Welcome To

San Carlos

One of the most desired places to live in the Bay Area

Welcome to San Carlos

Great schools and neighbors in “The City of Good Living”

San Carlos, California’s official motto is “The City of Good Living.” Located almost equidistant from San Francisco and San Jose, San Carlos offers an easy and comfortable commute to the entire Bay Area, whether it is downtown San Francisco, San Jose or Silicon Valley. Not that long ago, San Carlos had a sleepy, mostly abandoned downtown. However, in recent years it has become one of the most desired places to live in the Bay Area, sometimes being referred to as a “mini-Palo Alto.” The downtown was recently revitalized and is now a hustling and thriving hub of popular restaurants, wine bars, and shopping.

With the revitalized downtown and the surging popularity of San Carlos, there has been a bevy of new construction in the area, including luxury condominiums. Many of the older single-family homes have also been renovated and expanded. However, the area still retains much of its traditional charm. Among those homes, there is a variety of architectural styles, ranging from mid-century cottage-style homes to custom-built contemporary homes. 

What to Love

  • Central location between San Francisco and San Jose
  • Trendy, in-demand neighborhoods
  • Lots of new construction, renovation, and expansion
  • Plenty of restaurants and fun events
  • Friendly and welcoming neighbors
  • Beautiful views of the Bay from hillside homes

Local Lifestyle

San Carlos residents enjoy a laid-back suburban and fun lifestyle. There is always something to do when living here, whether it is enjoying a block party with your neighbors, walking downtown and checking out the restaurants, cafes, and wine bars, or going for an evening stroll and walking the dog along the pretty, suburban streets. With only 30,000 residents, it still maintains that small-town feel as well.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

The revitalized downtown in San Carlos has a slew of great dining options. Some local favorites include Town, Rustic House Oyster Bar, Grill CreoLa, Johnston’s Saltbox, Stamp Bar & Grill, and Refuge

Town is a local favorite with great cuts of beef and terrific fresh seafood. Rustic House Oyster Bar serves fresh seafood in a casual, fun, family-friendly, and hospitable atmosphere. Grill CreoLa is a New Orleans-inspired bistro. They even have fresh crawfish shipped all the way to the West Coast! 

Johnston’s Saltbox is a locally run establishment that features a rotating menu of dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. Stamp Bar & Grill serves a fusion of Mexican-inspired and influenced American favorites, and Refuge offers Belgian beers and Pastrami sandwiches. For shopping, there are big box stores, supermarkets, and boutique options along El Camino Real and Laurel Streets. 

Things to Do

There are a number of nice parks and green spaces in San Carlos, and the town hosts a number of fun events, including Music in the Park, the Art & Wine Faire, Night of Holiday Lights, and a weekly Farmers Market.

There are a number of great outdoor activities to enjoy near San Carlos. The Pulgas Water Temple is a monument built with classical Greek-style columns in a lovely park that honors the engineering feat that brought fresh water to the Bay Area in 1934. The Filoli Historic Home and Gardens is a neat place to spend a day not far from San Carlos. The Hiller Aviation Museum is a fun learning experience for the whole family. 

There are several nice parks in town, but the most popular is Burton Park, where there is a water spray fountain and play area, picnic areas, and recreational fields. Burton Park is also home to several fun events held in the town. 

Music in the Park is a concert series on Friday nights in the summertime. The Art & Wine Faire is held in October and has great, local, and California-made wines, live music, and a classic car show. The Night of Holiday Lights is an annual tradition that highlights some of the prettiest and most elaborate Christmas lights along Laurel Street. Locals also enjoy the weekly Farmers Market at Burton Park.


The San Carlos School District serves San Carlos early education while Sequoia Union High School District leads higher grade programs with the top-rated schools such as Arroyo, Central Middle School, and Carlmont High School.
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