Wanderlust at Home: Planning the Perfect Staycation in Carlsbad

June 11, 2021

After a year of being homebound, we’re eager to start ticking off boxes on our travel lists. Maybe there’s even a way to see new sights, experience different food, and break out of our routine – all without hopping on a plane. It’s no secret that Carlsbad is a popular tourist spot for visitors across the globe, but that doesn’t mean residents can’t take advantage of the hotspots too. Last year, 72% of Americans didn’t take a summer vacation, but 31% did take a staycation. And the timing couldn’t be better – as businesses start to get back to normal, Carlsbad residents can enjoy the areas that may have been overlooked by locals. From luxury hotels to diverse eateries, Carlsbad is the perfect place to book a staycation, reinvigorating your wanderlust while supporting the local economy.

Better Than Backyard Camping

While home projects and DIYs went through the roof during the pandemic, the four walls of your abode may still leave you wanting for a change in scenery at one of Carlsbad’s incredible lodging options. Even if your hotel is just down the street, the experience is enough to transport you far from home. But book your mini-trip quickly! Staycations will continue to boom in 2021, with data showing that nearly half of travelers are looking to take vacations within driving distance of their homes.

For several Carlsbad hotels, you don’t have to be a guest to enjoy the perks. Purchase a day pass to enjoy a plunge during hot summer days and make it home before rush hour. Day passes are available directly through hotels (where applicable) or services like ResortPass at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Cape Rey Carlsbad Beach, Carlsbad By The Sea Hotel, and more.


Backyard swimming – take a back seat. Upgrade your doggy paddle with a Carlsbad hotel pool day pass.

Get a Taste for Something New
When you live in a community long enough, you have your go-to spots for food and drink. During your Carlsbad staycation, put your old-faithfuls on the backburner and try  new cuisines to experience other cultures while saving money on an overseas flight. Variety is the spice of life – and Carlsbad has plenty of restaurants to feed your curiosity. Swap cheeseburgers for chana masala. Order a vietnamese coffee instead of a latte. Check out the hole-in-the-wall eatery down the street. With so much diversity within your reach, your new go-to restaurant is just a visit away.

They say “eat your greens”, but what about “drink your greens”?

“Carlsbad’s tourism sector, like everywhere else in the world, was hit hard during the pandemic,” said Mark Rudyk, Interim Executive Director of Visit Carlsbad.. “We know people are eager to travel and get a change of scenery. Treating yourself to a staycation is a great way to get out of your rut while supporting the local businesses that have worked hard to reopen for the community to enjoy.”

Just a Day Trip
While you probably deserve a night or two away from home, you can plan a staycation without packing your bag. Carlsbad is reopening, and several events and amenities that have previously been closed due to the pandemic are making their way back. Old favorites and new happenings are scheduled throughout the summer in the Carlsbad Village, including the famous downtown farmers market and the annual Art in the Village event. Hit all the spots in the Carlsbad Village with an easy, fun rental from Pedego Electric Bikes, giving you a way to zip around to shops, restaurants, and other attractions.

Rent one of Pedego’s chic electric bikes to see the sights without the aching feet.

“Carlsbad Village has always been a prized destination for memorable community gatherings. Our vendors are eager to welcome residents back to the diverse events that have largely been virtual or cancelled over the past year,” said Christine Davis, Executive Director of the Carlsbad Village.

Support local artists and creators at this year’s Art in the Village June 27

Speaking of attractions, we would be remiss not to mention that with reduced capacity and quick lines, it’s time to pay a visit to LEGOLAND® California Resort. Whether you’re a first-timer or avid builder, LEGOLAND® is a treat for kids and families alike. Nothing will make you feel more transported from home than a world built of colorful blocks. 

“Carlsbad benefits from a community of residents like no other – engaged, collaborative, welcoming, and friendly,” said Matt Sanford, Economic Development Manager for the City of Carlsbad. “Our locals care deeply about supporting the city’s businesses – that was more evident than ever over the past year. As things reopen, we encourage residents to get out and enrich themselves and our regional economy by staying, shopping, and dining locally.”