Living in Carmel Valley, San Diego

Just north of San Diego, nestled among coastal evergreens and rolling hills, lies the picturesque town of Carmel Valley, California. Living in Carmel Valley, San Diego might seem to an outsider like life from a postcard. Miles of stunning beaches, and crisp, upscale shopping centers make this area both unique and sought after.  Let’s see why Carmel Valley is perhaps one of the greatest gems in Southern California; from nature, to golfing, to shopping and excellent schools…. It gets gold stars all around!

Best things to do in Carmel Valley, California


Carmel Valley’s Pacific Highlands Ranch and Pacific Highlands Park:

San Diego is drenched in historic architecture, but new things can be great too, such as the all new infrastructure at Pacific Highlands Ranch and Pacific Highlands Park. The park has something for just about everybody.

For the little ones, there’s colorful, brand new playground equipment.  For the older kids, you’ll find a paved feature park for bikes and skateboards. How about those looking to put together a pick-up game? Pacific Highlands Park has fields and basketball courts for anyone to use, with seating for those who would rather watch from the sidelines (or be in charge of the snacks!)

Del Mar Plaza:

If you’re looking for a feast of entertainment by the sea, you can find any and everything at the Del Mar Plaza. Dining options encompass a wide range from donut and coffee shops, to cafes, to sushi, to upscale European fare. And of course, we are near the ocean, so count on plenty of seafood options!

Whether you’re grabbing a bite mid-shopping spree, or making your way to the plaza for a special dinner out, you could frequent the plaza and still find something new to try every time.

If you’re hitting the shopping center for a little retail therapy, you can find everything from big name brands, to chic boutiques full of local, SoCal flair.

Perhaps one of the most unique experiences patrons enjoy at Del Mar Plaza is Racing by the Sea. Every fall, starting on October 31st (trick or treat!) participating restaurants at Del Mar Plaza broadcast the horse races from the nearby Del Mar Racetrack. Guests don derby style hats and dresses, and many restaurants offer a signature cocktail to enjoy while taking in one of America’s oldest spectator sports.

One Paseo:

With its laid back coastal vibe and white washed “beach bungalow” exteriors, One Paseo encapsulates the essence of San Diego’s relaxed SoCal ambiance. The more casual sister to Del Mar Plaza, One Paseo offers outdoor dining, cozy boutique shopping, and even outdoor fitness classes.

You can grab a cup of coffee and meander through the stores to pick out the perfect bikini, or hit a happy hour if your palate is craving something for the 21 and over crowd. Are you one of those lucky “work from anywhere” people? Then take advantage of the wonderful tables and seating around the complex, where you can work under the beauty of the never ending California sunshine.

If you love One Paseo so much that you never want to leave, you don’t have to! One Paseo offers beautiful apartments mimicking the cool, coastal living vibe you find in the village. Utilizing chic, modern design, these homes are both upscale, and extremely close to world class amenities.

Torrey Pines State Nature Preserve:

Aerial view of Torrey Pines, Living in Carmel Valley CA

Arguably one of the most beautiful things about Carmel Valley is its stunning landscape. Twisting, sea weathered fir trees cling precariously to ocean cliff sides. The sparkling Pacific breaks in frothy blue-green hues against rock walls dotted with sea caves. Inland, the landscape rolls into hills and valleys, with beautiful homes reaching as far as the eye can see.

The Torrey Pines Nature Preserve exemplifies this natural beauty, offering visitors the very best of the Southern California coast.  Thanks to its protection, over 1,500 acres of this majestic land will remain untouched for the posterity of California to enjoy for years to come. Visitors can enjoy hiking trails, scenic overlooks, and of course, the ocean. Please remember; the nature preserve is just that, a place to preserve the integrity of the unique flora and fauna found here. Stay on marked trails, pick up trash, and don’t feed the animals. Human food can harm them, and rest assured, they are not that hungry no matter how longingly they look at your chocolate chip cookies.

*For the avid golfer, you may recognize the name Torrey Pines for its world famous golf course,  which is located just outside the nature preserve. The views of the Pacific from the green are unparalleled,  but be sure to call ahead about tee time availability, as this course is extremely popular and, and the fee for 18 holes for a non-resident is over two hundred dollars.

What to know about living in Carmel Valley, CA 

Carmel Valley’s has Exceptional School Systems

classroom image, Living in Carmel Valley CA

San Diego is well known for its outstanding, highly rated schools, but did you know Carmel Valley is actually home to the number one public school in the entire state? Canyon Crest Academy, voted number one in California, is a STEM heavy school where students round out their education with a focus in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Students are given the training and tools they need to set them up for success when it comes to getting into academically demanding colleges and useful life skills. Just because most are STEM schools doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ways students can get involved in the arts and sports. Most San Diego schools offer a plethora of extracurricular activities, even including surfing! Not many students in America get to hang ten for their school!

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Carmel Valley Home Pricing

Carmel Valley is beautiful, upscale, and hardly cheap. The median home price in Carmel Valley is $1.3 million dollars for a single family home. If your budget isn’t in the millions, don’t think you can’t live in Carmel Valley, you just might have to adjust your size and space expectations.

Townhomes and other shared dwellings usually cost somewhere around $605,000 dollars, so if you don’t need a big yard or four bedrooms, this might be a more viable option. The further inland you move, the more affordable the housing becomes. Obviously, the homes closer to the beach, and with exceptional coastal views, are on the higher end. It’s all about deciding what factors are most important to you, and researching just the right fit.


Looking to live in Carmel Valley, California?

If Carmel Valley is calling to you to make it your home base then let us know! We can help find you the perfect home in the Carmel Valley neighborhood of San Diego.