Carlsbad’s history begins with the Luiseño people who located one of their villages, Palamai, near what is today Agua Hedionda Lagoon. The world’s first skateboard park, Carlsbad Skatepark, was built here in March 1976. In 1999, Legoland California, the first Legoland theme park outside of Europe, now owned and operated by Merlin Entertainments, opened in Carlsbad. Carlsbad is a suburban city formed to avoid annexation by nearby Oceanside. The city attracted people from around the world, one example are ethnic groups from Germany and Austria, as well Scandinavia and the Low Countries who came at the turn of the 20th century to a town and landscape reminiscent of their homelands.
For city planning and growth management purposes, the city of Carlsbad is divided into four quadrants: Northwest quadrant, the northwest quadrant of Carlsbad includes the downtown “Village,” the Barrio and what is known as “Olde Carlsbad”; Northeast quadrant, the quadrant consists mostly of single-family homes, with larger lots found in the older area known as Chestnut Hills; Southeast quadrant, this is the most recently developed quadrant, and contains the largest number of dwelling units of the four quadrants; Southwest quadrant, this quadrant extends along the Pacific Ocean to the south of the center of Carlsbad, this includes the Aviara resort neighborhood.