Carlsbad Real Estate News and Views: La Costa - A Great Neighborhood in Carlsbad, CA

Here's the REAL scoop on living in Carlsbad ~ beaches, things to do, places to eat, community events, and of course neighborhoods, homes and the Carlsbad real estate market in general, including surrounding communities like Encinitas, Cardiff, San Marcos, Oceanside, Solana Beach and Del Mar.

La Costa - A Great Neighborhood in Carlsbad, CA

 The La Costa Resort in Carlsbad CA

The La Costa area of Carlsbad (link is to a virtual tour of Carlsbad - ALSO see lifestyle tour of La Costa BELOW), in zip code 92009, is one of the better known residential areas along the North San Diego County coast, and a popular Carlsbad neighborhood.


La Costa began growing in 1965 when several thousand acres of land were purchased and turned into a golf course (now part of the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa), homes were constructed, and the Rancho La Costa Inn was  built for visitors.


Omni La Costa Resort and Spa


The original resort has had several owners and was later renamed La Costa, thus giving the surrounding residential area its name. Formerly a separate "town" La Costa was later annexed and became part of Carlsbad, but most people refer to it by its original name.


Check out the La Costa lifestyle in this slideshow:



In the early days La Costa and the famed resort had a reputation as a playground for the rich and famous, many from Hollywood, the Rat Pack being the most well-known. A number of celebrities had homes here along the golf course (Robert Young, for example) or rented properties in the area.


 The Flower Fields in Carlsbad CADespite several changes in ownership, the resort remains a popular golf, tennis and spa destination and hosts several golf and tennis tournaments annually, as well as weddings and corporate functions.


The resort developed a series of whole ownership condos, the La Costa Villas, on the grounds which have proven to be wildly popular, and expensive (averaging $600/SF and more and usable 120 days out of the year - owners can rent them the remainder of the year for income).


Omni La Costa Resort and Spa (the name was changed from the La Costa Resort and Spa in 2014 after being acquired by Omni Resorts) is also the site of the Chopra Center, developed and owned by Dr. Deepak Chopra, internationally known for his spiritual teachings and alternative medicine.


 Carlsbad beachesThe La Costa real estate market covers a broad range of housing options in many styles, including apartment rentals, condominiums, and detached homes, many with reasonably large parcels of land.


High-end properties tend to be gated, and there are a number of small gated condo communities along the golf course.


Many of the single family detached and condo properties adjacent to the resort are second homes and investment properties. Because of the hilly terrain, many La Costa homes offer panoramic and beautiful views of the Batiquitos Lagoon, the ocean, the La Costa resort and golf course, and the back country hills. Proximity to the resort and to the beaches make this area a prime vacation and rental market.


 View of La Costa, Batiquitos Lagoon and ocean from the La Costa hills


La Costa homes range widely in style, size and price, and inventory varies depending on the overal market and economy.


In 2007 when this article was first published condos typically ranged from the $200,000s and up, and single family detached homes generally are priced beginning in the $500,000s to well into the millions for properties high on the La Costa hills with amazing views such as in the photo to the right. Looking at prices in 2017, you'll be hard pressed to find a single family home for less than $550K - $575K, with most well more than that, and condos generally start in the high $200s.


In general prices, on average, are less than neighboring Encinitas to the south, and the Aviara area of Carlsbad, to the west nearer the ocean, and homes tend to be larger for a comparable price. Regardless of budget, the La Costa residential area remains a popular option for primary, second and investment home buyers.


La Costa in Carlsbad


Depending on where you live, and the current geographic boundaries, La Costa children may go to different school districts. Part of the area is served by San Dieguito Union High School District (Encinitas) and the Carlsbad Unified School District; others attend schools in the San Marcos School District.

 A view of the south end of Carlsbad along the coast highway


The La Costa neighborhood offers an idyllic Southern California lifestyle, given the area is primarily residential, has beautiful views, and experiences a very pleasant coastal climate all year round, with abundant amenities and services nearby.


There are two small shopping centers as well as upscale shops at the resort. Nearby shopping of every description, however, can be found along El Camino Real, a major thoroughfare running north and south from Oceanside to Cardiff.


The Forum (below left), in South Carlsbad is probably the best known upscale shopping area, but La Costa residents also have easy access to the Carlsbad Premium Outlets Mall to the north, as well as other smaller strip malls along El Camino Real and further south in Encinitas. A newer mall, La Costa Town Square (La Costa Avenue and Rancho Santa Fe Road to the east) opened in late 2014.


