6 reasons why Carlsbad, California should be your next wellness destination


Nestled in the coastal foothills of north San Diego County, travelers will find the seaside town of Carlsbad, California. Known for its landmark attractions including The Flower Fields and LEGOLAND® California resort, it may come as a surprise that the destination is a mecca for wellness experiences.

Originally drawing wellness seekers with its mineral spring since 1882, Carlsbad has grown into an unmatched destination for relaxation, rejuvenation, and restoration. Tranquil in all aspects, Carlsbad is now home to the most advanced and inventive spa treatments and techniques. Carlsbad spas offer a range of services from yoga to mud baths and from manicures to massages, making them the perfect destination for wellness retreats, girls’ trip, weddings, and romantic getaways.

Unwind at the first full-service wellness spa in the United States

Did you know that Carlsbad, CA is home to the first full-service wellness spa in the United States? Now known as the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, The Spa offers an ever-evolving menu of luxurious treatments as well as a variety of water experiences channeling the resort’s roots. In addition to the spa, Omni La Costa offers individual and group vacation packages as well as premier wellness programs and activities including PCF Fitness  and Art of Aromatherapy classes.

PCF Fitness Camp offers a comprehensive approach to behavioral science, nutrition and fitness for a full wheel of wellness that has resulted in thousands of sustainable weight loss and life-transformations for individuals around the world. The fitness camp breaks down into a variety of elements including weightless, spa FIT, Tennis FIT, Golf FITNESS, and Culinary FIT. Art of Aromatherapy Class occurs every Thursday at the Spa, where guests can learn how to use natural aromatic essential oils to improve the mind and body. This complimentary class can be enriched with an aromatherapy massage enhancement for maximum relaxation, mood elevation, and of course, delightful scents!

Embark on a personalized wellness retreat

Perched above the lush foothills overlooking the Batiquitos Lagoon Wildlife Reserve, travelers will find the award winning Forbes Five-Star and AAA 5-Diamond Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa. The resort offers the VeraVia program, an all-inclusive wellness retreat offering individual programs for all wellness seekers including Weight Loss & Wellness, Executive Health & Wellness, Medical Challenges, Stress Management, and Corporate Wellness. In addition to these tailored programs, VeraVia showcases the resort’s abundant amenities including an 18-hole Arnold Palmer-designed golf course, 15,000 sq ft bespoke Aviara Spa, a tennis and recreation center, hiking trails and meditation gardens. Park Hyatt Aviara’s elegant, yet unpretentious ambiance ensures a welcoming sense of warmth and serenity as you create a healthier, happier life!

In addition to the VeraVia program, the resort recently launched Swing Salutations. This 90-minute class serves up a unique spin on yoga, fused with tennis warmups! From backhands to backbends, guests can reap the benefits of this unique workout pairing, leaving guests more flexible, centered, and toned.

Wellness experiences for the eco-conscious traveler

Cape Rey Carlsbad, a Hilton Resort caught drift of travelers wanting to be more mindful of their carbon footprint while on vacation. As an eco-minded resort, Cape Rey developed a green team to better guest experiences at Ocean Crest Spa and Chandler’s restaurant. The property sources organic produce from its onsite garden, and only uses ethically-sourced and environmentally safe products in its spa.

Explore local running trails and unwind with ocean-inspired spa

The Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa makes it easy to stay fit and healthy while on holiday. The property offers a 24-hour fitness center complete with the iconic TRX Suspension Trainer and New Balance Gear Lending program where guests at the resort can borrow New Balance work out attire for a small. The resort also offers running maps of Carlsbad to encourage guests to go out and explore the town on foot. For those wanting to unwind after a full day at LEGOLAND, the Ocean Pearl Spa is the place to be with signature ocean themed spa treatments including the Mermaid Facial and Vitamin Sea Massage.

Explore colorful wellness experiences throughout the destination

In addition to the destination’s cutting edge wellness programs, Visit Carlsbad, partnered with the Pantone Color Institute and quantitative influencer marketing platform Fohr, to announce the results of the 2019 Colors of Travel Study, which identifies trending colors used in inspirational travel photos across social media, and the color psychology that inform these themes. This year’s study included the following Colors of Travel as: Rose Dawn, a dusted pink hue; PANTONE 15-4323 Ethereal Blue, an open and expansive blue tone; PANTONE 19-4535 Ocean Depths, a refreshing deep teal reminiscent of the color of the sea; and PANTONE 16-0948 Harvest Gold, a warmly lit solarized shade, which can all be found in wellness experiences throughout the destination.

Located at Cape Rey Carlsbad’s Ocean Create Spa, guests can indulge in a Red Algae Body Scrub. This purifying facial removes surfaces of impurities and minimizes the look of enlarged pores for a visibly refined complexion. An active blend of thyme, juniper, and tea tree have a refreshing cleansing effect.

Carlsbad is home to a 386-acre saltwater lagoon – Agua Hedionda— featuring nature preserves, hiking trails, and water recreation areas. This naturalist sanctuary offers diverse opportunities to clear your mind and become one with nature including kayaking, paddle boarding, and hiking excursions, to serene birdwatching and waterside picnics.

