It’s a tossup whether the biggest attraction in Carlsbad is the seven miles of warm, sandy beaches or the man-made vacation experience called Legoland. There is no law saying you can’t enjoy both. Visit the elaborate collection of giant Lego sculptures, including the water park that opened in June 2010. Come back to your beachfront resort in time to watch the sunset. In addition to the properties near the water, a handful of hotels and motels lie alongside Interstate 5, which runs through town.
Beach Terrace Inn
Lie back on a lounge chair next to the Beach Terrace Inn's oceanfront pool and watch the waves slap the sandy beach framed between your toes. This casually elegant resort is an escape for the harried, an indulgence for those seeking attentive service and a prime location for anyone interested in some serious beach time. Guest rooms offer contemporary furnishings, oversized showers with rainfall shower heads, 42-inch plasma TVs and complimentary wireless Internet. Most have furnished balconies overlooking Carlsbad State Beach. Watch the sunset from the glass-framed Ocean Lounge or take the beach path to the sands for a closer look. The inn is surrounded by restaurants, including the Coyote Bar & Grill and the Pizza Port Food and Brewing Company, where you can sample its own line of beers and ales. Shoppers, it's only two blocks from Carlsbad Premium Outlets.
Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort
The Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort holds center stage on that seven-mile strip of sand. Offering deluxe hotel rooms, guest suites and condominiums, this property is European in design and attitude. The three-story boutique hotel resembles an English manor home on the outside, but inside is pure California. Rooms and suites are decorated in warm golds and earth tones with bold splashes of color. Top-of-the-line Premier rooms and suites have marble bathrooms with walk-in showers and plush robes to snuggle into. Separated from the hotel by an expanse of lawn, the one- and two-bedroom condos offer the convenience of a kitchen and more living space. Rent a boogie board, some sand toys and a beach umbrella and spend a day at the beach. Take a dip in the ocean or in the outdoor swimming pool. A separate pool is available for kids. Grab breakfast at the Daily News Cafe or get a sweet treat from Linda’s Yogurts. Sample Mexican cuisine on the outdoor patio of Norte Mexican Restaurant. Take a look at the event calendar to see what’s happening at the resort. You might find a fun Bingo Pizza Party or a Casino Night scheduled.
Tamarack Beach Resort
The red tile roof, adobe-colored walls and palm-fringed grounds give the Tamarack Beach Resort the appearance of a hacienda. At the southern end of Carlsbad’s beaches, this property offers rooms overlooking landscaped courtyards or with partial and full ocean views. The best rooms offer private, furnished patios overlooking the Pacific, a relaxing place to watch the sunsets. Sample wine and cheese at the Tuesday night reception or follow the beach pathway to the sand for your own private party. A heated swimming pool and recreation room are also on site. Parking, wireless Internet access and a daily paper are complimentary. Dine at the hotel's oceanfront Dini’s by the Sea or try other local restaurants, such as the Harbor Fish Cafe or the Armenian Cafe, offering Mediterranean fare.
Interstate 5 Accommodations
Interstate 5 runs parallel to Carlsbad and is less than a mile from the beach. A handful of motels and hotels along the interstate are usually less expensive than beachfront properties. One option is the Rodeway Inn near Legoland. Part of the Choice Hotels International brand, this property offers moderately priced rooms with continental breakfast included, a seasonal swimming pool and free parking. The high arch of its hacienda-style entryway is hard to miss. At the Comfort Inn Legoland, families can spread out in a suite with two sleeping areas, a microwave and a fridge. Continental breakfast is included, as is wireless Internet and use of the heated pool. Both are on the road to Legoland, only three miles south.