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Neighborhood Spotlight: San Carlos

San Carlos is an upper-middle-class suburban neighborhood about 10 miles east of downtown San Diego that consists mostly of single-family homes.
Named after its developer Carlos TavaresThe area is considered to be “East County.” and was originally ranch land over a hundred years ago. 

Nearby areas include

  • Del Cerro
  • Tierrasanta
  • Allied Gardens
  • The city of La Mesa
  • Mission Trails Regional Park 
  • and the “Jewel” of San Carlos, Cowles Mountain.
Today San Carlos still keeps its beautiful and rural ranchero feel.
A majority of the homes in San Carlos were built in the late 60s and early 70s and were built in the popular Ranch Style. 

Real Estate Prices

Homes and condos in the area of San Carlos currently range in price from $280k - $689k as of 2017 and have seen a 26.5% increase in price over the last decade.

Amenities Around San Carlos

There are plenty of amenities close by that covers everything you would need in the area which includes a supermarket, drug store, fitness center, banks, a post office and much more.

Public Transportation 

San Carlos includes a bus stop at Navajo Road and Lake Murray Blvd (the 115 line) which runs twice per hour between SDSU and EL Cajon.
There is also a trolley stop at Aamaya Drive and Severin in La Messa as well as at the Grossmont Transit Center on Fletcher Parkway which serve both the orange and green line. Both lines offer parking free parking lots and will take you approximately 1 hour to reach downtown which is ideal for anyone commuting to and from work in the downtown area. 


San Carlos has 4 public schools and 1 private school which Includes Gage Elementary School, Pershing Middle School and other nearby elementary schools (Dailard, Green and Benchley-Weinberger).
San Diego State University (SDSU) is less than 6 miles away. 

Food & Groceries

San Carlos has a wide variety of food and grocery options a few of which includes:
  • Albertsons
  • Keils’s
  • Kahoots pet supply store
  • Walgreens
  • Smart & Final
  • Denny’s
  • The Trails Restaurant
  • Mountain Mike’s pizza
There is also a farmers market held every Friday close-by in La Mesa and Windmill Farms (4.2 miles away in Del Cerro) which has excellent fresh meats and great prices on healthy/organic foods and supplies. 

Additional amenities


  • RiteAid
  • Orchard Supply Hardware Store
  • O’Reilly’s auto parts
  • San Carlos Automotive
  • Joann’s fabric shop
  • Chinese, Sushi, and Thai restaurants
For a full directory of nearby shops visit http://www.areavibes.com/san+diego-ca/san+carlos/amenities/

Top Things To See & Do Nearby

  • Cowles Mountain
  • The USS Midway Museum
  • Seaport Village
  • Cabrillo National Monument
  • Coronado Bridge
  • Torrey Pines State Reserve
  • Mission Beach
  • Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
  • Balboa Park
  • SeaWorld San Diego
  • Seaport Village
  • Petco Park
  • San Diego Zoo


Other Community Places

The field at Pershing Middle School is open for public use during non-school hours which includes: artificial turf soccer fields, a running track, basketball and tennis courts. 
The San Carlos Community Park & Rec Center
The Fletcher Hills Community Center (which has a pool–which is open during the summer)
The Fletcher Hills & San Carlos Branch Library
The Parkway Plaza Indoor Mall & Grossmont Center (which includes department stores, and movie theatres) 
Lake Murray which has a walking and biking path, as well as rentals for various small watercraft/fishing

Overall Impression

While the cost of living in San Carlos is higher than other areas in San Diego. The crime rates are very low and the employment and housing options are ideal. 
San Carlos has a livability score of 81 out of 100 and is ranked #22 in San Diego due to it’s stable housing market, plenty of local amenities and low crime rates. 
We hope you found this information about San Carlos helpful, if you have any additional Real Estate questions or would like to learn more about other areas that might be a good place to buy a home in San Diego please give us a contact here.
We're always happy to help! 

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Buying or selling a home is among the largest financial decisions a person makes in their lifetime. We are here to ensure that you are confident in your decision. Reach out, and let us show you how we can help!

John and Melissa Steele, San Diego Real Estate Agents

John and Melissa Steele