Seabirds fly past the Carlsbad Cliffs during a colorful sunset in this aerial image. Carlsbad is 35 miles North of San Diego, California, USA.

The central location of Hilton Grand Vacation Club at MarBrisa in North County, San Diego makes it a perfect starting point for day trips in all directions. Check out our top four day trips from Carlsbad traveling North, South, East, and West!

North

Since our MarBrisa property sits in the Northernmost point of San Diego, you have quick and easy access to the theme parks of Orange County. Whether you choose Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, or Great Wolf Lodge, you are within an hour(ish) drive from some of the top theme parks in Southern California. Plan to leave the resort after an early breakfast and you can still enjoy a full day at one of these theme parks. Your drive home is a quick hour back to MarBrisa, and if you plan to leave Orange Country later in the evening, you’ll avoid traffic!

Time in the car from Hilton Grand Vacation Club at MarBrisa: 2 hours round trip (use the Waze app to navigate during peak commuting times).

Restaurant to try in Orange County: Of course there are thousands of eateries to choose from! Head to Downtown Disney and try something new by sampling local beers and bites from newly-opened Ballast Point Brewing Company.  

South

Just an 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 a popular camp-style destination, but now there are several places to stay, including Hilton’s own Curio Collection property: Hotel Del Coronado. This flagship property is a must-see, even if you are just walking through. Park your car along Ocean Avenue and walk up the beach boardwalk toward the iconic red and white resort. From the boardwalk you have easy access to the beach where you can bodysurf, build sand castles, and watch playful dolphins jump in the waves. If you are visiting the island during the weekdays, you can even enjoy watching a variety of military planes take off on the north side of the island.

Time in the car from Hilton Grand Vacation Club at MarBrisa: 1.5 – 2 hours round trip

Restaurant to try in Coronado: Enjoy a fantastic meal and learn a bit of history in the process at Tent City. This indoor/outdoor space serves incredible salads, sandwiches, and brunch. The restaurant is connected to the Coronado Museum of History and Art where you can peruse the archives and art from the days of ‘tent city’.

East

Colorful Temecula is just a 45 minute drive from the resort. This sunny, relaxing destination is home to a hidden-gem wine country boasting 40+ wineries in the rolling hills, and up above, you’ll find hot air balloons dotting the sky. After a morning wine tasting, you can spend the rest of the day walking the wooden boardwalks through the historic Old Town. Old Town Temecula combines the region’s storied past with rustic western-era buildings, antique shops, craft breweries, and specialty boutiques. A visit to Temecula will certainly lead you to an outdoor festival, local farm-to-table dining, or live music reminiscent of the historic golden west in the 1880’s.

Time in the car from Hilton Grand Vacation Club at MarBrisa : 1.5 hours round trip

Restaurant to try in Temecula: Visit E.A.T. Marketplace for a more modern vibe with exposed ducts, concrete floors, and a combination of metal and wood furnishings. Dine in for brunch or one of their unique gourmet pizzas.

West

Sure, MarBrisa is pretty much as west as you can get along the California coast. But we did find a perfect place to visit for a day trip that is still west of the San Diego shoreline. 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 just an hour from Dana Point in South Orange County. You have a few options to travel north to the harbor in Dana Point.

  1. Drive 30 minutes by car
  2. Take a 30 minute Uber or Lyft ride
  3. Hop on the Amtrak train

Once in Dana Point, board the Catalina Express for a beautiful 22-mile, hour-long boat ride to Catalina Island. Catalina’s picturesque town of Avalon is perfect for a day trip filled with activities on land and sea.

Time Traveled from Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa: A 30 minute drive north to Dana Point and an hour boat ride west across the Pacific to Catalina Island.

Restaurant to try on Catalina Island: 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 huge hit among visitors and locals on the island.

The location of Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa is perfect for day trips in all directions!


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