9 Best Carlsbad Neighborhoods To Live In
Are you thinking about moving to Carlsbad, California? Then you’ll want to find out what the best neighborhoods to live in are, right? Well, we’ve done the hard work of researching to come up with the 9 best neighborhoods in Carlsbad.
Before we jump in, let’s learn a bit about Carlsbad, shall we? Carlsbad sits on the southern coast of California (like you didn’t know that already.) More specifically, it is a scant 35 miles north of San Diego, and only 87 miles south of Los Angeles. So, you are very close to two major west coast cities. As of 2019, the city had a population of just over 115,000, with the racial makeup comprised of 82.8% White, 13.3% Hispanic/Latino, 7.1% Asian, 1.3% African American, and .5% Native American. The city is one of the 20 wealthiest in the U.S., and the fifth wealthiest in California.
Carlsbad’s economy is driven by a few core industries including IT, video game developers, manufacturing, robotics, medical devices, tourism, and clean tech. Another thing that Carlsbad is known for is being the golf manufacturing capital of the country. Several golf companies are located here including Odyssey Golf, Titleist, Callaway, TaylorMade and Cobra Golf.
As you might assume, Carlsbad’s climate is fantastic. The city averages 263 days of sunshine per year. Due to its proximity to the ocean, Carlsbad’s summer temps stay in the low 70s for highs. What’s interesting is the coldest months of the year are January through March, with each averaging a high of 64. So, there’s not much difference between winter and summer!
The city has a number of great attractions including Tamarack Surf Beach, a long sandy beach that Carlsbadians and tourists alike enjoy because of its great sand, swimmable waters, and fishing. The beach is bordered by the 4-mile Carlsbad Sea Wall, a great place for walking, jogging, cycling, or people-watching. The city also boasts Legoland California Resort, the third theme park opened by the toy brand, featuring more than 60 rides, shows and attractions.
While the above all sounds great, it comes at a price. The average home value here is over $900k at the moment, with a median per square foot price of a whopping $408. Zillow pegs the market as “Hot” although they also predict a decrease in value of –1.2% over the next year.
On the flip side, Carlsbad was named one of the “Best Places to Live” by Niche.com in 2020, coming in at #29. Carlsbad also ranked as No. 4 for Cities with the Best Public Schools in America, No. 21 for Best Cities to Retire and No.14 for Healthiest Cities in America.
If Carlsbad is still on your list of destinations, take a look at what we think are the best Carlsbad neighborhoods to live in.
Best Neighborhoods in Carlsbad
- Terramar Neighborhood
- Aviara Neighborhood
- Robertson Ranch Neighborhood
- Carlsbad Village Neighborhood
- Rancho La Costa Neighborhood
- La Costa Oaks Neighborhood
- Bressi Ranch Neighborhood
- Old Carlsbad Neighborhood
- Calavera Hills Village Neighborhood
Median Home Sale Price: $1,392,500 (Aug 2020)
Median Monthly Rental Price: $2,168 (Feb 2020)
The Terramar neighborhood is just south of Carlsbad Village and runs for just a few blocks alongside the Pacific Ocean. Cannon Road is the north border, Shore Blvd and Carlsbad Blvd along the west, Manzano Dr to the south and El Arbol Dr borders the neighborhood to the east. As you can imagine, homes here are at the top of the Carlsbad price range and many of magnificent views of the ocean. The others that don’t are just a minute’s walk from the beach.
The average home price as of this listing is just over $1.3 million, but homes can get to over $10 million.
Being such a small area, there aren’t a lot of amenities to the neighborhood, but it does have a few natural landmarks including the Cerezo Bluffs, a 50-ft cliff running along the 101 highway offering spectacular views.
Median Home Value: $1,099,500 (Aug 2020)
Median Monthly Rental Price: $2,559 (Feb 2020)
Aviara is one of the more sought-after neighborhoods in all of San Diego County. It’s located in the southern part of Carlsbad and is relatively new, with development commencing in 1989 and most homes built in the early to mid-90s. Home styles are often Spanish-style with clay-tile roofs, but there are varied designs throughout the neighborhood. Most homes are two-story, although there are single story homes as well. Aviara has strict ordinances regarding certain things like house paint color and lawn moving. This is to keep the neighborhood looking good and property values up. Many communities within the neighborhood are gated such as Bella Lago, which offers spectacular views of Batiquitos Lagoon and the Pacific ocean.
The Aviara neighborhood is home to the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa, which features the Aviara Golf Club, voted #1 golf course in the San Diego area by Golf Digest.
The neighborhood has one main park, the Aviara Community Park, which offers a soccer field, basketball courts, baseball field, playground, and picnic ramadas.
While many residents send their kids to private schools, the area does have the Aviara Oaks Elementary school and Aviara Oaks Middle School.
