Is Carlsbad, CA a Great Place to Live? - Move Central Moving & Storage
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Is Carlsbad, CA a Great Place to Live?

Carlsbad, CA is a well-known tourist destination attracting a record 3.9 million visitors during 2019.  The city’s popular for its lovely beaches, great climate, and awesome things to see and do.

If you’re toying with the idea of moving to Carlsbad, or even spent some time there recently, you’re probably wondering what it’s like to live in Carlsbad year-round. 

Keep reading for the low-down on living in Carlsbad.

Carlsbad CA weather

Carlsbad boasts a Mediterranean climate with short warm summers boasting cloudless skies. Winters in this part of the world are long and cloudy, with cool temperatures.

It rarely snows in Carlsbad, with the last snowfall recorded being just 2 inches in 1967. It does rain a lot during winter, with an average of 2.28 inches of rainfall during the wettest month, which is February. 

Cost of Living in Carlsbad

Carlsbad is one of the best places to live in San Diego thanks to its climate and seaside environment.

Unfortunately, great weather and gorgeous beaches come at a high cost in Carlsbad, with living expenses averaging about 70% more than the national average. You need to earn at least $75,000 per year to live comfortably in Carlsbad. 

Real estate is particularly costly, with an average home price of $814,289, 219% higher than the US average. Is that out of your league? You may qualify for Carlsbad’s Affordable Housing Program launched this year.

The average rent for an apartment in Carlsbad is $2,785, but you can find cheaper ones if you’re prepared to downsize your living arrangements. 

The most popular Carlsbad neighborhoods include:

  • Bressi Ranch
  • Calverra Hills Village
  • Carlsbad Village
  • Peacock
  • La Costa
  • Loma Alta

If you’re looking for more affordable neighborhoods in this area, you should search in the following places:

  • South Beach
  • Kelly Ranch
  • Rancho La Costa
  • Rancho Carlsbad
  • Bressi Ranch

It’s best to get in touch with an experienced real estate agent to help you find somewhere to stay in Carlsbad.

Jobs in Carlsbad, CA

Carlsbad ranks among the best cities in California for wage growth and offers plenty of job opportunities as the leisure and food industries come back to life.

The city is a mecca for the golfing industry and home to numerous golfing goods manufacturers, like Callaway Golf Company, Odyssey Golf, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf Company, Titleist, and Cobra Golf.

It’s also a top area for tech jobs, with many available opportunities. 

Major employers in the city include:

  • Viasat, Inc
  • Taylormade
  • Nordson corporation
  • Ionis Pharmaceuticals
  • Medtronic, Inc.

Software engineers are the highest-paid professionals in Carlsbad, earning an average of $94,687 per year, but the average salary in Carlsbad is $81,000 and the average household income is $110,478. 

Around 5.3% of the 114,000 population of Carlsbad CA are without jobs. 

Schools in Carlsbad, CA

The Carlsbad Unified School District has an A+ for quality, placing it among the top-rated districts for education nationwide. 

There are five elementary schools, two high schools, and three middle schools with an A rating in Carlsbad. This places the city at the pinnacle of primary education.

Carlsbad’s most highly-rated schools include:

  • Kelly Elementary School
  • Pacific Rim Elementary School
  • Aviara Oaks Middle School
  • Valley Middle School
  • Carlsbad High School
  • Sage Creek High School

There are 13 colleges within 20 miles of Carlsbad. These include ten private universities and colleges, two public colleges, and one community college. 

The excellent educational opportunities in Carlsbad make it a great place to raise a family, and around 17% of the city’s population consists of school-age kids. 

Things to Do in Carlsbad

You’ll find an abundance of things to do in this area for families, couples, and singles. The city has a seaside vibe, and the locals are exceptionally welcoming, so it’s easy to make friends, too.

These are some of the best things to do in Carlsbad, CA.

Outdoor Activities 

Carlsbad’s mild climate means you can enjoy outdoor activities almost year-round. The only thing Carlsbad lacks is opportunities for snowy adventures. 

There are plenty of other ways to fill your days in Carlsbad, though. State Parks

Carlsbad Caverns is one of the most popular natural areas in San Diego County, with 119 limestone caves hidden beneath its surface. Above ground, you can explore rocky canyons and ancient sea ledges while surrounded by desert wildlife and flowering cacti.

South Carlsbad State Beach is a top hit for camping enthusiasts, with its 223 campsites, some overlooking the Pacific Ocean. 

It’s a popular spot for lapping up the natural beauty of the area while enjoying surfing, swimming, fishing, and kayaking. Other Natural Attractions

Although it’s not a state park, The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch is another astonishing natural showcase. Here, you can wander among 50-acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers.

