Road Trip to California: Discovering Carlsbad

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WAVEJourney Explores Carlsbad, California

WAVEJourney Explores Carlsbad, California

Sleepy California beach towns have always been a favorite getaway of ours. But these days, whenever we visit California, we are amazed at how populous most areas have become and how it is becoming more difficult to escape the crowds. So, after much research, we decided that our California road trip needed to include the new-to-us locale of Carlsbad, known as “The Village by the Sea”. A weekend discovery getaway was planned to this town with a population of about 90,000 that is located about 35 miles north of San Diego.

Although our 38 hours in this seaside town wasn’t nearly enough (guess we’ll just have to go back), we were able to see many of the highlights that visitors won’t want to miss.

Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort

Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort

Our home away from home was a double guest room at the newly renovated 3-star Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort, and we found it to be in a great location and offer excellent value and amenities.

Garcia's Mexican Restaurant

Garcia's Mexican Restaurant

After checking in at the Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort, we made the 10-minute walk into the village and taking the advice of Frankie at Visit Carlsbad Tourism went looking for the best salsa in town at Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant. It turned out that the salsa was one of the best we’ve had and the rest of our lunch of a carne asada taco with black beans and the combo plate of cheese enchilada and chile relleno was also delicious.

During the remainder of our afternoon we enjoyed wandering through the village, first chocolate tasting at Carlsbad Chocolate Bar, then shopping in boutique stores and browsing through the art and antique mall.

After listening to the live music on the patio of Coyote Bar and Grill we walked back to the Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort and perused the work of local artists displaying their crafts on the front lawn.

As evening fell we wandered through the village again. First stop was Hennessey’s Tavern where we satisfied our thirst for a pint of Guinness before we switched to wine and relaxed at Relm Wine & Beer Bistro.

Our second day in Carlsbad began with coffee and croissants from Cafe Elysa, located just across the street from Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort – the croissants were some of the best we’ve had outside of France. Although the weather was a little cooler than typical and it was a somewhat foggy morning, we spent a few hours beachcombing and watching boogie boarders as they rode the waves.

Pizza Port Brewery

Pizza Port Brewery

Our morning beach walk had made us very thirsty and we wandered back into the village – destination Pizza Port Brewery. The casual atmosphere was ideal for our beach bum attire and we settled down to watch a football game while supping on beer that went down nicely with a chicken pesto pizza.

After lunch we decided to explore the area outside of the village and took a drive out to LEGOLAND and Sea-Life Aquarium. These would be great places to visit with kids in tow.

Paon's Restaurant in Carlsbad

Paon's Restaurant in Carlsbad

Our favorite meal in Carlsbad was at Paon’s Restaurant where we enjoyed California French cuisine at its finest. Service was impeccable as we relaxed in the elegant and intimate atmosphere. Paon’s extensive French-inspired menu features beautifully presented seasonal and local grown organic produce, meat, game and fish.
Paon's Restaurant in Carlsbad

Paon's Restaurant in Carlsbad


After our delectable dining experience at Paon’s, we strolled through the village for the last time, and as we made our way back to the hotel, declared that Carlsbad Village is now one of our favorite places along the California coast and one we look forward to visiting again very soon.

If You Go:
Visit Carlsbad
Tourism office is located at:
400 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad

Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort
3-star hotel in Carlsbad Village and moments away
from the ocean.
3075 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad

Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort

Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort

Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant
2968 State Street, Carlsbad

Carlsbad Chocolate Bar
Chocolates, coffee, tea.
2998 State Street, Carlsbad

Paon’s Restaurant
California cuisine with French influences.
560 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad

Pizza Port Carlsbad Brewery
Really great pizza, beer and TVs for watching sports.
571 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad

RELM. Wine & Beer Bistro
2917 State Street, Carlsbad

Hennessey’s Tavern
Great place to get a Guinness.
2777 Roosevelt Street, Carlsbad

Cafe Elysa
Coffee, tea, pastries, bagels, sandwiches
3076 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad

Coyote Bar & Grill
300 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad

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2 Responses to Road Trip to California: Discovering Carlsbad

  1. wow the trip looks great i bet you had a lot of fun

    carlsbad 10/13/2012 at 5:27 am
  2. Simply wish to say your article is really astounding.

    Diablo 12/18/2012 at 10:18 pm

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