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Carlsbad (California)

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Carlsbad (California)

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Carlsbad [3] is a city in the north of San Diego County.

Historic Twin Inn in the Carlsbad Village


Carlsbad has a relaxed atmosphere away from the madness of LA, but close enough for easy access. It has beaches that are better maintained than its neighbor Oceanside.

Carlsbad is also a favorite destination for foreign tourists, especially Germans.

For European (and particularly Danish) tourists and young children, Carlsbad's best draw is perhaps Legoland California, the Lego Company's only American theme park.

Get in

By car

Carlsbad is located about 30 miles north of San Diego on Interstate 5. The Pacific Coast Highway (California State Route 1) passes through Carlsbad as well.

By rail

Carlsbad has two train stations: Carlsbad Village (on State Street just north of Grand Avenue) and Carlsbad Poinsettia (on Avenida Encinas between Palomar Airport Road and Poinsettia Lane). Both can be reached via the COASTER [4] regional rail line, which runs between Oceanside and the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego.

If you are traveling from Los Angeles or Orange County, take Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner [5] or Metrolink's [6] Orange County Line to Oceanside. From the Oceanside Transit Center, take the COASTER, a bus, or a taxi to Carlsbad.

By air

Carlsbad's local Palomar Airport (IATA: CLD) has commercial commuter flights to Los Angeles on United Express and to North Las Vegas on Vision Airlines, as well as general aviation.

San Diego International Airport (IATA: SAN) [7] is the closest major airport to Carlsbad; from there you may take San Diego Transit's Route 992 bus to the Santa Fe Depot and connect to the COASTER.

John Wayne Airport (IATA: SNA) [8] in Orange County is the next closest major airport; the nearest Amtrak/Metrolink stations are in Santa Ana, Tustin, and Irvine.

Get around

The North County Transit District [9] provides public bus service within Carlsbad.


  • Legoland California, One Legoland Drive (exit I-5 at Cannon Road, turn east, then turn south onto Legoland Drive), +1 760 918-5346, [10]. Sister park to the Danish park themed to the phenomenally popular toy line. Strikingly accurate Lego sculptures, thrill rides, and more.
  • Flower Fields, [11]. For six to eight weeks each year - from early March through early May, almost fifty acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers are in a full bloom. Admission to the fields is $8, though the fields are quite visible from outside as well.


  • Carlsbad Mineral Water Spa, 2802 Carlsbad Blvd, +1 760 434-1887, [12]. There are hot baths in Carlsbad.
  • Carlsbad State Beach near the end of Palomar Airport Road, is one of the area's nicest beaches. In warm weather there may be stingrays, so walk carefully. The area also has an R/C Gliderport along the cliffs.
  • Carlsbad Village Street Faire, Grand Ave from Carlsbad Blvd to Jefferson St, +1 760 931-8400, [1]. First Sunday in May and November. 900 vendors and an international food court .


  • Carlsbad Pipeline. Beachwear and accessories.
  • Carlsbad Premium Outlets, off Carlsbad Village Drive, [13]. Upscale outlet center.


  • Captain Keno's $3 breakfast all day, $3 spaghetti after 4. Large portions. 158 N Coast Highway 101 (760) 753-4555
  • Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill [14] - A chain of unique restaurants spanning California and several other western states, has its roots in the San Diego area. And is headquarterd in beautiful Carlsbad. Any trip to San Diego can't be complete without trying an Original Fish Taco from Rubio's. They are located at the Carlsbad Company Stores near Palomar Airport Rd. & I-5.
  • Daily News Cafe - relaxed breakfast and lunch cafe near the beach. They have Reubens on Sunday.
  • Fish House Veracruz - located near the train station, has fresh seafood.
  • Jay's Gourmet - pizza and seafood - and seafood pizza.
  • Benihana - part of a chain of Japanese restaurants. Their food is good, and they prepare it entertainingly right in front of you.
  • Claim Jumper (south of town on I-5) - part of a chain of tasteful Old West themed restaurants featuring large proportions of good food. Especially recommended is the steak.
  • Coyote Bar & Grill - mostly featuring Southwestern and Mexican food, a wide range of tequilas, and live bands.


