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La Costa in Carlsbad

Author: JillW
Date of Trip: May 2011

Carlsbad offers a lot for Families

We started our summer vacation early this year. Instead of flying to some exotic location, we drove two hours for a weekend staycation to enjoy a multitude of family friendly activities, unwind among a relaxed attitude and soak up the gorgeous scenery of Carlsbad.

Northern San Diego is the home to Legoland and Sealife Aquarium. Since we’ve experienced those attractions many times, I arranged for us to participate in other activities on our family adventure.

Safari Park
Why fly to Africa this summer, when you can visit Safari Park in Escondido. If you remember the San Diego Wild Animal Park, it’s still there, but the name has changed and so have the attractions. Active nature-loving families will enjoy the Flightline Safari where guests soar on ziplines as high as 160 feet above the Nairobi Village offering great views of rhinos, deer and giraffes in the fields below.

My favorite was the Lorikeet Landing where guests purchase tiny cups of nectar and have colorful little birds land on their arms to lap up the sweet drink.

Another memorable moment was watching the Frequent Flyers bird show in the Gorilla Forest area.

While walking by the Roar and Snore Safari camp, we inquired about it. Guests have the opportunity to spend the night in tent cabins surrounded by the sounds of the wildlife and roaring lions. The site overlooks the park’s African Plains field exhibit where campers observe rhinos, giraffes, gazelles and deer. Campers attend night walks, a campfire program, meals and a t-shirt as a souvenir. Since we already had a reserved room at La Costa Resort & Spa, we vowed to experience Roar and Snore on our next visit.

La Costa Resort

Similar in beauty to the Ojai Valley Inn, La Costa Resort & Spa is more family friendly. It’s a destination in itself and we found it difficult to leave, because our girls loved the pools and stores for shopping.

In the main area near the lobby is the Splash Landing Pools with water play areas and a mammoth water slide. Nearby is a sandy beach family pool ideal for little one’s. The place was packed with smiling families.

After experiencing the water slides, we went back to the Garden pool near our room. The large heated pool and warm hot tub wasn’t as crowded and the nearby adult only pool allowed a quieter experience for napping and reading.

At sunset, a rock band set up near the main fountain and BlueFire Grill. Families congregated near the fountain and danced to the music while nibbling Chef de Cuisine, Gregory Frey Jr. delectable dishes on outside tables with heated patio.

The next morning we enjoyed a docent led tour at the nearby Batiquitos Lagoon. With binoculars in hand, we viewed various birds, tasted and smelled leaves on plants and explored the coastal salt marsh and game sanctuary.

Afterwards we drove over to King’s Fish House for Mahi Mahi sandwiches, pasta and salads before visiting the Museum of Making Music.

Museum of Music

This educational attraction offers families a musical journey from the 1890’s to now. It’s a division of NAMM. A docent met us and led us throughout the museum sharing stories about the creation of certain instruments to anecdotes about world-class performers. It’s very interactive for kids and sparked a desire in both of our girls to take music lessons.

The museum galleries are closing for renovations to make it even more interactive. It’s scheduled to open on Aug. 20, 2011. Before our drive back up to Los Angeles, we stopped at the Premium Outlet Mall to find some bargains and grab an ice cream for the car ride home.

With our little one asleep in the backseat, we enjoyed the coastal views while discussing plans for our next weekend getaway.

Information on the attractions mentioned in the article: Safari Park – 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido (760)747-8702. La Costa Resort & Spa – 2100 Costa Del Mar Road, Carlsbad (800)854-5000. Batiquitos Lagoon – 7380 Gabbiano Lane, Carlsbad (760)931-0800. Kings Fish House – 5625 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad (760)431-3474. Museum for Making Music – 5790 Armada Drive, Carlsbad (760)438-5996. Carlsbad Premium Outlet – 5620 Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad (760)804-9000 To obtain additional information to visit Carlsbad – Stop by the Visitors Information office at 400 Carlsbad Village Drive or call (800)227-5722.

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