Activities, Events and Festivals in Carlsbad CA | RTX Traveler Magazine


Just 35 miles north of San Diego on the southern coast of California, Carlsbad is a charming beach town with endless opportunities for family fun. RTX members can visit Carlsbad through exchanging, purchasing a Getaway or booking a discounted hotel room.

With average temperatures in the 60s and 70s and abundant sunshine year round, families flock to Carlsbad in every season, and there’s always something to do. Attractions like Legoland and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park are hugely popular for kids of all ages. Make the most of the perfect weather with a day on the beach or a water sport adventure in one of the area lagoons. A day trip into San Diego is easy and fun for everyone.

Art, Culture & Community

One of the most under-the-radar attractions in Carlsbad is just minutes from Legoland. The Museum of Making Music features six galleries that are informative, entertaining and interactive. Each of the first five galleries spans two decades of American music, beginning in 1890.

Old Banjo_webInstruments from those eras as well as photos and informative plaques depict the history and evolution of music of the time. Each gallery has a kiosk that plays several selections of music from the eras depicted, and there’s even an instrument and instructions in each gallery representative of the era that visitors can play.

In addition to instruments and information about the musicians of the time, the galleries touch on innovations, music retail, marketing, distribution and manufacturing during each era, providing a full picture of the state of America’s music history over the years.

The fifth gallery is also an interactive recording studio where visitors don headphones and make music using various instruments and production techniques, and the recordings can be played back so that aspiring musicians can hear their creations. The final gallery features a special exhibit that spotlight specific instruments, ideas, individuals, innovations, or concepts of music making.

While the museum itself is a treasure of Carlsbad, the museum and its founding organization, the National Association of Music Merchants, host a number of events at the museum and throughout the community. Helpful docents at the museum can provide plenty of information and answer any questions. This museum is great for the entire family whether you are an accomplished musician, an aspiring musician or anyone who enjoys and appreciates music.

Carlsbad Village is home to dozens of art galleries with a wide variety of styles and media. Viz Art Ink displays the works of ink artist Greg Visintainer, whose incredibly detailed pieces often contain multiple works within one piece. Antique hunters will love the Carlsbad Village Art & Antique Mall, with more than 1,000 dealers in 15,000 square feet of space. For something different, the New Village Arts Foundry is a place where raw materials are forged into original works of art.

For more retail therapy, there are plenty of unique boutiques throughout Carlsbad Village from clothing and jewelry to books and gifts. Stroll along Carlsbad Village Drive, Grand Avenue and State Street for the best concentration of shopping and dining in the area. The Village Faire shopping center in the heart of town features plenty of shopping and dining centered around an open-air courtyard perfect for resting your feet.

Every Wednesday from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m., State Street closes to traffic between Carlsbad Village Drive and Grand Avenue for the weekly State Street Farmers’ Market. Mingle with locals and enjoy local organic produce, freshly prepared food, handmade crafts and live entertainment in the heart of historic Carlsbad.

Torrey Pines 3rd Hole Putter -Courtesy SanDiego_webSports & Outdoors

If you crave a bit of activity during your vacation, there’s plenty of adventure to be found in Carlsbad. K1 Speed’s flagship course in Carlsbad offers thrills on four wheels as the area’s premier indoor go-kart racing track. Compete with your friends and family for the fastest time or just take a few laps for fun.

With seven miles of surf, sand and sun, Carlsbad’s beaches are always a sure bet for a vacation to this coastal spot. Relax in the sand or hit the waves with one of the area’s surf rental and instruction companies like SoCal Surf where you can rent equipment or take lessons for surfing, stand-up paddle boarding or body boarding.

For more fun on the water, visit the area’s three lagoons. The Agua Hedionda Lagoon has a variety of recreation options including boating, fishing, hiking trails and wildlife viewing as well as a Discovery Center with educational programs. The Buena Vista Lagoon is California’s first Ecological Reserve and is ideal for bird watchers, with more than 200 species observed there and information and activities at the Audoban Nature Center on site. The Batiquitos Lagoon is a nature reserve with an informative nature center and several trails that can be explored with a guided group walk or on your own.

If you prefer to hit the green, Carlsbad has four world-class golf courses made for all levels of play. More intense athletes can check out event like bicycling races, marathons and triathlons that keep locals and visitors fit and fast. Carlsbad has plenty to offer for the active adventurer or the leisure seeker.

Pacific Beach Boardwalk Cyclists -Courtesy Brett Shoaf, Artistic Visuals_webEvents & Festivals

With ideal weather most of the year, Carlsbad is a perfect place for a festival, especially during the fall. Three events held each fall are worth planning ahead for if you choose Carlsbad as your next RTX adventure.

Carlsbad Music Festival: Fall festival season kicks off at the end of September with this three day festival, beginning with the Village Walk, a free event where 44 musical performances happen throughout Carlsbad on a Friday evening, and the music continues throughout the weekend.

Village Street Faire Festival: This event claims to be the largest one-day street festival in the nation, where more than 100,000 people gather in Carlsbad to browse wares offered from more than 900 vendors. In addition to crafts, clothing, art and so much more, there are plenty of food vendors, entertainment and kids’ activities. If you miss the November event, it also happens each May.

La Costa Film Festival: October 2013 marks the inaugural film festival at the famous La Costa Resort & Spa. With its rich history and proximity to Hollywood, this festival is a tradition in the making for Carlsbad.

Call RTX today to start planning your west coast adventure in Carlsbad to discover the fun, excitement and magic of the Village by the Sea!


Local Information

Museum of Making Music
5790 Armada Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(877) 551-9976
Hours: Tue – Sun, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Admission: $8; $5 for students, seniors & military. Children age 5 and under are free.
Carlsbad Village Farmers Market
State Street between Carlsbad Village Drive and Grand Avenue
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Hours: Every Wednesday, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. in the summer and 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. in the winter.
Carlsbad Village Art & Antique Mall
2752 State St.
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 730-9494
Hours: Mon – Sat, 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sun 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
The New Village Foundry
2787 State St
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Village Faire Shopping Center
300 Carlsbad Village Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Viz Art Ink
2906 State St
Carlsbad, CA 92008
K1 Speed Carlsbad
6212 Corte Del Abeto
Carlsbad, CA 92011
(760) 929-2225
SoCal Surf Lessons
On the beach at Carlsbad North Frazee State Beach
(760) 672-2770
Buena Vista Lagoon
2202 S. Coast Highway
Oceanside, CA 92054
(760) 439-BIRD
Batiquitos Lagoon Nature Center
7380 Gabbiano Lane
Carlsbad, CA 92011
(760) 931-0800
Nature Center Hours: Mon – Fri, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; Sat – Sun, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Agua Hedionda Lagoon
1580 Cannon Road
Carlsbad, CA
(760) 804-1969
Hours of Operation: Tue – Fri, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.; Sat & Sun, 12 noon – 4 p.m.; Closed on Mondays
Carlsbad Music Festival
Events throughout historic Carlsbad Village
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Village Faire Festival
Grand Avenue from Carlsbad Blvd. to Jefferson St.
Carlsbad, CA 92008
La Costa Film Festival
2100 Costa Del Mar Rd.
Carlsbad, CA 92009





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