Robertson Ranch Neighborhood
Median Home Sale Price: $1,136,909 (Aug 2020)
Median Monthly Rental Price: $2,462 (Feb 2020)
Robertson Ranch is one of the newer neighborhoods in Carlsbad. Located just south of Calavera Hills neighborhood, Robertson Ranch is divided into two villages, the East Village and West Village. The East Village, now known as the Foothills has about 400 homes with the first homes being built in 2010. Robertson Ranch West Village is the newer development featuring 308 homes, most of which were constructed after 2017. Toll Brothers, a national home builder, developed the community and designed the homes using Mission, Spanish Colonial, Tuscan, and English Country styling. The neighborhood also features two apartment complexes including Montecito Apartments at Carlsbad and Glen Ridge Apartments.
There are a number of communities in the neighborhood including the Terraces, Ridge, Vista, and The Bluffs, the most expensive community in Robertson Ranch, where homes reach up to 5,000 sq. ft and go for $2.7 million.
The immaculate neighborhood is surrounded by permanently protected open space and has five “pocket” parks built throughout the community. The centerpiece of the neighborhood is the Oasis at Robertson Ranch, a community recreation center featuring large swimming pool, spa, fireplace, barbecues, and cabanas.
Carlsbad Village Neighborhood
Median Home Value: $927,323 (Aug 2020)
Median Monthly Rental Price: $4,038 (Jan 2020)
Carlsbad residents deem Carlsbad Village to be the true center of the city. It’s the oldest part of the area going back to the late 1800s, and is bordered on the west by the ocean and I-5 on the east.
Homes here span the decades with the oldest homes being Victorians, a few of which of great views of the ocean. Intermixed are plenty of contemporary single-family homes as well as condos and apartments.
Here you’ll find most of Carlsbad’s hotels and vacation rentals in close proximity to the beach. A great many excellent restaurants can be found here as well, including such establishments as Dini’s Bistro, which is a great spot for happy hour sunsets. There are also plenty of bars and nightclubs that can get crowded in the summer.
The Carlsbad Farmers Market (aka the State Street Farmers’ Market) is a favorite weekly destination among locals, featuring 46 fruit, vegetable, bread, and other vendors. The market is open Wednesdays from March through October from 3 to 7 pm, and November to March, 3 to 6 pm.
The area also has the famous Alt Karlsbad Hanse House, site of the first mineral water spa in the Carlsbad.
Rancho La Costa Neighborhood
Median Home Value: $860,785 (Aug 2020)
Median Monthly Rental Price: $3,353 (Jan 2020)
The Rancho La Costa Neighborhood is one of the larger areas in all of Carlsbad. It’s located just south of Bressi Ranch and includes the communities of La Costa, La Costa Greens, La Costa Estates, La Costa Valley, La Costa Meadows, and Rancho Ponderosa. La Costa was developed in 1965 as a resort for the wealthy and famous. The resort, originally called the Rancho La Costa Inn (later the La Costa Resort & Spa), offered accommodations, golf, swimming pools, spa and many other activities. Shortly thereafter, homes around the resort starting popping up and the neighborhood of La Costa was born.
Today, the area is still extremely sought after. Dwellings in the area now include apartments, condos, and detached homes—many of which are placed on large lots. You’ll find high-end, gated properties with beautiful, panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Batiquitos Lagoon, or the hilled backcountry.
The Rancho La Costa area has a number of elementary schools as well as several parks including La Costa Canyon Park, a small park that offers a playground, shade trees, basketball court, sand volleyball court, tennis, walking trails, and a picnic pavilion.
The neighborhood has several shopping centers that include grocery stores, convenience store, banks, fast food, and other businesses. The resort also offers some upscale shops for luxury goods.
Restaurants are not plentiful here, but there are some. The Omni La Costa Resort offers the best dining in the area, but a short drive to other parts of the city will get you to decent establishments.
La Costa Oaks Neighborhood
Median Home Value: $1,260,000 (Aug 2020)
Median Monthly Rental Price: $2,371 (Feb 2020)
La Costa Oaks is a beautiful, master-planned community in the southeast corner of Carlsbad. Nestled into rolling hills, La Costa Oaks was designed to take advantage of the natural surroundings. It’s east of the La Costa neighborhood, with its western border being Rancho Santa Fe Rd. The neighborhood encompasses both La Costa Oaks South, which was created in 2004, as well as the newer area called La Costa Oaks North, which was created in 2013-14. This large neighborhood has 12 smaller neighborhoods within it, developed by a number of well-known builders.
