Once a wagon road
that linked the Spanish
missions, U.S. Route
101 meanders along
our coastline, passing
through San Diego
and North County’s
charming beach towns.
A leisurely cruise along
the historic route offers
a truly scenic drive and
chance to experience
our laid-back lifestyle.
This seaside gem bustles with beachgoers, savvy
shoppers and diners enjoying oceanfront living.
Enjoy cinnamon roll pancakes at Brockton Villa, an
original 1894 cottage that overlooks the sea, then
explore the hidden caves or snorkel with sea lions
and bright orange Garibaldi fish in La Jolla Cove.
The seaside deck at Duke’s La Jolla is the perfect spot
for fish tacos in the ocean breeze. Burn some calories
with an afternoon hike on the many trails of Torrey
Pines State Natural Reserve and keep an eye out
for frolicking dolphins and spouting whales in the
ocean below. While driving north on the 101, enjoy the
crashing surf to your left and the heron- and egret-filled estuaries to the right.
Next, you’ll hit Del Mar Village, a nice spot for a stroll
and window shopping. Find beachy-chic threads at
Sundancer, surf gear at Rusty Del Mar, and unique
global gifts at Fair Trader Decor. Grab a gyro at
Beesalt Balcony or Peruvian ceviche at Cafe Secret;
or picnic on the grass at Powerhouse Park above the
beach, where live bands perform on summer eves.
Jake’s Del Mar and Poseidon offer up front-row seats
for sunset cocktails and good eats. Heading out of
town you’ll pass the famous racetrack of the Del
Mar Fairgrounds, founded by Bing Crosby and his
Hollywood pals back in 1937. Place your bets during
the summer season (mid-July through Labor Day) or
hit the San Diego County Fair (June 1–July 4). If Fido
is in tow, stop for a swim at Del Mar’s Dog Beach.