San Diego Activities

San Diego Beaches: Del Mar South Beach

Del Mar South Beach


The small town of Del Mar sits on 3 miles of Pacific Beach shoreline.  Most visitors go to the beach on the northern half of town starting from 15th Street.  However, the 1.5 mile portion of beach called Del Mar South Beach is definitely worth a visit if you want to find a great secluded area in the heart of busy Southern California.

Beach Type: Isolated sandy beach backed by cliffs
Access: Either from La Shores North parking lot or 15th Street in Del Mar
Parking:  Free street parking, paid parking at La Jolla Shores North and Del Mar
Facilities: Restrooms at either end
Good For: Surfing, swimming, avoiding crowds, sunbathing, walking/jogging
Not Good For: ease of access


Del Mar South officially starts where Torrey Pines State Preserve ends at the intersection of Carmel Valley Rd and Camino Del Mar (Highway 101).  This intersection is on a bluff that overlooks the ocean.  The bluffs continue 1.5 miles before they start to level off at the north end of Del Mar.

Del Mar South Beach
Some people cross the train tracks and climb down the bluffs

Del Mar South Beach

The bluffs mean that the only way to access Del Mar South is from either the north or south end.  There is no official access down the bluffs (although some do try and carve out trails).  Access from the south is via Torrey Pines State Beach North.  Northern access is at Del Mar City Beach near 15th Street. near Seagrove Park.


Del Mar South Beach
Going left down the beach here will quickly get you away from the crowds
Del Mar South Beach
The bluffs start to rise at Seagrove Park right by Del Mar City Beach

The entrance to Torrey Pines State Beach North lies right off the Carmel Valley Rd exit of the Interstate 5.  You need to pay for parking ($10 to $20 depending on season), but if you are willing to walk a few hundred yards there is usually free parking along Carmel Valley Rd.

Parking in Del Mar proper is free, assuming you can find a space.  Much of the spaces are along the road, with a few meters and paid parking.  Usually I drop people off and go find parking.

Del Mar South beach is primarily used for walking and jogging.  Going to the beach here is difficult because it means dragging your stuff.  There is also limited lifeguards watching the area.  Of course, at high tides, the beach area can be rather small.

Del Mar South Beach
The Torrey Pines State Beach parking lot has a walkway under the bridge to Del Mar South Beach

Other than the difficult access, Del Mar South Beach is a fairly standard sandy beach area.  The bluffs give the area some great scenery.  Pipes draining water from above create some cool waterfall effects.  They have also have provided water to some interesting plants and trees.

Del Mar South Beach Del Mar South Beach Del Mar South Beach Del Mar South Beach

We mainly do Del Mar South Beach as a hike.  You can combine walking the beach with the trails and roads along the bluffs above for a 4-mile walk.  The town of Del Mar has many good places to eat, including restaurants with an ocean view.

Del Mar South Beach
Water draining from the bluffs can provide a waterfall effect

For our hike of Del Mar South Beach go here.

For an overview of Torrey Pines State Beach North on the southern end of Del Mar South Beach go here.

For an overview of Del Mar City Beach go here.


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