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Top 15 Things to Do in Carlsbad, CA

Ishaan Govardhan Nov 28, 2019
Carlsbad makes for a laidback getaway that's popular for its distinctive small town charm. And once you get the lay of the land, it's easy to make the most of your time here. As you explore the city, you'll realize that it's not just another beach town, and a beating heart lies within its close-knit community.

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Known as "The Village By the Sea", Carlsbad has evolved from a sleepy little town to a thriving daycation destination.

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Begin your trip with a slice of wilderness, among the wide open spaces of Batiquitos Lagoon. Get in touch with nature, by going on guided walks through the coastal wetland. And if local legends are to be believed, there's hidden pirate treasure to be found here!

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Enroll at the SoCal Surf Lessons to ride the waves at Carlsbad. If you don't need expert guidance, head down to Tamarack State Park to ride sandbar waves, or check out South Ponto Beach for year-round breaks.

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Pit yourself against the ocean, and test your balance by going stand up paddle boarding out on open water. It's not as easy as it looks!
Back on land, you'll find it tough to leave South Carlsbad State Beach once you feel the soft sand between your toes. Carlsbad has about 7 miles of pristine coastline for you to explore at your own pace.

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Make sure you visit Carlsbad in springtime, because you wouldn't want to miss the blooming spectacle at The Flower Fields. Imagine 50 sprawling acres' worth of pretty ranunculus flowers blossoming at once!

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If you're traveling with kids, you'll want to check out the SEA LIFE Aquarium of Carlsbad. From interactive touch-pools and shark exhibits to an underwater tunnel, this place is packed with miracles of marine life.
Right next to the aquarium, the iconic LEGOLAND California theme park is pretty much a heaven for kids. Besides the fun rides, you can check out replicas of iconic American cities built entirely out of Legos!

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Shutterbugs have a field day at Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park, where beautiful peacocks roam free, with their brilliant plumage on display for all to marvel at!

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You don't have to be an aviation buff to appreciate the old-timey charm of a biplane. At Carlsbad, you can actually take to the air and soar over the city, in an unforgettable biplane flight! Just head over to Fun Flights Biplane Rides.
Back on ground, swing by the Carlsbad Village area to satisfy your upscale shopping needs at premium outlets. And if you're on the hunt for antiques, the Carlsbad Village Art & Antique Mall has got you covered. From vintage china to period furniture and quaint collectibles, the souvenir possibilities are endless!
If you feel like you need a breath of fresh air, grab your lucky fishing rod and drive down to the Oceanside Fishing Pier. Don't have a California Sport Fishing License? You won't need one here!

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Time to dust off the old skateboard! You can find plenty of local pro skaters tearing up the tarmac at places like Alga Norte Skatepark, Carlsbad Skate Park or the Alex Road Skatepark. After all, Carlsbad is Tony Hawk’s hometown!
Sometimes the sunny California heat can get too much to handle. And the most obvious way to beat the heat is also the best one. Spend some time splashing around at the Carlsbad Water Park, The Wave Waterpark or head back to LEGOLAND California for its huge water slides.
Work on your swing at the only Arnold Palmer signature golf course in San Diego: the par 72 course at Aviara Golf Club. Or, watch a professional tournament at the gorgeous Omni La Costa courses of Carlsbad. Carlsbad is a golfer's town through and through!

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If you missed the Carlsbad Music Festival that's held every September, just attend a free TGIF Concerts in the Parks show. The locals get together on summer Fridays at the community parks, to listen to some good music.