7 Reasons Why You Should Visit Carlsbad This Summer

May 18, 2022

Summer is almost here. Whether you’re looking for an action-packed getaway or a relaxing staycation this summer, Carlsbad has so much to offer locals and out-of-town guests.

That’s why the coastal city attracts more than 3.5 million visitors annually, according to the Carlsbad Tourism Business Improvement District.

Tourism is an important industry for the city. Of Carlsbad’s key industry clusters, the largest employer is Hospitality and Tourism, with 9,179 workers across 467 businesses, according to the 2022 Carlsbad Business Report. That’s 1.35 times the national average.

It’s no surprise the city has millions of visitors each year. Carlsbad has it all.

Beautiful beaches? Check. Amazing attractions? Check. Some of the best breweries and delectable dining options? Check and check.

Here are seven reasons why you should visit —​ or plan your next staycation —​ in Carlsbad.

1. Carlsbad has awesome attractions.

There’s so much to do in Carlsbad.

Carlsbad is home, of course, to LEGOLAND California Resort. The theme park offers more than 60 rides, shows and attractions, including THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD and the newest attraction, LEGO Ferrari Build and Race.

LEGOLAND California Resort offers more than 60 rides, shows and attractions. (Credit: Kristina Houck)

The resort also offers SEA LIFE Aquarium and the world’s first LEGOLAND Water Park. The aquarium has more than 350 different species and more than 6,000 creatures. The water park features more than seven slides and other attractions comprising 10 acres of family-friendly water fun.

Carlsbad is also home to iconic farms that have become tourist destinations.

The roughly 50 acres of colorful ranunculus flowers at the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch draws more than 100,000 visitors each spring. The Flower Fields also features the American Flag of Flowers, artist gardens and aviaries, a sweet pea maze and Cymbidium orchid greenhouse, the Sea of Sunflowers, blueberry picking and tractor wagon rides.

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch has roughly 50 acres of colorful ranunculus flowers. (Credit: Kristina Houck)

Family-run Carlsbad Strawberry Company is another fun place for families. The u-pick farm gives visitors an opportunity to pick their own strawberries. The farm also has a sunflower maze, photo opportunities, tractor rides and games.

The Carlsbad Aquafarm produces between 1 to 2 million pounds of local and sustainable seafood annually. The farm is open to the public for farm tours, tasting experiences and the Carlsbad Aquafarmers Market.

The Museum of Making Music celebrates the history of making music, musical instruments and musical products through fun and informative exhibitions, live music performances and innovative educational programs.

Learn more about the fun things to do and see in Carlsbad.

Visitors can pick their own strawberries at Carlsbad Strawberry Company. (Credit: Kristina Houck)

2. Carlsbad has amazing accommodations.

From budget-friendly hotels to luxury resorts, Carlsbad offers a variety of amazing accommodations for tourists. In fact, the city has nearly 5,000 hotel rooms.

World-class resorts include Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, which features an award-winning spa, two championship golf courses, 17 clay and hard tennis courts, eight swimming pools with waterslides and more.  

AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Five-Star luxury resort, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa, has an award-winning golf course, six tennis courts, a spa, and pools with waterslides.  

Among family-friendly options are the LEGO-themed LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGO Castle Hotel, both located near the main entrance of LEGOLAND California. The hotels feature LEGO-themed rooms, LEGO décor throughout, and a variety of children’s entertainment.

Discover even more hotels and resorts in Carlsbad.

3. Carlsbad is a growing craft beer destination.

San Diego County is known as the “Craft Beer Capital of America,” with more than 150 breweries and countless beer bars and tasting rooms across the county. Many of the breweries are located along the “Hops Highway” in San Diego’s North County, which includes Carlsbad as a growing craft beer destination, thanks to the city’s selection of award-winning craft beers combined with the coastal charm and laid-back vibe of the beach community.

Carlsbad is home to long-established local breweries such as Pizza Port, which has two Carlsbad locations, as well as breweries newer to the scene such as Carlsbad Brewing Company.

Check out the coolest craft beer spots in Carlsbad.

4. Carlsbad has a thriving restaurant scene.

The flourishing culinary scene in San Diego County spans more than 8,100 restaurants.

Some of the hottest restaurants are in Carlsbad, including Jeune et Jolie, the city’s first Michelin Star-rated restaurant and one of only four in the county.

Described as a “culinary experience celebrating the moment,” Jeune et Jolie aims to reimagine French cuisine through the vibrant lens of the Southern California landscape. The modern French restaurant is just down the street from its sister restaurant, Campfire, an open-fire and contemporary American restaurant that’s received Bib Gourmand status from Michelin Guide California

Modern French restaurant Jeune et Jolie is located in Carlsbad Village. (Courtesy of Jeune et Jolie)

One of the city’s newest and already acclaimed restaurants is Ember & Rye, a collaboration with celebrity chef Richard Blais. Located at Park Hyatt Aviara, the restaurant features delicious steaks and seafood dishes rooted in local ingredients.

Other top choices include 20|Twenty at Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa and Bob’s Steak & Chop House and VUE at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa.

Explore more of Carlsbad’s award-winning eateries.

5. Carlsbad is home to world-class golf courses.

Some of the biggest names in golf have played at Carlsbad’s world-class golf courses.

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa offers 36 holes at its Champions and Legends golf courses. The Champions Course is a links-style course, while the Legends Course is a parkland-style course. The two 18-hole, par 72 courses were used by the PGA Tour for about 30 years. Champions included Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Aviara Golf Club at Park Hyatt Aviara Resort is the San Diego area’s only golf course designed by the late American professional golfer, Arnold Palmer. The par 72, 7,007-yard course has been named the No. 1 golf resort in Southern California by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler and has also been recognized as one of the country’s best resort golf courses by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine.

The Crossings at Carlsbad is an 18-hole championship golf course and event facility with state-of-the-art amenities and ocean views. The 6,835-yard course features multiple options and terrain for golfers of all skill levels.

6. Carlsbad offers great shopping destinations.

Shop ‘til you drop in Carlsbad.

Carlsbad Premium Outlets has about 90 designer and name-brand outlet stores that offer everyday savings from 25% to 65%. Stores include Banana Republic, Calvin Klein, Coach, Kate Spade New York, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger.

The Forum Carlsbad is an outdoor shopping center with a collection of restaurants and stores, including Apple, Geppetto’s, lululemon, MAC Cosmetics, ULTA and Urban Outfitters.

The Shoppes at Carlsbad offers a variety of retail stores, including Bath & Body Works, Forever 21 and H&M, along with department stores JCPenney and Macy’s and Regal Cinemas.

The Village Faire shopping center, located in Carlsbad Village, offers more than 35 restaurants, shops and services that surround a fountain courtyard.

LEGO enthusiasts can visit the Big Shop at LEGOLAND California. The store offers the largest selection of LEGO toy sets under one roof, including exclusives and hard-to-find items, according to the theme park.

7. Carlsbad has beautiful beaches.

With 70 miles of coastline, San Diego offers a variety of beaches, and some of the best beaches are in Carlsbad.

Carlsbad State Beach, also known as Tamarack Beach, is a great spot for swimming, surfing, scuba diving, kayaking, windsurfing and fishing. There are picnic tables and public restrooms.

South Carlsbad State Beach has a large bluff-top campground.

South Carlsbad State Beach ( Courtesy Photo)

South Ponto Beach is one of the widest beaches in the county. It has public restrooms and showers.

Terramar Beach is a somewhat hidden spot that’s popular with local surfers.

Explore the best beaches in Carlsbad.

Carlsbad has something for everyone and is the perfect spot for summer fun.