  • Pizza Port Carlsbad - Beer enthusiasts will want to check out Pizza Port Carlsbad [15] at 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., which was featured in the Beer Advocate's Top 50 places to drink beer in America. The pub is family-friendly, and the California-style pizza is a local favorite. They also host local beer-tastings and microbrew events.
  • Vinaka Cafe - fresh coffee, tea and food in a comfortable coffee shop atmosphere


  • Carlsbad Seapointe Resort, 6400 Surfside Lane, Carlsbad, CA 92011 (Traveling north or south on Interstate 5: Exit Poinsettia and travel west. Turn right on Carlsbad Boulevard (HWY 101). Turn right on Island Way, then an immediate left onto Surfside Lane. The resort is on the right hand side.), (877) 477-7368, [2]. checkin: 4:00pm; checkout: 11:00am. A seaside resort located adjacent to Carlsbad State Beach. Each spacious condo boasts full kitchens, fireplaces and balconies with views. Two ocean view pools, lighted tennis and basketball courts, a putting green and fitness center compliment this popular property. $98-$399. (33.113201,-117.322228)
  • Seabreeze Vacation Rentals, 3150 Ocean Street, (760) 828-0797, [16]
  • Sheraton Carlsbad Resort, 5480 Grand Pacific Drive, (760) 827-2400. [17] Opens in January 2008 with panoramic Pacific Ocean views from hotel and its Twenty/20 Grill & Wine Bar. Families will appreciate its expansive free-form swimming pool while parents will enjoy unique, marine-based treatments from its Ocean Pearl Spa.
  • Best Western Beach View Lodge, 3180 Carlsbad Boulevard, (760) 729-1151, Fax: (760) 434-5405, [18].
  • Courtyard San Diego Carlsbad, 5835 Owens Avenue, (760) 431-9399, Fax: (760) 431-9809, [19].
  • Fairfield Inn San Diego Carlsbad Near Legoland, 760 Macademia Drive, (760) 438-2828, Fax: (760) 438-8181, [20].
  • Four Seasons Resort Aviara, North San Diego, 7100 Four Seasons Point, (760) 603-6800, Fax: (760) 603-6801, [21]. This fine luxury resort, which features an awesome golf course designed by Arnold Palmer, is located in Southern California, just 30 miles north of San Diego.
  • Grand Pacific Palisades. [22] A first class resort overlooking the California flower fields, less than a mile from the beach. Across the street from a pedestrian entrance to Legoland.
  • Holiday Inn, 850 Palomar Airport Rd, (760) 438-7880, [23].
  • Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort, 3075 Carlsbad Blvd, (760) 434-7020, [24]. Charming beach-side vacation resort with easy access to Carlsbad & San Diego attractions.
  • Motel 6 Carlsbad Downtown, 1006 Carlsbad Village Drive, (760) 434-7135, Fax: (760) 730-0159, [25].
  • Motel 6 Carlsbad South, 750 Raintree Drive, (760) 431-0745, Fax: (760) 431-9207, [26].
  • Quality Inn & Suites. 751 Raintree Dr, +1 760 931-1185 (fax: +1 760 931-0970), [27]. Hot breakfast, Hi-speed Internet, parking, outdoor heated pool, fitness center, in-room fridge/microwave all included in rate. Walking distance to beach.
  • Residence Inn San Diego Carlsbad, 2000 Faraday Ave., (760) 431-9999, Fax: (760) 431-0777, [28]. Suites with full kitchens.
  • Surf Motel Carlsbad Near Legoland, 3136 Carlsbad Blvd, (800) 308-5457, [29]


Carlsbad State Beach reservations required most dates, but a beautiful area south of town on PCH.

Get out

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!