This week we spent about two hours and strolled around the area that is known as Carlsbad Village. Carlsbad Village or downtown Carlsbad is located about 30 miles north of San Diego. Even though Carlsbad has grown over the past twenty years as most beach towns have in California, it has not lost its charm. The uniqueness of Carlsbad is proven in the Carlsbad Village area which is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, bars, etc. The area spans over a few blocks and includes the main avenue of Carlsbad Village drive, some of Coast Highway, Roosevelt, Grand Ave., and a few smaller streets.
The shops in the village are beyond eclectic, and include clothing boutiques, art stores, gifts, etc.
One of our two favorites are the Mystical Dragon and Viz Art Ink Gallery.
The owner of Viz Art Ink Gallery is Viz Visintainer, a self taught artist who uses pen and ink on his hand drawn work. Look up close on his creations and you will find hidden pictures, words, and messages. He also features 20 other artists in his store ranging from photography, sculptures, etc. A lot of the art in the shop leans toward the ocean and beach theme and feel.
If you are hungry there are a variety of restaurants to choose from and some now have sidewalk areas for you to enjoy the fresh air. After Mexican food at Garcias, you can get your sweet tooth satisfied at the chocolate store on the corner.
A new addition to the neighborhood is a juice bar at the corner of Carlsbad Village Drive and Grand Ave. Situated next to a small enclosed park, you can enjoy your drink while Fido plays around. Dogs are welcomed here.
Down the way a bit, a small shopping center welcomes it’s new addition, Sun Diego. What once was a restaurant is now this super store that caters to the California lifestyle with clothing, sports equipment, and tons more. But don’t forget your local surf shops like Witts and Off Shore which are just a short walk away. In that same shopping center you will also find an interesting mix of stores and gift shops. If you hear the sweet sounds of jazz, blues, or, pop, it is probably the Coyote bar which is one of few places that still features live music from its cozy patio.
So if you feel like doing a true one day staycation, try Carlsbad Village. You can also leave the car behind because the train station drops you off nearby.