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Carmel Valley

Carmel Valley

Carmel Valley is located on the coastal area north of San Diego, and is a master planned community, which is now used as a model for other master planned communities in San Diego. Some key features of this area are its award-winning schools, parks, community, and it being only a 5 minute drive to Torrey Pines State Beach or Del Mar Beach. Having Route 56 pass by Carmel Valley makes it a breeze to come and go. Located just half way up San Diego’s coastline, it has UCSD and surrounding biotech and communication industries only minutes away.

Carmel Valley has its entertainment located around the parks and library. There are a number of restaurants and a high-end movie theater providing state of the art dining seating to enjoy the newest movies in luxury. The Del Mar highlands shopping center hosts summer concerts in August, which are great for all ages.

The schools rank up there with some of the best in the nation. The Solana Beach school District covers the elementary schools in the northern section of Carmel Valley. The Del Mar Union School District covers the southern region of Carmel Valley. Carmel Valley Middle school and Torrey Pines High School are run by the San Dieguito School District. Schools are run by the Del Mar Union School District as well.

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Carmel Valley

Carmel Valley located in North County Coastal San Diego came to be in February of 1975. Originally called North City West by the City Council the name was later changed to Carmel Valley in the early part of the 1990’s. Carmel Valley was designed as a master planned community and become a model for other master planned communities in San Diego to follow. Like any good master planned community parks and recreation areas were set aside as well as many walking, running and biking trails. While the development of Carmel Valley was going strong Torrey Hills jut south of Carmel Valley was forming as another master planned community sharing the same zip code 92130 as Carmel Valley. In 1988 voters approved the formation of Torrey Hills after a total of 1,806 acres of Los Peñasquitos Canyon was dedicated to the city as open space preserve in exchange for the urban development of the total 178 acres of Torrey Hills.

Some of the features of this area are it’s award winning schools, parks, community, proximity to the beach, about a 5 minute drive to Torrey Pines State Park and Beach or Del Mar Beach. Since Route 56 opened which includes the Route 56 local bypass off of the 5 the commute in and out of Carmel Valley is a breeze. Carmel Valley’s reputation is one of families with high parent participation in their children’s schools and activities.

The City of San Diego has been called a “City of Villages,” and Carmel Valley is one of those villages.

Carmel Valley is a master planned community that began with the institutional name “North City West.” When originally proposed, the residents of Del Mar were concerned about the impact of this new development.

The Carmel Valley name comes from the community’s location—in a wide valley immediately to the north of Carmel Mountain, which is a minor feature at the intersection of I-5 and SR-56.

Originally only occupying a small area, Carmel Valley has grown by leaps and bounds. With the development of Torrey Hills and other adjacent areas (which I will include in “Carmel Valley,” even though they are not part of the original planning area), the community now fi lls the entire 92130 zip code.

Carmel Valley is often grouped into the area known as “North County,” where North County consists of areas like Carlsbad, Encinitas, Escondido, Oceanside, Poway, San Marcos, Solana Beach and Vista. In reality, due to its ties with the City of San Diego, Carmel Valley has more in common with its southern neighbors: Sorrento Valley and La Jolla.

The community of Carmel Valley has a bit of an identity problem. We are Carmel Valley, at the foot of Carmel Mountain. However, there is a community of Carmel Mountain (or Carmel Mountain Ranch) on the I-15 corridor, near Rancho Penasquitos. And there’s another Carmel Valley in California, adjacent to the City of Carmel (on the Monterey penninsula, in northern California), which adds to the confusion. If you have a sharp eye, you’ll occasionally see pictures of the northern California community where the author meant otherwise.

