Introduction to Carlsbad, California

The suburban city of Carlsbad is located in northern San Diego County, California. Surrounded by mountains, lagoons and the Pacific Ocean, the city is situated on the Pacific Coast about 35 miles north of San Diego and about 60 miles south of Anaheim. Along with the cities of Vista and Oceanside, Carlsbad forms a third leg in what is called the "Tri-City Area" of the county.

Incorporated in 1952, Carlsbad is a "general law" city, meaning that the city follows the general laws of the State of California as opposed to having a city charter of its own. The city is governed by a City Council, whose four members, along with the Mayor, are elected officials who serve a four-year term of office.

The modern-day story of Carlsbad can be traced to the digging of wells in the late 19th century and the discovery that the drinking water from those wells possessed chemical characteristics very similar to a very famous European spa located in Carlsbad, Czech Republic. To capitalize on this find, a partnership named the Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water Company was founded. The naming of the town followed shortly thereafter along with a major marketing campaign to attract visitors. Present-day Carlsbad is a full service city whose industries include a major regional shopping center, hotels, high technology businesses, electronics, golf apparel and equipment manufacturers, industrial parks, and ongoing land and housing development serving a variety of community types. Carlsbad is home to children's book publisher Big Guy Books, and also to the headquarters of the Gemological Institute of America.

Attractions in and around Carlsbad

Carlsbad is the home of LEGOLAND California, a family entertainment park specifically geared towards children ages 2-12 and featuring rides, shows and attractions. Other sites of interest in Carlsbad include:

  • Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch
  • Carlsbad Skatepark
  • Museum of Making Music
  • Carlsbad Village Farmers' Market
  • The Carlsbad Premium Outlets
  • Leo Carrillo Ranch

Carlsbad's proximity to both San Diego and Anaheim affords residents and visitors easy access to several popular California attractions, including the following:

  • Disneyland & Disney's California Adventure Park (Anaheim)
  • Knott's Soak City & and Knott's Berry Farm (Buena Park)
  • Sea World (San Diego)
  • Balboa Park (San Diego)
  • San Diego Zoo
  • San Diego Museum of Art
  • San Diego Aerospace Museum
  • San Diego Wild Animal Park

A variety of professional sports teams reside within comfortable driving distance of Carlsbad. Some of these are:

  • Baseball (Major Leagues):
    • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
    • San Diego Padres
  • Baseball (Minor Leagues):
    • San Diego SurfDawgs (Golden Baseball League: unaffiliated)
  • NFL Football:
    • San Diego Chargers
  • NHL Hockey:
    • Anaheim Mighty Ducks


Total Population 110,830
Male Share of the Population 49.6%
Female Share of the Population 50.4%
Senior Citizens 15.6%
Employed Population 16+ 51,040
Age of the Population 42


% of people married 56.8%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 54.2%
Median Earnings25+ $55,205
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $23,835
Median Earnings With High School Degree $30,095


Median Family Income $107,278
% Above Poverty Level 90.9%
% Below Poverty Level 9.1%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 29 minutes
% Working from Home 11%
% Walking and Biking to Work 1.8%
% Using Public Transportation 2.3%


People Living Alone 24.2%
Median Gross Rent $1,762
Median House Value $645,100


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 30.9%
US/American 0.2%
English 14.3%
Irish 14%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Carlsbad Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 32 miles N of San Diego, California
County San Diego
Metro Area San Diego
Standard Zip Codes 92008, 92009
P.O. Box Zip Codes 92013, 92018
Phone Area Codes 760
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 33.158
Longitude -117.349

Carlsbad Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 5 miles
Jan Temp 45 to 64 F
Apr Temp 51 to 65 F
Jul Temp 63 to 72 F
Oct Temp 56 to 71 F
Annual Precip 11.1 inches
Distance 9.8 miles
Jan Temp 42 to 69 F
Apr Temp 48 to 71 F
Jul Temp 60 to 81 F
Oct Temp 53 to 78 F
Annual Precip 13.2 inches
Distance 20.7 miles
Jan Temp 39 to 70 F
Apr Temp 46 to 76 F
Jul Temp 58 to 90 F
Oct Temp 50 to 83 F
Annual Precip 14 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Encinitas 61,682 $114,496
Oceanside 173,050 $68,352
San Marcos 89,578 $65,746
Solana Beach 13,253 $116,069
Vista 97,564 $55,646

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Carlsbad Public Libraries

Carlsbad City Library
Carlsbad, California
(760) 602-2011

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Carlsbad High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 2,877 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 23.5

A Non-traditional School
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 172 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 21

A Non-traditional School
Serves 120 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20

Carlsbad Colleges

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