Carlsbad Visitors Guide

Carlsbad, CA. Picture-perfect vacation serenity.

Carlsbad California is an upscale community just a half-hour north (35 miles) of San Diego but worlds away in ambiance. The town (really a sub-community of San Diego), ranges from the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean to the foothills of the coastal mountains. Likewise – it enjoys a variety of climate reflecting its terrain ranging from a dry Mediterranean coastal to a wetter forested climate on the upper approaches to Mount Palomar where rainfall can approach 80 inches per year. The name Carlsbad is derived from the German word Karlsbad translated as: “Charles’ watering place. A succinct name if you enjoy German beer, mineral water, and a bit more moisture in the air than usual for Southern California. The community was incorporated in 1952 and named after its famous mineral well, which was discovered in the 1880s. German immigrants built a health spa and began farms that prospered for generations. Spa lovers can still enjoy relaxing mineral bath and beauty treatments at several spas in the area including the original Carlsbad Mineral Water Spa.

Delightful Carlsbad is a coastal resort city located about 35 miles north of downtown San Diego. The seashore location, bustling business sector, and excellent school district make Carlsbad a terrific choice for home seekers. Neighborhoods here consist of four distinct regions: Northwest quadrant, Northeast quadrant, Southeast quadrant, and Southwest quadrant. Residential communities include places like Olde Carlsbad, The Colony, La Costa Oaks, and Aviara.

Location of Carlsbad within San Diego County, California.

Carlsbad is a suburban city located in northern San Diego County, California. According to the state Department of Finance, the city had a total population of 90,271 in 2003. Carlsbad was incorporated in 1952, in large part to generate sufficient funding to connect with the water pipeline running through San Diego County, but also to avoid being annexed by Oceanside.

The environment is of great concern to the city. Thus, the city has drafted ordinances protecting sensitive wildlife habitat, one of the first such ordinances within the state of California. The city has also promised to protect a certain amount of land within city limits from development of any kind, along with spending significant funds to restore habitats destroyed by newer development projects.

Because of its location, relatively low population density, and high performing school districts, the city is seen to have a rather high quality of life. Thus, real estate tends to be rather expensive compared to most cities, especially in newer developments.

Carlsbad Overview

Carlsbad is located at 337’19” North, 11717’49” West (33.121990, -117.296811)GR1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 105.6 km (40.8 mi). 97.0 km (37.4 mi) of it is land and 8.7 km (3.4 mi) of it is water. The total area is 8.24% water, most of which is contained within three lagoons and one lake.

Today Carlsbad seems to be a mini-northern European town with its half-timbered Tudor and quaint Queen Anne styled buildings downtown and grand windmill along the freeway. Nearby dozens of acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers, roses, and poinsettia fields bloom six to eight weeks a year (March-May) at the world-famous Flower Farm. The massive amount of colors that greets the eye is stunning. The farm is the only Ranunculus farm in the world open to the public and is considered to be a Southern California Heritage Site.

Carlsbad’s 90,000-person population is active year-round with activities such as ArtSplash, Art in the Village, Oktoberfest, street fairs, a Mexican Fiesta, and local theatre productions. Mountain bikers enjoy the runs down the nearby foothills while surfing lessons are popular and available on the excellent beaches. Even the Army/Navy Military Academy prep school (conveniently situated on a bluff above the beach) has surf lessons for its students. A military cadets’ life need not be just about practicing marksmanship and marching drills.

Semi-rural Carlsbad is within easy commute of San Diego and other county business centers, and sports a small high-tech and science industrial park of its own. The Legoland children’s theme park, the Aviara and La Costa golf and tennis resorts, numerous lagoons, and estuaries filled with hundreds of species of flora and fauna, un-crowded beaches, the Mount Palomar Astronomical Observatory, and miles of hiking and biking trails – all combine to give Carlsbad’s fortunate residents and visitors a break from the otherwise fast life of Southern California.

Founded by conservative nature-loving Germans who today still comprise 20% of the population – the community works actively to preserve its semi-rural tranquility. The famous La Costa Hotel Resort and Spa, features two 18-hole designer golf courses, 19 tennis courts, gourmet restaurants, upscale boutiques, the Dr. Deepak Chopra Center, and many luxury condominiums for purchase. In February, La Costa Resort & Spa hosts events such as the Accenture Match Play Championship and The Acura Classic- the largest professional women’s tennis tournament (WTA) in the world.

