Expert Advice

Here’s How My Family Spent Spring Break At MarBrisa, A Hilton Grand Vacations Club In Carlsbad

I could go on and on about this property

Ashley S
Beach at Carlsbad, California, at sunset

When my family and I think of a spring break destination, we want somewhere warm with palm trees. We’ve wanted to stay at MarBrisa, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club in Carlsbad, California, for several years. We finally decided to fly out for a few days over spring break.

Carlsbad did not disappoint.

A Hilton Grand Vacations Member and her family at the beach at Carlsbad, California, near MarBrisa, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club 

Upon arrival, we were greeted with welcoming Team Members. They were the best at giving recommendations of things to do in Carlsbad. Since we’re hosting a German foreign exchange student, we had to reserve two rooms for our party of six. The staff was able to get us connecting rooms, which allowed us to play games and watch movies together at night. I could go on and on about the amazing resort amenities.

Here was our itinerary for exploring Carlsbad and San Diego in four days to help you plan your next trip to MarBrisa.  

Day 1

We arrived at the San Diego airport at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning. MarBrisa is only about 40 minutes from the airport, but we wanted to make the most of the first day. We checked different rental car companies for a van and discovered that Turo was our cheapest option. If you haven’t tried car sharing yet, do it.

From there, we used the day to explore San Diego and make some stops on the way to Carlsbad. The first stop was breakfast at Morning Glory near Little Italy. The ambiance of this restaurant was top notch. We loved the French toast and their fancy hot chocolate selection. I heard the line to get in is usually out the door so keep that in mind if you go to on the weekend. Luckily, it was a weekday when we went.

Another highlight of our day was walking through the Little Italy Farmers’ Market, open Wednesdays and Saturdays. It had a ton of great vendors and fresh food.

Three teens at the beach in California 

After that, we decided to drive to Coronado Island via the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, which spans two miles over the San Diego Bay. My son loved this. We unfortunately didn’t stop anywhere but did drive alongside Ocean Boulevard to see the beautiful beaches and homes on the island.

We made one last stop at Pacific Beach. We bought some cheap sunglasses, beach toys and shaved ice along the boardwalk.

Once we arrived at MarBrisa, we immediately changed and went down to the beautiful pool. This pool is paradise with the palm trees and fire pits. While my son hit the water slide and my girls got their tan on, my husband and I were able to get a long-awaited cocktail from The Cove Bar & Grill.

After a couple hours of swimming, we went out for dinner at the Karl Strauss Brewing Company. This spot had a wide selection on their menu, so everyone was happy. The food and service were great. They also had a ton of TVs for the games that were on.

To end the day, we drove along Carlsbad Boulevard to see the most beautiful sunset.

A Hilton Grand Vacations Member and her family on spring break in California, visiting LEGOLAND 

Day 2

Day two was planned around LEGOLAND® California Resort. We were able to sleep in, thanks to LEGOLAND’s 10 a.m. opening and the private entrance at MarBrisa. This was one of the best perks we’ve ever experienced. We were the first in line and walked straight in.

We had a fun day with the most amazing weather at LEGOLAND and returned to our room around 5 p.m. Knockout Pizza, one of the staff’s recommendations, was the perfect meal after a long day at the park. After that, we hit the hot tub and fire pit before bed.

Day 3

We had heard amazing things about La Jolla, and our kids were itching for a beach day. There, we walked along a trail near Sunny Jim Cave and found good parking. We took some amazing pictures and also saw sea lions.

Next, we hit up La Jolla Shore Park. This beach was full of locals. We swam, watched some surfers and ate popsicles on the beach from a local vendor.

After a few hours, we headed back to the resort — but not before hitting up In-N-Out Burger for our kids. We dropped them off to eat their burgers and spend the evening playing games in the room while my husband and I went out for date night.

We asked the MarBrisa staff for a few recommendations and chose to dine at Via Vai Cucina Italiana. We loved the patio and intimate setting. The lobster ravioli was top notch, too.

The view of the beach in Carlsbad, California, at sunset 

From there, we walked to the beach and watch the sunset. It was a beautiful sight as people from all walks of life came to see the day close out. An oceanside sunset just hits different than it does in Colorado.

Before heading back, we stopped for a quick drink at Park 101 to catch the end of a basketball game.

Day 4

We slept in again before heading out. We stopped for coffee at Interim Coffee — a cute, local cafe. We then went to a breakfast spot called 101 Cafe. The diner had character, reasonable prices and good food. There was a thrift shop across the parking lot, which my teens loved.

From there, we drove back to San Diego for a bit more exploration. We heard the Gaslamp Quarter was the place to stop, so we had to check it out. There were lots of shops and restaurants and places. Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop was a must for us. This was also a great place for our kids to buy some souvenirs.

We returned to Little Italy for dinner and ate at Filippi’s Pizza Grotto, an authentic restaurant and store front.

To end the day, we went to the Seaport Village to shop, see the ocean one more time, eat ice cream and ride the historic carousel under the twinkling lights.

Read “7 Beach Destinations To Explore With Hilton Grand Vacations” for more spring break ideas the whole family will enjoy.

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Ashley S

Ashley has been a Member since 2015. She and her husband were married in Hawaii 17 years ago, and since then have returned several times to celebrate their anniversary. One of her treasured vacation memories is lying on the beach in Hawaii amid palm trees with her grandparents, parents, husband and kids. She and her family love timeshare and want to share their experiences exploring new towns (and spending time by the pool or ocean, of course).

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