Legoland, then what?
August 13, 2015 11:51 AM   Subscribe

We are going to Legoland, CA for the day and looking for recommendation on where to sepnd the night and have supper?

We are driving down to Legoland Carlsbad for the day, but would then like to continue our mini vacation to a nice, kid friendly, on the beach? Hotel somewhere near buy that will not break the bank. Then, have a good supper someplace that is also kid friendly, but where I can have a refreshing glass of cold Lagunitas IPA!

Thanks for any thought on the matter
posted by silsurf to Travel & Transportation around Carlsbad, CA (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You might check the last 4-5 San Diego threads.

Generally, search your favorite hotel site for places near Legoland. You'll probably want one of the ones near Carlsbad Village, where there's a bunch of restaurants and resorts clustered very close to the coast highway. Because CA beaches are state parks (at least in the SD area), there's not a ton of hotels (or any other services) right on the beach, but there are several across the street or up two blocks, but when I worked in Carlsbad there was constant foot traffic to the beach even from the hotels on the east side of I-5 closer to Legoland (the stretch from Canon Road, Palomar Airport Road, and Poinsettia Ln). You might also check VRBO or airbnb for apartments, since there's a bunch more residential area than hotels.

The setup is odd enough that you may just want to get one of the more reasonable hotels 1-3 miles from the beach and then go TO the beach. It's pretty expensive to be near the water compared to 5-6 blocks away.

You can get local beer pretty much anywhere, and kid-friendly might depend on the age of the kid. There's a Karl Strauss brewery restaurant close to Legoland that's open and airy and the food is good, and there's a Mexican place on Avenida Encinas called Miguel's, part of a local family of restaurants, that's pretty good. There's also about a dozen fast-casual/sit-down restaurants clustered in and beside the outlet mall on Paseo del Norte. Yelp tends to be really reliable in Southern California in general, so definitely have that on your phone.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:26 PM on August 13, 2015

There are some motel-ish places on the coast highway in northern Encinitas/Leucadia that might work, but you'll be almost across the street from an operating train line. Most places north of there and getting into Carlsbad are more resort-y, as Lyn Never indicates. There are a ton of chain hotels lining the freeway for a ways north of, south of, and through Carlsbad (Motel 6, Super 8, Ramada, La Quinta, etc.). Direct coastal access may be a ways from your hotel regardless of how close to the coast it is - the north county coast has a lot of cliffs (mostly south of Carlsbad though), so you may not be able to get to the beach without traveling a bit north or south.

I find it puzzling that you'd want to drink a specific type of beer from out of town when you're in one of the nation's craft brew meccas and an area known for its IPAs (seriously - there are 100 breweries in SD County, and they almost all have at least two IPA varieties). Pizza Port is both a well-regarded brewery and a pizza restaurant, with locations in Carlsbad and Solana Beach (two towns south of Carlsbad).
posted by LionIndex at 1:08 PM on August 13, 2015

We liked the Pacific Palisades with our son. It's the closest non-Legoland hotel to Legoland, maybe 1/4 mile walk, so you don't even pay to park. They have a dedicated family pool, which is great because the adults can go to their pool for quiet. Our suite was spacious for the price. The overall vibe of the hotel is more timeshare than family, but the staff treated our young one very well. The aforementioned Karl Strauss is on site, and while they don't give priority to hotel guests for seating in the restaurant, you can get room service if they're busy, which they are on weekend evenings. You don't have to be a hotel guest to dine at the Legoland Hotel, which has a bunch of cool figures in the dining room. Within ten minutes drive there are a bunch of places to eat.
posted by wnissen at 4:06 PM on August 13, 2015

I want to echo that, for dinner, you go to Pizza Port and drink their IPA. Food is good and kid-friendly.
posted by samthemander at 6:58 PM on August 13, 2015

Nthing the Pizza Port suggestion and I suggest staying within walking distance of the beach and restaurants.

I've gone to the Best Western Beachfront a few times right across the road from the beach and an easy walk to many restaurants including Pizza Port. It used to be relatively inexpensive for the location but I'm not sure now.

If you absolutely can't drive after/before Legoland, wnissens suggestion is within easy walking distance of Legoland. I'm 95% sure I stayed there once and it was pretty nice.

But I found over years that being within easy walking distance of the beach and restaurants is better than being within walking distance of Legoland.
posted by jclarkin at 8:34 PM on August 13, 2015

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