The 8 Best Beaches in Carlsbad, CA (2022)

Carlsbad is a coastal San Diego County town known for LEGOLAND, gorgeous beaches, and great activities for families. But where are the best beaches in Carlsbad?

As a San Diego County local, I am so happy to share the inside scoop. This list provides details on the best beaches for water sports like boogie boarding, surfing, and body surfing. I also share all the inside info you need to make your trip to the beach enjoyable including where to find a restroom, easy beach access, picnic spots, and parking lots.

Table of Contents

1. Carlsbad State Beach

The 8 Best Beaches in Carlsbad, CA (1)

Carlsbad State Beach is a very long stretch of beach in Carlsbad. The city often brings up new sand just before summer to keep the beach clean and soft to walk on.

This beach offers great surfing, body surfing, and boogie boarding. Long walks up and down Carlsbad are ideal here thanks to the wide sidewalks and well lit path making this one of the best beaches in Carlsbad.

(Video) Carlsbad California Beach & Travel Guide

Amenities: Carlsbad State Beach offers several parking lots, street access, lifeguard towers, and great places to enjoy the water. There are several staircases enter the beach from the surrounding neighborhoods.

Recommended Nearby Hotel: Treat your kids like the knights and royalty they wish they were at the Legoland Castle Hotel. It is a great place to stay for families because the fun castle theme is throughout the hotel! Take a look at our Legoland Tips to make the most of your visit!

2. Tamarack Surf Beach

The 8 Best Beaches in Carlsbad, CA (2)

Tamarack Surf Beach is closely located to Carlsbad Village – the heart of the Carlsbad community. This is definitely one of the best beaches in Carlsbad to visit with some nearby takeout or just to stroll along after your day in the village.

Tamarack is also a very popular surfing location. The beach is surrounded by a bluff, you can access the beach through the parking lot or through a few different sets of stairs from the street level.

Amenities: There is a small public restroom near the public pay lot. Additional parking is available on the side streets and in Carlsbad Village. Check out the Daily News Café, the cinnamon rolls are not to be missed!!

Recommended Nearby Hotel: The Tamarack Beach Hotel is just across Pacific Coast Highway (aka: PCH) from the beach. Many rooms have excellent views from their private balconies. The hotel is also within walking distance of great restaurants and shops.

3. Robert Frazee State Beach

The 8 Best Beaches in Carlsbad, CA (3)

Robert Frazee State Beach is also located near the heart of Carlsbad Village. This is the ideal location for sea gazing and long walks.

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It is a great place to stop and enjoy the view and fresh breeze of the Pacific Ocean. The many benches along the paved sidewalk welcome visitors for a picture perfect sunset view!

Amenities: Access to the lower beach is though Pine Street. Parking is located on Ocean Street. There are public restrooms at the adjoining beaches but not directly on this stretch of sand.

Recommended Nearby Hotel: West Inn and Suites is nearby and offers both excellent lodging and delicious food! It is directly between Legoland and the beach, near Interstate 5.

4. South Carlsbad State Beach

The 8 Best Beaches in Carlsbad, CA (4)

South Carlsbad State Beach, often referred to North Ponto Beach, is also a great beach for a quick splash in the Pacific Ocean!

You can often find families here boogie boarding and spending time together at the end of the day. This beach is also popular with campers who head to the beach to enjoy a bonfire and the sound of the relaxing waves.

Amenities: Parking is available near the public restrooms. A campground is available by reservation. If you are traveling with an RV, this a great place to book your stay. Be sure to book far in advance as this is a very popular location.

Recommended Nearby Hotel: Cape Rey Carlsbad offers families great amenities such as a beach entry pool, beach cruisers, picnic beach kits, and transportation.

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5. Carlsbad Lagoon

The 8 Best Beaches in Carlsbad, CA (5)

The beach at Carlsbad Lagoon is a great place to spend the day on the water. There is a rental shop here that has everything from paddle boards to jet skies.

The lagoon is clearly divided into sections for different water activities to keep everyone safe. The sheer number of water activities landed this lagoon on my list of best beaches in Carlsbad.

This is an excellent place for beginners to paddle-boarding and kayaking because the water in the lagoon is calm. Little ones will love the aqua cycles and swan peddle boats! There is also a sandy beach to play on.

