Exploring coastal Cali - Carlsbad
Set off for a road trip today, driving along the coast from L.A to Carlsbad, a coastal city in California about 2 hours from Hollywood and less than an hour from San Diego. You’ve probably heard about it because of Legoland and The Flower Fields but I also found out The Chopra Center is headquartered here (yes, of Deepak Chopra fame) and some seriously beautiful coastline as well. I’ve previously been driving here for some editorial work but this is the first time I’ve actually explored the area.
Stayed at the Cape Rey Carlsbad, A Hilton Resort that is only 150 steps to the ocean—its the only brand name property with this access. Offers beautiful views of the beach and you can even see all the folks camping in their trailers along the shoreline. I hear there is stiff competition for parking spots when applications open each year. I don’t blame them, if walking over to this hotel for happy hours and dinners is such a breeze! Every room has a view, mine did too, and it was beautiful taking in the fresh sea breeze and the sound of the waves soon as I checked in. The only onsite restaurant here is Chandlers, my venue for lunch – the Chef here used to work at the Chopra Center and you can see that translated to the food, from presentations to preparation, everything is fresh. The poké was a fantastic introduction.
Post-lunch, indulged in a short bike ride along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) with Rawley Macias, owner of Rouleur Brewing and a local avid cyclist. His brewery opens in April and I hope to visit again then. I chose an electric bike from Pedego for this adventure and really enjoyed it, helped to have some assistance biking up a steep hill given my health issues with my back.
Witch Creek Winery was the drink spot to get evening festivities started. They had an open mic night (all Wednesdays) so I had the pleasure of enjoying some local musical talent. They also have a coffee bar and a patio area. The barista broke off halfway through song to serve some folks coffee! A cool spot in the downtown Carlsbad Village area, nicely lit up and has a festive atmosphere…Definitely recommend it for casual evenings out, whether you have a large or small group.
Walked over to dinner at The Land and Water Co, which was really just 2 minutes away. The visual presentation here is a big plus, and you will notice the façade outside does not speak to the inside décor or cuisine served. Get ready to be impressed! The food here is eclectic, like the décor – there’s cushions on the roof, swords on walls…eclectic.
Of course, I saw a tandoori chicken preparation on the menu and it called my name. Love trying local specialties and the chef’s recommendations but when I see something Indian on the menu, I always like to try it to see what the interpretation is. I loved this version – bed of rice with deliciously flavored chicken on top and fruity chutney to complement. They even had mini samosas alongside!
Back in my room, I had to keep the windows open while I caught up on some work, the sound of waves and a lovely night’s breeze albeit chilly were welcome guests before I slipped into bed...
*In collaboration with VisitCarlsbad. All opinions my own*
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