There are just over 1,000 homes in the community, most of which are larger homes with 4-6 bedrooms and footprints from 3,500 to 5,000 sq. ft, and designed in the Arts & Crafts style. As a planned community, homeowners are required to pay HOA dues that pay for a variety of community amenities including the centerpiece of the neighborhood, the Oaks Club, a residents-only club that includes a 5,500 sq. ft. clubhouse, competition-sized swimming pool, exercise facility, catering kitchen, and barbecue area. There is also a smaller clubhouse in La Costa North called “The Splash” which offers similar amenities.
One of the benefits of living in La Costa Oaks to having close access to the Rancho La Costa Preserve, a 1,000 acre nature and wildlife preservation area located in the community. Here you’ll find hiking trails, pedestrian walkways, and commanding views of Batiquitos Lagoon and the ocean.
There are highly-rated schools within the neighborhood including Mission Estancia Elementary and La Costa Canyon High School, both of which rank well in state rankings.
As far as shopping is concerned, residents now have the recently-built La Costa Town Center to visit. The center offers grocery stores, restaurants, banks, and specialty shops.
Bressi Ranch Neighborhood
Median Home Value: $1,109,212 (Aug 2020)
Median Monthly Rental Price: $2,371 (Feb 2020)
Bressi Ranch is located in the southeast corner of the Carlsbad area. The master-planned community, while part of Carlsbad, it feels like its own city. There are numerous parks, including the massive Alga Norte Community Park featuring a skatepark, aquatic center, and dog park.
Bressi Ranch Village Center is the neighborhood’s centralized shopping area and includes two grocery stores (one being Trader Joes) along with a number of other shops. It also has 10+ restaurants featuring cuisines of all kinds.
The neighborhood was designed with 180 acres of open space for outdoor recreation and nature preservation. There are paths throughout for jogging, hiking, and biking.
People like living here because it’s far enough inland that it stays sunny even when the coast has fog.
Old Carlsbad Neighborhood
Median Home Price: $898,737 (Aug 2020)
Median Monthly Rental Price: $3,270 (Jan 2020)
As the name implies, Old Carlsbad (or Olde Carlsbad as some know it as) is one of the older sections of the town. The neighborhood perimeter extends to the Ronald Packard Pkwy to the north, I-5 to the west, El Camino Real to the east, and Hillside Drive to the south.
Homes styles here are mostly older ranch-style homes, although in the northwest section of the neighborhood there is section of new contemporary homes with sizeable lots. You’ll also find a small number of condominiums and apartments in the area.
Shopping can be found just outside the neighborhood to the north across Marron Rd at The Shoppes at Carlsbad, a large mall with major retailers.
The neighborhood has several parks including Hosp Grove Park, a 5.5-acre park with a large grove of eucalyptus trees and extensive trails. The park also has a children’s play area with sand lot as well as picnic tables.
Calavera Hills Village Neighborhood
Median Home Value: $711,469 (Aug 2020)
Median Monthly Rental Price: $2,978 (Jan 2020)
Calavera Hills is east of downtown Carlsbad and is coveted for its manicured parks, high-performing schools, and beautiful homes.
Calavera Hills Community Park is a focal point of activity for the neighborhood. This 21-acre park includes the Calavera Hills Community Center, which puts on summer jazz performances in addition to offering a range of activities and classes for people of all ages. The park also has lighted tennis courts, basketball courts and athletic fields, a children’s play area, covered picnic areas and barbecue facilities.
Adjacent to the park is the Calavera Nature Preserve, a gorgeous 110-acre site features hiking and biking trails as well as Mount Calavera. In the northeast part of the preserve is the 400-acre Lake Calavera Reservoir, a man-made lake that features a variety of fish species. To the south of the preserve is the 473-acre Carlsbad Highlands Ecological Reserve that is home to a number of bird and animal species including sharp-shinned hawks, black-shouldered kites, California gnatcatchers, turkey vultures and golden eagles.
The area was originally master-planned back in the 70s and the homes here are a mix of newer homes and homes built in the 80s and 90s.
Shopping, restaurants, coffee shops, and stores can be found on nearby Marron Road, College Boulevard and El Camino Real.
Schools in the neighborhood include Calavera Hills Elementary School and Calavera Hills Middle School, both run by the Carlsbad Unified School District.
As you can see, Carlsbad has a great many fantastic neighborhoods to live in. Each offer something unique, but all have the gorgeous coastal feel that Carlsbad is known and revered for. If you are considering moving to Carlsbad, you may need storage. We recommend West Coast Self-Storage Carlsbad, our newest storage facility featuring climate-controlled storage units.
About the Author: Derek Hines
Internet Marketing Specialist
Derek is originally from the great state of Wisconsin (go Badgers), but is slowly becoming a Pacific Northwesterner. As part of the Internet Marketing team, he writes extensively on storage, moving and life for West Coast Self-Storage, based in Everett, Washington.