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14 Best Things To Do In Carlsbad, California | Best Carlsbad Tours & Activities

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Carlsbad, California, is known as “The Village by the Sea” for a reason. This small, affluent village, located halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles, has the elegance of an old European city with the feel of a typical California coastal vacation town. Yet despite the quiet facade, you will not lack things to do in Carlsbad when you visit.

14 Best Things To Do In Carlsbad: Carlsbad beach

The city is a popular weekend destination and a fantastic place to live, with seven miles of magnificent white sandy beaches, great restaurants, and the ideal temperature. Legoland California, Sea Life Aquarium, and South Carlsbad State Beach are among the best activities to do in Carlsbad, California.

14 Best Things To Do In Carlsbad: Carlsbad Coast

Look no further if you’re looking for a place to eat in Carlsbad, California. Read the following article to find out which restaurants in Carlsbad are the best places to eat:

The 14 Best Things To Do in Carlsbad, CA

LEGOLAND California

One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad // (760) 918-5346

One of the best things to do in Carlsbad, California is visiting LEGOLAND California Resort, which guarantees enjoyment for all ages.

14 Best Things To Do In Carlsbad: Entrance of LEGOLAND

The hands-on theme park, located about half an hour north of San Diego, has over 60 themed rides, interactive attractions, and shows for children aged two to twelve, while the SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND Water Park provide entertainment for the entire family.

14 Best Things To Do In Carlsbad: LEGOLAND Water Park

The LEGO Legends of CHIMA Water Park, which includes a spectacular Lion Temple Wave Pool, a terrible crocodile swamp, an interactive Build-a-Boat area, a Build-A-Raft River, and two sandy beaches, transports your imagination on an extraordinary voyage. 

14 Best Things To Do In Carlsbad: CHIMA Water Park

Holiday Snow Days, Winter Nights, Jingle Jammers, and Mini Figure Trading are among the park’s shows and events, and guests can visit for the day or stay longer at the themed LEGOLAND Hotel. Best of all, there is no risk of stepping on Legos barefoot, making this one of the best places to visit in Carlsbad. 

14 Best Things To Do In Carlsbad: LEGOLAND Hotel

Museum of Making Music

5790 Armada Drive // (760) 438-5996

The Museum of Making Music is devoted to promoting and commemorating the music business. The museum, which opened in 2000, organizes a variety of special exhibitions as well as unique concerts and educational programs aimed at offering cultural enrichment and conserving musical legacy. All are worthy of how to spend your time in Carlsbad.

Permanent interactive exhibitions are arranged chronologically and feature historical landmarks, popular songs, and instruments from many eras, as well as old instruments and audio and video footage. 

Special exhibitions, as well as current music presentations and seminars, are held twice a year to feature the music of both local talent and well-known international and national performers. Group tours can be arranged in advance at the Museum of Making Music, which is open Tuesday through Sunday. Make sure to check out this attraction while in Carlsbad.

SEA LIFE Aquarium

Legoland California Resort, One Legoland Drive // (760) 918-5346

The SEA LIFE Aquarium, located on Legoland Drive in Carlsbad, is a family-friendly interactive sea aquarium. More than 5,000 sea creatures representing over 200 species call the aquarium home, including clownfish, octopus, rays, sea horses, and sharks. 

Some of the species, such as crabs and sea stars, are available for children to touch. Other possible animal encounters include diving shows and seeing the animals being fed.

School groups, other organizations such as Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, as well as business events and birthday parties that include a meal at the aquarium’s Ocean Journey Cafe, are all welcome. Make sure to check out the aquarium while looking for things to do in Carlsbad.

New Village Arts Theatre

2787 State Street # B // (760) 433-3245

The New Village Arts Theatre is a theater that hosts dramatic and musical performances. The tiny theater, which seats 99 people, offers shows put on by a local ensemble group.

There are 14 actors, designers, directors, and stage managers in this cast. As You Like It, Golden Boy, and Into the Woods are just a few of the previous productions.

Mondays with Sammie and trips to schools organized by the Junior Ensemble are two of the theater’s education outreach projects. The theater collaborates with Kids Act, a local young acting group that offers children acting classes.  If you are looking for family activities in Carlsbad, visit the New Village Arts Theatre. 

Cape Rey

1 Ponto Rd // (760) 602-0800

Cape Rey is a wonderful resort on Carlsbad Beach with amazing Pacific Ocean views from the majority of its guest rooms and apartments. 

