A weekend jaunt to this Southern Californian town provides the perfect mix of beach time, spa time, me time and Instagram time. —Lise Boullard
stay. Less than an hour north of San Diego, Carlsbad is a laid-back beach town where Californians and tourists alike flock for a quintessential Golden State experience. The ultimate place to stay? The paradise that is the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, with 600 guest rooms in a network of Spanish villa-style buildings set on a lush 400-acre property. Our suite showcased grand high ceilings and majestic French doors—and we certainly felt like royalty meandering the resort’s red-brick pathways past courtyard fountains as palm trees swayed above us in the breeze. California dreaming, indeed.
see. With six pools, two golf courses, an award-winning spa and the world-renowned Chopra Centre, we dare you to run out of things to do at the Omni La Costa; however, if you want to see the beach and experience authentic Californian culture, the short Uber ride to Carlsbad is a must. Activities like pedalling (or not) Pedego electric bikes along the seven miles of coastline or paddle boarding in the Agua Hedionda Lagoon and Discovery Centre are a draw for all ages, and kids young and old will love Legoland.
spa. The Omni La Costa Spa's outdoor courtyard, filled with bougainvillea-covered trellises, orange trees and a lavish fountain, is easy to admire, especially with a cocktail in hand. Sign up for a 55-minute Lomi Lomi massage in a poolside cabana; the treatment uses continuous flow and nurturing strokes to encourage alignment and energy movement. For your inner beauty fix, head to the on-site Chopra Center for study, yoga, meditation and spirit-tuning treatments—like an Odyssey massage that includes dry brushing, exfoliation and meditative breathing.
savour. Though the resort boasts six restaurants (at breakfast, Vue offers sunny patio seating and tra-ditional Mexican chilaquiles) it's worth heading into Carlsbad to experience a range of eateries. Park 101, for one, is a two-level, 8,000-square-foot pub complex serving craft beer and in-ventive Californian fare. On the higher end, Vigilucci’s serves Italian delights like cioppino, veal parmigiana and tiramisu alongside intriguing local wines (we tried the Daou Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, made by a California-based Afghani family).
snap. The seaside city of Carlsbad is also an Instagrammer’s dream thanks to its seasonal flower fields and recent Colors of Carlsbad campaign, the latter in partnership with the Pantone Color Institute and highlighting the psychology of the many shades that can be found throughout the town—think the blues of the lagoons, the greens in the rolling foothills and the pinks in the blooming ranunculus and unforgettable sunsets. We'll certainly be seeking out this year's defining colour, Living Coral, the next time we're in town.