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Best Places to Live in Carmel Valley, San Diego, CA

Best Places to Live in Carmel Valley, San Diego, CA

Aerial view of a Ranch

Equestrian property for sale in Carmel Valley.View details here.

A master planned community situated along the rolling hills of Southern California and facing the coastal shores of the Pacific Ocean, Carmel Valley in San Diego, CA embodies the epitome of a dream residential community. Meticulously designed to preserve natural landscapes and embrace the picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean, Carmel Valley offers a range of exceptional offerings that make it highly sought-after.

This community is loved by residents and investors because of its:

  • Prestigious neighborhoods
  • Award-winning school system
  • Open spaces
  • Luxury homes
  • World-class golf courses
  • Stunning beaches
  • Diverse trails
  • Vibrant shopping centers
  • Corporate offices
  • Local parks
  • State-of-the-art facilities rates Carmel Valley as follows:

  • A+ for its diversity, vibrant nightlife, and commitment to safety
  • 4th Best Neighborhood to Raise a Family
  • 7th Best Neighborhood to live in
  • 33rd Best Neighborhood for Young Professionals in San Diego

Upscale residences within Carmel Valley range from 2 to 6 bedrooms with an equal number of bathrooms. Property sizes can be sprawling, or upwards of 70 acres.

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Carmel Valley, San Diego, CA has a rich history that begins with the La Jolla and Ipai people, the area’s first inhabitants. Miners arrived after the California Gold Rush, leading to the place being called Cordero. Over time, the community witnessed the emergence of horse farms and agricultural spaces, which eventually evolved into the renowned Grand Del Mar Golf Course. In the 1950s, the Carmelite Sisters of Mercy established a dairy farm and monastery in Carmel Valley, from which the place derived its name—a heritage that remains to this day.


house outdoor swimming pool

FOR SALE in RANCHO PACIFICA, CARMEL VALLEY: 4 beds. 4.5 baths, 5,614 square feet.View details.

RANCHO PACIFICA: A gated community surrounded by a breathtaking golf course

Renowned as one of San Diego’s most prestigious gated communities, Rancho Pacifica offers an unrivaled living experience surrounded by the breathtaking Fairbanks Ranch Golf Course. Embracing the timeless Tuscan Mediterranean architecture style, the 148 custom-built residences exemplify elegance and luxury. With spacious floor plans ranging from 4 to 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, Rancho Pacifica is refined living at its finest.

Home prices in this exclusive neighborhood are from $4 million for a 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom,  5,000-square-foot property to $11 million for a 7-bedroom, 8-bathroom home at over 11,000 square feet.

Convenience is key in Rancho Pacifica, with its prime location just minutes away from attractions like pristine beaches, the Del Mar Racetrack, renowned shopping destinations, fine dining establishments, cultural venues, and esteemed schools.

Inquire about homes for sale in Rancho Pacifica, Carmel Valley, CA

TORREY HILLS:  Gated, convenient, and peaceful

house for sale in torrey hills

FOR SALE in TORREY HILLS, CARMEL VALLEY: 5 beds, 3 baths, 2,905 square feet.View details.

Torrey Hills, located in Carmel Valley, San Diego County, is a prestigious gated community known for its luxury homes and convenient yet peaceful setting. Constructed in the early 2000s, the exquisite residences blend modern and classic architecture.

Home prices range from $675,000 for a 1-bedroom unit to $8 million for a 5-bedroom,  1,950-square-foot home with beautiful gardens and inviting pools. With a median home value surpassing $1,000,000 and median rent of $2,000 as of June 2023, Torrey Hills has gained a reputation for being one of San Diego’s top residential destinations, renowned for its family-friendly atmosphere.

Residents enjoy the neighborhood’s proximity to outdoor spaces like Carmel Mountain Preserve, Los Penasquitos Lagoon, and Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, offering great opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, picnicking, jogging, and exploring protected natural areas, including stnning vernal pools.

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PALACIO DEL MAR: With amenity-rich gated communities

Palacio del Mar is a prestigious neighborhood featuring Vintage and Palacio gated communities offering an array of amenities like a 9-hole golf course, tennis courts, and fitness centers. With 420 homes, ranging from 1 to 2-story single-family residences, Palacio del Mar showcases 8 distinct floor plans that capture the area’s serene yet vibrant ambiance.

The mid-sized homes in Palacio del Mar range from $1.8 million for a spacious 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom property in more than 2,700 square feet of space to luxurious 5-bedroom, 5.5-bath homes encompassing 6,500 square feet. The average home price in this neighborhood is approximately $2 million for 3 to 5-bedroom homes, offering a range of impressive amenities such as heated swimming pools, floor-to-ceiling windows, multiple-car garages, central air conditioning, and captivating views of the surrounding landscape.

Palacio del Mar is conveniently located near popular attractions like Monterey Cypress Way, Powerhouse Beach, the Grand Golf Club, Carmel Creek Road, Del Mar Racing, and Del Mar Plaza. Outdoor enthusiasts can also explore nearby destinations like Del Mar Preserve, Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, Canyonside Community Park, and Creek Park.

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PACIFIC HIGHLANDS RANCH: Master planned with energy efficient luxury homes

Pacific Highlands welcome arch

Pacific Highlands Ranch, a 2,652-acre master-planned community in Carmel Valley, San Diego, CA, is known for its luxurious and energy-efficient properties. Offering 1 to 2-story single-family homes with modern contemporary designs, Pacific Highlands Ranch provides residents with amenities such as swimming pools, landscaped gardens, and access to 1,300 acres of preserved outdoor spaces.