The Cape Rey Carlsbad Beach, which first opened to the public as the Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort and Spa, features New England-style decor and 215 guest rooms with custom-designed mattresses, flat-screen televisions, minifridges, and microwaves. 

Upgraded rooms have separate living and eating areas, as well as private balconies in some cases. Chandler’s Restaurant and Lounge, which serves locally produced seaside fare and has a small cocktail lounge, is open to resort visitors. 

A state-of-the-art fitness facility, a full-service spa, and a wide beachfront outdoor pool and fire pit are among the resort’s other attractions, with direct beach access available for all guests across the street.

If you are looking for a great place to stay in Carlsbad, consider using the Hilton as your base of operations. 

Carlsbad Food Tours

1778 Callisia Court // (760) 990-0690

Carlsbad Food Tours offers a culinary and historical tour of Carlsbad’s hamlet. Tours make their way through Carlsbad’s most gorgeous and historic neighborhoods, where you’ll learn about the village’s history and sample some of the greatest food on offer, facilitated by gourmand tour leaders with a love and passion for Carlsbad and its top eateries.

Tours take you to locally owned specialized food stores, as well as ethnic and local cafes, where you may meet the chefs and artisans and try their offerings. 

Stop by Gregorio’s Italian Restaurant, Caldo Pomodoro Italian Restaurant, Café Topes, Witch Creek Winery, Cafe Panini, and Chocolate Bar (always a winner!) in Carlsbad’s Urban Wineries to sample award-winning California wines. Tuesday through Saturday, tours are provided, and ticket fees include all food and wine tastings.

You know you have to eat while on your vacation.  So instead of picking “a” restaurant, try several of the best places to eat in Carlsbad.

Pedego Carlsbad

2978 Carlsbad Blvd #130 // (760) 729-2453

On an electric bike, Pedego Carlsbad provides a unique and entertaining way to see and experience the coastal town. The bike has an electric assist of up to 20 mph, allowing you to go farther and faster without exerting additional effort, making Pedego Bikes a popular way to traverse the city.

The Dalai Lama Tour, which cruises along the coastline parallel to Historic Hwy 101 and showcases the simpler, quieter lifestyle of the past, to the Couples Romantic Picnic Tour, which features seven miles of spectacular beaches and picturesque lagoons for the perfect picnic, are just a few of the fun tours and excursions offered by Pedego Carlsbad.

14 Best Things To Do In Carlsbad: Carlsbad coastline

Other tours include the Oceanside Pier and Harbor Tour, which takes visitors through the quaint neighborhoods of Carlsbad and includes a visit to the house where Top Gun was filmed, and the Rock & Ride Tour, which takes friends along Southern California’s breathtaking coastline while listening to music through audio headsets. 

14 Best Things To Do In Carlsbad: Oceanside Harbor

Simply phone to reserve a spot, then jump on your bike and ride. Add this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to your list of things to do in Carlsbad. 

The Flower Fields

5704 Paseo Del Norte // (760) 431-0352

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch is a collection of about fifty acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus blooms that have transformed the hills of North San Diego County into one of the world’s most beautiful displays of natural color and beauty. 

The fields come alive with color for only six to eight weeks each year, from early March to early May, attracting visitors from all over the world to take in the spectacular scenery.  If this is the time when you will be visiting, make sure to see this Carlsbad attraction. 

14 Best Things To Do In Carlsbad: The Flower Fields

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch is open to the public seven days a week during the spring flowering season, and they also have a garden, a unique nursery, and a small gift shop, as well as various festivals during the season. 

Please go to the attraction’s website for information on hours of operation. From early March until early May, the season is open.  Definitely a stop on your Carlsbad sightseeing events.

Aviara Golf Club

7447 Batiquitos Drive // (760) 603-6900

The Aviara Golf Club is located at the Park Hyatt Hotel and boasts a fantastic green and tee layout with spectacular views of the serene Batiquitos Lagoon nature preserve. 

The Aviara Golf Club, designed by Arnold Palmer and located in what is known as the “Golf Manufacturing Capital of the World,” features a par 72, 18-hole course with more than 7,000 yards of uniquely sculpted landscapes, rolling hillsides covered in native wildflowers, and great bunker and water challenges.

{image} Aviara Golf Club, Carlsbad {image}

The Kip Puterbaugh Aviara Golf Academy, one of the oldest golf academies in the United States, is located at the Aviara Golf Club and offers a range of day courses and golf schools for players of all levels that focus on the mental, physical, and technical components of the game.

