Top things to do in Carlsbad

Amusement Park in Carlsbad

Legoland California Resort

A fantasy environment built largely of those little colored plastic blocks from Denmark. Many rides and attractions are targeted to elementary schoolers: a junior ‘driving school’, a jungle cruise lined with Lego an…
Gardens in Carlsbad

Carlsbad Ranch Flower Fields

The 50-acre flower fields of Carlsbad Ranch are ablaze in a sea of the carmine, saffron and snow-white blossoms of giant tecolote ranunculus. Take the Palomar Airport Rd exit off of I-5, head east and turn left on P…
Beach in Carlsbad

Carlsbad Coast

Carlsbad’s long, sandy beaches are great for walking and searching for seashells. Good access is from Carlsbad Blvd, two blocks south of Carlsbad Village Dr, where there’s a boardwalk, restrooms and free parking.
Bakery in Carlsbad

French Bakery Cafe

Its location may be in a drab-looking shopping center just off I-5, but it’s the real deal for croissants and brioches (baked daily) and kick-start espresso, plus omelets, salads and sandwiches.
Pizza in Carlsbad

Pizza Port

Rockin’ and raucous local brewpub chain with surf art, rock music and ‘anti-wimpy’ pizzas to go with the signature Sharkbite Red Ale. Multiple locations.
Books in Carlsbad

Farenheit 451

This is an honest-to-goodness, old-style bookshop, selling mainly used books, including rare and first editions in plastic sleeves.
Nature Reserve in Carlsbad

Batiquitos Lagoon

One of the last remaining tidal wetlands in California, Batiquitos Lagoon separates Carlsbad from Encinitas. A self-guided tour lets you explore area plants, including the prickly pear cactus, coastal sage scrub and…
Italian in Carlsbad

Vigilucci’s Cucina Italiana

There’s white-tablecloth service and a lovely sidewalk terrace at this State St institution. For lunch, try pastas or panini (the one with parma ham and portobello mushrooms is a fave), while dinner might be pappard…
Wine Bar in Carlsbad


This cozy, modernist storefront pours from 50+ bottles, plus it serves cheeseboards and flatbreads to go with them. Sometimes they have live music, and the happy hour is a big pull on weekdays with red and white win…
Outlet Mall in Carlsbad

Carlsbad Premium Outlets

Big-name retailers such as Calvin Klein and Coach, and purveyors of everything from cookware to jeans, have off-price boutiques among the 50 shops here. It's less than 1 mile southeast of the Cannon Rd exit off I-5.