With regard to travel and commuting La Costa is close to the 5 freeway, without the noise, so travel to downtown San Diego (about 30 miles) and to LA (about 100 miles) is relatively easy except during rush hour traffic.

 The Forum in South Carlsbad



There are few restaurants in the community itself, the best being at the Omni La Costa Resort (e.g., Bob's Steak and Chop House, Bistro 65).


However, residents can enjoy upscale dining close by in other areas of Carlsbad including Carlsbad Village, at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort nearer the coast, and in Encinitas.


Vigilucci's in Carlsbad offers water-view dining and extraordinary sunsets, at the corner of Tamarack Avenue and the Coast Highway.


Nearby attractions for residents include miles of Pacific Ocean beaches (South Carlsbad State Beach - photo above right, off coastal Highway 101 to the west), camping facilities, the Flower Fields (off Palomar Road, top right photo), the Museum of Making Music, Legoland, and the Leo Carrillo Historic Ranch Park in Rancho Carrillo to the north.


If you are searching for that special Southern California home near the ocean, with golf, tennis, shopping and restaurants in and around the area, in a primarily residential community, but with easy access to the city and other coastal amusements, then the La Costa area of Carlsbad may be the ideal choice for you.


The diversity of La Costa homes offers many options for first time, move-up, downsizing, and vacation-home buyers, and with a broad range of prices.


And for those of you living in other parts of the country, relocation to La Costa may give you the year-round lifestyle you are seeking, away from the cold and snow.I have a lot of experience, personal and otherwisse, with relocation, so I can help!!


Also check out my video series on Relocation Tips and Advice.


By the way, I lived in La Costa very close to the resort for 5 years and know the area very well, so I can provide you with much more information and photos of the area if it appeals to you. I'd love to hear from you if I can assist in any way or you have any questions about what it's like to live in La Costa, in South Carlsbad CA. Please feel free to contact me at (760) 840-1360 or via email at so we can discuss your housing needs and budget and work on a strategy to get you into the home of your dreams in La Costa.





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If I can provide more information about homes for sale in Carlsbad and in surrounding areas, local housing market conditions, or assist you, friends or family in a purchase or sale, please call or text me at (760) 840-1360, or email me at



CALL or TEXT ME AT (760) 840-1360


Serving Carlsbad (including Aviara, La Costa & Carlsbad Village),  Encinitas (including Leucadia & Olivenhain), Cardiff, Solana Beach, Del Mar, La Jolla, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos (including San Elijo Hills), Oceanside, Escondido, and  Greater San Diego

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eXp Realty of California, Inc. (CA DRE lic #01490977)

Comment balloon 19 commentsJeff Dowler, CRS • January 23 2007 01:08PM


Jeff, what a great post on local content.  Good work!  I've no plans to head west anytime soon and still loved reading all about it.  I can learn a lot from you!
Posted by Maggie Dokic | Miami, FL | 888.883.8509 X101, GREEN, CDPE, SFR, Pinecrest | Palmetto Bay | (eXp Realty LLC) over 13 years ago
Great summary of the local area and market!  Everything someone who was curious would want to know!
Posted by Kaushik Sirkar (Call Realty, Inc.) over 13 years ago
This is well done, Jeff. Love the links to weather. My personal favorite is Legoland!
Posted by Jeff Turner (RealSatisfied) over 13 years ago

Hey Jeff,


Great job on this one!  You're sure to earn the respect of those reading your Local Content.  Love your layout.


Posted by Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Keller Williams Valley Realty) over 13 years ago
Jeff, this was very well done, both the write up and pictures are excellent.
Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 13 years ago
Jeff-  Looks like an awesome place to live !!
Posted by Lauren Corna, Broker (Archway Realty, LLC) over 13 years ago
Best value on the North County Coast in my opinion
Posted by Brian Brady, 858-777-9751 (San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751) over 13 years ago

Thank you all for your comments. I have added a few pic and a little information since I first posted it.

I expect I will revise this over time - hard to know how MUCH info to include vs. overwhelming the reader. I tried to cover a range of things that typically are of interest to buyers.

I love living hear, Lorna, and I agree with you Brian - I think the value really is here, which is why we bought originally (and others I have talked to who live here think so too!).


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) over 13 years ago
Wow...those pictures are beautiful. I want to live there....
Posted by Christy Powers, Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners) over 13 years ago

Hi Jeff,

I really enjoyed this blog.  Years ago, I almost bought a home in Carlsbad and remember when it was a sleepy small town.  I probably wouldn't recognize it today.