Amenities: There is a small parking area above the lagoon. One public restroom is available and some picnic areas. The rental stand is excellent.

Recommended Nearby Hotels: The Omni La Costa Resort and Spa will delight the entire family! Located just east of the freeway this property offers waterslides, luxurious spas, and great onsite dining.

6. South Ponto Beach

The 8 Best Beaches in Carlsbad, CA (6)

Carlsbad’s South Ponto Beach is one of the last beaches before Encinitas and is best known for its wide beach and great sand activities.

Many families will love the space available for volleyball, sand castle building, and sun bathing! Waves here are great for surfing, bodyboarding, and boogie boarding.

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Amenities: There is a public restroom and paid parking lot available. Free parking is sometimes available along the Pacific Coast Highway. The beach offers volleyball poles but nets are not provided, so be sure to bring your own. Life guard towers are open during the summer.

Recommended Nearby Hotels: The Park Hyatt Aviara is a gorgeous property that your family will love. The luxurious amenities, gourmet food, and excellent location make it a great family vacation destination!

7. Oceanside Beach

The 8 Best Beaches in Carlsbad, CA (7)

Oceanside Beach is just north of Carlsbad and offers plenty of space for a variety of ocean interests. You will often see surfers, boogie boarders, and scuba divers heading out from this beach.

The beach has a short strand that is great for a walk or bike ride. Smaller children will enjoy the nearby playground and grassy areas.The Oceanside Pier is a great place to walk and see the dolphins and sea lions that frequent the area.

Oceanside Beach is also popular for fans of cinema. The iconic Top Gun house is located just across the street and the film Bring It On was also filmed at the amphitheater here.

Amenities: This beach offers families a newly renovated restroom and shower area. Below the pier, families will find several beachside vendors – including shave ice and a fish and chips stand. You can even rent beach bikes and surreys from the pier.

The beach has several lifeguard stations. There are two small pay lots off of the beach and metered parking on the street level. Within reasonable walking distance there are also two large parking structures.

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Recommended Nearby Hotels for Families: Stay within walking distance of the Oceanside Beach by selecting the Wyndham Oceanside at the Pier. Gourmet restaurants and great shopping are all located just steps from this hotel.

8. Swami’s Beach

The 8 Best Beaches in Carlsbad, CA (8)

Swami’s Beachin Encinitas is a popular beach for surfers but it is also great for families. Encinitas is Carlsbad’s neighbor to the south, and if you are looking to hit up some celebrated surf spots this is definitely not one to miss.

Kids will enjoy the small parkon the top level. Walk down a wooden stairway from the park to the beach below to enjoy the tide pools.

FAQs

Which beach is better Oceanside or Carlsbad? ›

Carlsbad is more of a resort like feel with small inlets to quiet beach access pathways. There is a lot of shopping and commerce. There are lots of small shops to get ice cream and sandwiches. Oceanside is more of a flat beach and has more of a military presence.

Does Carlsbad have good beaches? ›

Carlsbad City Beach is well-known for surfing, swimming, sunbathing, and surf fishing. Surf fishing season is May to October, so surfing is prohibited at this beach during fishing season. Surfers should head south to Tamarack Beach from May to October.

What is the name of the beach in Carlsbad California? ›

Carlsbad State Beach, also known as Tamarack Beach, stretches from the warm water jetties, just south of Tamarack Avenue, to Frazee Beach, near Carlsbad Village Drive. The beach is ideal […] South Carlsbad State Beach extends from Palomar Airport Road to La Costa Ave.

Is Oceanside more expensive than Carlsbad? ›

- Oceanside housing costs are 38.8% less expensive than Carlsbad housing costs. - The average commute for residents of Oceanside is 0.2 minutes longer than it is for residents of Carlsbad.

Does Carlsbad beach have sharks? ›

Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated. A beachgoer freed a small great white shark from a fishing line in Carlsbad over the weekend in a dramatic incident that was captured on video.

How far is Carlsbad to the beach? ›

Yes, the driving distance between Carlsbad to Ocean Beach is 33 miles. It takes approximately 36 min to drive from Carlsbad to Ocean Beach.

