Known as the “City of Good Living,” San Carlos is a sought-after town for commuters, families, and retirees. The city has great weather year-round, is populated with redwoods, and boasts a friendly, welcoming community.

San Carlos was considered a rural community long after the towns around it were founded and growing. However, in the second half of the 1900s, San Carlos became a city of an industry filled with wholesalers and distributors for everything from cosmetics to electronics. That boom in the industry brought the population in, but it was only in the late 1990s that it grew into the highly livable city it is today.

Downtown San Carlos has been transformed by high-end condo developments with close proximity to shops and dining as well as the SamTrans and CalTrain station. It’s the ideal community for those who work in the city but want a more easy-going lifestyle where they live.


What to Love 

  • Conveniently located with access to San Francisco and San Jose
  • Miles of hiking trails with beautiful views
  • Locally owned restaurants and shops on Laurel Street

People & Lifestyle 

San Carlos has a suburban feel with charming neighborhoods and close-knit communities. The lower cost of living here versus San Francisco paired with the vibrant downtown area makes it perfect for young professionals, many of whom commute to the city for work. Dotted with beautiful homes in beloved neighborhoods, like White Oaks, residents of San Carlos can have the best of both worlds.


Dining, Shopping & Entertainment 

In keeping with its atmosphere, the commercial district of San Carlos has a warm community feel. Though shops are scattered throughout the city, Laurel Street in Downtown is the main pedestrian-friendly corridor packed with locally-owned shops and restaurants. 

The Reading Bug is a quaint bookstore decorated like an enchanted forest. If you’re looking for someone to help you throw an incredible party for any occasion, stop by the family-owned Diddams Party and Toy Store. Bianchini's Market is an organic grocery, and many of its products are locally grown!

Downtown San Carlos has a wonderful food and drink scene, and it’s especially vibrant in the evenings. Visit Town for steaks and cocktails, The Refuge for the best pastrami you’ve ever had, and Boba Guys for incredible bubble milk tea. There are also two local microbreweries: Blue Oak Brewing and Devil’s Canyon.


Things to Do in San Carlos

San Carlos is a town of easy living, and its events and activities reflect that. Full of small-town charm, strong community, and a leisurely pace, there’s always a place to connect with your neighbors or explore the outdoors.

Every Sunday, the San Carlos Farmers’ Market takes place on Laurel Street, bringing top-notch local goods to residents. October brings the San Carlos Art and Wine Faire, and people from the whole peninsula gather to partake. 

The Museum of San Carlos History showcases the area’s rich past. Take a trip to Hiller Aviation Museum, where you’ll find an invention lab and a flight simulator among the exhibits. There are more than 73 acres of open space in San Carlos, and Big Canyon and Eaton Parks offer many trails to explore the beauty of nature.



San Carlos is served by the highly-rated San Carlos School District, which has been an anchor of the community for years.


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