The area, positioned roughly half-way up the San Diego County coastline, is convenient to almost everything. Located adjacent to the beaches at Del Mar

and Torrey Pines (and Torrey Pines Reserve), with UCSD and its surrounding biotech and communications industries only minutes away. To the immediate south lie Sorrento Valley and La Jolla’s Golden Triangle, which are large employment centers complete with a shopping mall and many fi ne restaurants. A quick twenty minute drive south brings you to the airport, downtown San Diego, Balboa Park, the Zoo, Mission Bay, Sea World and more. To the north are developing centers around La Costa and Palomar Airport, as well as the Flower Fields and Legoland. In the next few years, the completion of SR-56 will connect the community with the eastern suburbs of San Diego—Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Escondido and more. This area provides access to more jobs, more shopping, and cultural spots such as the California Center for Performing Arts and the Wild Animal Park.

In addition to all this, Carmel Valley will be at the start of the San Dieguito River Park, which will wind from the Pacifi c Ocean at the Del Mar Fairgrounds to the mountains near Julian.

The weather here is great, as long as you don’t like much change. I always tell people that we have two seasons: shorts and long pants. If you expect it to be hot here because we’re so far south, or expect it to be dry here because we’re in the desert, you’d only be partly right. A warm summer day might be in the 80s, with a cold winter day in the 50s. Of course, it almost always gets cool at night and we get lots of fog and clouds. The weather is really controlled by the nearby Pacifi c Ocean, which moderates the temperature and keeps the humidity up (humidity tends to be 70% to 90%). Of course, we don’t get much rain (10 inches per year on average).

Given the cost of housing and the recent run-up in prices, there’s a lot of local interest in real estate. If you’re thinking about moving into the area, be ready for a shock (unless you’re from San Francisco!) There are lots of big tract houses on small lots—the current trend seems to be a 4000 sq. ft. house on a 6000 sq. ft. lot.

Early History of Carmel Valley

The La Jolla Indians were the fi rst known human residents of the Carmel Valley area. Carmel Valley was a passing through point for the Missionaries during the early mission building era. The area was ranchland for many years until settlers came in and purchased the ranches and started building homes and towns the closest being Del Mar. Much of the growth due to the railroad. The area which is today Carmel Valley was left virtually free from home construction until the 1970’s.

Quick Contact List

Carmel Valley Library:


Carmel Valley Rec Center: 858-552-1616

Rec Center Pool: 858-552-1623

Carmel Valley Planning Board: 858-794-2500

Carmel Valley Rec Council: 858-552-1616

Miramar Noise Hotline: 858-577-4277

Carmel Valley News: email the editor: Union Tribune: 760-476-8207 Union Tribune FYI: 760-476-8221 Union-Tribune North Coast Community, fax 760-476-8295 The Coast News – 760-436-9737 Del Mar Times: email the editor. North County Times: email the editor.

Houses of Worship

Congregation Beth Am 5050 Del Mar Heights Road / San Diego, CA 92130 / (858) 481-8454

Grace Point Church (formerly Canyon Hills) 13340 Hayford Way / San Diego, CA 92130 / 858-481-0424

Church Of Jesus Christ Of LDS 12701 Torrey Bluff Drive / San Diego, CA 92130-4304 / 858-259-0443

St. Therese of Carmel 4343 Del Mar Trails Road, San Diego, CA 92130 858-481-3232, Fax: 858-481-3289

Catechetical Ministry: 858-481-4061 Email: / Diocese of San Diego

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church 334 14th St. / Del Mar, CA 92014 / 858-755-1616

Horizon Christian Fellowship North County 6365 El Apajo Road / PO Box 9070 / Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067 858-756-5599

Calvary Lutheran Church 424 Via de La Valle / Po Box 890 / Solana Beach, CA. 92075

Harbor Presbyterian Church Offi ce number: 858.755.7872 / E-Mail: Meets at 9:30 am on Sundays at the Torrey Pines High School auditorium.

Coast Christian Fellowship 858.663.6484, email Currently meeting at the Homewood Suites by Hilton, 11025 Vista Sorrento Parkway (Torrey Hills), Sundays at 10 AM..

