The watersports are definitely one of the things to check out in Carlsbad ... photo by CC user newdimensionfilms on Flickr

Carlsbad, California is a coastal seaside resort community nestled between San Diego and Los Angeles. Travelers who want a quieter destination within reach of big city attractions will find “The Village by the Sea” a perfect compromise.

Stunning Jewels at the Gemological Institute of America

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is headquartered in Carlsbad. The GIA museum hosts both rotating exhibits and breathtaking permanent features. Browse diamonds, pearls, and colored stones from around the world. The Tower of Brilliance is the largest crystal octahedron in the world. The crystal rotates continuously, reflecting natural sunlight during the day and carefully placed spotlights at night. The museum offers tours by private scheduling only.

Larger-Than-Life Toys at the LEGOLAND California Resort

Image via Flickr by Mattijs Grannetia

Step into an imaginative world comprised almost entirely of Legos at the LEGOLAND California Resort. Go prehistoric on Dino Island, brave the high seas of Pirate Shores, join the Royal Joust on Castle Hill, or let creativity run wild in the Imagination Zone. For a truly immersive experience, guests can even book a stay at the LEGOLAND Hotel, where rooms are styled in kingdom, pirate, or adventure themes.

Shopping and Dining at Carlsbad Village

Carlsbad Village is the premier shopping and dining district in this area. A year-round farmer’s market takes place every Wednesday with local food, crafts, and live entertainment. Shops in the village include everything from antiques to fine jewelry. Hungry visitors can try cuisines inspired by cultures from around the globe, with restaurants like the Armenian Café, French Café and Bakery, and Mikko Sushi. Galleries and recording studios are scattered generously throughout the village as well.

Surfing at Carlsbad State Beach

Carlsbad State Beach spans from Tamarack Avenue to Frazee Beach. Popular activities include all the classic favorites, like swimming, fishing, windsurfing, kayaking, and scuba diving. One of the most popular draws here, however, is the surf. The beachfront nearest to the Ponto Beach parking lot is marked as surfing only. A four-mile seawall separates the beach from the highway. This paved walkway is regularly filled with walkers, joggers, skaters, and cyclists enjoying the year-round warmth.

Mouthwatering Pastries at the Carlsbad Danish Bakery

Foodies in the mood for some local flavor should drop in for a sweet treat from the Carlsbad Danish Bakery. This local gem serves freshly baked Danish pastries, cookies, and more. Wash it down with a cup of coffee or one of the bakery’s own specialty drinks. The bakery is open Monday through Saturday.

So-Cal Culture and Premium Pampering at Spa Samudra

Spa Samudra channels a distinct surf town vibe, with a laid-back environment that welcomes children, pets, and walk-ins. Services include facials, massages, waxing, and eyelash treatments. In the hair lounge, guests can complete their makeover with a cut, color, highlight, or extensions. Groups can even book spa parties to pamper everyone in the group.

Carlsbad caters to visitors of all ages with attractions that range from pastries to theme parks. This coastal California town is a comfortable destination in any season.

Author Bio:

Mandi Rogier lives and writes in sunny Florida. She has travel pieces published on several blogs and websites including USA Today’s Travel Tips and