CALIFORNIA VACATIONS

Southern California is great for a vacation anytime of the year! We have the best weather in the world (I always say) as it is truly perfect and we have a backyard beach to go with it making it so exquisite to live here.

There are endless options for outdoor recreation and access to world-class attractions and an endless summer.

One spot to check out is the seaside community of Carlsbad, California which is all about casual coastal living. (I picked up my dog Quigley from there so I have a soft spot for the place on top of it being such a beautiful part of California.)

Here are some suggestions for why you might want to include Carlsbad into your California travel itinerary!

Endless Summer Fun

With average fall temperatures in the 70s and 80s, summer fun keeps on rolling in Carlsbad. Soak in the sun and the sand on one of Carlsbad’s five gorgeous beaches or a surfboard and hit the waves. For the full beach experience, they say to check out West Inn & Suites’ Pop-Up Beach Party experience. West Inn & Suites is the boutique hotel that was just rated #1 in Carlsbad by TripAdvisor if you’re looking for a spot) which includes round-trip transportation to any of Carlsbad’s beaches and a fully packed van with boogie boards, chairs, umbrellas, towels and beach toys. (I have not covered West Inn & Suites so I can’t review but this is a good rating) It’s being called Carlsbad’s premier boutique hotel (and we love great boutique hotels)

Hops Highway: The Beer Capital. Take a Beer Adventure of Micro-breweries

The 60-mile stretch that connects Carlsbad and Oceanside to the small mountain town of Julian is fondly nicknamed California’s “Hops Highway.” Linking a cluster of microbreweries to some of San Diego’s biggest names in beer, notable stops include Mother Earth, The Lost Abbey and Stone Brewing Co. The Hops Highway Retreat, a customized beer adventure package from West Inn & Suites, includes a round-trip tour of three breweries, snacks and water, and transportation in a luxury vehicle.

Kids Stay and Play for Free

San Diego County’s popular Kids Free Month returns this October with new travel incentives for families. Across Carlsbad, kids can enjoy a variety of complimentary attraction admissions, museum entries and free meals. For the entire month of October, kids that stay at West Inn & Suites will receive cookies and milk at night, a free shuttle to LEGO- LAND California, and free passes to the Museum of Making Music. If guests mention “Piano” when booking, the hotel will also provide one free adult pass to the Museum of Making Music.

Two Fun Museums

Visit to some of Carlsbad’s most fun and quirky collections. The Museum of Making Music shares music history and vast col- lections of vintage, unusual and interactive instruments; while the GIA: Gemological Institute Of America has been showcasing some of the world’s rarest gemstones and jewels since 1931. Just a stone’s throw away, guests can learn all about Southern California’s surf culture and history at the California Surf Museum in neighboring Oceanside.

Food Matters

Carlsbad is home to a variety of restaurants that passionately serve up local and quality produce. Bistro West and West Steak and Seafood, both part of West Inn & Suites, grow more than 50 different vegetables and herbs on their own three-acre farm. Dishes created from the farm’s harvest offer guests a seasonal menu experience each time they dine. From September 20-27, 2015, visitors can sample all of Carlsbad’s fine dining options during San Diego Restaurant Week. During this yearly event, more than 180 restaurants across San Diego County will open their doors with specially priced prix-fixed meals for lunch and dinner.

Connect with Your Creative Side

Carlsbad is home to a rich culture of arts, galleries, theatres and art-driven events. This fall, film buffs can check out the 3rd Annual La Costa Film Festival, September 10-13, 2015, showcasing documentaries, short films, feature films and extreme sports films; art enthusiasts can revel in the works at Carlsbad ArtSplash, September 26-27, 2015, featuring chalk art, music, entertainment and food; while music lovers can dance the night away at the Museum of Making Music’s weekly concerts, held Saturdays and Sundays through November.

Racing Season, Round Two

Just down the coast from Carlsbad, guests can visit the famous Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, the second largest horse racing venue in the Western United States. The track, which radiates an elegant nostalgia, dates back to the 1930s when Bing Crosby greeted its first guests and Seabiscuit won by a nose in the infamous 1938 race. This fall, the track has brought back a second racing season to accommodate visitors. Following the traditional summer season, which continues through September 3, 2015, the fall Bing Crosby Season launches on October 29 and runs through November 29, 2015.

For more information, visit www.westinnandsuites.com; www.weststeakandseafood.com; and www.bistrowest.com.

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