Since 1965, this southern Californian town between San Diego and Los Angeles has seen an influx of visitors each spring, who come to witness 70 million blooms between March and May. Join in the fun with a stay in one of these top Carlsbad hotels, all bookable with Culture Trip.
Celebrating this annual burst of flowers is a springtime ritual in Carlsbad, with special events throughout the season that include photography workshops and Mother’s Day Celebrations – alongside impromptu photoshoots of visitors posing among the rainbow hues of giant ranunculus flowers in vibrant purples, reds and yellows. It doesn’t hurt that the fields are close to LEGOLAND, beaches, outlet malls, golf courses, and some great restaurants.
This clean hotel is within walking distance to the Flower Fields and less than a mile from the beach. It has 145 refreshed rooms in beachy tones across six buildings, and manicured grounds that include a spacious terrace and firepit, and a heated outdoor pool and spa. There’s a shuttle to any destination within a three-mile radius, including LEGOLAND and Palomar Airport. Ask for guest perks, like discounts on SUP yoga courses, and borrow beach chairs, yoga mats, and bodyboards. There’s no restaurant on site but the Carlsbad Windmill Food Hall is a walk away, with lobster rolls and Korean bibimbap rice bowls to dig into. Rooms include mini-fridges, and microwaves are available upon request.
This Mediterranean-style hotel is part of the Hilton brand and sits on a ridge above the Flower Fields for those who want easy access – and views. It’s walking distance from LEGOLAND, while a free shuttle provides access to outlet shopping and beaches in the area. The property has two resort size pools, a family splash pad, and a 24-hour fitness center. There are 90 fully renovated rooms with light, modern décor, as well as Keurig coffee makers and mini-fridges. The bright lobby is the centerpiece, especially at the Cassara Kitchen & Bar that showcases southern Californian fare like Baja Fish Tacos, plus seasonal cocktails (try the Hibiscus Sour).
This upper-mid-range resort has 250 rooms and attracts mostly families who make use of the hotel’s private pedestrian entrance to LEGOLAND. Recently refreshed rooms have earth tones, mini-fridges and Starbucks coffee (microwaves are available for a fee), plus balconies with either garden views or distant glimpses of the sea. There’s also an attractive lagoon-style pool with palm trees, games, a water slide, and all-day poolside dining for burgers, pizzas, gelato, and a full bar. Other amenities include access to The Crossings golf course, as well as a spa and fitness center with updated equipment. There’s a shuttle to the beach in the summer months and continental breakfast is available to buy in the morning.
This Mariott is a bit more upscale than its sister property, the Sheraton, and both are within walking distance of LEGOLAND and The Crossings golf course. Elegant rooms have contemporary furnishings, bathrobes, and Westin Heavenly Beds. Dining options include a pricey breakfast buffet or guests can opt for grab-and-go items and Starbucks Coffee instead. There’s also a poolside restaurant, and coastal restaurant, which provides ocean views and sophisticated plates like beet and burrata salad and prime cuts of chophouse steak. Wellness travelers can use the spa, 24-hour pool, and fitness center with high-end equipment including a Peloton bike – or go for a jog using the running maps available at the front desk.
This timeshare property next to the Sheraton and Westin offers 208 units, which are either studios with kitchenettes or fully equipped condos to fit large families, in up to three bedrooms. The location, like others on this list, boasts a private entrance to LEGOLAND and easy access to golf, shops, and restaurants, accessed on foot. Two big pools and whirlpools are open year-round, and you can dry off after your swim around the large fire pit. The cushy seating areas have plenty of games to keep you busy, or there’s the fitness center, wine tastings, and access to Westin’s restaurant, Twenty/20 Grill, next door. Parking is free and there are complimentary laundry facilities in each building.
This renovated, former apartment building attracts couples, families, and surfers keen to be located directly on a private slice of beach. Family-owned and operated, the hotel has modern rooms with spacious work desks that either face the courtyard or the ocean – and private balconies for a higher price tag. Relax at the beachside pool or ask staff to borrow beach chairs and umbrellas. Start the day with a free continental breakfast in the pretty indoor/outdoor dining space, and for other meals, a range of great restaurants can be recommended just a short drive away. Parking is free.
This Hilton is across the street from the beach, via Highway 101, and a short drive from the area’s main attractions. Simplistic rooms offer mini-fridges, microwaves, and Keurig coffee makers — some with ocean views. There’s an outdoor pool, indoor/outdoor communal seating areas with fireplaces, plus a fitness center and bicycles for rent. Parking comes with a fee but you can take the free shuttle to places within a five-mile radius, including LEGOLAND and the Flower Fields. Check out the newly renovated all-day restaurant and bar, for pulled pork sliders and grilled veggie wraps, or there’s a convenience shop for takeaway meals.
Looking for somewhere different to stay? Book into one of the best beach hotels in Carlsbad, or, if you’re headed to another nearby attraction, opt for a top hotel near Legoland California. Make the most of southern California by adding the best national parks and the best surfing beaches in San Diego to your itinerary. And don’t miss out on the best ice cream in San Diego.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.