"Carlsbad known as the "Village by the Sea"" Carlsbad by Richmond

Carlsbad Travel Guide: 187 reviews and 353 photos

Southern California is a strange compact mix of endless sprawl, strip malls, crowded freeways, picturesque coastal towns, scenic valleys, seasonally snowcapped mountains and warm, dry desert. Professional sports, arts and culture flourish in Los Angeles and San Diego, while the entire coastline between these two cities boasts the best year-round climate in the continental USA. Don't look for a center to anything here because you won't find it. Think of new communities built upon the dream made possible by the car culture.

Just 35 miles north of San Diego is Carlsbad, one of several rare jewels strung along San Diego County's north coast.

Pleasant beaches, some upscale shopping, restaurants with character, new industrial parks and the home of LEGOLAND CALIFORNIA, make Carlsbad an interesting place for a short visit.

Created by Danish toy manufacturer, LEGOLAND CALIFORNIA is the only park of its kind in the United States. The 128-acre park is designed to stimulate the imagination of youngster's ages 2-12 and is full of fun and surprises. Six distinctive play areas feature unique attractions, family rides, restaurants, opportunities to build and areas to explore. About 30 million LEGO bricks were used to create more than 1,000 colorful LEGO models that decorate the park, adding to its appeal. For more info see http://www.legolandca.com/

One of the several picturesque communities along the Southern California's Pacific Coast, Carlsbad is blessed with sun-splashed beaches, three graceful lagoons and a quaint small downtown Village.

Known as "The Village by the Sea," Carlsbad aspires to have some of the charm of a European village while being surrounded by sprawling suburban housing developments, planned "burb-claves" with essentially other "edge city" attributes. Its many village antique stores and boutiques, sidewalk cafes and a few touristy hotels are just a short walk from the beach. After browsing in little shops, walking along the beach and relaxing over lunch at a sidewalk cafe, you will be able to appreciate some of Carlsbad's charms.

More than four miles of coastline in Carlsbad offer clean, uncrowded beaches for swimming, with some fishing, windsurfing, and sunbathing opportunities. The restored lagoons are suitable sites for nature walks, bird ~ watching and some water sports.

Along the beach bluffs near the Village is a seawall - walkway that is popular with joggers and strollers. On a clear day, the view from the seawall extends south to La Jolla and north past the Oceanside pier to the sweeping bluffs and mountains of Camp Pendleton.

Carlsbad is less than a 45-minute drive from downtown San Diego via Interstate 5, and slightly longer on Highway 101. The 101 route is by far the more pleasant, with its spectacular scenery and the opportunity to enjoy the coastline and many beach towns that stretch for miles.

If you prefer to travel on Interstate 5, take the Carlsbad Village Drive off-ramp and drive west a half-mile to State Street, the heart of the Village. This unique shopping district is best viewed on foot.

You can amble along some of the picturesque streets, browse the boutiques, dine in down home type restaurants, or explore Carlsbad's few historical landmarks. The community is trying to maitain an atmosphere of a leisurely, unhurried small town where the scale makes walking still possible.

The Southern part of Carlsbad has two magnificent resorts; the internationally renowned La Costa Resort and Spa and the splendid new Four Seasons Resort, Aviara. Mingle with the corporate yuppies and the other rich and famous as you enjoy luxurious accommodations, golf, tennis and elaborate spas.

For information on things to see and do, or where to stay, stop in at the Carlsbad Convention and Visitor's Bureau visitors center in the historic old train depot in the heart of the Village.

Phone: 760-434-6093 or 800-227-5722


  • Last visit to Carlsbad: Jan 2002
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (9)

Comments (47)

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Dec 23, 2005 at 3:10 AM

    Wonderful tips. Hope you had a great birthday!

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Dec 21, 2005 at 5:12 PM

    Great Carlsbad tips!

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Oct 9, 2005 at 8:43 PM

    Howdy! My niece Shannon is having her Keltic Wedding in Carlsbad. I throughly enjoyed that wonderful beach area you all have. I must have walked for miles along it. Great tips!

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Dec 10, 2004 at 8:44 AM

    I like your village by the sea interesting text.

  • VdV's Profile Photo
    Oct 13, 2004 at 7:40 PM

    My family will be spending Christmas in Carlsbad (at a timeshare)...we already live in Southern CA so we know what to expect weather-wise , traffic and such... but your Tips, such as on the lagoon and restaurants will come in very handy!

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2004 at 9:30 PM

    I'm impressed with the amount of time and effort you put into these outstanding pages. Very helpful and informative and interesting. Good photographs to accompany excellent text.

  • Beograd's Profile Photo
    Nov 8, 2003 at 8:40 AM

    Proffesional and informative... Great page

  • hayward68's Profile Photo
    Oct 1, 2003 at 3:07 PM

    Are you coming to VT meet in Carlsbad on Oct 11? Details on Meetings and Events page. I can't wait to get to California, Carlsbad looks wonderful!

  • jenniferchin's Profile Photo
    Sep 13, 2003 at 7:57 AM

    Very comprehensive tips here. Love your restaurant tips :-)

  • Giulia_ua's Profile Photo
    May 17, 2003 at 6:17 AM

    Wow, really great place! And I have one more reason to come to California.

Richmond Lives Here!


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