Whether a low-handicapper or just a hacker, make sure you check out this world-class golf course if you are looking for sports activities in Carlsbad.

Craftsmanship Museum

3190 Lionshead Avenue // (760) 727-9492

The Craftsmanship Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and displaying wood and metal crafts. It’s also known as the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum and the Joe Martin Foundation Craftsmanship Museum. 

There are 500 operational tiny engines in the museum’s collection, including internal combustion engines, a Bentley rotary aero engine, radial engines, and more.

{image} Craftsmanship Museum {image}

Models of cars, airplanes, and other objects, such as a model of a 1932 Duesenberg and World War II fighter aircraft, are among the collection’s major highlights. Craftsmen and volunteers work in an on-site machine shop to keep the artifacts in good working order.  If you are even a little mechanically inclined, this will be a fascinating place to visit in Carlsbad.

GIA Museum

5345 Armada Drive // (760) 603-4000

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Museum is dedicated to public education and study in the fields of gemology, gemstones, and jewelry manufacture, all of which are essential activities in this area because the Gemological Institute of America is based in Carlsbad. The GIA Museum has a wide range of exhibits.

{image} GIA Museum {image}

A small trumpet made of turquoise and gold, a harp made of tiger eye, a grand piano made of black onyx, and other gems are featured in the exhibit Symphony in Gemstones. Generations of Mastery: Gemstone Carvings by Dreher and More is More: Duquette Wilkinson Jewelry, among others, are among the other displays.

You may not be able to afford to buy them, but you certainly can afford to look at them.  Make sure to visit this exhibit in Carlsbad.

The Crossings at Carlsbad

5800 The Crossings Drive // (760) 444-1800

The Crossings at Carlsbad is a public golf course and event venue with a total length of 6,835 yards. The 18-hole course, which is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the adjacent foothills, offers breathtaking vistas. The course fits in with the natural ecology of the California coastal setting, covering more than 400 acres, and visitors can often view a variety of wildlife.

{image} The Crossings at Carlsbad {image}

The course, designed by well-known golf course designer Greg Nash, is suitable for golfers of all levels, from beginners to advanced players. Electric golf carts are available at the golf course to help you navigate the seven-mile cart trail. There is a restaurant, a golf shop, banquet facilities, and much more in the 28,000 square foot clubhouse.  So if the golfer in the family needs some alone time, this is the perfect place to go in Carlsbad.

Carlsbad Premium Outlets

5620 Paseo Del Norte // (760) 804-9000

The Carlsbad Premium Outlets are a shopping destination with over 90 high-end designer boutiques, including Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Cole Haan Outlet, and Calvin Klein. The architectural style of the mall is Tuscan, and it is built around a central courtyard with fountains.

{image} Carlsbad Premium Outlets {image}

Panda Express, Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill, Ruby’s Diner, and Subway are just a few of the eateries available to hungry customers. With shops like Godiva Chocolatier and Haagen Dazs, you’ll always have room for dessert. Throughout the year, the mall organizes a variety of events. A great place for shopping in Carlsbad while dad is off playing golf. 

Rancho Carlsbad Golf Course

5200 El Camino Real // (760) 438-1772

Rancho Carlsbad Golf Course is a public golf course with an 18-hole par 3 course and a driving range. The golf course is recognized for its lovely setting in the hills just north of the College Boulevard-El Camino Real crossroads, and the Pacific Ocean is only a few minutes away.

The par-three golf course is both tough and fun, and golfers can finish the 18-hole course in under three hours. A natural grass driving range is located on the golf course’s north side. Drinks and small meals are available at the 19th Hole Deli.  This is a great way to get a little exercise without spending too much time away from Carlsbad family activities. 

Carlsbad, located halfway between San Diego and Orange County, radiates a captivating laid-back atmosphere. Beachgoers and surfers alike are drawn to the area by miles of beautiful coastline and strong wave action. Its lagoons are perfect for kayaking and stand-up paddling, and there are a plethora of outdoor activities in this Southern California coastal town.

Today, due to its laid-back beaches, community atmosphere, and kid-friendly attractions, it is a popular vacation location for families. Carlsbad Village, a small downtown area with a variety of shops, restaurants, and pubs, is located within walking distance of Carlsbad’s beautiful beaches.

But, be assured, there’s never a dull moment in Carlsbad!  Make sure to check out the many tours, restaurants, and things to do in Carlsbad.

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