Date of Trip: April 2008
Family Fun Carlsbad
There’s a new kid on the block in Carlsbad, the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa. Located directly above Legoland, guests can use the private entrance to enter the theme park or ride the hotel’s courtesy shuttle, to save $10 a day parking.
Opened in February 2008, this new Mediterranean-style resort offers family-friendly guest rooms with ocean, mountain and pool views. We recently stayed in an ocean-view room on the second floor. It offered two queen-size Sheraton signature Sweet Sleeper beds and a plasma TV. While very comfy, we heard guests above us walking about in their room. Next time, we’ll request a third floor room for a quieter night.
The lobby offers free Internet cafe, a gift shop and a small snack shop. The extra large heated swimming pool and spa, is an ideal place to unwind after a fun-filled day at Legoland. The resort’s Ocean Pearl Spa offers a special Mother/Daughter Sweet Feet package. While mom relaxes with an organic essential facial, warm basalt-stone massage or manicure and pedicure, her daughter can experience a kid-friendly, chocolate foot soak, white chocolate sugar and cream foot scrub, and white chocolate butter cream foot massage, while sipping on a delicious chocolate ice-cream shake.
Attached to the resort is an upscale, yet casual, Twenty/20 Grill and Wine Bar offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the evenings, the outdoor dining patio with a fire-pit is a popular spot for families to unwind and enjoy the ocean breezes.
Fifteen new attractions were added to Legoland in the last three years. The Land of Adventure transports guests back into Egypt. The new Lost Kingdom Adventure ride encourages guests to recover stolen treasure by blasting targets with laser guns. Our scores were recorded and provided a fun family competition. Our youngest enjoyed piloting a colorful plane up to six feet in the air on the Cargo Ace ride, and soaring up to 15 feet on the Beetle Bounce ride. Kids under twelve enjoy Pharaoh’s Revenge as they fire thousands of foam balls at targets and each other.
This summer, Legoland opened a new 20 million dollar attraction, Sea Life aquarium. It’s the 29th to open worldwide, and first in the United States. Much more than a traditional aquarium, it begins in the fresh waters of the Sierra Nevada mountains, continues to San Francisco Bay and out to the Pacific Ocean with play zones, fun facts, and interactive quiz trails.
Miniland U.S.A. now features whimsical and animated models of scenes found in Las Vegas. Miniland U.S.A. is an amazing reproduction of seven areas in the United States, all constructed with over 20 million LEGO bricks in 1:20 scale. On warm days, the new pirate-themed water park, Pirate Shore, is the most popular area in the park. The Splash Battle ride is a four-person boat with water canons at each seat for guests to spray other riders and spectators.
For only two months a year, from March to May, the hills of Carlsbad below Legoland and the Grand Pacific Resort become a breathtaking rainbow of vibrant banded colors of millions of giant Ranunculus. It’s a visual treat for every family member. We took an antique tractor ride and learned of the history of this 50-acre flower field. Later, we walked through the All-American Rose garden, Sweet Pea maze and played in Santa’s Village playground.
Next-door, we discovered numerous bargains at the Carlsbad Premium Outlet Mall with 90 outlet stores offering brand name savings of up to 65% every day. With 11 dining options from Starbucks Coffee, Ruby’s Diner, and Haagen Dazs ice cream, we each found a tasty treat to enjoy on the ride back home to Los Angeles.
For additional information call or go the following websites:
Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa: 5480 Grand Pacific Drive, Carlsbad. Call (760) 827-2400 or go online to: www.sheraton.com/Carlsbad.
Legoland: (760) 918-LEGO or go online: http://www.legoland.com/
Flower Fields: for more information, call (760) 431-0352
Carlsbad Premium Outlet Mall: 5620 Paseo del North, Carlsbad, (760) 804-9000.