Posted by Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton (Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC) over 13 years ago
Excellent post!  Makes me want to move there!
Posted by Chris Tesch, College Station, Texas Real Estate (RE/MAX Bryan-College Station) over 13 years ago

Hi Jeff,


Wow, what a great job...  You must be pinching yourself, living in such a spectacular place!  At times, when my friend, Marlene B. and I bike at the beach we say to each other, "Do you have any idea how fortunate we are,...while some people come here to vacation, we can enjoy this most every day."  And Jeff,...I'm not even close to the beach like you. Normally, after loading my bike on the back of the car, I drive about 35-45 minutes (as always depending on traffic of course) and head to the coast.

Great work, La Costa is a place to dream about.  It may be a little out of my league at this point. Congratulations to you on living and delivering the dream to others.

Lynda Eisenmann, Broker

Posted by Lynda Eisenmann, Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co (Preferred Home Brokers) over 13 years ago

Very enjoyable post,

I lived in nearby Encinitas for several years in the early 1970's when La Costa was first being fully developed. I well remember Nixon visiting there (before Watergate) with a bunch of Teamster big shots.  As I recall, their pension fund was one of the main investors in the beginning.

I well remember the poppy fields that covered the rolling hills of Encinitas.  It always made me think of Dorothy and her friends on their way to Oz.

Thanks for a good walk down memory lane.


Posted by Dan Bales, Broker/Owner GRI RECS e-PRO (Dan Bales, Broker) over 13 years ago

Christy - well come on out. I'll help you find the perfect home!! And provide a referral fee too!

Thanks, Lynda- so when do we see some photos of your area?

Dan- thanks for your comments. Neat story. The history in this area is fascinating...and so recent, as compared to what I was familiar with in Boston.

Chris- there's lots of housing on the market. Your dream home may be here!! Give me a call...LOL

Diane - you're right, it is growing pretty rapidly. We have been here 18 months and there are at least 500 NEW homes that have been built within a mile of my house, and a much larger subdivision a few miles away. Population is now about 95,000. But it still retains much of the feel of a coastal beach town since so much is residential. I love being so close to the beach (can't see the ocean from my house due to a small hill but we can smell the air!

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) over 13 years ago
You shouldn't forget about The Chopra Center at La Costa resort. It has helped me get control of my health back. I wish I could move out there. I'd buy from you of course...
Posted by Rick over 13 years ago

Hey Rick. Thanks for your comment. You may have missed it but I did have a link to the Chopra Center in the 3rd paragraph. I have heard great things about the Center but have not yet visited. Someday, perhaps.

So come on out - the weather is great, there's lots of inventory, and this is paradise!

Thanks again for stopping by!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) over 13 years ago
 Just recently  I have narrowed my search down to two neighborhoods; La Costa Oaks and Bay Collection.  After reading this blog, I am getting concerned about buying in Carlsbad.  Is La Costa Oaks ok?  What about buying on Circulo Sequoia? Bad idea?  After reading this, I am thinking that I can get a deal on a house. I am not from the area so any sound advice will be helpful.  Thanks.
Posted by Bill Turner about 13 years ago


Thanks for stopping by and for your comments. I am curious why you are "concerned" about buying in Carlsbad. Is it pricing? The style of housing? Affordability? Growth?

La Costa Oaks is one of the newer developments in La Costa- a bit further inland, on the east side of La Costa and east of Rancho Santa Fe Road. There are a number of homes there for sale right now. As you probably know, they are fairly new, many having been built in 2005.  The Bay Collection is newer, with some homes still being built. This development is much closer to the beach and some properties have ocean views.

I am not clear on what, if any, concerns you have. Prices seem to be pretty stable and while we do not know what will happen in the future, Carlsbad has been a pretty desirable area for some time. If you are considering a purchase for the long term, I believe Carlsbad is a good investment. On the short term, however, one can never be sure about market appreciation, in many areas of Southern California, or elsewhere for that matter.  It really depends on your personal financial situation and your goals (lifestyle, size of home, proximity to amenities, etc.).

If you would like more details on the properties in your price range that are for sale in Carlsbad, especially in The Bay Collection or La Costa Oaks, please let me know. Both La Costa Ridge (currently being built and sold) and La Costa Greens (mostly built but with some resales too) are part of the larger La Costa Villages development that began with La Costa Oaks. If you need more information about the area, I am happy to provide that as well.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) about 13 years ago

Can I find a condo in Carlsbad,LaCosta,Encinitas for 250,000?Jim 480 818 2894

Posted by Jim Fudge over 2 years ago