Beach Carlsbad with Kids

Planning a Trip to Carlsbad with Kids, a Travel Guide

Have you been thinking of getting away? Perhaps you’re in need of a change of scenery and/or quality time with the family. Carlsbad, California is an excellent family-friendly destination! If you’re planning a trip to Carlsbad with kids, here’s a travel guide for you.

Enjoy the 7-mile stretch of Carlsbad State Beach or relax by the pool for the day. Whatever it is that you desire, you will be accompanied by perfect weather averaging from 70 to 80 degrees daily.

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Traveling to Carlsbad with Kids

Road Trip

Driving from Las Vegas, NV to Carlsbad, CA will only take you about 4 hours and 30 minutes depending on what day/time your trip begins. With plenty of places to stop for a bite to eat or stretch your legs, the drive time and access to various rest stops make it a quick and easy trip.

Driving with kids is a feat in itself – here are some tips for traveling with kids by car & tips to save your sanity.


Flying from Harry Reid International to San Diego International is a quick 1-hour and 20-minute flight and can be purchased at a great price if bought in advance.

Most airlines will allow 2 free check-ins for your baby’s car seat and stroller (we take our car seat onto the plane so our baby can sit in it -please check with your airlines for this option). Also, most hotels in the area provide shuttle services from the airport, but the option to rent a car is available as well if you plan to see more of the surrounding area.

Whether taking a road trip to Carlsbad, CA with kids or booking a flight to San Diego International suits your family best, your little ones will be so excited to go on an adventure! Traveling anywhere with young children can seem like a daunting task, but I promise, a little preparation and an open mind go a long way.

If you’re looking for tips for flying with your kids we’ve got an entire article you’ll love!

Keeping the Kiddos Entertained

When packing for your kids, try bringing their favorite items as well as something new (toy, book, etc.) to pique their interest. You know your babies best, but here are some things I bring along when traveling:

  • Snacks, snacks, and more snacks
  • Toys
  • Games/activities
  • Favorite doll/stuffed animal or blanket
  • Books/coloring books
  • Charged tablet or phone to watch a favorite show

carlsbad with kids

Where to Stay in Carlsbad with Kids

Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa

Location: 5420 Grand Pacific Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008

Contact: 760-827-2400

During our time in Carlsbad, my family stayed at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa. Some amenities you can expect at this hotel include:

  • Family suites
  • Large resort-style swimming pool with shallow ends for little ones
  • Pool towels included
  • Gym
  • Nightly family activities such as smores night and movie night

Everything is included with the $25 daily resort fee (verify prior to booking). If you are traveling with an infant you can request to have a crib/playpen (you can bring your own crib sheet) in your hotel room and a bathtub versus a stand-up shower.

In addition, the hotel has two restaurants to dine at, a spa if you are looking for a luxurious massage or facial to complete your vacation and a golf course that was named one of the “Top 10 Courses You Can Play” by Golf Magazine.

Other Hotels in the Area

Carlsbad has a variety of beautiful hotels on and off the beach that cater to families. Check out the hotels below for your next trip!

Attractions Near Carlsbad with Kids

The best part of vacationing in Carlsbad was how conveniently close everything was to our hotel. We were able to enjoy some family time out and make it back if our baby needed a little nap or if we wanted to sit by the pool. Below is a list of some nearby attractions for the family.

While you can definitely head to Carlsbad with kids and relax, there is a lot of fun nearby. One of our favorite stops was Legoland!

Carlsbad with Kids Legoland


This fun-filled theme park has activities for all ages. Multiple splash pads and playgrounds, rides and live musical performances. A big bonus was having a private entrance into LegoLand right from our hotel!

Location: One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008

Hours: 10 am – 8 pm

Cost: Day at the park; Free (Ages 0-2); $108.99 (Ages 3-12); $114.99 (Ages 13+)

You can also purchase annual passes starting at $179 with options to have access to their other parks, Sea Life and Water Park.

Carlsbad State Beach

Spend the day at Carlsbad State Beach! Your kids will love playing in the ocean and digging their little toes into the sand. Build a sand castle or have a picnic! Camping (tent and RV) is also available at Carlsbad.

Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance. More information for camping and reservations can be found here.

If you flew into San Diego and were not able to pack any large beach items such as chairs, coolers or an umbrella, you can contact a company called Beach Genie. Beach Genie will set up these items for your family and pack everything up when you’re done. They also offer beverages, snacks, lunch/dinner from restaurants they partner with and beach-approved fire pits.

The Flower Fields

If you plan to visit Carlsbad in the Springtime, The Flower Fields is open between the months of March and May. They are famous for their 50 acres of beautiful rainbow-colored ranunculus. Your family can pick blueberries, find their way through the Sweet Pea Maze or visit the Sea of Sunflowers.

Have you been to Carlsbad?

Let us know if you take a trip to Carlsbad with kids! We would love to hear how it went. Sometimes we need a break from these triple-digit heat days. The beach is calling! Enjoy yourself and take care!

Sabrina Loera recently moved to Las Vegas during the Summer of 2021 with her husband and two boys. She grew up in California and attended the University of Redlands where she received her Master’s in Business. Her family loves to travel and has visited Asia, Central & South America, and Europe. Their most recent trip was to Costa Rica when their youngest was just 9 months old! On the weekends you can find Sabrina and her family at the local farmers market or trying out a new restaurant. She also enjoys reading, cooking, and catching up with girlfriends.