Where are the Carlsbad tide pools? ›

The Carlsbad Tide Pools are located between the Power Plant and South Carlsbad near Cerezo and Pacific Coast Highway (Carlsbad Bl). Park on the street on Cerezo or along the highway. There are stairs just south of the last house on the bluff.

Does Carlsbad have a boardwalk? ›

The Carlsbad boardwalk is an elegant, relaxing and scenic view of the ocean by utilizing the boardwalk. This is about a mile long and very pleasant. Feel the ocean breeze as you stroll the walk and enjoy the Calif. climate.

What time does Carlsbad beach close? ›

6 am to 10 pm. Stairs from campground to the South Carlsbad State Beach are now accessible. A route from the Ponto Picnic Area to the beach is also accessible. Parking in the day use area is accessible.

How long is Carlsbad beach? ›

South Carlsbad State Beach in Carlsbad, California

South Carlsbad State Beach is a three-mile long beach on the waterfront of Carlsbad, California. Most of this state beach is in front of the linear South Carlsbad Campground that fills the void between the sand and the asphalt of Carlsbad Boulevard (Highway 101).

What is the number one beach in San Diego? ›

Del Mar Main Beach (Top Pick)

This is one of the best San Diego beaches for family-style beach recreation. Powerhouse and Seagrove public parks with their lovely grassy areas and playground are here, too.

Which is the warmest beach in San Diego? ›

Soak Up the Sun at the Hottest San Diego Beaches
  • Mission Beach. The two-mile stretch of beach between Belmont Park and Pacific Beach is a thriving boardwalk with many, many attractions for travelers. ...
  • La Jolla. ...
  • Pac Beach. ...
  • Ocean Beach.
Apr 1, 2018

How safe is Carlsbad California? ›

The chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Carlsbad is 1 in 54. Based on FBI crime data, Carlsbad is not one of the safest communities in America. Relative to California, Carlsbad has a crime rate that is higher than 47% of the state's cities and towns of all sizes.

Why is Oceanside CA so cheap? ›

Oceanside's abandoned downtown made the city's real estate cheaper—a place where a blue-collar working family could afford a home near the beach.

How much do I need to live in Carlsbad? ›

Carlsbad cost of living is 191.7
COST OF LIVINGCarlsbadCalifornia
Health8992.4
Housing378.5239.1
Median Home Cost$1,142,400$684,800
Utilities97.4102.4
4 more rows

Are there sharks in the Carlsbad lagoon? ›

“You always know they're there. It's just scary seeing them in person,” Stephanie Williams said. Two young white sharks were spotted near Coronado last month. April through August is pupping season, and it's not uncommon to see them in the water, said Dr.

What's the cleanest beach in California? ›

Laguna Beach, a seaside artist village and resort destination in Orange County, California, has been selected as one of the cleanest beaches in America. Located halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, Laguna Beach has over seven miles of coastline and 20 pristine coves and beaches.

What beach has the clearest water in California? ›

If you want to experience the clearest water in California, where you can snorkel, kayak, swim, and have a crystal clear view of the marine life in the water, then you're going to fall in love La Jolla Cove Beach, the clearest beach in California.

Does Carlsbad have a boardwalk? ›

The Carlsbad boardwalk is an elegant, relaxing and scenic view of the ocean by utilizing the boardwalk. This is about a mile long and very pleasant. Feel the ocean breeze as you stroll the walk and enjoy the Calif. climate.

How far is Carlsbad from the beach? ›

Yes, the driving distance between Carlsbad to Mission Beach is 30 miles. It takes approximately 33 min to drive from Carlsbad to Mission Beach.

Is Carlsbad nice? ›

On the flip side, Carlsbad was named one of the “Best Places to Live” by Niche.com in 2020, coming in at #29. Carlsbad also ranked as No. 4 for Cities with the Best Public Schools in America, No. 21 for Best Cities to Retire and No.

Where are the Carlsbad tide pools? ›

The Carlsbad Tide Pools are located between the Power Plant and South Carlsbad near Cerezo and Pacific Coast Highway (Carlsbad Bl). Park on the street on Cerezo or along the highway. There are stairs just south of the last house on the bluff.

