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Legoland/Ramada Carlsbad/Premium Outlet

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Sunny Hawaii
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Legoland/Ramada Carlsbad/Premium Outlet

Aloha from Hawaii! I'll be in Carlsbad for one night in early October and I have a few questions that I hope someone will be able to answer here.

Is it too cold in early October to do the water stuff at Legoland? I noticed the Swabbies Deck (for younger kids?) will not be open, but the Soak and Sail will be? What's the difference? Will my 15 month old and 3 year old be able to enjoy the Soak and Sail area with my 8 year old?

We're probably staying at the Ramada Carlsbad by the Sea. Mainly because it's cheap, but not too cheap, KWIM? We'll mostly only be sleeping there for one night so why pay more? BUT, I see a lot of recommendations for the hotels by the beach. Which is not super important (seeing that we have beautiful beaches here in Hawaii), but it might be kinda cool for the kids to see a different kind of beach. Maybe see some dolphins/seals from the balcony, as I've read in some posts here? They probably won't have time to swim (too cold anyway?) so not worth the extra $30 - $50? What do you think?

Last of all, can someone recommend a family-friendly restaurant somewhere on the route of Legoland/Carlsbad by the Sea/Premium Outlets? After Legoland closes at 5:00, I'd like to hit the outlet mall, but will need to feed my family on the way. I'd prefer a non-chain, where the locals go to eat type of place.

Sorry this is so long! I'd just like to make the most efficient use of time and money on my short time there. TIA for the advice!

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1. Re: Legoland/Ramada Carlsbad/Premium Outlet

You're coming all the way from Hawaii and you don't want to spend the extra few dollars to stay by the beach? I live by the ocean in Carlsbad but I still like to vacation in Hawaii and when I do I always book a hotel that is on the ocean.

October is off-season in San Diego and, coincidentally, the sunniest month of the year. Yes, the ocean will be a bit chilly but the weather will be great. Spend the extra few dollars and stay at one of the Best Westerns - one is one the beach and one is across the street from the beach. Both are easy walking distance from great locals restaurants and shopping.

Soak & Sail is a fantastic water play area. I'll bet any amount of money that you will want to strip down to your bathing suit and play right along with your kids. The little ones will have a great time.

The outlet mall is basically right next door to Legoland. Unfortunately, the dining options are limited, especially if you want a local's spot. However, because you are posting on Trip Advisor, I will share a local's gem with you that is extremely close (less than 1/4 mile) from both Legoland and the outlet mall. It is called Tip-Top - trust me on this one. The place is amazing and you won't find a better value anywhere. You can thank me later.

Sunny Hawaii
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2. Re: Legoland/Ramada Carlsbad/Premium Outlet

Thanks for the feedback. I guess I would spend the little bit of extra to stay on the beach if we were staying longer. We'll probably be at Legoland until it closes at 5:00, then checking out the next morning to be at Sea World by 10:00 a.m. So that doesn't leave us much time to enjoy the beach. What time does the sun rise/set anyways? Sounds strange to ask, but that'll help me judge if we'll have time to head it to the beach. And I did read in several posts here that October is the warmest month. That's surprising to me. Why is it? One would think it would be July/August. Interesting...

Soak & Sail sounds like tons of fun! Will it be warm enough in October for the kids to still enjoy it? I guess that's my main concern.

Tip Top sounds great. DH loves steak! Any other suggestions? Doesn't need to be at the outlet mall. Anywhere in a 10 minute radius would still be doable.

I'd love to hear anyone else's feedback on my original questions, as well. Thanks!

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3. Re: Legoland/Ramada Carlsbad/Premium Outlet

October is so beautiful because the marine layer is not as prevalent. The fact that is is very sunny tells you all you need to know about the kids being able to enjoy the water feature at Legoland. If the day starts out cloudy just wait - the sun will come out.

Another non-chain spot -s the two restaurants at the West Inn & Suites, which are very close to Legoland and the outlet. The restaurants both receive very good reviews locally. One is a more expensive steak house and the other is a bistro. Kids would be OK at either, though better at the bistro.

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4. Re: Legoland/Ramada Carlsbad/Premium Outlet

My vote for a very family friendly restaurant near the outlets and legoland is Pat and Oscar, which serves pizzas,pastas, and salads. Breadsticks are excellent. Not fancy and very kids friendly.

www.breadsticks.com is their website-see if you like the menu.

965 Palomar Airport Road

Carlsbad, CA, 92009

they are across the street from the outlets near the Costco.

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5. Re: Legoland/Ramada Carlsbad/Premium Outlet

septocaine queen ... what would you recommend as a non-chain? I've been really pushing the locals restaurants on this board. It makes me cringe anytime someone comes on this board and recommends chain restuarants that you can find anywhere in Southern California (or worse, all over the country). I consider Pat & Oscar's to be one of those restuarants.

You've got TipTop, you've got West Bistro, you've got the restaurant at Crossings ... all of which are non-chains and located right nearby. You've got dozens of places in downtown Carlsbad. I try to steer the tourists away from Islands, Pat & Oscar's, Claim Jumper, CPK, TGI Friday's, Chili's, etc.

