Just 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of San Diego lies Legoland, where you can spend an entire day living in the land of imagination and fun. Experience numerous fun-filled rides, adventures and shows at this incredible amusement park. The park features 128 acres (51.7 hectares) of displays including MiniLand where replicas of famous sites (Hollywood Bowl, Washington, D.C.) are created entirely from Legos. In the Imagination Zone, children under six can play with Duplos to their hearts' content, whereas kids over six can check out the 'Build & Test' center. Themed areas at the park include Castle Hill and Pirate Shores.
One of only two places on the California coast where these gnarled, once nearly extinct specimens grow, visitors will witness more than 3000 Torrey Pines in this untamed 2000-acre (809 hectares) reserve. You will also see cliffs, mesas, canyons, beaches, and wetlands. Discover eight trails ranging from a 20-minute walk to a two-hour hike. Trail maps are available at the Visitor's Lodge, where you'll also find a modest natural history museum complete with a souvenir shop. Despite the shade, it can be hot in the summer, so bring your own water. See website for maps, online resources and more. Open daily from 8a
Climb 145 steps down into Sunny Jim Cave, the largest of the grottoes in La Jolla Cove. The area is now run by the Cave Store, which displays historic photographs of La Jolla and offers a small concession where visitors can purchase souvenirs, postcards, and T-shirts. A trip here provides a fascinating glimpse into what lies under, as well as over, the scenic California coastline.
The famous biological research facility, founded by renowned polio vaccine inventor Jonas Salk, is perched high above La Jolla surrounded by 26 acres (10.5 acres). Modernist architect Louis I. Kahn designed the twin-structured building in 1965. The landscape includes a courtyard area, "Stream of Life" and a foot-wide water display inspired by architect Louis Barragan which flows through the marble courtyard between the buildings.
Expand your knowledge and appreciation for both music and the arts at this expansive library. This location holds collections of videos, books, periodicals and other literature all devoted to fine arts. Beyond the library, Athenaeum holds year-round exhibitions of fine art as well as concerts, featuring jazz and chamber music. Studio art classes are also available to the public.
Named for newspaper heiress and early La Jolla resident Ellen Browning Scripps, this community park offers one of the best views along the Southern California coastline. The park overlooks La Jolla Cove where clear Pacific waters crash against the rocky shoreline. Countless tourists and locals flock to this park for daytime picnics on the perfectly manicured lawns surrounded by palm trees. The grounds are also ideal for evening strolls while watching glorious sunsets. For those seeking a glimpse of the local seal population Children's Pool Beach is located at the south end of the park.
Carlsbad has everything one can imagine, from thrilling attractions and natural beauty to a great shopping scene and an excellent quality of life for its residents. Legoland California is a must-visit while in Carlsbad, and so is the Sea Life Aquarium. Beach lovers can enjoy the sun and sand to their hearts' content at Carlsbad State Beach, which is also blessed with scenic hiking trails. Also home to three beautiful lagoons, multiple lavish golf courses, and the Museum of Making Music, Carlsbad ensures that all kinds of visitors are accommodated here.
The catch phrase is "Carlsbad, California's Newest Playground". Strictly speaking, Carlsbad has been around for a long time, but it has not been promoted or discovered in the way that many residents rightly feel it deserves. With the Flower Fields and Legoland drawing international visitors, the already-charming town is spiffying itself up to be at its best. This local center provides abundant pamphlets, maps, hotel information, beach, surf and weather information in addition to an up-to-date events calendar.
Whether it's on the stage or in the park, the Carlsbad-based New Village Arts Theatre is an institution revered all over San Diego County. The company has won such awards such as "Most Exciting New Theatre Company," and its workshops have hosted such legendary actors as Paul Newman and Ellen Burstyn. Clearly, the stage is set for hilarity and/or high drama (and often both). Memorable Shakespeare in the Park productions, as well as critically acclaimed presentations like A Hatful of Rain have added to the sterling reputation this ensemble enjoys. Thanks to a favorable Carlsbad City Council vote in 2006, the group now has its own 99-seat performance space in quaint Carlsbad Village.