San Carlos, to a large extent, built west from its train station. Near the station, the land is flat and contains pre-World War II homes and many apartment complexes. Moving west, the homes become newer, 1950's and 60's designs, and as you move more west and further into the hills, 1970s and 1980s designs show up. At the top, the newest homes and duplexes, on Crestview Drive.Many of the homes have been remodeled and upgraded. Many are positioned on their lots to command views.
In San Carlos there are 2 museums, 11 churches, a new library, a youth center, a senior center, 6 newspapers, 1 TV station, 1 cable system, 7 financial institutions, 14 parks and 8 playgrounds. San Carlos is a short distance from major golf courses, the Pacific Ocean and state camping and other facilities.