Other natural showcases include the Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation Nature Center with its nature reserve and coastal wetland and the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center which showcases local fauna and flora.Beaches

The glorious Pacific coastline offers many other opportunities for sun lovers to enjoy wonderful sugar-sand beaches. Carlsbad’s best beaches include:

  • North Carlsbad beaches
  • Terramar Beach
  • Tamarack Beach
  • South Ponto Beach

The beaches are safe for snorkeling, surfing, swimming, and scuba diving, but you can also enjoy beachcombing, picnicking, and fishing along these shores.Golf

Carlsbad is a hotspot for fans of golf with five golf courses close by.  

The 400-acre Crossings at Carlsbad is a public golf course that blends beautifully into the environment, while still offering serious challenges for players.

Situated just minutes from the ocean, the par-3 Rancho Carlsbad Golf Course boasts over 7,000 yards of Arnold Palmer designed excellence. If you want to brush up on your golfing skills, the Kip Puterbaugh Aviara Golf Academy is also located at this Golf Course.Legoland

Legoland California is a top attraction for both kids and adults in Carlsbad. The park has over 60 rides as well as interactive attractions for families to enjoy together.

The Sealife Aquarium with its 200 marine species is a must-see during your visit to this park. Leo Carillo Historic Park

Founded by renowned actor Leo Carillo, this homestead features a visitors’ center, a reflecting pool, hand-crafted adobe buildings, and historic equestrian facilities.

You can walk around this interesting place on your own, or join one of the fascinating Saturday-morning guided tours.Trail Riding

Carlsbad has so much natural beauty to enjoy, locals and visitors alike enjoy heading out on horseback to explore more. There are many horseback riding stables offering guided rides and lessons in the vicinity.

Some of the best trail riding destinations include the surrounding beaches, deserts, and farmlands.

Things to Do Indoors

On rainy days, there’s plenty to do in Carlsbad. Some top indoor activities in and near the city include:

  • Indoor go-karting
  • Trampolining
  • Climbing walls
  • Wellness spas
  • Theaters and cinemas
  • Shopping Malls

Culture and art buffs will enjoy the Museum of Making Music, GIA Museum, and the Craftsmanship Museum.


Carlsbad stands out as a foodie destination with no shortage to get your three daily meals and also has some outstanding restaurants for brunch to suit those lazy weekend mornings. 

Favorite local restaurants include:

  • Campfire for wood-fired American fare
  • Beach Plum Kitchen for a laid-back breakfast
  • Spirito’s Italian Diner 
  • The Compass offers classic American food
  • Miguel’s Cocina for Mexican eats

Do you love artisan beers? There are five craft breweries in the vicinity, while wine lovers will enjoy Witch Creek Winery and Carruth Cellars Tasting Room. 


Apart from restaurants offering fine dining and fast fare at dinner time, there are plenty of thumping nightspots in Carlsbad.

You can sip on cocktails at Golden Tee Cocktail Lounge, karaoke at the top of your voice at The Alley, or dance the night away at Coyote Bar and Grill.

If you prefer the bustle of the big city, San Diego and LA aren’t far away. Events 

Carlsbad is ideal for numerous outdoor and indoor events all year round. Some of the best annual occurrences include:

  • The Carlsbad Music Festival 
  • Carlsbad Street Fair
  • Carlsbad 5000 Marathon
  • Makers’ Market Holiday Showcase
  • Bridal Expo & Wedding Festival

Apart from these major occasions, you can look forward to many community and neighborhood gatherings like the weekly State Street Farmers’ Market, holiday get-togethers, and sports events.  

Are You Ready to Get Going? 

With all these great things to offer, it’s not surprising that Carlsbad neighborhoods made it into the top ten on America’s Best Places to Live list in 2019.

Now that you have an idea of what it’s like to live in Carlsbad, CA, you can make an informed choice about whether it’s the right fit for your family.

If you’re still on the fence, you’ll find plenty of short-term accommodation options in Carlsbad where you can spend some time lapping up the vibe in this friendly place. 

Have you already made up your mind?

Whether you’re moving from in or out of state, we can help you plan your move. Browse our blog for helpful tips on a stress-free move, and get in touch to request a free quote for your move to Carlsbad, today.

Stan Caramalac

Stan Caramalac started his moving company because he truly believed that moving could be simple as long as it was done efficiently. He wanted to help people make their moves smoother and less stressful. Stan and his team proudly serve San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles and the Bay Area. If you are looking for professional commercial or residential movers then Move Central is the perfect company for you.