San Carlos is located at the eastern edge of the City of San Diego. Named for one of the ships sent by the Spaniards to explore California, the area is mostly residential and many of the ranch-style single family homes were built in the 1960s and 70s. Originally a rural area, San Carlos retains its small town rural feel even though it is within the boundaries of the City of San Diego.
Lake Murray, part of Mission Trails Regional Park, is a major attraction for residents providing picnicking spots, baseball fields, tennis courts and other facilities. A paved path follows the contours of the lake and offers perfect conditions for walking, bicycling and rollerblading. Fishing is allowed on certain days, and the lake yields bluegill, catfish, bass and trout. The area is blessed with many birds and attracts bird watchers from all over the world. There is also a well-established golf course that borders the lake with views of Cowles Mountain from each fairway.