Carlsbad is an affluent seaside resort city occupying a 7-mile (11 km) stretch of Pacific coastline in northern San Diego County, California. The city is 87 miles (140 km) south of Los Angeles and 35 miles (56 km) north of downtown. Referred to as "The Village by the Sea" by locals, the city is a tourist destination.
Carlsbad's history begins with the Luiseño people (the Spanish name given to them because of their proximity to Mission San Luis Rey). Nearly every reliable fresh water creek had at least one native village, including one called Palamai. The site is located just south of today's Agua Hedionda Lagoon.
The first European land exploration of Alta California, the Spanish Portolà expedition of 1769, met native villagers while camped on Buena Vista Creek. During the Mexican period, in 1842, the southern portion of Carlsbad, was granted as Rancho Agua Hedionda to Juan María Marrón.
In the 1880s a former sailor named John Frazier dug a well in the area. He began offering his water at the train station and soon the whistle-stop became known as Frazier's Station. A test done on a second fresh-water well discovered the water to be chemically similar to that found in some of the most renowned spas in the world, and the town was named after the famed Spa in the Bohemian town of Karlsbad.
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.
In 1952, Carlsbad was incorporated to avoid annexation by its neighbor, Oceanside.
The single-runway Palomar Airport opened in 1959 after County of San Diego officials decided to replace the Del Mar Airport. The airport was annexed to the City of Carlsbad in 1978 and renamed McClellan-Palomar Airport in 1982 after a local civic leader, George McClellan.
In March 1999, the LEGOLAND California Resort was opened. It was the first Legoland theme park outside of Europe.
Carlsbad is home to the nation's largest desalination plant. Construction of the $1 Billion Carlsbad Desalination Plant at the Encina Power Plant is scheduled for completion in 2016.
For city planning and growth management purposes, Carlsbad is divided into four distinct quadrants.
The northwest quadrant of Carlsbad (ZIP code 92008) includes the downtown "Village," the Barrio, and "Old Carlsbad." It was the first part of Carlsbad to be settled. Homes range from 1950s cottages and bungalows to elegant mansions on the hill overlooking the ocean. It is also home to Hosp Grove Park, a grove of trees relatively untouched by development and now designated by the city for recreational use, in addition to the Buena Vista and Agua Hedionda Lagoons. It is located west of El Camino Real and north of Palomar Airport Road.
"The Barrio" area is near downtown Carlsbad bordered by Carlsbad Village Drive to the north, Tamarack Avenue to the south, Interstate 5 to the east and the railroad tracks to the west. It was settled by Latinos in the early 20th century. It is the site of the Centro de Aprendizaje, a Spanish division of the Carlsbad City Library.
This quadrant (ZIP code 92010) consists mostly of single-family homes, with larger lots found in the older area known as Chestnut Hills. It is located east of El Camino Real and north of Palomar Airport Road.
The southeast quadrant (ZIP code 92009) features several newer master-planned communities set among rolling hillsides, golf courses, and open space. Residents here are served by the Carlsbad Unified School District and the Encinitas Union School District. It is located east of El Camino Real and south of Palomar Airport Road. It includes the La Costa neighborhood, which in 1965 gave its name to the Gold Medal Golf Resort, La Costa Resort and Spa, now known as the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa.
This quadrant (ZIP code 92011) extends along the Pacific Ocean to the south of the center of Carlsbad. It includes the Aviara neighborhood. It is located west of El Camino Real and south of Palomar Airport Road.
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Updated: 28th September, 2022 4:44 AM (UTC).