There are quite a few choices for potential Legoland hotels. If you have a car, you’ll find a hundred choices along I-5 within an hour of the park. The handy map below will set you up with a couple dozen mid-priced and budget-oriented hotels near the Legoland entrance. Consider also this map with many San Diego hotels.
Now, if you’re thinking about making this your vacation headquarters, consider the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa and the Grand Pacific Palisades Resort & Hotel (seems the more words in the name the pricier the rooms). You can get to these by the link below. The former has its own entrance to the park, so you could take a break on a particularly hot day and walk back to your room in the afternoon for naps and a short trip to the pool. Then return for a couple hours to finish the day.
The Grand Pacific is almost as close as the Sheraton and is also a very nice option. With its large pool, children’s water park and family pool, you could spend a couple days at Legoland and Sea Life Aquarium, mixed up with time hanging out at the resort. A trip or two to the local beaches. Some time browsing around Carlsbad and other nearby towns. A trip or two down to San Diego by car or light rail. Golf at the nearby Crossings course is an option. You can create a nice resort vacation at Legoland hotels in and around Carlsbad.
There are a number of other nice lodging options in and around Carlsbad; they may require a short drive, bus trip or cab ride to the park but you’ll probably be able to find lower rates than at the two primo resorts mentioned above.
The official Legoland website has a page on what they call Bed and Brick Preferred Hotels. This is a group of 13 nearby hotels that meet the standards set by Legoland. Some are condo or timeshare units made available for rent. Some Legoland hotels may have shuttles to the park and to the nearest public transit station, so you can get around pretty well without a car if you are patient (or willing to pay for a cab).
There are around a dozen places to eat in the park, ranging from snack stands to full restaurants. They seem to be scattered reasonably around the facility. You’ll usually do well to avoid eating at noon; eating a bit early or late will help keep the lines shorter.
On a hot day, going inside an air conditioned restaurant for a leisurely lunch or early dinner might be very helpful in keeping youngsters from getting too cranky (dads too).
There are not many nearby choices outside the gates for dining. At Disneyland and Knott’s you can take a walk down to a number of eating establishments just outside the parks. Not so true here, although you can walk to the adjacent Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa for a meal.
In fact there is a separate gate that provides access for Sheraton guests (you wonder how much they paid for that little amenity!). You could walk to the nearby Grand Pacific Palisades Resort & Hotel, but it is not quite as convenient. Both of these are good choices for lodging, as we discuss elsewhere.