Once part of the Rancho de las Pulgas, San Carlos was incorporated in 1925 after years of growth led by Frederick Drake, a San Francisco banker-turned-San Carlos real estate promoter and developer known as the “father of San Carlos.”
The city’s oldest neighborhoods, White Oaks and Howard Park, are now among the area’s most desirable, with tree-lined streets, easy access to downtown, and schools ranked among the best in California. San Carlos also reflects a celebration of architectural diversity. Secluded Devonshire Canyon, with its narrow, winding roads and funky homes, couldn’t be more different than classic pre-war White Oaks. The modest cinderblock homes of the Murphy Tract are a great study in contrast with some of the western hills’ spectacular newer construction.
Like many cities, San Carlos has renewed its focus on its downtown, encouraging new businesses and creating a full slate of annual community events. Charming Laurel Street features unique family-owned shops, boutiques, services and a variety of restaurants including destination spots like 888 Ristorante, Spasso and Town. You’ll find plenty of fairs and festivals there, including Hot Harvest Nights, a farmer’s market running every Thursday between May and October and the Friday downtown Summer Concerts series.
The biggest community event each year is the San Carlos Art and Wine Faire. Held for decades on Columbus Day weekend, the Faire draws visitors from around the region, eager to see the works of some 275 artists, listen to music, and enjoy world-class food and wine.
Minutes from downtown, outdoor enthusiasts love Burton Park. Created in 1938 and named after former Mayor Edward Burton, it’s one of several parks within the city limits. The two largest, Eaton Park and Big Canyon Park, are located in the rolling hills west of Alameda de las Pulgas, where the town takes on a more spread out, rural flavor. Residents of the San Carlos hills enjoy great views of canyons, hillsides and, on the clearest days, San Francisco Bay.
When San Carlos calls itself the “City of Good Living,” it’s not bragging. Good living is easy to find here.
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