Carlsbad is one of the best beach towns in Southern California but what are the best beaches in Carlsbad? We share our top picks along with tips for each one.

Carlsbad is a coastal San Diego County town known for LEGOLAND, gorgeous beaches, and great activities for families.. I also share all the inside info you need to make your trip to the beach enjoyable including where to find a restroom, easy beach access, picnic spots, and parking lots.. Carlsbad State Beach is a very long stretch of beach in Carlsbad.. Amenities: Carlsbad State Beach offers several parking lots, street access, lifeguard towers, and great places to enjoy the water.. Tamarack is also a very popular surfing location.. Recommended Nearby Hotel: The Tamarack Beach Hotel is just across Pacific Coast Highway (aka: PCH) from the beach.. The hotel is also within walking distance of great restaurants and shops.. Parking is located on Ocean Street.. Recommended Nearby Hotel: Cape Rey Carlsbad offers families great amenities such as a beach entry pool, beach cruisers, picnic beach kits, and transportation.. The beach at Carlsbad Lagoon is a great place to spend the day on the water.. Amenities: There is a small parking area above the lagoon.. Recommended Nearby Hotels: The Park Hyatt Aviara is a gorgeous property that your family will love.. Recommended Nearby Hotels for Families: Stay within walking distance of the Oceanside Beach by selecting the Wyndham Oceanside at the Pier.

Carlsbad, California, is known for having top-notch restaurants, major golf companies, and beautiful beaches. This city in San Diego County is where you will find…

This city in San Diego County is where you will find warm and sandy spots enjoyed by tourists and residents.. Tamarack Beach Warm Water Jetty Beach Agua Hedionda Lagoon Carlsbad City Beach Robert Frazee State Beach South Carlsbad State Beach North Ponto Beach South Ponto Beach Terramar Beach Beacon’s Beach Swami’s Beach Grandview Beach. Continue reading, and you will even discover the hidden gems that carry the Carlsbad brand of balancing leisure, adventure, and unforgettable memories.. Also called the Carlsbad State Beach, this large and sandy water destination spreads from south of Tamarack Avenue to the breakwaters of Agua Hedionda Lagoon.. Earning its name from the warm water that flows between its rock jetties, this beach runs along Carlsbad Boulevard near the mouth of Agua Hedionda Lagoon.. Closer to Carlsbad’s northern end, Carlsbad City Beach stretches from Elm to Ocean Street (where Robert Frazee State Beach ends).. As part of the Carlsbad State Park, this beach has several access paths like Christianson Way and Grand Avenue, making it easy for you to find a great spot to surf, fish, or sunbathe.. You’d also find a promenade walkway on a seawall below the bluff where you could run or enjoy a pleasant walk.. The cliffside opens to an undeveloped sandy beach stretching across South Ponto Beach and Batiquitos Lagoon if you go further south.. North Ponto is a day-use beach on the northern side of South Carlsbad State Beach.. Apart from swimming and surfing the waves, it’s the best beach in Carlsbad, ideal for fishing and scuba diving.. North of Palomar Airport Road and south of the NRG Cabrillo Power Plant is where this quaint beach hides.. Fronting the Terramar community of homeowners, the beach entrance is gated, but the public could access it through a public stair on either Carlsbad Boulevard or Cerezo Drive.. What are the 12 best beaches in Carlsbad where you could swim, surf, and camp?. Tamarack Beach Warm Water Jetty Beach Agua Hedionda Lagoon Carlsbad City Beach Robert Frazee State Beach South Carlsbad State Beach North Ponto Beach South Ponto Beach Terramar Beach Beacon’s Beach Swami’s Beach Grandview Beach

Find the best Carlsbad beaches for swimming, surfing, sunbathing, and more fun in San Diego sunshine. What to know before you go.

Parking is available at many points along this stretch of highway, including along side streets and several beach access parking lots.. Parking lots north to south are at Oak Avenue, Ocean Street, Island Way, Tamarack Avenue, North Ponto Beach, Ponto Road Parking, South Ponto Beach, and near La Costa Avenue.. The southern portion is home to expansive South Carlsbad State Beach, which also includes North and South Ponto Beaches and Terramar Beach.. Photo courtesy of Visit Carlsbad South Carlsbad State Beach is a three-mile-long stretch of beach located in front of South Carlsbad State Beach Campground.. Located on the northern end of South Carlsbad State Beach, North Ponto Beach is a day-use beach with beach access at Carlsbad Boulevard.. Surfing Tide pooling Sunbathing Swimming (not lifeguard protected). Amenities : There are no facilities or lifeguards on this stretch of beach.

