Carlsbad is a coastal city in the North County region of San Diego County, California, United States. The city is 87 miles (140 km) south of downtown Los Angeles and 35 miles (56 km) north of downtown San Diego and is part of the San Diego-Carlsbad, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Carlsbad is a popular tourist destination. The city's estimated 2019 population was 115,382. Among the nation's top 20 wealthiest communities, Carlsbad is the 5th richest city in the state of California with a median household income close to $105,000.
Carlsbad's history began with the Luiseño people (the Spanish name given to them because of their proximity to Mission San Luis Rey). Nearly every reliable fresh water creek had at least one native village, including one called Palamai. The site is located just south of today's Agua Hedionda Lagoon.
The first European land exploration of Alta California, the Spanish Portolà expedition of 1769, met native villagers while camped on Buena Vista Creek. During the Mexican period, in 1842, the southern portion of Carlsbad was granted as Rancho Agua Hedionda to Juan María Marrón.
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.