Southern California Beaches

Torrey Pines State Beach and Park

Torrey Pines State Park and Beach

California Beaches

The upscale city of Del Mar, a small municipality located within San Diego County, has preserved its independence from the larger nearby city of San Diego. Del Mar offers compact shopping districts and projects a casual air. There is horse-racing at the fairgrounds from July - Septemeber.

Directions

from San Diego:

Del Mar is about 20.5 miles from San Diego City via CA-163N and then connecting to I-805N. See -map.

from L.A.

It is a 1 hour 48 minute drive from Los Angeles. See -map. The map will take you from L.A. to the road called Camino Del Mar and you will be near Seagrove Park, Jake's Del Mar, and Powerhouse Park. Ocean Front and 17th St. end just before intersecting in front of the beach. And you will be near the Del Mar Motel on the Beach at 1702 Coast Blvd. which prides itself as being the only hotel on the beach at Del Mar.

There are two well-preserved beaches nearby.

Torrey Pines State Beach and Park

3 miles of beach from Carmel Valley Road and the Glider Ports (gliders gently descend to the beach below) to Torrey Pines Scenic Drive make up one of the most beautiful places to be graced by the Pacific Ocean. Not to mention the magical sunsets. The Southern part of the beach was popular with the nudists. (They are getting more strict about enforcement.)

There are treacherous hiking trails leading to the beach from the top of the steep bluffs. Only the most sure-footed should attempt these trails. One trail starts near the Glider Port, the other from the State Park.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve; an unspoiled beach on the Southern California Coast; frequently patrolled (at times, continuously). Torrey Pines is located within San Diego City limits. The Reserve includes 2,000 acres of land, rare and elegant Torrey pines, and excellent trails for hiking. Gates close at 7:30pm. The Reserve closes at sunset. There is a $10 fee for parking. Overnight camping is not allowed.

Corona Del Mar Beach

Torrey Pines State Park and Beach

Corona del Mar

Or, A.K.A. Crown of the Sea, is actually located in Newport Beach. this is where the San Joaquin Hills stagger into the Pacific. -map.

Corona del Mar State Beach: protected by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, is located in the northern part of San Diego County. Del Mar offers 2.5 miles of beach for swimming, boogie boarding, and surfing. Del mar site.

Del Mar Beach

Del Mar Beach activities include: swimming, walking, surfing, body boarding and grunion hunting. Facilities include: restrooms, showers, and wheelchair accessibility, year-round life-guards and paid parking available at the Powerhouse Park. Location of Beach: 15th and Camino Del Mar.

Both beaches have a strong police presence.

Del Mar had its beginnings when, in 1882, a man named Loop built a tent city on his property near the beach. Then, a man named Taylor bought a parcel of land. Both men decided the location was destined to become a resort. Link to the Del Mar Historical Society.

Little Corona

Corona del Mar's Little Corona Beach has free parking nearby.

Little Corona del Mar beach is in Newport Beach, and extends to the south from the Corona del Mar Main Beach.

Surfing The Wedge

A famous nearby surfing spot is The Wedge, a jetty build in the early 1900s.

Ocean Beach, in San Diego, is located in the neighborhood of Ocean Beach. This beach is 1 mile long. map to cafes near Ocean Beach traveling from W. Point Loma Blvd and Nimitz Blvd.

Motels, Hotels and Lodging

Del Mar Motel on the Beach. Stay in a motel right on the beach in Del Mar. 1702 Coast Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92104. 800-223-8449.

Cafes

Near Ocean Beach:

  • Shades Ocean Front Bistro -map. and Craves Catering Cafe (one in the same business.) 5083 Santa Monica Ave., Ste. 1F, San Diego, CA 92107. (619) 2222-0501. shadesob website.
  • Pacific Shores Cafe; 4927 Newport Ave., San Diego, CA 92107. -map from W. Point Loma Blvd.
  • Point Loma Beach Cafe; 1424 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92107. -map from W. Point Loma Blvd.

Parks

  • San Diego's Balboa Park is among the most beautiful I have ever seen. And the walking and flower-gazing opportunities abound. The park offers magnificent old fountains and several museums. link to Balboa Park history site.

Balboa Park Facts:

Balboa Park is 1,200 acres (200 less than its original size.) It is situated so that it overlooks San Diego's downtown. Tours meet and begin at the Balboa Park Visitors Center in the House of Hospitality on El Prado Walkway.

Tours of Balboa Park:

  • The Architectural Heritage Tour is on the first Wednesday of each month at 9:30am.
  • The Offshoot Tours are every Saturday at 10:00am.
  • The Ranger-led Tours are very Tuesday and Sunday at 1:00pm.

Shopping

  • Del Mar Plaza. Monday - Saturday 10AM to 9PM, Sunday 11AM to 6PM. 1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014.
  • The Del Mar Loop link is a six-block area with more than 140 boutiques.

San Diego

Or, San Diego, if there is where you are flying into. See the Hotel del Coronado. This is the same hotel in the movie: Some Like it Hot.

Visit Malibu State Park, Topanga State Park, and, Will Rogers State Historic Park.

Northern California

Sausalito, CA House Boats

House Boats in Sausalito

Point Reyes

Point Reyes is on the Marin County Coast. Here you can see the rocky headlands and dramatic, crashing Pacific Ocean. Visit the Point Reyes Lighthouse on the Point Reyes National Seashore.

Stinson Beach is nearby on Molinas Bay; facing the Pacific. And be sure to take one of the many easy hikes on Mount Tamalpais. Then drive along the coast to Sausalito; fine for biking or walking and shopping. And more shopping. You can ride the ferry back to San Francisco.

Route 1

Take a trip down Route 1, or Northbound to Northern California depending on how you arrived. The landslides at Devil's Pass, and the charming old missions established in the 18th century do not escape this writer's notice. Nor do they escape mine. Please continue reading about the Indians of Monterey. And what has become of the obnoxious canary at Half-Moon Bay? Explore the wineries of the Central Coast.