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Natural beauty abounds at Del Mar Terrace

Perched among pine tree and sandstone cliffs overlooking the Penasquitos Lagoon, and the Pacific Ocean is the unique neighborhood of Del Mar Terrace. Located at the southern border of the City of Del Mar, this neighborhood has an eclectic mix of homes along streets that wind up the side of the hill. Most residents enjoy stunning views of San Diego's natural coastal scenery.

To reach Del Mar Terrace, you exit I-5 at Carmel Valley Road and go west. This scenic road winds along the lagoon heading toward the ocean. To the south the lagoon and headland of Torrey Pines Preserve create a postcard view.

The median price in August, 2017 for homes in Del Mar was $2,158,000. Home values have increased 4.5% over last year according to Zillow.

houses in Del Mar Terrace
Del Mar Terrace has a mix of homes along streets that wind up the side of the hill above Penasquitos Lagoon.

"The area was developed by Edwin Smith in the 1960s," said Jill Miranda, a broker with Pacific Sotheby's International Realty. Smith owned most of the lots in upper Del Mar Terrace and was instrumental in developing them into house sites with roads, city sewer and underground electricity service. As the original developer of Del Mar Terrace, Smith selected a lot at the top of the hill. He sited it to take advantage of the stunning view to the southwest and the pristine natural beauty of the northern extension of the Torrey Pines Reserve in the backyard. Today there are approximately 700 homes in Del Mar Terrace, including both single-family homes and condominiums.

Smith home at Del Mar Terrace
Edwin Smith developed much of Del Mar Terrace in the 1960s. He selected this prime lot to build his house and lived here with his wife for nearly 50 years.

The Penasquitos Lagoon is protected under its designation as a natural preserve. The area is closed to all boats and hiking except for the Flintkote Trail. The original ocean entrance was at the extreme southwest corner of the lagoon, where a parking lot stands today.

Early residents of Del Mar Terrace settled here the early 1920s when the Santa Fe Railroad constructed a road and bridge across the lagoon. In the 1930s the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 101) expanded the road along the beach and a bridge was built over the mouth the lagoon.

Penasquitos Lagoon
A view of the Penasquitos Lagoon, train trestle and Torrey Pines Reserve.

House in Del Mar Terrace
Del Mar Terrace has an eclectic mix of custom homes.

In 1968 the North Beach Parking Lot was built with a tunnel under the highway that provides access to Torrey Pines State Beach. The beach is popular for swimming, surfing and fishing. There are no houses along this stretch to obstruct the view as you drive along PCH. At the south side of the lagoon dramatic 300-foot sandstone cliffs rise up to the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. The park offers miles of hiking trails with magnificent ocean views and the rare Torrey Pine trees.

Sunset view of the lagoon and Torrey Pines beach.

There are a number of restaurants along Carmel Valley Road. For the money, you can't beat the panoramic view from the outdoor patio at Roberto's. Other restaurants that enjoy this great location include Nugents Seafood Grille, China Café, Iris Food & Spirits, and Sam's Pizzeria. For residents and visitors the neighborhood of Del Mar Terrace is a beautiful slice of San Diego.

Bluffs at Del Mar Terrace
Custom homes tucked among the sandstone bluffs and pines at Del Mar Terrace.


map link Del Mar Terrace


Del Mar Heights Elementary
13555 Boquita Dr.

Del Mar Hills Elementary
14085 Mango Dr.


Zel's Del Mar
1247 Camino Del Mar

Arterra Lounge - Marriott
11966 El Camino Real

Del Mar Plaza
1555 Camino Del Mar

1540 Camino Del Mar


SUBMIT photos and information about this neighborhood to

Del Mar Terrace neighborhood profile blip

Spectacular natural light show