Each beach in San Diego County has some sort of regulations and every year these rules are added to. It seems to me that the fine people of Del Mar have really made an art of controlling their section of the Pacific Coastline which ends up trapping visitors in the quagmire of do's and don'ts they have been adding lately.
In some cases it seems that Del Mar has a split personality when trying to figure out their ultimate goal.
Unique Suggestions: Before taking your dog to the beach, check out the city website: Beaches & Park FAQs page for the restrictions of the day.
Fun Alternatives: Drive up or down the coast to an open beach in a city with fewer control issues.
Usually I focus on the positive aspects of a place and in that spirit I will say that the I-5 freeway and it's exits in the area of Del Mar are awful during the morning and evening rush hours, anytime in the weeks of the Del Mar County Fair, and sometimes during the racing season.
Unique Suggestions: At least give yourself plenty of time when planning your arrival outside of the Del Mar area.
Fun Alternatives: Another thing you can do, which mightn't be quicker but would definitely be nicer, is to take the coastal road and enjoy the views.
It seems that there is not enough parking lots in Del Mar. We had a problem to park a car close to the beach on Saturday midday in April.
And one more thing: they are EXPENSIVE, time-limited parking (up to 1 or 2 hours) as I remember well, costs $5. Not much? Hmm... happy walking to your parkometer every 1-2 hours.
Hmm... citizens of the city don't vote for construction more parking lots, I suppose. They prefer to have good police (ticketing for wrong parking) and many NO PARKING signs. OK, I can even understand them although as a visitor...
Unique Suggestions: Imagine that in San Francisco for example it costs at least twice more. Do you feel better now?
Fun Alternatives: 1. Take a hotel with a parking lot, stay your car there and walk, walk, walk.
2. Take a bus to Del Mar - there is a scheduled bus from San Diego as I remember well.
3. Take a helicopter or a balloon especially if you are a Rockefeller son or Bill Gates.
I was driving around Del Mar (Los Angeles - San Diego and San Diego - Oceanside) a few times.
The traffic was usually moderate (or even light) but once there was a traffic jam on the entry to the city - in April.
Hmm... I am afraid that it maybe a tourist trap at least in some summer weekends. Am I wrong?
Unique Suggestions: If your speed is 0:
- look around, there are surely a lot of interesting things around + other drivers hehe
- turn your music on and relax,
- check your alternative directions on the map,
- WAIT, do not try to pass, dance between lanes etc.: it's forbidden by law and socially unacceptable, I think.
If your speed is over 0 mph:
- WATCH a car ahead!
Btw is there any good local radio station with up-to-date news on traffic conditions? In Europe at some jammed areas drivers used to listen to it and follow its suggestions.
Fun Alternatives: Avoid driving in weekends, especially sunny summer weekends (to Del Mar on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, from Del Mar on Sunday afternoons) and on holidays.