The entrance to the Carlsbad stable, The Village. A variety of shops can be found within that Village that are frequented by residents and tourists alike.
The entrance to the Carlsbad stable, The Village. A variety of shops can be found within that Village that are frequented by residents and tourists alike.
Photo by Mark Kopman

Carlsbad Is a California Gem: What Does It Get Right?

Carlsbad, California is home to 114,000 residents and attracts a wide number of tourists each year due to landmarks like The Village and Legoland — but what characteristics does this SoCal city possess that truly makes it shine? 


Preserved Land

The first, and most visually apparent quality is the preservation of land that, unlike concrete jungles such as Los Angeles, allows

A sign indicating protected land on one of Carlsbad’s many hiking trails. These areas hosts a list of wild animals like coyotes, rattlesnakes and rabbits. (Photo by Mark Kopman)

nature to flourish throughout the city. As the majority of neighborhoods within Carlsbad are of suburban essence, large masses of land remain mostly uninterrupted by human influence. With this, nature surrounding premises like Sage Creek High School may in turn help to reduce psychological stress.

Crime and Safety

As many today struggle with adapting to our changing economy due to high housing costs, resulting in more and more cases of homelessness, Carlsbad has taken measures to support these individuals such as expanding its only homeless shelter to accommodate women and children for the first time since its establishment. 

In response to the housing shortage in the county, Carlsbad has designated land for 3,900 housing units to be built, with 2,100 units reserved for those with lower incomes.

On a similar note, and in contrast to LA’s concerning crime rating of 60.3, Carlsbad only reaches a mere 12.5 on that same 100-maximum scale – which is labeled as “very low.”

An exclusively Wednesday evening farmers market held in The Carlsbad Village. Those visiting the market can leave with a handful of healthy and locally sourced goods. (Holden Kopman)

The low number of crime cases in Carlsbad can be greatly attributed to our Carlsbad Police Department. While California already scores extremely high in terms of police efficacy when compared to other states, Carlsbad’s police force is placed within the top percentile of this already thriving state, as according to Police Scorecard. Aside from “working the street,” the force is also heavily involved in improving the Carlsbad community – often providing additional security at schools and presenting e-bike safety lessons to ensure safe roads.

A recycled water sign placed within a residential neighborhood warning residents that the water is not safe for consumption. Water is likely Earth’s most valuable resource, which emphasizes how important the reclaimed water method really is. (Holden Kopman)


The last, very important aspect of Carlsbad’s culture is its sustainable nature. Between the use of recycled water, which allows for less water waste, compostable or recyclable items in local shops, green businesses and public schools and solar panels lined atop an abundance of residential housing, this city strives to prevent any unnecessary waste. Through this action, Carlsbad – even if slightly – is contributing to the global fight against the climate crisis.

As safety and health issues continue to arise throughout the nation, it should be cities like Carlsbad that inspire others. We, as humans, often seek to bombard ourselves with activities and events, but finding pleasure in simplicity, a recurring element of living in Carlsbad, is what we may truly need to balance the chaos. 


So whether you plan to view its stunning flower fields, take friends and family to the city weekend staple Legoland or hike its expansive trails up to the – thankfully – inactive Calavera volcano, Carlsbad is an exceptional place to settle down

A version of this article was originally published on May 30, 2024. It has been edited and republished to reflect more accurate, up-to-date information.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

The Sage intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Sage does not allow anonymous comments, and The Sage requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Sage Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • A

    Austin JewMay 30, 2024 at 3:10 pm

    It was nice being your friend Holden! Have fun in Switzerland!