Carlsbad Newcomers Guide

Beach CarlsbadBeautiful beaches, award-winning schools, family-friendly attractions, easy access to growth-industry jobs and near-perfect weather -- if that sounds like exactly the sort of place you'd like to settle down, look no further than Carlsbad. This coastal city in north San Diego County is one of the America's finest, and one that should definitely be on your short list if you're looking for some of San Diego's most sought-after real estate. New to the area or just want to know a bit more about this idyllic southern California city? Our newcomers guide is a great place to get a taste of all that Carlsbad has to offer.

A Village by the Sea

House CarlsbadCarlsbad's original inhabitants were the Luseño people, many of whom still live in the nearby Palomar Mountains. In 1842, what is today much of greater Carlsbad was part of a Mexican land grant to Don Juan Maria Marrón, who called it Rancho Agua Hedionda, Spanish for “stinking water,” a feature that would later prove to be important to the area's development. In the 1880s, what would become Carlsbad was a whistle stop on the new California Southern Railroad line. Seeing an opportunity, former ship's captain John Frazier dug wells to provide water for the locomotives passing through. One of them produced mineral water with content equal to that in the popular Bohemian health spa Karlsbad. Soon, people were flocking to Carlsbad by the Sea, the new southern California resort. The climate and geography also proved ideal for citrus, olive and avocado farming, industries that would help the town survive economic down periods. Frazier’s Mineral Well can still be seen on Carlsbad Boulevard, as can the Old Santa Fe Depot that welcomed visitors to the area.1

Relocation to Carlsbad, CA

Today Carlsbad is a medium-large city of over 109,000. This affluent seaside city stretches along seven miles of coastline about 35 miles north of downtown San Diego, 50 miles from Irvine and 87 miles south of Los Angeles, a location that makes Carlsbad ideal for commuting either by car on I-5 or via the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner. It is a city of professionals, many of whom are employed in bio-tech, computer sciences, visitor industry and golf-related industries. notes that Carlsbad also has more people working in the arts and media than 90% of America's communities. That source also points out that you'll have well-educated, fairly affluent neighbors, many of whom are homeowners: over 51% of adults living here have at four-year degrees or graduate degrees; the annual household income is near $171,000; and almost 68% of homes are owner-occupied.2 gives Carlsbad high marks, too. The city gets an Exceptionally Livable score of 81, rating well for housing, low crime, education, weather, employment and amenities.3

Carlsbad Real Estate

Mall CarlsbadCarlsbad is a prestigious community with some of the most sought-after San Diego real estate. There are about 17 constituent neighborhoods according to The city is comprised of four zip codes. The northwest quadrant (92008) includes the village downtown and Old Carlsbad. Homes here tend to be older 1950s bungalows and cottages, along with vintage hillside mansions. The northeast quadrant (92010) includes an area known as Chestnut Hill with older single-family homes. The southwest quadrant (92011) runs along the Pacific coast and includes the Aviara neighborhood. The southeast quadrant (92090) is where you'll find most of the area's master-planned communities. It includes the world-famous La Costa Resort and Spa.4

New homes for sale in Carlsbad are rare. One of the best opportunities currently available is Seagrove, Taylor Morrison's newest community. Our live/work townhomes will put you with in a short walk to the charming shops and entertainment venues of Carlsbad Village. Floor plans offer two- and three-story homes, ranging from 815 to 2,364 square feet (approx.) with two to three bedrooms.

Contact us today to schedule your personal tour of the models.

Carlsbad Economy

Field CarlsbadIn addition to being a reasonable commute from southern California job centers in San Diego and Orange County, Carlsbad itself has a diversified employment base. Major private-sector employers in the immediate vicinity include Life Technologies Corporation, Genoptix (Novartis International), TaylorMade-Adidas Golf Company, Callaway Golf, ViaSat, Omni La Costa Resort and Spa, and Legoland. City government is business-friendly and offers a number of programs to support existing businesses and encourage new business development.

Carlsbad Schools

Carlsbad has one of southern California’s oldest school systems, dating back to 1872. Today, residents of Carlsbad are served by one of three districts. The Carlsbad Unified School District serves over 11,000 students on 14 campuses. The Encinitas School District currently has a student enrollment of about 5,400 students in nine K-6 schools, all of which have been recognized as California Distinguished Schools. San Dieguito Unified High School District enrolls students 9-12 from five area districts.

Higher education needs are met by University of California, San Diego, Cal State San Marcos, Palomar Community College and MiraCosta College in Oceanside.

Carlsbad Living

Legoland CarlsbadCulture, entertainment, shopping, dining, recreation, nature and essential services -- when you live in Carlsbad, you're never far from any of the things that add to the quality and enjoyment of life. Here are just a few of the highlights.

Culture & The Arts

The city supports art in public places through a variety of programs of rotating exhibits at the William D. Cannon Gallery and the Carlsbad Sculpture Garden. Popular museums include The Museum of Making Music, a celebration of the music industry, the Gemological Institute of America featuring a five-story Tower of Brilliance, and the Craftsmanship Museum. The New Village Arts Theatre offers live concerts and performance year-long.


There are many fine golf courses and country clubs in the area including La Costa Resort and Spa, Park Hyatt Aviara Resort and the Rancho Carlsbad Country Club. Hikers can choose from a network of citywide recreational trails. The Monroe Street Pool has competitive and recreational swimming facilities. It’s just one of several community recreation enters that include Calavera Hills and Stagecoach. Leo Carillo Ranch Historic Park is a 27-acre property once owned by early TV star Leo Carillo (Pancho, the Cisco Kid’s sidekick) that features historical buildings. And, of course, there’s the Pacific Ocean and Carlsbad’s miles-long strand of beautiful beaches.

Family Fun

Legoland theme park attracts locals and visitors from around the world. Also on the 100-acre California Legoland Resort are a hotel and Sea Life Aquarium. Another popular attraction is the Carlsbad Flower Fields, 50 acres of giant Tecolote ranunculus that put on a profuse show of colorful blooms each spring. And if you have a need for speed, check out the K1 Speed facility, the biggest indoor go kart race track in the western U.S.

Shopping & Dining

You will find hundreds of intriguing shops and eateries in and around Carlsbad. Major retail destinations include the quaint downtown Village district, Village Faire, Plaza Camino Real, The Forum Carlsbad and Bressi Ranch Village.

Medical Facilities

Hospitals and medical facilities include Scripps Coastal Medical Center, Tri-City Medical Center and RAdy Children’s Hospital.


Transportation facilities include Amtrak, North County Transportation District bus services, and commuter flights out of Palomar-McClellan Airport.

Community Events

Carlsbad hosts a number of annual events ranging from a triathlon each July, to the Acura Classic Tennis Tournament, the Grand Avenue Street Fair each November and May, Oktoberfest at Holiday Park, the summer Seaside Celebration, and Friday Free Jazz Concerts in the Park July through August.

Photo credit:
Prayitnophotography | flickr cc
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mulmatsherm | flickr cc
veganfeast | flickr cc
humansquid | flickr cc