If you’re looking for a community feel with easy access to the city + ocean, you’ll find peak San Diego in Carmel Valley.
The community is directly next to Del Mar, and has earned a reputation for its natural elements + outdoor spaces, suburban conveniences, and family-friendly offerings. So we wanted to explore the popular area + get a glimpse of life in Carmel Valley.
📖 A quick history
Carmel Valley — still technically within the City of San Diego — is a relatively new community. Its modern history only goes back to the mid-1970s, but the land existed long before that.
In the late 1800s, settlers moved south and found a home in this area after the California Gold Rush. Before that, the land was inhabited by the La Jolla + Ipai peoples of the Kumeyaay Nation. At the beginning of the 1900s, Carmelite Sisters of Mercy established a monastery + dairy farm — and they’re the inspiration behind the community’s name,“Carmel Valley.”
In 1975, the community we know today was established as North City West, and it placed an emphasis on preserving the land’s natural elements and welcoming diversity in its people + building styles. The concept worked, except for one thing. Locals liked the name “Carmel Valley,” and it became the community’s official name in 1991.
This part of town is filled with shopping centers to get everything you need without traveling too far.
- Don’t be fooled by the name. Del Mar Highlands Town Center is in the community, offering Sky Deck a selection of food, Jimbo’s + Ralphs grocery stores, and local brands like athletic store Vuori.
- Trader Joe’s has a home in The Village Pacific Highlands Ranch along with boutiques, wellness shops, and health care locations.
- Locals can also stock up at a Pavilions at Piazza Carmel and a Vons.
Carmel Valley merges the best of San Diego’s natural environment with its beautiful weather — so it’s no surprise residents spend a lot of time outdoors.
- Lace up your hiking boots, there are plenty of trails, like Carmel Mountain Preserve.
- Swing into tee time at one of the local golf courses, like The Grand Golf Club or The Farms Golf Club.
- Have some family time at one of the many parks + playgrounds — the kids will love Del Mar Trails Park + tails will wag for Torrey Hills Dog Park.
There’s a lot cooking in Carmel Valley, and these are just a sample of the restaurants you can enjoy in the community.
- Enjoy a vibrant setting, American cuisine, and fresh-made pies at Pacific Social.
- Try something local + upscale at Nick’s Del Mar.
- Seafood fans will flip out for FISH DISTRICT’s locally caught fare.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with the highly-ranked donuts from Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee.
Daily life in Carmel Valley includes many community resources to make your time here more comfortable.
- The 92130 zip code falls into the Del Mar Union School District.
- Residents can find activities and get moving at the Carmel Valley Recreation Center.
- Check out the latest books at the Carmel Valley Library.
🏡 Live in Carmel Valley
If you’re looking for single family homes with space, this community is a great fit — just know the real estate prices are on the steep side. The average sale price is over $2.09 million, and sales can be competitive.
- For $1.1 million, this 2BD, 3BA turnkey townhouse offers 1,351-sqft, a private back patio + a fireplace.
- For $2.099 million this 5BD, 4BA single family home has a 3-car garage + a solar-powered pool and spa.
- For $2.95 million this 5BD, 3BA home sits on a 7,690-sqft lot with three fireplaces, a 3-car garage, a solar system + ocean views.