Carlsbad, Calif., is centrally located in North County, San Diego, making it the perfect starting point for day trips in all directions – north, south, east and west. We have four great ideas for day trips from Carlsbad using Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa as your starting point.
Since MarBrisa sits in the Northernmost point of San Diego, you have easy access to Orange County’s theme parks. Whether you choose Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, or Great Wolf Lodge, you are only within an hour(ish) drive.
After an early breakfast at the resort, enjoy a full day at the parks. Plan to leave Orange Country later in the evening to avoid traffic.
Approximate Travel Time from Carlsbad: 2 hours round trip
Dining Suggestion: Head to Downtown Disney and try something new including local beers and bites from Ballast Point Brewing Company.
Just one hour south of Carlsbad lies one of the most beautiful beaches in California. Pack a picnic and spend the day on majestic Coronado Island. From 1900 to 1938, Coronado earned the nickname, “tent city” for being such a popular camp-style destination.
Park your car along Ocean Avenue and walk up the beach boardwalk where you can body surf, build sandcastles, and watch dolphins wave jump. If you’re planning to visit the island during the weekdays, enjoy watching a variety of military planes take off from the north side of the island.
Approximate Travel Time from Carlsbad: 1.5 – 2 hours round trip
Dining Suggestion: Enjoy a fantastic meal and learn a bit of history in the process at Tent City. This indoor/outdoor space offers salads, sandwiches and brunch. The restaurant is connected to the Coronado Museum of History and Art where you can peruse the archives from days gone by.
Colorful Temecula is just a 45-minute drive from MarBrisa. This sunny, relaxing destination is home to a hidden-gem wine country boasting 40+ wineries in the rolling hills. After a morning wine tasting, spend the rest of the day walking the boardwalks through the historic Old Town Temecula, which combines the region’s storied past with rustic western-era buildings, antique shops, craft breweries and specialty boutiques. A visit to Temecula is likely to lead you to an outdoor festival, local farm-to-table dining, or live music reminiscent of the historic golden west in the 1880s.
Approximate Travel Time from Carlsbad: 1.5 hours round trip
Dining Suggestion: Visit E.A.T. Marketplace for a modern vibe with exposed ducts, concrete floors, and a combination of metal and wood furnishings.
If you think you can’t get any further west in California than MarBrisa think again. This day trip is a bit further than our other recommendations, but if you are up for an adventure, the journey to Catalina Island is worth your time. Make your way to Dana Point and climb aboard the Catalina Express for a beautiful 22-mile, hour-long boat ride to Catalina Island. The picturesque town of Avalon is perfect for a day trip filled with activities on land and sea.Drive 30 minutes by car
Approximate Travel Time from Carlsbad: A 30-minute drive north to Dana Point and a one-hour boat ride to Catalina Island.
Dining Suggestion: Happy hour, late nights, signature drinks, and specials can all be enjoyed at the Lobster Trap. Featuring fresh seafood and, of course, local Avalon lobster, the Lobster Trap is a favorite with visitors and locals alike.