Faith Community Church By-The-Sea Meet in the Del Mar Hilton Ballroom 1508 Windsor Road, Cardiff-by-the-Sea / 858-350-4950

Living Water Lutheran Church Meets at the offi ce building 12265 El Camino Real / San Diego, CA 92130 / 858-792-7691

Christian City Church Meets at the CV Middle School 3800 Mykonos Lane / 760-804-8524, email


Our local library is a branch of the City of San Diego Public Library. The branch is still fairly new, having celebrated its fi fth birthday in 2000.

Carmel Valley Branch Library

3919 Townsgate Drive / San Diego, CA 92130-2584 / 858-552-1668

Hours: Mon, Wed: 12:30pm – 8:00pm Tue, Thu: 9:30am – 5:30pm Fri: 12:30pm – 5:30pm Sat: 9:30am – 2:30pm Sun: 1:00 – 5:00 pm

Phone Numbers: Voice: 858-552-1668 / Dial-up access: 858-538-5107 Renewals-by-phone: 619-236-5826

Library materials can still be renewed from home by computer via the library’s web site( click on “library catalog search” button, and then on “Account & Renewals” button. You will need your library card number and PIN number (which is the last four digits of your home telephone number). The Carmel Valley Library is a branch library of the San Diego Public Library. The Friends of the Carmel Valley Library may be contacted by calling or writing the library.

Parks & Recreation Center

The new Community Park, opened in 1999, is a testament to the doggedness of the local Park & Recreation Council. A site that many deemed unacceptable (due to the slope) was terraced and turned into a gem. The site contains playing fi elds, pools and water slides, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, tennis courts, kids play areas and more.

Organized youth sports are increadibly popular, overloading all of the parks with thousands of kids who want to play soccer, softball, lacross, football and more So many kids want to play that even parks that were not designed for active sports use are being permitted for organized sports.

Carmel Valley Recreation Center

3777 Townsgate Drive, San Diego, CA 92130 858-552-1616 –

Hours of Operation Monday – Friday 12:00pm – 7:45pm Saturday 9:00am – 1:45pm Sunday Closed (Hours subject to change without prior notifi cation)

For information on any Carmel Valley sports league, contact the Rec Center staff at 858-552-1616 or come to the Park & Rec Council meetings at the Rec Center, 1st Tuesday of each month, 7 pm.

North Shore Girls Softball: registration info, please contact the registrar at 858-643-9790. Registration in December. Del Mar Little League: Ages 6 to 12. Registration in December. Solana Beach Little League Ages 6 to 12. Registration in December. Carmel Valley Youth Baseball: A league for 4 and 5 year olds. Del Mar/Carmel Valley Sharks Soccer League 858-794-8404. Recreational and Competitive. Ages 5 to 18. Registration in April. Carmel Valley Manchester Soccer: Also offers competitive play. Pop Warner Football Registration in March/April. Youth Basketball: The Rec Center and the Boys & Girls Club have youth basketball leagues running most of the year. San Diego Youth Rugby: Rugby in Carmel Valley.


Movies, Dining, Library Concerts

The events and entertainment in Carmel Valley are centered around the parks and the library. The Carmel Valley Library presents two different music series, and many activities for kids (storytimes, arts & crafts, book clubs and more.) The Recreation Center hosts many classes and activities for kids and adults, including swim lessons, dance, team sports, art, gymnastics and bridge. There used to be summer concerts in the parks, but they are gone now. You might fi nd some in the local shopping centers in July and August. See the Calendar for more on events.

Of course, there are a number of restaurants in Carmel Valley and a single movie theater, with more being easily accessible via the freeway.

The shopping centers in the area host a number of activities of their own. Del Mar Highlands Town Center has its own summer concert series in August. All the centers have activities for Halloween and Easter.

While there is not a great deal of arts and entertainment in Carmel Valley, there is a lot within the region. Balboa Park houses museums, a theater and a Science Center. There are many theaters and concert halls in downtown San Diego. Escondido has its Center for the Arts. Chula Vista has the Coors Amphitheater. Of course, we have attractions and amusement parks in abundance: The San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, Legoland, Knotts Water Park (Soak City), Sea World, The Flower Fields, and (a bit further away) Disneyland, Universal Studios and Knotts Berry Farm. The Del Mar Fairgrounds hosts a number of equestrian events, the Thoroughbred Races in August, and the Del Mar Fair in June.

