Del Mar
by McCormack's Guides - 2005

SMALL CITY ON THE PACIFIC, famous for its race track, which used to attract old Hollywood. "Where the surf meets the turf," crooned Bing Crosby, one of the original owners. Opening day tradition: hats, the grander, the better. The 1990 census tallied 4,860 residents, the 2004 state estimate put the count at 4,555. Many empty nesters. Median age of residents is 44. Those under 18 years make up only 14 percent of town.

School rankings among tops in state. Adolescents, teens attend Earl Warren Junior High and Torrey Pines High. Del Mar Hills Elementary was converted into an arts and sciences academy with an upgraded music program.

Zero homicides in 2003 and preceding 16 years. Protected by sheriff.

Narrow town with one main thoroughfare, Camino Del Mar. Cottages, condos, homes can be found on both sides of street. Town rises into hills and many homes have views. Some of the hill streets are cul-de-sacs. About a third of the housing was built between 1940 and 1960, about half between 1960 and 1980. Del Mar is bordered on the south and east by parks. Lagoons at both ends of town. Essentially, Del Mar is built out but just beyond city limits to the east are new subdivisions. Drive Del Mar Heights or Carmel roads. State in 2004 counted 2,595 housing units: 1,357 single-family detached, 366 single attached, 872 multiple and zero mobile.

Many residents are professionals affiliated with La Jolla firms or University of California. Or high-tech firms in Sorrento Valley. This means a short commute for many. For those working in downtown San Diego, on bad days it's a crawl of 15 to 20 miles. Many tourists. Parking short, congestion a problem on Camino Del Mar. Train station (commute rail) just south of Del Mar - to downtown San Diego and points north.

Picky about development and aesthetics. No drive-through restaurants. New homes or remodelings can't block views. Some residents were upset about Marine helicopters at Miramar. See Mira Mesa.

What do you call a Del Mar resident? A Del Martian. Restaurants, shops, beach activities. San Diego County kicks off summer with an annual fair, several weeks long, at Del Mar. It draws about 1.5 million visitors. Some locals start new year with Penguin Plunge, a splash in the ocean. Brrrrr! Chamber of commerce (858) 755-4844.

This information reprinted with the permission or McCormack's Guides Inc
For San Diego McCormick's Guides, contact me or click here for Guides of other areas.

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