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Things We Love About Carlsbad


What began as a rural agricultural community and Santa Fe Railroad whistle stop has blossomed into today’s charming community known as Carlsbad, complete with a series of cherished beaches, bustling downtown businesses, well-designed walkways, the world-renowned Legoland, the Carlsbad Aquafarm, attractive homes, and yes, the farms and flower fields it was originally built upon. There are myriad reasons to visit or live in Carlsbad — here are a few of our favorites.

Strawberry Fields Forever
The Carlsbad Strawberry Company is a family-run grower of fruits and vegetables that, now in its third generation, has been farming the area since 1948 — long before Interstate 5 was built. The strawberries are packaged commercially in the “Carlsbad” label and sold to markets by Aviara Farms, Inc. Or for an interactive hands-on experience, enjoy U-Pick Strawberries from 9am to 5pm until June 30. (www.carlsbadstrawberrycompany.com)

Tip Top Meats
A San Diego staple since 1967, Carlsbad’s Tip Top Meats has provided good food enthusiasts with the very best meat and poultry available because according to owner, John Haedrich, “There is no substitute for quality.” Open seven days a week from 6am-8pm, the establishment offers staff that is knowledgeable and friendly — every butcher understands European cuts. They’ll order any specialty meat upon request, and the European market features specialty cheeses, wurst, sausage, wine, and more. Or, dine in the restaurant, which is open all day and offers delicious homemade food at affordable prices. How about a traditional Reuben sandwich or the Holsteiner Schnitzel? (760/438–2620, www.tiptopmeats.com)

Sea Life Carlsbad Aquarium’s Octopus Garden
Legoland California Resort is gearing up for summer with three new attractions: Star Wars Miniland, Octopus Garden at Sea Life Carlsbad Aquarium, and Splash Zoo at the Legoland Water Park — all great experiences for local families and visitors alike. Octopus Garden is an interactive exhibit introducing families to the amazing world of cephalopods. From octopus and cuttlefish to nautilus, these distinctive creatures have almost supernatural abilities including camouflage, ink clouds, and jet propulsion to surprise and delight the kid in all of us. (760/918-5346, www.legoland.com)

On The Boardwalk
Carlsbad’s beaches remain one of San Diego’s best-kept secrets, which is just fine with the locals. It’s a clear sign that summer is here, though, when the Boardwalk becomes abuzz. Tourists and locals convene on the long, wide pedestrian walkway that is ideal for jogging or strolling with a baby carriage. Perfect for our furry friends too, leashed dogs are allowed on the upper pathways (but prohibited on the beach and beach boardwalk).

Beach Terrace Inn
The epitome of understated elegance, Beach Terrace Inn offers every luxury, from WiFi to endless stretches of white sandy beaches via private access. The only beachfont hotel in Carlsbad, and located within walking distance to shopping, nightlife, and entertainment, Beach Terrace Inn allows you to create exactly the experience you crave. (760/729-5951, www.beachterraceinn.com)

Jaguar • Land Rover Carlsbad
The only authorized Jaguar dealer in San Diego County, Jaguar Land Rover Carlsbad is also the newest member of the Hoehn group. Customers receive “royal” treatment from dedicated sales and service staff. Look out for Land Rover sales opening this summer! Conveniently located off the I-5 in Car Country Carlsbad. (760/494-5600, www.jaguarlandrovercarlsbad.com)

Pronto’s Gourmet Market
Just like mom used to make it, only better. Pronto’s Gourmet Market in downtown Carlsbad
is a family-owned and operated culinary dream. With its decadent homemade pastas and sinfully sumptuous desserts, this little gem’s dedication to quality and seasonal ingredients makes it a feast for the eyes, and stomach. (760/434-2644, www.prontosmarket.com)

Quattra Via Aveda
Get back to nature while rejuvenating your inner spirit and outer beauty with a facial, massage, or Aveda hair color service. All while you relax with a glass of wine, nestled in a unique setting featuring Peter Lik’s elements photography, natural Aveda aromas, and enchanting music. Receive 10% off any services during June. (760/697-1460, www.quattravia.com)

Twenty/20 Grill & Wine Bar
Let the ocean breeze sweep over you at Twenty/20 Grill & Wine Bar, featuring fresh, inspired vineyard and coastal cuisine daily. Jazz Over Easy for Sunday Brunch is a true experience in California casual elegance with impressive views of the Carlsbad coast, Bloody Mary bar, gourmet brunch menu, and live jazz music. (760/827-2500, www.twenty20grill.com)

Witch Creek Winery

Witch Creek Winery offers the allure of a boutique winery, paired with award-winning quality. Using traditional winemaking techniques, Witch Creek Winery has earned 20 medals in just three years at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Stop in to try unique and hard-to-find varietals such as Nebbiolo and Aglianico. (760/720-7499, www.witchcreekwinery.com)


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