Carlsbad is a coastal San Diego County town known for LEGOLAND, gorgeous beaches, and great activities for families. But where are the best beaches

I also share all the inside info you need to make your trip to the beach enjoyable including where to find a restroom, easy beach access, picnic spots, and parking lots.. Carlsbad State Beach is a very long stretch of beach in Carlsbad.. Amenities: Carlsbad State Beach offers several parking lots, street access, lifeguard towers, and great places to enjoy the water.. Recommended Nearby Hotel: The Tamarack Beach Hotel is just across Pacific Coast Highway (aka: PCH) from the beach.. Recommended Nearby Hotel: Cape Rey Carlsbad offers families great amenities such as a beach entry pool, beach cruisers, picnic beach kits, and transportation.. Carlsbad’s South Ponto Beach is one of the last beaches before Encinitas and is best known for its wide beach and great sand activities.. Swami’s Beach in Encinitas is a popular beach for surfers but it is also great for families.

Come to Carlsbad ready to enjoy the beautiful ocean views, endless outdoor activities, and fabulous dining. This peaceful seaside town is sure to offer anyone a successful weekend getaway.

Just a few miles north of San Diego is the quiet beach town of Carlsbad, known for its charming downtown village, year-round temperate weather, and long stretches of sandy beaches.. A weekend in this upscale enclave will be relaxing and refreshing, offering plenty of opportunities to get outdoors, enjoy the scenic surroundings, and sample gourmet cuisine.. Carlsbad offers plenty to do for the weekend.. If you’ve ever dreamed of camping near the beach, South Carlsbad State Beach is for you.. Carlsbad State Beach or Tamarack Beach has long been popular with local surfers, so if you hope to surf yourself, or just watch others catching a wave, head here early in the morning.. From early March to early May, 50 acres of flowers can be explored.. This is definitely the place to go for decorating your beach home.. Carlsbad has long been a popular destination for local surfers.. But if you’ve always dreamed of learning to surf, Carlsbad is the perfect place.. Throughout the year, 185 species of birds have been spotted at the lagoon.. Put it all together and you’ll have a tough time choosing where to eat.. For comfort food, head to Village Kitchen and Pie Shoppe , a Carlsbad institution since 1994.. Try choosing one near the village to enjoy walking to most of your destinations.. Carlsbad is an upscale town, so visiting here can be pricey.

Find the best hotels in Carlsbad that are near the beach, next to LEGOLAND and best for golf including some of San Diego's best luxury hotels.

I’ve also included hotels in Carlsbad by the beach and near LEGOLAND California in this post because that’s what many families are looking for.. When you stay here, you’ll enjoy a private beach entrance; complimentary beach chairs, towels, and umbrellas; complimentary use of boogie boards and sand toys; a signature beach walk fitness pack; and Sunday morning beach yoga.. This Carlsbad luxury hotel is a great choice for World of Hyatt members, families traveling to LEGOLAND who prefer to stay at a luxury resort, large groups, and guests who need suites as they tend to price reasonably.. Photo courtesy of Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & SpaThis comfortable Carlsbad hotel is actually located right next door to LEGOLAND (adjacent to the Crossings Carlsbad golf course) and has its own private entrance to LEGOLAND California Resort.. It’s a new hotel though with freshly decorated contemporary rooms so if you prefer to stay here with the kids then go for it.

Carlsbad is a city located in the north-eastern part of the state of California in the United States of America. It is about 30 miles north of San

The venue is 1.9 km away from The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch and 3.2 km from Carlsbad Village.. This accommodation is located 2 km from the centre of Carlsbad.. This Is Also One Of The Best hotels resorts in Carlsbad Carlsbad Suites is a 3-star accommodation set a 25-minute stroll from The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch.. The centre of Carlsbad is 1 km away from the venue.. The venue is located within 25 minutes' walk from the centre of Carlsbad.

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