Thankful for Living in Carlsbad

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. CA DRE #01490977

Grateful to Live in Carlsbad


This is my 4th entry for the November Gratitude Challenge hosted by Debe Maxwell, CRS.


We moved to Carlsbad in April 2005 from Boston, and I am very thankful that we did.


It was a tough decision to leave the Boston area after living there for 20+ years in multiple homes and communities. We loved the Boston area, other than the winter cold, snow and ice, and left behind lots of friends and family in New England and the northeast. Photo is from the winter before we moved, in Harvard Square (Cambridge) near where we last lived before relocating.


 Snow in Harvard Square, Cambridge MA


We spent a lot of time (several house hunting trips over 1 year) looking at properties in different communities around San Diego before settling on Carlsbad. Why? It worked for our budget (a good sized house with land), and we could be close to the beach.


Indeed we have lots to be thankful for living in Carlsbad.


The City of Carlsbad has about 116,000 people (I’ve seen several estimates for 2021 and 2022) although it has grown since we moved here. Given Carlsbad’s size we have the community amenities we wanted without living in a big city, and easy access to amenities in nearby communities.


We did not want to be in San Diego itself but wanted to not be too far from downtown, or from LA (1.5 hours north) so we could easily visit our older daughter who had graduated from USC in 2002 and was living in the Culver City area. We are thankful for the convenience of getting to San Diego when we choose for the arts and dining and the airport – although I can’t say I am thankful for the traffic, I’m accustomed to it - but with all that Carlsbad offers the trips to SD are less common these days.


With both daughters and their families (4 grandkids) in the LA area we are very thankful to be able to visit them easily, even for a day trip, and for them to get down here periodically. And we’re pleased Carlsbad provides easy access to the desert cities (Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta), and to the former gold-mining town of Julian in the mountains. All are fun places to visit when we want to get away for a day or two.


Carlsbad sign in the Village


Convenient access to shopping, especially groceries, and dining options was important to us when house hunting, and we are grateful for all that Carlsbad offers. The weekly farmers market in Carlsbad Village is a plus, as is the variety of grocery stores.  I can’t say we were overly impressed with the dining scene in Carlsbad when we first moved here, at least as compared to Boston, but things have improved significantly in the time we have been here. While we don’t dine out all that often it’s wonderful to have the options that we do when the mood strikes.


We both enjoy the arts and are thankful that Carlsbad has a reputation as an arts community, and one that continues to expand. While this was not a primary criterion when we were house hunting in 2004 and early 2005, we are grateful for what Carlsbad offers. Art galleries, Barrio Glassworks, arts and crafts fairs, live music and the summer TGIF Concerts in the Parks series (photo below), the Museum of Making Music and their concerts, and performance theater are just some of the things we enjoy. They suit our lifestyle well!


TGIF Concerts in the Parks in Carlsbad


Access to the beaches was important in our home search, given we gave up our waterfront vacation home on Lt. Island on Cape Cod when we decided to relocate to the Left Coast. We knew we could not replace it when moving to CA, but being in a seaside community with nice beaches was essential…and Carlsbad certainly provides that. We enjoy easy access for walks, relaxing on the bluffs, sunset watching, and an occasional visit when the grandkids are around.


Beach in Carlsbad


Lastly, I am very grateful for my real estate business in and around Carlsbad. It's easy to sell the lifestyle in a community I like so well.


We’ve lived in Carlsbad for 18 years now (in 3 different homes), longer than any other community during our married life. And we are both forever thankful for all that Carlsbad offers – it more than meets our personal, work, and lifestyle needs.

Posted by

Jeff Dowler, CRS
Certified Residential Specialist / Realtor®

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Comments (24)

Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Jeff indeed it is a great place to call home it has been decades since Diane and I have stopped in.... never disappointed on our trips, Endre

Nov 30, 2023 10:39 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Jeff... having read your posts about Carlsbad for many years now, I never had any doubt about how happy you are with your decision to move there. And I understand how hard it is to make a decision to move from one end of the country to the other and leave behind people you love and a lifestyle you've built over many years. My husband and I did just that 25 years ago when we moved from NY City to Charlotte.

