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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 with scattered communities of condos and townhomes.
Named after its developer Carlos Tavares, while still located within the San Diego city limits, the area is considered by many to be “East County,” and was originally ranch land over a hundred years ago. 

Nearby areas include

Today San Carlos still maintains its beautiful and natural feel with Cowles Mountain as the backdrop of the community.
A majority of the homes in San Carlos were built in the late 50s through early 70s and were built in the popular single story, Ranch Style. You will also find pockets of many Mid Century Modern homes that can be very popular among architectural enthusiasts.

Real Estate Prices

As of 2022, you can generally find smaller 1 or 2 bedroom condos around the $400,000+ range. For single family homes, the median price point is around $820,000 with some homes selling up to $1.4M+. 

The area has seen tremendous price appreciation over the last decade with prices more than doubling in that time.

Amenities Around San Carlos

There are plenty of amenities close by that cover everything you would need in the area including a supermarket, drug store, fitness center, banks, a post office, schools, parks, hiking trails 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
  • Pioneer BBQ
  • Cheers Deli and Liquor
  • 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
  • Fast Food such as McDonalds, Wendy’s, Carl’s Jr., Taco Bell, Jack in the Box, Chipotle, and more.
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
  • Mission Trails
  • Lake Murray
  • 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 slightly higher than the median prices of San Diego County, there are great amenities in the area, 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 its stable housing market. 
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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