Carlsbad is an affluent seaside resort city occupying a stretch of Pacific coastline in North San Diego County, California. The city is located south of Los Angeles and north of downtown San Diego. Referred to as "The Village by the Sea" by locals, Carlsbad's Mediterranean climate attracts visitors year-round to its quaint hotels and five-star luxury resorts. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of July 2012, the city's population is 109,318.
Carlsbad's history begins with the Luiseño people who located one of their villages, Palamai, near what is today Agua Hedionda Lagoon. In the 1880s a former sailor named John Frazier dug a well in the area. He began offering his water at the train station and soon the whistle-stop became known as Frazier's Station. A test done on a second fresh-water well discovered the water to be chemically similar to that found in some of the most renowned spas in the world, and the town was named after the famed Spa in the Bohemian town of Karlsbad.
To take advantage of the find, the Carlsbad Land and Mineral Water Company was formed by a German-born merchant from the Midwest named Gerhard Schutte together with Samuel Church Smith, D.D.Wadsworth and Henry Nelson. The naming of the town followed soon after, along with a major marketing campaign to attract visitors. The area experienced a period of growth, with homes and businesses sprouting up in the 1880s. Agricultural development of citrus fruits, avocados and olives soon changed the landscape. By the end of 1887, land prices fell throughout San Diego County. However, the community survived on the back of its fertile agricultural lands.
The site of John Frazier's original well can still be found at Alt Karlsbad, a replica of a German Hanseatic house, located on Carlsbad Boulevard.
The first modern skateboard park, Carlsbad Skatepark, was built here in March 1976. It was located on the grounds of Carlsbad Raceway and was designed and built by inventors Jack Graham and John O'Malley.
In March 1999, Legoland California, the first Legoland theme park outside of Europe, now owned and operated by Merlin Entertainments, opened in Carlsbad.
Carlsbad was incorporated to avoid annexation by its neighbor, Oceanside.