Dec 01, 2023 06:00 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

I watched a debate last night between the Gov. of California and Florida. I love Florida (and being in a free state) but I must admit, other than the beaches....this is an UGLY state. California is beautiful!

Dec 01, 2023 07:53 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

You keep proving to me how lucky you are my friend. Technology can either be your best friend or a big disappointment. Seem to have found the perfect key to success jeff 🙂

Dec 01, 2023 10:09 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Since I have visited the area a few times, I have seen firsthand all that you have to be thankful for in Carlsbad!

Dec 01, 2023 10:45 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jeff, Carlsbad is a beautiful place to live, BUT are you absolutely sure you do not miss the Boston cold, snowy Winters???

Dec 01, 2023 01:00 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Sounds like you and Diane could be due for a drive down the coast Endre Barath, Jr. 


Dec 01, 2023 01:38 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thank you Nina Hollander, Broker 

Yes, it was a tough decision to make the move but we talked about it for quite a while - we lived in the Boston area for about 22 years! It was an adjustment to live here although we both had been to CA many times on business and for visiting our daughter at USC in LA. But what move isn't an adjustment?! We have no regrets other than being so far from some of the family.


Dec 01, 2023 01:42 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Jeff Dowler, CRS I can tell you that while we never regretted our move to Charlotte, given what's been happening in NY City for years now, then the pandemic, and now the crime we are thrilled to be out of there.

Dec 01, 2023 01:46 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty 

That must have been an interesting debate.

I really enjoy the diversity in California and certainly the beaches.


Dec 01, 2023 01:45 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Thank you Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS 

You are so right about technology! We consider ourselves very fortunate all in all, despite the cost of being here. Being near the beach is important and all that it offers is pretty important but the overall lifestyle is very pleasant. Not to mention the weather!


Dec 01, 2023 01:48 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Brian England. Thank you!

You must be getting to know your way around our area pretty well now!


Dec 01, 2023 02:03 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi George Souto 

Hmm. Let me think about that for a millisecond or 2. Absolutely not!


Dec 01, 2023 02:05 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Jeff, 

You picked a wonderful area to start fresh in California.  What a blessing for you.  Living close to the ocean means that summer and winter temps are very moderate compared to the inland areas.  One of my favorite things was visiting our coastal beaches when I lived in CA.  I am so happy that you found your forever hometown. 

Dec 01, 2023 04:09 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

WOW! I don't know how I missed this FIRST post of yours, Jeff! I too wrote my first post of appreciation on my city! It's the best feeling in the world to love where you live and to be your city's biggest ambassador. 

I enjoy reading your posts on Carlsbad - so much in fact, I've suggested to Ray on many occasions that your city would be in my top 3 choices for cities to retire! I'm thinking he wouldn't want to get too far from family so, it's likely going to be east coast when I do retire but, you've certainly made Carlsbad incredibly inviting!

Dec 01, 2023 06:14 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Saturday morning, Jeff. Have an outstanding weekend.

Enjoy the spirit of the holiday season.

Dec 02, 2023 07:26 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Jeff- As I read your beautiful post about why you are thankful for living in Carlsbad, I realized why I love reading about your area. Almost everything you wrote about reminds me of Delray Beach and why we loved living there. Delray had fewer than 70,000 but we were always minutes from Boca, West Palm Beach and even Ft Lauderdale. You have found your place to be and that is a blessing. 

Dec 02, 2023 10:21 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Sheri Sperry - MCNE® 

We truly feel blessed for having discovered Carlsbad and making it our home - it feels very comfortable. Thank you for the kind words!


Dec 02, 2023 11:58 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Debe Maxwell, CRS 

I think being near family is important for most of us although sometimes it doesn't work out that way. I'm thankful to hear my writing about Carlsbad has made a positive impression!


Dec 02, 2023 12:00 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Roy Kelley 

Thank you! The spirit of the season has arrived!!

I hope you and Chef Dolores enjoy a wonderful holiday season, too!


Dec 02, 2023 12:11 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Kathy Streib 

How cool that Carlsbad reminds you of Delray Beach - you must miss it although being in Houston near family is something very special. Thank you for your kind words!


Dec 02, 2023 12:14 PM