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Area in & around Carlsbad--options for things to do/see

Level Contributor
13 posts
2 reviews
Area in & around Carlsbad--options for things to do/see

So I booked 4 days in Carlsbad in September on a whim to celebrate a birthday. Other than brunch at Grand Traditions and a birthday dinner at Chart House in Cardiff (any opinions on that too?) we don't have plans. We are two middle-aged adults and like historic/sight-seeing tours or other educational type events. We are find hanging around the pool and walking the beach for part of it, but need a little entertainment planned. I'm debating San Diego zoo, and I have ruled out Catalina due to the time commitment, but would love other ideas or activities. Thank you so much for any suggestions!

Kristin

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13 replies to this topic
Corona del Mar...
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
60,349 posts
443 reviews
1. Re: Area in & around Carlsbad--options for things to do/see

For history, look at the Mission San Luis Rey de Francia or if you go down to San Diego, Mission San Diego de Alcalá. The Mormon Battalion in Old Town San Diego is interesting too and of course the USS Midway.

Thousand Oaks...
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
14,397 posts
27 reviews
2. Re: Area in & around Carlsbad--options for things to do/see

Take a tour of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

They have some fascinating exhibits.

https://www.gia.edu/gia-museum

The link has details on how to get tickets and the process of visiting.

Dr. Z

So.Cal
Level Contributor
390 posts
20 reviews
3. Re: Area in & around Carlsbad--options for things to do/see

We go to the Chart House in Cardiff several times a year - beautiful views, good food & service, valet parking only. Our favorite is Sunday brunch if that fits with your schedule.

In addition to the above suggestions for things to do, check out the San Diego Botanical Gardens in Encinitas (a very short drive from Carlsbad) and also the Museum of Making Music if that interests you. Just walking around Carlsbad Village can be fun - some nice little shops and a real 'town' feeling. Don't miss the Carlsbad Chocolate Bar at the corner of Carlsbad Village Drive and State Street. There's also a great Farmers Market if you're there on a Wednesday (open from 3:00pm to 7:00pm).

Oceanside...
Level Contributor
732 posts
55 reviews
4. Re: Area in & around Carlsbad--options for things to do/see

Oceanside, just north of Carlsbad has a good small art museum downtown, as well as the beautiful San Luis Rey Mission and museum. Also there is a downtown Thursday Sunset Market 5-9 pm, with a huge variety of delicious food options. The downtown area has a long pier, with a Ruby’s Diner on the end - a lovely spot for an evening walk.

Carlsbad, CA
Destination Expert
for Carlsbad
Level Contributor
1,060 posts
19 reviews
5. Re: Area in & around Carlsbad--options for things to do/see

You asked for an opinion re: Chart House. The location is excellent but Chart House long ago lost its soul and isn't what it used to be. Might I suggest Poseidon or Jake's, both of which are on the beach in Del Mar.

For something a bit different how about going to UCSD and touring the campus sculptures? The Stuart Collection is outstanding, and you'll walk through a very nice university campus. http://stuartcollection.ucsd.edu/

Thousand Oaks...
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
14,397 posts
27 reviews
6. Re: Area in & around Carlsbad--options for things to do/see

Yes! UCSD is a great spot to roam around (I did my undergrad there)

Check out the iconic main library, now called the Theodore Geisel Library (Dr Seuss) and have a photo taken with the statue out front. There used to be a Dr Seuss display in the library. It may still be there.

Walk by the Engineering building and look up top. I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you what’s up there.

Just walking around campus and smelling the eucalyptus fragrance is worth the stop.

Oceanside...
Level Contributor
700 posts
50 reviews
7. Re: Area in & around Carlsbad--options for things to do/see

Someone mentioned Oceanside and I'd second that thought as there are a number of food options (the area is becoming a "foodie" destination). Walking the pier is always enjoyable and close to it is 333 Pacific for a nice dinner (ask to sit on the patio for a great view of the water). Other options include Bagby Beer Company or That Boy Good (BBQ) or Flying Pig (one of my favorites) plus a whole lot more.

Level Contributor
13 posts
2 reviews
8. Re: Area in & around Carlsbad--options for things to do/see

Thank you, everyone! Lots of great ideas and I appreciate your time and honesty!

San Diego...
Level Contributor
45 posts
180 reviews
9. Re: Area in & around Carlsbad--options for things to do/see

Leo Carillo Park in Carlsbad is the old ranch of the 1930's film star Leo Carillo. The buildings and native landscaping are lovely. Their is a fee to enter and probably tours - check online. It is just a few miles inland from the beach. For refreshment, you might enjoy Barrel Republic in Carlsbad about two blocks from the beach in the old village area. They have a very large assortment of beers, with a small number of wines and ciders, all available on tap. You pour the amount you want of any and are charged by the ounce. It's a fun way to try new drinks. Good food too, a great $6 hamburger with fries on Mondays. Coyote Grill in the same area has live music outdoors and good Taco Tuesday deals.

Thousand Oaks...
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
14,397 posts
27 reviews
10. Re: Area in & around Carlsbad--options for things to do/see

The Leo Carillo Park is free.

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