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6. Re: Legoland/Ramada Carlsbad/Premium Outlet

SunDevil... this is a place where people seek opinions. You may prefer independent local restaurants, and perhaps others don't. Trying to impose your agenda to promote what you like is exactly that - your agenda. Why ding someone else for promoting what they like. Isn't that the point of a forum?

Keana66. As a local I can tell you a few places that are very close to the Outlet mall which are family friendly.

Karl Straus Brewery www.karlstrauss.com

Claim Jumper www.claimjumper.com

Tip Top Meats & Deli www.tiptopmeats.com

Bellefleur (is AT the outlet mall) www.bellefleur.com

TGI Fridays (across from outlet mall)

Ruby's Diner (is AT the outlet mall)

Islands Restaurant (is around the corner from the outlet mall)

Panda Express (is At the outlet mall)

The outlet mall also has a fruit smoothie place, Rubios, Hotdog on a Stick, Sushi, etc.

If you go to Google Maps and type in Carlsbad CA and search the map for restaurants you will see where these and more are located.

Regarding where you stay. I rather agree with you. Why spend the extra money for an ocean view when you live where the best beaches in the world are? (I love Hawaii) :) If you were staying more than one night I'd recommend a beach front hotel. But if you are really just sleeping one night and spending all of your time at Legoland it's kind of a waste of your money.

October is still warm during the days but the evenings can get quite cool. Most locals wear swimwear under their clothes to the park for the water zones. Also take a towel. They park is also happy to sell you an overpriced Legoland beach towel. You may want to check the Legoland website for schedules and hours. During the off season the park is not open every day and closes early on some.

Have tons of fun and enjoy Carlsbad!

Carlsbad, CA
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7. Re: Legoland/Ramada Carlsbad/Premium Outlet

pipermama ... the original poster specifically asked for "a non-chain, where the locals go to eat type of place".

To me, that immediately disqualfies Pat & Oscar's, CPK, Claim Jumper, TGI Friday's, Islands, and all the other mediocre chain restaurants that you can find anywhere in the country.

This isn't pushing an agenda (I work for a software company, not a restuarant), I am simply responding to the poster's request for a non-chain.

Sunny Hawaii
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8. Re: Legoland/Ramada Carlsbad/Premium Outlet

Whoa! Did not intend to start a heated debate here. But no matter what, I really do appreciate everyone's input. =) I think we will end up trying Tip Top because yes, I did ask for a local, non-chain restaurant, but will not rule out some of other suggestions because we don't have many of those restaurants here so it's all new and good to me!

As for the weather, I just hope it gets nice and warm during the day for my kids to enjoy the water play areas. Bathing suit under the clothes is a good idea. And thanks for the towel tip. I would never have thought of it and would probably have ended up paying for that overpriced towel! Thanks!

Any and all tips are still welcomed!

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9. Re: Legoland/Ramada Carlsbad/Premium Outlet

I always bring a backpack with a towel for my daughter. I keep a plastic bag in the backpack to hold the wet swimsuit.

You will love TipTop - it is a German grocery store and butcher shop. You can pick anything out of the incredible butcher case and they will charge you for the meat and a few bucks to prepare it will all the trimmings. Or you can order off the extensive menu. For example, the "Steak & Stein" is a great steak with all the trimmings and a draft beer. Last time I paid $7! it might be higher now but not too much. They also have an extensive selection of imported beers in the grocery store - grab one from the cooler and drink it with your dinner.

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10. Re: Legoland/Ramada Carlsbad/Premium Outlet

Hi Keana66,

I see your trip is coming up soon so I thought I'd add my 2 cents. Don't take offense Sundevil, just my honest opinion.

While Tip Top meats is great for take out I wouldn't really recommend eating there. As Sundevil correctly mentioned, it is a more or less a market, with it being more of a market than a restaurant. Though a unique and wonderful meat market, there really is no ambiance. We usually go there and pick up what we want to cook up at home. The butchers are so helpful and knowledgeable. You can certainly go there and decide for yourself. It is southwest of Legoland, about 10 minutes drive.

I second Karl Stauss Brewery up there by Grand Pacific Palisades closer to Legoland. Though it is a brewery, they have a very extensive menu for both adults and children. Karl Stauss is a San Diego chain, but now I think there's one in Orange County and LA.

Bellfluers in the outlet mall is also nice but it is little more upscale. But if you like wine, they have a wonderful selection.

As far as the weather, October can be warm but it can also get cool. During the day, it'll be around mid 70's along the coast until the sun starts dipping down around 5. The reason we always say Sept/Oct's the best time of the year here is b/c it's less crowded, the sun is usually shining from early morning till sunset and when we get the Santa Ana trade winds, it's hot and dry. In the summer months, we have morning fog along the coast for most the mornings. Sometimes the coastal fog doesn't lift until the afternoon. But if you go just 10 miles inland, it's hot and sunny all day, everyday.

Well, hope this helps. Have a wonderful time here in our little town.

BTW, where in Hawaii are you from? I lived in Manoa when I attended UH. I absolutely love Kaua'i though. Well, I like all the islands but Kaua'i is just soooo beautiful.