Experience the revitalizing, calming properties of Ocean Depths at Ocean Pearl Spa at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa. A fan favorite, The Tropical Body includes a creamy fine sugar scrub infused with coconut oil, sweet almond oil, honey and lime, followed by a relaxing bamboo and sweet lime oil massage.

Travelers will find Harvest Gold speckled throughout Carlsbad’s pristine coastline. Harvest Gold can be experienced while soaking up the year-round rays of sunshine, or by squishing your toes in the sandy beaches.

Mindful meditation on seven miles of pristine coastline

There is nothing more zen than the ocean. In coastal California spirit, laid-back, outdoorsy travelers can be wind down by surfing some of California’s best waves, playing beach volleyball, or biking the gorgeous coastline along Carlsbad’s four-mile sea wall. With seven miles of pristine, remote coastline there’s plenty of opportunities to experience wellness in SoCal style, immersed in Carlsbad’s relaxing, serene landscape.

Sam Ross is Executive Director for Visit Carlsbad. Visit Carlsbad is the official destination marketing organization for Carlsbad, California.

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Comments (10)

  1. Isable H says:

    Being a working and single mommy of 3 hyper-active kids, at times, I soo yearn to escape on a wellness retreat to California. But then I wonder where to leave the kids? Leaving them behind at the mercy of nannies is certiny not a cool idea. So, I wonder how many of the above mentioned fitness centres actually have that day-care setting or a kid’s zone, where you can pamper yourself having that peace of mind that the tots too have your back and are doing okay!!

  2. Justin Deshmuk says:

    Just the other day I was telling my fiance that it would be a better idea to plan our honeymoon at a destination that abounds in spa and other wellness options. The wedding preps and house renovations have drained the life out of the two of us. And flying to Carlsbad seems appealing! Is the approaching winter a good season to visit California?

  3. Julia says:

    When you say that there has been a spa at Carlsbad since 1882 it goes to prove that the quest for wellness has been going on for sometime! It’s a human instinct to know that you can live a better life and feel better than you do now. It’s also natural to believe that we can make more use of nature too, whether it’s a peaceful walk along the beach or natural ingredients in a facial treatment. I try to get away for a wellness break a couple of times a year and there can be few destinations more appealing than the foothills of San Diego.

  4. Dave Morgan says:

    I am on a business trip in California right now. Due to the immense workload, I fear I am nearing my saturation point. Guess it’s time for one of these refreshing spa treatments!
    But the thing is most of these exotic fitness and health retreats in the list are featured either in lavish resorts or 5-stars. Whereas I am staying in a not-so-fancy 3-star. Was just wondering what’s the booking process? Do we have to make a prior reservation or is it on a first-come-first-serve basis, with those painful long waitings?And if so, do they prioritize their in-house guests over outsiders (as these centres must have a maximum capacity)?
    It would be great to get some enlightenment!

  5. Helen says:

    Over the years I’ve dabbled with wellness retreats. The one big lesson that I have learnt is that both you and the retreat have got to fully commit if you are going to get worthwhile results. It might be a big ask but for me wellness works when you go home at the end of the week feeling like a new woman and full of practical resolutions for a healthier future. After reading this it is very obvious that they are real pros at Carlsbad and certainly know what they are doing.

    • Cindy says:

      What impresses me about Omni is that there are so many options for treatments, nutrition and exercise that you can put together a very diverse programme for yourself.

      I agree that if you are going to see worthwhile results after a week – and more importantly come away with a lifestyle that will make a difference to your future – then you have to book in to a wellness retreat with a holistic approach. To me it looks like Omni is ticking all the boxes.

  6. Ted says:

    If you ran out of treatments and things to do at the Omni La Costa there can be few better US cities to have on your doorstep than beautiful San Diego for a little R & R.

  7. David S. says:

    I’ve been to San Diego a few times and I must say, I find something new to just keep me coming back. First it was the parks and the universities. Then, it was the beaches, great food (hello Tacos El Gordo!), and the historic and beautiful Hotel del Coronado. Now, I find out the city is also a relaxation and spa haven. Wow.

  8. Trish Huffton says:

    I had no idea about the mineral spring and spa offerings in Carlsbad. I can see this being hugely popular as a wellness retreat kind of destination, which is such a booming industry in itself. Health, wellness, fitness, holistic approaches, nutrition, and exercise, it’s all stuff that people will pay to focus on with a holiday, even though it’s not necessarily my kind of holiday. I want junk food and lazing around! I do see the appeal though, I bet you’d come home feeling incredibly rejuvenated and healthy after a week of off this here.

  9. Moosa GS says:

    Posts like these on travel blogs really help raise awareness and make a difference. The modern times have seen an increasing trend of fitness and wellbeing vacations. After all, our body and mind needs that equal attention and pampering. Such retreats are a great way to escape the routine hustle and bustle of life, rejuvenate spirits, connect with the nature, de-stress, form healthy eating habits and help combat insomnia amongst other sleep and mental health disorders.

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