Condo buyers can choose the lifestyle they prefer in Carlsbad ranging from coastal village neighborhoods to more rural settings with views of mountains, valleys, lagoons, and the coast such as found at the 1,000 acre Aviara community. Built around a Four Seasons Aviara Resort, a 331-room, five-star golf, and spa hotel – Aviara features an 18-hole Arnold Palmer public golf course integrated within a gated housing development.

Condo buyers or renters will enjoy tree-lined streets with miles of hiking, running, and biking trails to explore overlooking nearby Batiquitos Lagoon and the Aviara golf course. Carlsbad real estate is known to be among the most pricey in the nation with average home prices – number 3 behind La Jolla and in Rancho Santa Fe – both upscale communities located in San Diego County.

Local industries include hotels and spas, golf equipment manufacturer Calloway, K2 the winter sports equipment company, and biotech companies. Legoland the children’s theme park makes its California home here as well as the Army-Navy Academy – the only facility of its kind offering military prep school education to boys from around the world. Carlsbad downtown Village retains a turn of the century old-world ambiance with many shops and restaurants to peruse. Your condominium home or vacation rental in Carlsbad will take you back to a timeless hectic, and closer to nature as California used to be.

The northern area of the city is considered a part of Tri-City, which consists of northern Carlsbad, southern Oceanside, and western Vista.

Carlsbad California – History

Carlsbad’s history begins with the Luiseo people who located one of their villages, Palamas, near what is today Agua Hedionda Lagoon. Modern-day Carlsbad came about when in the 1880s a former sea captain named John Frazier dug a well for water. He began offering his water at the train station and soon the whistlestop became known as Frazier’s Station. A test done on a second fresh-water well found the water to be chemically similar to one of the most famous spas in Europe located in Carlsbad (Karlovy Vary), Czech Republic.

To take advantage of this find, a partnership named the Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water Company was founded. It was founded by a German-born merchant from the Midwest named Gerhard Schutte, Samuel Church Smith, D.D.Wadsworth and Henry Nelson. The naming of the town followed soon-after along with a major marketing campaign to attract visitors. The area experienced a period of growth, with homes and businesses appearing.

But by the end of 1887, the real estate bubble had burst and land prices slid all throughout San Diego County. The community survived though, due to the agricultural opportunities available. The site of John Frazier’s original well can still be found at Alt Karlsbad, a replica of a German Hanseatic house, located on Carlsbad Boulevard.

Carlsbad is also the hometown of Shaun White.
Carlsbad also serves as the filming location for the FOX original series Point Pleasant.
Gary Hardwick, Guinness World Record holder for “Fastest Skateboarder” makes his residence in Carlsbad.

Real Estate Property in Carlsbad, CA

A variety of real estate is available in Carlsbad such as condos and townhomes, nearly new houses, and private swimming pool homes. Anticipate a unique perspective as a homeowner of an ocean view residence. Fun-filled attractions are the Museum of Making Music, New Village Arts Theatre, Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch, and the family-friendly Legoland. Whether you are an active retired adult or a busy professional with a family, Carlsbad has the perfect property.

Carlsbad Neighborhoods

Agua Hedionda Lagoon
Alga Hills
Alta Mira
Arroyo Vista
Aviara
Bay Collection
Bella Lago
Bressi Ranch
Bristol Cove
Calavera Hills
Carlsbad Village
Emerald Pointe Estates
Evans Point
Foothills
Hanover Beach Colony
Harbor Pointe
Jockey Club
La Costa Estates
La Costa Greens
La Costa Meadows
La Costa Oaks
La Costa Resort
La Costa Ridge
La Costa Valley
Lakeshore Gardens
Las Playas
Mar Brisa
Meadowridge
Olde Carlsbad
Pavona
Poinsettia Park
Rancho Carrillo
Rancho Ponderosa
San Sebastian
Santa Fe Trails
Sea Cliff
Sea Point Tennis Club
Seabright
Seaside Estates
Serenata
Spinnaker Hill
Spyglass Hills
Sunny Creek
Terramar
The Ranch
Tiburon
Tierra Del Oro
Tramonto

Carlsbad Market Facts

Homes Currently For Sale 292
Average Home Price $990,023
Homes Built Between 1922 – 2016
Ocean View Homes 15.4%
Homes With A Pool 11.6%
Golf Course Properties 0%