I cannot believe I have been missing out on the cuteness of Carlsbad all of these years. I have spent time in San Diego, Los Angeles, and even Palm Springs but never had been to Carlsbad. After visiting and spending a weekend exploring I now know it’s a must repeat on our FODMAP travels list. The easy feel is so different from LA and San Diego and really makes for a great place to relax and spend a few days.
I was so surprised at how easy it was to get to Carlsbad from Los Angeles via the Amtrak train. In less than two hours we were in sunny Carlsbad without having to sit in terrible Southern California weekend traffic. The train had free WiFi the entire time as well as gorgeous views of the Pacific Coast. You really can’t beat that!
My husband and I met my brother and sister in law in Carlsbad for a sibling weekend in March as it was a great meeting place between Houston and Seattle. We were lucky enough to stay at our friends’ parents beach house a block away from the ocean and a 20-minute walk into the main village of restaurants and shopping.
Things to do while visiting:
- The Beach – the beaches are absolutely gorgeous but don’t forget it’s the Pacific ocean so you may not be jumping in head first. We’ll have to come back in the summer time when it’s not quite as chilly.
- Explore Carlsbad Village aka the main square – shop until you drop here. There were SO many restaurants and shops to explore and walk around ranging from antique stores, baby stores, home decor, souvenirs, and boutiques.
- The Flower Fields – Stop to smell the roses is an understatement when you visit the flower fields! We were lucky enough to be there a week after they opened as the 50 acres are available only from March 1st through May 12th. Admission is $18/per adult and children between the ages of 3-10 are $9. There is also an option to take a wagon ride around the property (for a few additional bucks). I highly recommend this as it’s a fun way to see the entire acreage without wearing yourself completely out. There is a food stand available on the property as well as food trucks and nearby restaurants that you can bring in food and have a picnic. Next time, I would love to come in April when it’s strawberry picking season!
Our favorite restaurants of the weekend:
- Shore House Kitchen – this place is not only human friendly but also dog friendly! I can honestly say I have never seen a dog menu at a restaurant before until now. The brunch menu was delicious and luckily I was able to order sourdough bread but I do believe they have gluten-free bread as an option. There was a pretty substantial wait to be seated so I suggest you go on the earlier side. Luckily, there is a grab and go drink and snack stand attached to the restaurant which helps the cranky people (all of us) waiting for a table. 🙂
- Mikko Sushi – Our friend recommended we come here for sushi and I am so glad we did. We came for Happy Hour at 5 PM and it was PACKED! The food was fresh and delicious and at great prices.
- Naked Cafe – OMG! I would have eaten here every day if I could have. Not only was the location perfect but we were able to sit right away and there were so many awesome low FODMAP options. My brother also can’t eat dairy so when we found out that they had a vegan and gluten-free pancake, we both were in! It was absolutely delicious and the “normal” food that the other two were able to eat got rave reviews as well.
- Succulent Cafe – My sis in law found this little gem as she knows my husband is OBSESSED with succulents. Not only is the cafe absolutely adorable but there is a full on succulent garden as well as a gift shop. We stopped for a snack and tea but the brunch menu looked great as well.
Is there anything I missed or should check out next time? I would love to hear from you!