Stroller-friendly with its bluff top walking path and lower seawall, Carlsbad State Beach is a long and sandy beach close to Carlsbad Village, a quaint window-shopping area with a variety of restaurants. Babies and toddlers will love hanging out on the patch of grass at its north end, where dogs and humans congregate to watch the sunset.
Atmosphere: This long stretch of sand below bluffs attracts a lot of vacationers in the summer and exercisers year-round. Look for a touristy beach vibe peppered with retirees and families with small children.
Parking and Entrance: Parking all along Carlsbad Blvd. (Hwy. 1), in two lots at Carlsbad Village Dr. and Tamarack Ave., and side streets. Enter the beach through two accessible ramps at Pine Ave. and Tamarack; steep stairs elsewhere.
Nice Walks and Views: Stroll along the bluff top boardwalk or sit on the grass area by Harbor Fish for a birds-eye view of the ocean.
Activities for Toddlers: Toddler-size rocks on the beach for climbing, squirrels and rabbits in the hillside and dogs on the boardwalk.
Bathrooms: At the ramps on Pine and Tamarack. Showers at both locations.
Perks for Parents: Let dad surf at Tamarack while the baby sleeps under the umbrella. Volleyball courts just north of main beach.
Where to Stay with Kids: Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort, walking distance to the beach and village, microwave, refrigerator and children’s pool. Rent all sorts of beach gear, including joggers. Camp closer to South Carlsbad at the state beach campground.
Baby-friendly Restaurants: Walk to Pizza Port, which is loud enough for babies to cry and busy enough to entertain roaming toddlers. Good beer and bench seating.
What Else to Do: Carlsbad is home to LEGOland, the Sea Life Aquarium, and the Museum of Making Music.