Coast Boulevard / Ocean Avenue in Del Mar is a relatively short street that makes a loop from17th Street to Lois Lane off Camino Del Mar.
Here you'll have a good view of the Pacific Ocean and a few places to stop. Jakes and Poseidon restaurants are located here, The Power House Community Center & Park is here and offers restrooms, open showers to wash off the sand and access to the beach. Next is Seagrove Park surrounded by Torrey Pines, and cliff top views of the Pacific Ocean.
Sometimes, finding a parking space can be a problem but well worth the effort.
The road along the coast runs further north and further south from Del Mar, but following it can be confusing as it is not always a straight road. Many parts of it are broken up along the way, going into residential areas, then changing names as it moves back along the coast. Of course, one of the advantages is to give an idea of the jaggedness of this section of coast line.
In between Del Mar and La Jolla the state of California has set aside beach and cliff to perserve the coast line, the flora & fauna as well as the natrual beauty of this area.
What this means to the visitor is that only hiking or walking through the Torrey Pines State Reserve is permitted. When reaching the bottom of the cliff, at the Torrey Pines State Beach, the restrictions are relaxed.
The T.P.S.Reserve is a "day-use-only" park which opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes at sunset. The rules of hiking are pretty strict. Everyone must stay on the trails, smoking is not allowed and a bottle of water is okay, but not food. The views are spectacular and here you can see what parts of California was like long before human civilization arrived.
At the T.P.S.Beach, however, you may enjoy getting into the ocean and becoming a part of the spectacular view you had just seen from above, you then may also have your picnic and a smoke.
While staying in Del Mar you should know that there are many things to see and do in San Diego County and I've tried to make a sort of cross-index to make finding these options easy and possibly give you ideas of what you'd like to include on this trip to Del Mar. My San Diego page has links listed to other cities and communities of San Diego for your consideration, which you'll find on the second and third parts of the Introduction. My list is in no way complete--yet--but it's good for a start. Hope it helps you get the most of your vacation here.
While at the Visitor Center, go behind the building and get a nice view. As seen in photo, to the north of Torrey Pines State Park is a marsh land called Penasquitos Lagoon. I found the lagoon's winding waterways quite interesting. Also, Pacific Coast Highway and Amtrak rail are clearly in sight.
There's a trail leading down to the beach, from the Torrey Pines Glider port. This picture was taken from one of the view points along the trail.
The trail has been improved over the years by volunteers who have added stairs and hand-rails on some of the difficult spots but one must still be cautious when walking up or down the steep trail.
There are nature trails on the hill. From them you can see some scrub jays and ravens and views of the beach below. There are 213 types of birds at Torrey Pines. There are also a lot of joggers, mountain bikes, and power walkers.
Met many friendly people in California. This fisherman showed me some corbino he had caught. He showed me how the fish would ride in on the waves and be visible for an instant in the water under our feet.
Torrey Pines State Reserve is located between La Jolla and Del Mar, California, north of San Diego. From Hwy 5, exit on Carmel Valley Road and drive west for about 1.5 miles till you reach the Coast Highway 101. Turn left and proceed along the beach for about a mile. The park entrance is on your right just before the highway begins to climb the Torrey Pines grade.
GPS: 32.92183, -117.2497
There is a parking fee for any car entering Torrey Pines State Reserve.
General: $6 weekdays, $8 weekends/holidays
Senior: $5 weekdays, $7 weekends/holidays
Disabled:$3 weekdays, $4 weekends/holidays
Once the sun was up the people began to arrive and the birds began to leave. I left with the birds and went on to La Jolla.