Welcome to San Carlos
The “City of Good Living” that earns its fitting title through captivating scenery and a lively, effervescent city vibe
Ensconced between the lovely Bay and the hills below the sprawling Santa Cruz Mountains, the upbeat city of San Carlos beckons with its lively downtown district and ultra-charming character. In San Carlos, it’s easy to fall in love with the mild, sun-drenched climate in tandem with having some of California’s finest park space right in your backyard.
Here, the small-town feel is unshakable, emphasized with friendly neighbors and ample community events. Yet, San Carlos residents don’t have to miss out on the exciting lifestyle of bigger areas - thanks to their abundance of retail and commercial availability. San Carlos has worked tirelessly to continue its tradition of excellence.
Many of the homes in San Carlos were constructed in the era between the 1940s and the 1970s, and consequently, there are distinctive tributes to the changing architectural styles of the century. Among the bounty of designs are mid-century Craftsman homes built into pristine neighborhoods, traditional split-level homes, and single-family Mediterranean-style houses, as well as new-builds and well-appointed townhomes.
What to Love
- Unique local shops and a high-energy downtown district
- Strong academics and top-tier schools
- Prime location between San Francisco and San Jose
- Tons of natural resources paired with city amenities
San Carlos residents can often be found either attending or volunteering at the city’s many community events. With a high number of families and professionals, San Carlos keeps up an exciting blend of diverse personalities, all of whom love taking advantage of the local natural splendor.
Dining, Entertainment, & Shopping
The vibrant downtown scene of San Carlos is centered around the charming Laurel Street, which runs parallel to El Camino Real. Among tree-lined streets and red-tile roofs rests a cornucopia of independent shops, including the upscale women’s apparel boutique, Joey Rae. From jewelry and gifts to consignment shops and specialty olive oil stores, the retail offerings of downtown San Carlos never fail to impress.
Local restaurants are another specialty of San Carlos, and once you’ve had your fill of shopping on Laurel Street, you can have your pick of cuisine ranging anywhere from casual, authentic Mexican fare to innovative pizzas and international foods. Visitors and residents alike flock to eateries like Spasso
, where the wine flights are the perfect complement to the decadent Italian dishes.
New American cuisine is executed with flair at Town
, a favorite restaurant tucked away in the historic Tivoli building. Here, diners will encounter sumptuous prime steaks and regional classics like seafood, California wines, gourmet burgers, and craft cocktails.
Things to Do
San Carlos is bursting with diversity when it comes to options for fun, ensuring that residents never run out of ways to spend their free time in the city. At Big Canyon
and Eaton Park
, over 73 acres of shaded oak woodland, soft grassland, and expansive chaparral provide the perfect hiking spot for outdoor enthusiasts, as well as plenty of amenities to enjoy the outdoors at a slower pace.
Just minutes outside the border in the magnificent slopes of the Santa Fe Mountains, Pulgas Ridge Reserve
boasts open space to explore and more than six miles of hiking terrain, which spans 500 feet of elevation and gives hikers breathtaking views of the San Carlos area below.
The city is also known for its large collection of wineries and breweries, with a great concentration of both downtown and the bay. At venues such as Russian Ridge Winery
, exclusive, single-batch wines are all the rage, while other locations like Domenico Winery
feature an old-world feeling tasting room complete with an event space, delicious dining menu, and lively tastings.
As a Bay Area neighborhood, San Carlos has access to many incredible schools. Top educational opportunities include:
- Carlmont High School, 9-12, highly rated public high school among the top in the state
- San Carlos Charter Learning Center, K-8, highly rated public elementary school