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Learn About Carlsbad, CA

If you are planning to move to a seaside resort in California Carlsbad may be just the place for you. It is located on 7 miles of Pacific seafront in San Diego with easy access to some major Californian cities. Los Angeles is only 87 miles away while San Diego is 35 miles north. Carlsbad is locally known as The Village by the Sea and it is largely a tourist town. At any given day you will see scores of tourists enjoying themselves at the beach or strolling through the streets shopping. The city is home to about 113,000 people and although most of the residents are white Americans there are other races too.

The history of Carlsbad can be traced back to the Luiseno tribe that lived in the area around fresh sources of water. The first settlers to reach the area were the Spanish Portola expedition which arrived in 1769. They managed to coexist quite well with the natives although occasional skirmishes killed off portions of the local population. Carlsbad as it is known today can be traced back to a sailor called John Frazier who dug a well in the area and started to offer the water at the local train station. The area soon became known as Frazier station. A second well was dug soon after and it was soon discovered that the water had some interesting chemical markers – it was similar to the water in a Bohemian town renowned for being home to the highest number of the world, Carlsbad. The city soon changed its name from Frazier Station to Carlsbad.

According to Wikipedia, the town was founded on mineral water sales: “To take advantage of the find, the Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water Company was formed by a German-born merchant from the Midwest named Gerhard Schutte together with 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 sprouting up in the 1880s. Agricultural development of citrus fruits, avocados and olives soon changed the landscape. By the end of 1887, land prices fell throughout San Diego County. However, the community survived on the back of its fertile agricultural lands. 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.”

The residents of the city decided to incorporate in 1952 to avoid being annexed by neighboring Oceanside. An airport followed soon after that allowed the free flow of visitors. By the mid 70s the city’s potential as a tourist town was apparent and its first skateboard park was built in 1976. More and more tourist attractions continued to be built and soon the city was a weekend getaway for many around California and further away. Carlsbad is home to the first Legoland outside Europe which was opened in 1999. It is also home to the world’s biggest desalination plant.

Part of Carlsbad’s success as a tourist town can be attributed to its weather. Unlike some California cities which get too hot during the summer months, Carlsbad is never too hot or too cold, allowing tourists to visit it year round. It also has a very advanced hospitality industry – there are many great high end hotels and many options for those looking to go on holiday on a budget. There are also many restaurants – whether you are looking for fast food or high end dining there are plenty of options to choose from. The beaches in Carlsbad have been voted some of the best in California and they have plenty of activities to keep both tourists and residents busy throughout the year. You can surf, sunbathe, swim, walk or even just watch the beautiful sunsets.

The city is quite careful to manage its natural habitats – there are ordinances in place to ensure that local wildlife and birdlife are preserved. There are many open spaces where residents can go hiking or biking and there are parks for those who have families to enjoy days out. If you love golf you will love this city – there are several excellent golf courses and all of them are affordable. Carlsbad is also home to a large and thriving retirement community. There are estates that are designed for senior living as well as many assisted living communities.

The cost of living in Carlsbad is higher than the California average by about 32% but this is not unusual in seaside cities. You will pay more for groceries, transportation, healthcare and other daily costs. The biggest cost in Carlsbad, however, is housing. Homes here go for about 100% higher than the national average. According to, “Housing is the highest expense in this seaside resort town–rates are about 100 percent higher than the rest of the country. Of course, some areas will be higher than others–the southeast and southwest quadrants are known for their luxury mansions along the shore, while the further inland northeast quadrant is considered more affordable. The average one-bedroom apartment in the area goes for about $ 1,249 a month, and two-bedrooms typically rent for around $1,475 a month. The median home price is listed at $669,500.”

That said, there are deals to be had for less. If you are willing to live in a smaller home there are those that go for as little as $200,000. Some online reviews even have people saying that they live in cozy homes that they bought for between $100,000 and $150,000. If you work with the right real estate agent you will definitely find something that will suit your budget. It is also worthwhile to mention that there are many high-end beach homes for sale, some of which go for as much as $5 million.