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Top 11 Things to Do in Carlsbad

Top 11 Things to Do in Carlsbad

Carlsbad —where summer never ends and the shoreline extends for miles—is not your average Golden State city.

Roubina Al Abashian


5 min read

August 23, 2021

Carlsbad —where summer never ends and the shoreline extends for miles—is not your average Golden State city. This affluent beach city is one of the best places to live and visit in San Diego County. That’s why a trip down south is one you should plan real soon.

Fun in the sun is a given in this San Diego suburb, but sometimes, you get lost in the abundance of activities. But don’t worry, we’re here for you. These are the things to do in Carlsbad to keep you entertained, busy, and excited

Fun Things To Do In Carlsbad With Friends

Carlsbad State Beach is a hotspot for water-related sports and activities. You'll see plenty of people swimming, surfing, bodyboarding, and fishing.

1. Splash Around at South Carlsbad State Beach

No visit to Carlsbad is complete without visiting South Carlsbad State Beach. After all, San Diego is all about splashing around in the Pacific. Bring your friends along and enjoy surfing, paddleboarding, and scuba diving at this must-see state beach. If you’re looking for activities in Carlsbad, this beach has something for everyone.

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2. Attend a show at New Village Art 

Nothing beats attending a good show—except for attending a good show in an award-winning professional theatre. New Village Arts is a small theater seating only 100 attendees at a time; it’s been a Carlsbad attraction since 2001. The theater hosts and produces a series of thought-provoking and discussion-worthy shows year-round; up-and-coming artists get the opportunity to perform in front of appreciative audiences. From musicals to drama productions, you’ll enjoy the performances organized by the local ensemble group. 

3. Take a swing at The Crossings at Carlsbad

San Diego is home to some of California’s best golf courses, one of them being The Crossings at Carlsbad. Situated almost a mile away from the Pacific Ocean, this challenging 18-hole course offers visitors a lot of fun in a very atmospheric environment. The golf course sits on 400-acres of coastal terrain in a beautiful natural setting surrounded by the area's wildlife. Take a swing at this SoCal golf course and follow in the footsteps of the pros. 

Each oyster at Carlsbad Aquafarm is gently tumbled every five weeks to emulate the natural fluctuations of surf rushing along the shore.

4. Indulge in Oysters at Carlsbad Aquafarm 

When in San Diego, you have to try the area's most iconic foods—we’re talking about oysters, not fish tacos. And since you’re in Carlsbad, visiting SoCal’s only oyster farm, Carlsbad Aquafarm, is a must. What sets the facility’s farming system apart from others is that it protects the lagoon’s natural ecosystem. Tour the farm and learn about the equipment and techniques used to support the growth of the oysters. Later, take an oyster shucking class and treat yourself to a generous oyster tasting. No wonder the farm is a major Carlsbad tourist attraction.

5. Shop at Carlsbad Premium Outlets

No matter who you’re visiting with, there’s one activity you’ll collectively agree on doing—shopping at Carlsbad Premium Outlets. With over 90 designer and name-brand outlet stores, this charming outdoor shopping center is a shopaholic’s heaven. When we say outlet mall, we mean saving between 25 and 65 percent every single day; there’s no chance anyone is saying no to that. And to make this shopping experience even more convenient, you’ll find coffee shops and restaurants tactically distributed all over for a break between sprees.

You either love skateboarding or you're wrong. So why not be the person who decided to go for the big ramps?

6. Show it off at Carlsbad Skatepark

Looking for fun and free activities in Southern California? You’ll find all the cool kids showing off their skills at Carlsbad Skatepark, one of the best in the Golden State. The concrete park has two bowls connected by a spine, a pyramid, tons of curbs, a handrail, and stairs—this is the definition of a skating paradise. Gather your friends, put on your pads, and practice your tricks.

Things To Do In Carlsbad With Family

7. Relive your childhood memories at Legoland

Any family vacation spent in Carlsbad is a guaranteed hit—it's home to one of the coolest amusement parks in California, Legoland. With more than 60 rides, shows, and attractions, the theme park provides the whole gang with an interactive, hands-on experience you won’t forget anytime soon. But, that’s not all. More fun awaits at Legoland Waterpark. Battle each other in a slide race or build lego rafts before going into the lazy river. Whatever your plans are, remember that this fun thing to do in Carlsbad belongs on the top of every San Diego itinerary.

Sea Life Aquarium is where you can stroll under a starry sky during the day and walk, jump, and splash in a simulated bioluminescent tide.

8. Discover underwater creatures at Sea Life Aquarium 

Since you’re in Legoland, you may as well pay a visit to Sea Life Aquarium, where you’ll find family-friendly exhibits featuring more than 5,000 sea creatures and a fun play area. Science, technology, and entertainment make this destination a premium spot in Carlsbad. Visitors learn to love and appreciate the creatures of the ocean and all the gems it uncovers. Sea Life Aquarium is definitely one of the best aquariums in California, both for kids and adults

9. Have a Picnic at Poinsettia Park

It’s every parents’ mission to get their kids to play in the great outdoors every chance they get. Carlsbad, being one of the best coastal towns to live in, has some of the best parks for every activity. Poinsettia Park is only a 10-minute drive from Carlsbad Village if you’re looking for things to do with your family, like planning a cute picnic. You have all the space to run around, play tennis, baseball, and basketball. Nothing says fun family outing like a picnic at a beautiful park.

The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch are a direct result of over 85 years of floral cultivation that began when Luther Gage settled in the area.

10. Check Out the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch

Some flower fields are just too pretty to miss, like the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, for instance. Here, you’ll see some of the most colorful spring flowers, no matter the season. 50 acres of kaleidoscopic beauty cover the grounds, bringing peace of mind to every visitor. You never know how badly you need to visit a flower field until you actually visit one.

11. Explore the Carlsbad Tide Pools

Satisfy your kids’ curiosity by taking them tidepooling in SoCal. And where else to find the richest ones than in the Carlsbad Tide Pools? Get your hands wet and explore the area’s unique marine life up close. Make sure to check the tide chart before visiting to make the most of this activity. And if you didn’t already guess, this San Diego hidden gem has more surprises than it shows. Right next to the tide pool area is a spot where the moss changes color as it grows; it’s especially apparent during the fall. 

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