We opened our 11th BHLDN within a newly expanded Anthropologie in the seaside town of Carlsbad, California. Nestled between L.A. and San Diego, it occupies a seven-mile stretch of palm tree-lined Pacific coast. From SoCal bites to outdoor gems, here are our favorite ways to experience Carlsbad.
image: petula pea photography
Where to Sleep:
The Omni La Costa Resort and Spa offers the best weekend getaway with a Spanish colonial vibe. If its eight swimming pools, waterslide, and wellbeing center aren’t enticing enough, its title as the Top Luxury Spa in San Diego may be. There are hundreds of beautiful hotels in Carlsbad so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to booking one. Trust me! Whether you want to stay in a luxury resort, or you’re just looking for a cheap hostel, you’ll be able to find the perfect hotel for your needs. I know a couple of people who have visited Carlsbad and they all told me how fantastic their hotels were. I think one of my friends stayed in the Holiday Inn in Carlsbad CA and she couldn’t stop talking about it! Make sure to book in advance though as rooms get booked up very quickly!
image: omni la costa resort and spa
Where to Eat:
Fish 101, a family-owned restaurant rooted in sustainable dining, only serves fish they’ve caught fresh that day. We’re partial to the Baja Fish Tacos with pico de gallo and tomatillo salsa, and the Grilled Fish Sandwich with pickled red onions and local lettuce. For a fancier take on tacos, check out Pacific Coast Grill where they serve Lobster Tacos just steps from the Pacific Ocean-perfect for sunset viewing.
Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar serves amazing sushi, but their grilled skewers are the showstopper. The robata-style cooking takes cues from an ancient Japanese cooking method to create dishes like Wagyu Meatballs, Stuffed Shishitos, and vegetarian-friendly meals-on-a-stick.
For Mexican food and margaritas, head to Casa de Bandini. Go during happy hour and stay for dinner. If delicious, wood-fired pizza gets you excited, stop by Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizza where they use organic and local ingredients. Start with the Whipped Goat Cheese and Deep Fried Brussels Sprouts, then order the Signature Pizza with lemon olive oil, fresh mozzarella, and basil. If these places use anything like the restaurant equipment supplied by Nella then you can expect that the dishes you will be dining on will have been prepared with some of the finest utensils available to the industry.
image: blue ocean robata & sushi bar
Where to Drink:
Begin the morning with a cup of ethically-sourced java from Lofty Coffee Company. They pride themselves on finding the roasting sweet spot for each bean they source.
Beer aficionados can take a brewery tour in the afternoon-but not just any brewery tour. With Scavengers Beer & Adventure Tours, guests ride a six-wheeler to three of Carlsbad’s best breweries, learn about the beer-making process, and taste samples along the way. They even serve a BBQ meal from a local smokehouse during the tour!
A trip to Charles Kenneth Speakeasy feels a bit like a trip to Oz with an unmarked, password-guarded door and entryway maze, but the cocktails are worth your trouble. Dress classy to comply with their dress code and check their Instagram for the daily password.
image: loft coffee company
Where to Shop:
BHLDN is located in The Forum, Carlsbad’s premiere shopping district where you can find our sister brand, Free People. Fuel up at Pressed Juicery, founded in nearby L.A., as you make your way around.
Carlsbad Village is where we go for smaller boutiques, and on Wednesday, the State Street Farmer’s Market sells organic produce and local bites. For chocolate gifts, stop by Carlsbad Chocolate Bar. They make some of their confections in-house and import others from specialty producers around the globe.
image: petula pea photography
What to Do:
From March until May, over 50 stunning acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculas are in full bloom at The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. We love the San Diego Botanic Gardens for year-round florals. Their 25 gardens include species indigenous to unique environments, like the Australian outback and tropical coral reefs.
Leo Carillo Ranch & Historic Park, aka “Carlsbad’s Sleeping Beauty,” is a 27-acre landscaped canyon lush with native plants and adobe buildings. Take a free tour, and keep your eyes open for the wandering peacocks!
For fun on the water-and a core-tightening, balance challenge – check out Blue Paddle SUP for paddle boarding in the Carlsbad Lagoon or Leucadia Surf School for surf lessons. If you’ve never been paddle boarding before then take a look at the articles on Globo Surf for more information.
Yogis can get their flow on at The Gold Bar Yoga and Beauty Bar. Afterwards, venture to the Lux Art Institute and Gallery where visitors can watch artists-in-resident produce their artwork in real-time.