The North County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau have a wealth of information on the area.


People come to Carmel Valley for the schools, which are some of the best in the nation. It may surprise new residents that the schools are not San Diego city schools, and there is not a single school district that is responsible for the space. Yet, there are enough students to go around! The average elementary school has 5 or more classes of kindergarteners, with around 800 students per elementary school! The Solana Beach School District covers the elementary schools in the northern part of Carmel Valley.

The Del Mar Union School District covers the elementary schools in the southern part of Carmel Valley. The district has schools in the hills just west of I-5, and a number of schools in Carmel Valley including Carmel Del Mar, Ashley Falls and Sage Canyon. Surprisingly, none of the schools operated by the Del Mar Union School District are actually in the City of Del Mar! Carmel Valley Middle School and Torrey Pines High School are operated by the San Dieguito School District.

Carmel Valley is immediately north of UCSD and the tech center that has developed around the University’s campus.

Del Mar Union School District

225 Ninth Stree

Del Mar CA

92014-2716 858-755-9301 / 858-755-4361 fax

Elementary Schools

Ashley Falls

13030 Ashley Falls Drive

858.259.7812 / fax 858.259.1828

Carmel Del Mar

12345 Carmel Park Drive

858.481.6789 / fax 858.481.7418

Del Mar Heights

13555 Boquita Drive

858.755.9367 / fax: 858.509.1412

Del Mar Hills

14085 Mango Drive

858-755-9763 / fax: 858-755-6107

Ocean Air

11444 Canter Heights Drive


Sage Canyon

5290 Harvest Run Drive

858.481.7844 / fax: 858.481.7949

Sycamore Ridge

5333 Old Carmel Valley Road

858-755-1060 / fax 858-794-4500

Torrey Hills

10830 Calle Marde

Mariposa, CA

858-481-4266 / fax 858-481-0344

Solana Beach School District

309 North Rios Avenue

Solana Beach CA 92075-1298

858-794-7100 / 858-794-7105 fax

Elementary Schools

Carmel Creek

4210 Carmel Center Rd.

San Diego, CA 92130

858-794-4400 / Fax: 858-794-4450

Solana Highlands

3520 Long Run Dr.

San Diego, CA 92130

858-794-4300 / Fax: 858-794-4350

Solana Pacific

3901 Townsgate

San Diego, CA 92130

858-794-4500 / Fax: 858-794-4550

San Dieguito Union High School District

710 Encinitas Blvd.

Encinitas, CA 92024-3357

760-753-6491 / 760-943-1542 fax

Junior High Schools

Carmel Valley Middle School

3800 Mykonos Lane

San Diego, CA 92130


Earl Warren Junior High

155 Stevens Street

Solana Beach, CA 92075


High Schools

Torrey Pines High School

3710 Del Mar Heights Road

San Diego, CA 92130


Canyon Crest High School

5951 Village Center Loop Road

San Diego, CA 92130


Private Schools

San Diego Jewish Academy Upper School (grades 6-10)

11860 Carmel Creek Road

voice (858) 704 3770 / fax (858) 704 3771

Lower School (grades K-5)

11860 Carmel Creek Road

voice (858) 704 3761 / fax (858) 704-3701

Cathedral Catholic High School

5555 Del Mar Heights Road

Phone (858) 523-4000 / Fax (858) 523-4097

Notre Dame Academy

pre-school to 8th grade

4345 Del Mar Trails Road

858.509.2300 /

Del Mar Pines (grades K-6)

3975 Torrington Street / San Diego, CA 92130 / 858-481-5615

La Jolla Country Day 9490 Genessee Ave / 858-453-3440

Fairbanks Country Day

6233 El Apajo / P.O. Box 8387

Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067