Reasons to Love Living in Carlsbad – Lagoons

Reasons to Love Living in Carlsbad

There are many reasons to Love Living in, or visiting, Carlsbad CA. These include the beaches, the arts, dining and shopping, hiking trails and parks, local attractions, and our weather.

This article is about the 3 lagoons in Carlsbad.


The Buena Vista lagoon borders Carlsbad and Oceanside to the north. Furthermore, it’s the only freshwater lagoon in Southern California. Thus water sports are not permitted and there is limited access. Homes nearby have great views of the lagoon and the ocean.

The Buena Vista Lagoon

The mouth of the lagoon at the west end has a low dam (weir) that allows water to flow from the lagoon into the ocean but not the opposite direction. As a result the lagoon remains freshwater.

The Buena Vista Audubon Society is just off the Coast Road on the north side of the lagoon. It’s a good place to learn about the watershed area, the lagoon, and area plants and birdlife. The Society hours are 10 am until 1 pm Tuesday through Saturday.


This lagoon is about a mile south of Carlsbad Village. The English translation of this Spanish name is “stinking water.” The Agua Hedionda Lagoon extends about 1.7 miles inland from the ocean. Additionally, the lagoon is divided into 3 sections due to the 5 Freeway, the Railroad Tracks/Bridge, and the Coast Road/Highway 101. Bristol Cove is located near the east end and offers waterfront living and some properties include boat slips.

The Agua Hedionda Lagoon is home to the Encinas Power Plant, a YMCA Camp, and the Carlsbad Aquafarm. In addition, you’ll find a water sports facility, California Watersports with motorized and non-motorized rentals (kayaks, paddleboards, aquacycles and more). Furthermore, there is a wide array of plants, birds and sea life species in and around the lagoon to enjoy.

Agua Hedionda Discovery Center at 1580 Cannon Road at the junction of Faraday. There are wonderful exhibits and displays, plentiful information about the lagoon and surrounding area, and educational opportunities. As a result the center is well worth a visit and there is access to hiking trails as well.

Discovery Center at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon


The Batiquitos Lagoon is a wetland and estuary (which means both salt and freshwater) in South Carlsbad bordering Encinitas. Boating and swimming are not allowed. However, there is an annual 1-day lagoon clean-up event when kayaks are permitted. In addition, fishing with a license is allowed at the mouth where the lagoon meets the ocean, and by the 5 Freeway and Coast Highway bridges.

The Batiquitos Lagoon is a beautiful preserve with a wonderful walking trail for several miles. The trail is easy to navigate. Furthermore it offers views of the lagoon, nearby hills, and the Aviara Golf Club. There are several small parking lots along Batiquitos Drive. As a result there is easy access on foot to the walking trail.

The Nature Center is located at the western end of the lagoon at 7380 Gabbiano Lane (off Batiquitos Drive). Moreover, the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation offers docent-guided walks. Hours are Monday to Friday from 9 am until 12:30 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am until 3 pm. In addition, there is ample parking.

If you have any questions about what’s happening in Carlsbad, please contact me directly or via text at (760) 840-1360.


1 – The Arts – Theater

2 – The Arts – Film and Outdoor Movies

3 – The Arts – Music

4 – The Arts – Wall Murals and Sculpture

5 – The Arts – Galleries and Art Fairs

The Beaches

Dining in Carlsbad

Shopping Opportunities in Carlsbad

Attractions in Carlsbad

Carlsbad Housing

Hiking Trails and Parks