An excuse to visit my brother, sister-in-law and my youngest niece brought me to Carlsbad, CA last month. For those unfamiliar, wikipedia describes the Southern California town as, “an affluent seaside resort city occupying a 7-mile stretch of Pacific coastline 87 miles south of Los Angeles and 35 miles north of downtown San Diego.”
If you have the cash and like suburban life this may be the perfect place. While I look forward to returning to visit my family and enjoy the temperate climate, I think I’m too much of a city kid to ever feel comfortable in such a setting for more than a few days. However, the accommodations, family and the allure of a new place made the trip one I’ll remember for quite some time.
During my stay I did find a few places I enjoyed. Perhaps the best find was Cafe Elysa, which has a large assortment of pastries replenished each morning from its sister cafe called French Pastries Cafe. Cafe Elysa is one block from the beach and has a large covered patio that also includes fire pits to help keep you warm when there is a chill in the air. I enjoyed the coffee, pastries and breakfast foods through out the day, proximity to the beach and people watching. Another cafe just a few blocks away in what looks like an over sized strip mall called Vinaka Cafe was also good and although I didn’t try it, the local chain coffee house, It’s a Grind looked like it was worth trying. If you like chocolate, check out the Carlsbad Chocolate Bar, a lovely shop that sells chocolate and wine (I wish Boston had such a shop). Since we didn’t eat out much for dinner I only had the opportunity to try The Compass, which I’ll review in another post.
Something I didn’t expect and enjoyed was the murals painted on the sides of shops, in parking lots and around the town like this image from the wall of a parking lot in Carlsbad.
If you are planning a trip to Carlsbad, CA and you have any questions leave me a note in the comments section of this post or feel free to email me. I have more information about some of the places mentioned above.