Tamarack Surf Beach is the ideal place to catch some waves while visiting Carlsbad. It is just south of Carlsbad City Beach and north of Warm Water Jetty Beach.

Maybe it's Highway 101, or maybe it’s the surf culture, but Carlsbad beaches are great for chilling. They’re a lot of fun for families with kids. Couples in search of romance can also find private areas for sharing a kiss to remember.

Carlsbad
is Famous For:
Beaches
Beaches
Flower Fields
Flower Fields
LEGOLAND California
LEGOLAND California
Sidewalk Cafés
Sidewalk Cafés
Known For:
Attractions
Attractions
Breweries
Breweries
Camping
Camping
Nightlife
Nightlife
Surfing
Surfing
This Month's Forecast
67℉ / 79℉
Sunny in September
Oct
63℉ / 78℉
Sunny in October
Nov
56℉ / 73℉
Sunny in November
Dec
51℉ / 68℉
Sunny in December

Stay

West Inn & Suites
Family Friendly
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
West Inn & Suites
from $161 / night
View Hotel
Tamarack Beach Hotel
Near Legoland
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Tamarack Beach Hotel
from $157 / night
View Hotel
Beach Terrace Inn
Romantic
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Beach Terrace Inn
from $299 / night
View Hotel
Park Hyatt Aviara
Family Friendly
5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating
Park Hyatt Aviara
from $256 / night
View Hotel
The Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa
Luxury Hotel
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
The Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa
from $179 / night
View Hotel
Carlsbad Suites
Near Legoland
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Carlsbad Suites
from $98 / night
View Hotel
Carlsbad Seapointe Resort
Family Friendly
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Carlsbad Seapointe Resort
from $175 / night
View Hotel
Legoland California Resort and Castle Hotel
Near Legoland
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Legoland California Resort and Castle Hotel
from $339 / night
View Hotel
Ocean Palms Beach Resort
Near Legoland
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Ocean Palms Beach Resort
from $279 / night
View Hotel
Homewood Suites by Hilton Carlsbad
Near Legoland
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Homewood Suites by Hilton Carlsbad
from $143 / night
View Hotel
Fairfield Inn & Suites San Diego Carlsbad
Near Legoland
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Fairfield Inn & Suites San Diego Carlsbad
from $161 / night
View Hotel
Staybridge Suites Carlsbad
Near Legoland
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Staybridge Suites Carlsbad
from $152 / night
View Hotel
Hampton Inn Carlsbad
Near Legoland
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Hampton Inn Carlsbad
from $129 / night
View Hotel
Residence Inn San Diego Carlsbad
Near Legoland
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Residence Inn San Diego Carlsbad
from $166 / night
View Hotel
Best Western Plus Beach View Lodge
Near Legoland
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Best Western Plus Beach View Lodge
from $162 / night
View Hotel
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Carlsbad
Near Legoland
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Carlsbad
from $161 / night
View Hotel
Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach
Near Legoland
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach
from $164 / night
View Hotel
Best Western Carlsbad by the Sea
Near Legoland
2 Star Rating2 Star Rating
Best Western Carlsbad by the Sea
from $103 / night
View Hotel
Cape Rey Carlsbad Beach Hilton
Family Friendly
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Cape Rey Carlsbad Beach Hilton
from $152 / night
View Hotel
Carlsbad by the Sea Hotel
Near Legoland
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Carlsbad by the Sea Hotel
from $108 / night
View Hotel
Grand Pacific Palisades Resort
Near Legoland
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Grand Pacific Palisades Resort
from $184 / night
View Hotel
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
Luxury Hotel
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
from $277 / night
View Hotel
Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa
Near Legoland
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa
from $186 / night
View Hotel
Show more San Diego Hotels >>