Fans of Coastal San Diego

This site is for the many fans of coastal San Diego, those who have lived here for years, as well as those new to the area. Here you can learn more about the different communities, the many things to do and places to visit in and around San Diego, share your experiences, and ask for advice and recommendations for restaurants, shopping, visitor activities, places to live, and more! Buyers thinking about moving here will find lots of information to help, too!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Carlsbad, CA - My Current Home

Carlsbad, CA – “Village by the Sea”

Carlsbad is a coastal San Diego community, located about 35 miles north of the city, offering a broad range of housing, activities and scenery for its residents and tourists. I moved to Carlsbad 18 months ago from Boston, and wanted to share why I love living here.

This town of approximately 95,000 has grown dramatically since its incorporation in 1952, when there were 7,000 residents. Covering about 42 square miles, the town has annexed communities around its original core during its history, the most well-known being La Costa (the area known best for the world-famous La Costa Spa and Resort (below, right) possibly the best known US spa in its heyday, and a former playground for the Mafia and the Rat Pack), so in addition to Olde Carlsbad and “the village,” Carlsbad includes other the well-known residential areas of Aviara (site of the Four Seasons Aviara Resort - happy hour on the terrace is sublime, overlooking the lagoon and ocean), Calavera Hills, and Rancho Carrillo (named after preservationist Leo Carrillo, who owned a ranch in southeast Carlsbad that is now a historical site).

Carlsbad offers diverse, beautiful scenery for all to enjoy: about 8 miles of coast with beautiful beaches (the best known, perhaps, being South Carlsbad State Beach), dramatic hills just inland, offering beautiful ocean and panoramic views of the coast and back-county, and several lagoons (the well known Batiquitos Lagoon, a tidal wetland and wildlife preserve bordering the south end of town, Aqua Hedionda and Buena Vista).

The main reason we bought in Carlsbad was the housing. Although less expensive than its southerly neighbors, the median price for a detached home is currently $774K, and it is almost impossible to find a detached home under $500K, unless it is manufactured housing; prices rise as high as around $7million, although the typical high-end home is in the $2 - $4million range. You get more land with housing, in general, and the homes, for the price, are larger. “Old” homes were built in the 60s for the most part, and there are many subdivisions that have been built since the mid-90s, some of which are gated, a number of new developments in the midst of construction and new sales (e.g., La Costa Greens, La Costa Ridge, La Costa Oaks, Bressi Ranch), and one planned development under review. The town also offers several 55+ communities, a range of assisted living, skilled nursing and Alzheimer’s facilities (Glen View being the best known), and multiple apartment complexes, including 2 new facilities (351 units) being built to meet affordable housing requirements. Because of the topography, there are many different vistas - of the lagoons, the ocean, hills, back-country, distant mountains, and evening lights.

The services and activities the town offers are impressive, and appeal to a broad range of residents and visitors. During the summer there are 10 free jazz concerts (TGIF Jazz in the Park), a 20-year-old series that rotates among 3 of the town’s largest parks, drawing several thousand people to wine and dine while enjoying jazz, blues or latin music. The Friends of the Arts Commission also supports the terrific Cannon Art Gallery, with 5 – 7 shows per year, each of which includes a free reception and a family activity day. Art Splash is a large outdoor arts fair in the village and the town also has several craft fairs and a large business expo.

Carlsbad also has an excellent reputation for its schools, with a territorial crossover to the San Marcos schools, depending on where you live.

Other well-know attractions include The Flower Fields (acres of gorgeous flowers from March until May - top, right) and Legoland. Carlsbad has its own airfield, Palomar Airport, and The Coaster (train) services 2 stops in town, enabling easy access to San Diego and towns in between. Motorists have the choice of several major roads and the 5 for access north/south and east/west. Tourism is a mainstay of the town, and visitors can select from rental units, hotels and several campgrounds along the beach to enjoy their stay, or for more upscale living, enjoy La Costa and the Four Seasons Resorts. Golf enthusiasts will appreciate the world-renowned facilities at both resorts, and shoppers can enjoy and tremendous arrays of stores along El Camino Real, in the Village, the Carlsbad Preimum Outlets, and upscale shopping at The Forum.

Despite its growth and a significant corporate presence, Carlsbad retains the relaxed, comfortable atmosphere of a beach town (see South Carlsbad State Beach at right) with a wonderful year-round climate and temperatures that rarely go above 80 (summer) or below 50 (at night in winter).

What more could you want?


Anonymous Brian Brady said...

This is very good information about Carlsbad.

10:20 PM  

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Jeff Dowler (RE/MAX Associates): Real Estate Agent in Carlsbad, San Diego County, California on