The community takes pride in its thoughtfully designed multi-use trail systems for hiking, running, and biking. Other notable amenities include a junior-sized Olympic swimming pool, a fitness center, a private club room, a multipurpose room, and a water play area, ensuring a well-rounded and active lifestyle for residents.

The property prices in this neighborhood span a wide range, catering to various preferences and needs. Homes start at a little over $1 million for a 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath,  1,400-square- foot property to a $3.5 million, 5-bed, 5.5-bath residence covering 4,490 square feet. The median home value in Pacific Highlands Ranch as of June 2023 was $1,203,300, with median rent at $3,501. Notably, approximately 73% of the residents in this neighborhood own their homes, indicating a strong sense of community and long-term residency.

Pacific Highlands Ranch’s strategic location creates a seamless connection to nature, with convenient access to the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Preserve, Black Mountain Ranch, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Sabre Springs, and Solana Beach. All provide opportunities to explore and appreciate the nieghborhood’s surrounding natural beauty.

Inquire about homes for sale in Pacific Highlands Ranch, Carmel Valley, CA

BAYSHORE: For a wide range of preferences and budgets

Property options in Bayshore cater to a range of preferences and budgets. Homes in the neighborhood vary from a cozy 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom residence spanning 700 square feet priced at around $500,000 to a capacious 4-bedroom, 5-bathroom, 3,380-square-foot dwelling listed at $4.2 million. Residents can enjoy amenities such as a swimming pool and landscaped gardens, and the neighborhood features modern home designs.

The Bayshore neighborhood offers a prime location with easy access to renowned natural attractions. It is situated near Carmel Mountain Preserve and Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, allowing residents to immerse themselves in the beauty of these preserved areas. Additionally, the neighborhood is also in convenient proximity to San Diego Bay, Sunset Cliffs, and popular parks like Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. For those interested in cultural experiences, Bayshore is also close to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

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CANTAMAR: Luxurious living close to natural protected areas

Cantamar is a prestigious neighborhood that offers luxurious living near captivating natural landscapes. Architectural styles have a distinctive Spanish influence. The neighborhood features 233 homes exuding timeless elegance with their clay tile flooring, stucco exteriors, and a blend of Spanish and Moorish architectural elements. The community is designed with 11 cul-de-sacs to ensure a safe and serene environment for residents.

Cantamar comprises spacious homes with an average price of $2,400,000 and a median home value of approximately $1.7 million as of June 2023. Look for 3 to 5-bedroom residences with 3 to 4 bathrooms and lot sizes from 2,500 to 3,000 square feet.  More affordable options include a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 1,145-square- foot home priced at $775,000. For higher-end choices, there are $5 million residences featuring 5 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms in  6,900 square feet of space.

Located close to nature, Cantamar is prized for its proximity to Carmel Mountain Preserve, Crest Canyon Open Space Park, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, Overlook Park, and the San Dieguito River. Cantamar also makes it easy to engage in activities such as golf, tennis, and going to the spa. The beautiful Del Mar beaches, Del Mar Highland Town Center, The Village, and Carmel Valley Recreation Center are also within reach.

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ALTA DEL MAR: A prime example of Carmel Valley’s natural beauty

house for sale in Alta Del Mar

FOR SALE in ALTA DEL MAR, CARMEL VALLEY: 4 beds, 4.5 baths, 4,433 square feet.View details.

Exuding exclusivity and sophistication, Alta del Mar is an exceptional gated community offering  an elevated living experience. The homes in this prestigious neighborhood are listed at over $4 million. There are 175 single-family homes in this community with intricate floor plans consisting of 3 to 4 bedrooms.

The timeless elegance of Alta del Mar’s architectural styles showcase the charm of Spanish-style roofs and stucco exteriors. Home features like yards strike a perfect balance between aesthetics and practicality. Other architectural styles that add beauty and character to Alta del Mar include a unique blend of French, Country, Colonial Monterey, and Tuscan elements..

From the captivating coastal canyons to the panoramic views of the esteemed Grand Del Mar Hotel and the inspiring Pacific Ocean sunset, Alta del Mar’s backdrop epitomizes the beauty of Carmel Valley.

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MEADOWS DEL MAR: Architectural diversity and proximity to everything

Situated east of Del Mar and south of Rancho Santa Fe, Meadows Del Mar offers an extraordinary living experience in a prime location. This exclusive community is close to the renowned Tom Fazio-designed championship golf course and the luxurious Grand Del Mar Hotel, recognized as one of the best in America. Residents of Meadows Del Mar also enjoy easy access to the ocean and convenient freeway connections, enhancing their lifestyle and providing endless opportunities for leisure and exploration.

Meadows Del Mar comprises 134 homes, each showcasing a classic design inspired by Tuscan, Spanish, Mediterranean, and French chateau styles. These stately single-family homes boast spacious living areas and large kitchens, providing an ideal setting for comfortable and luxurious living. The neighborhood’s architectural diversity adds to its charm and allure, creating a visually appealing environment for residents and visitors alike.

The estate homes in Meadows Del Mar are situated on expansive properties, with prices starting at around $2.4 million.A typical residence includes 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a 3-car garage, and impressive features such as sports and entertainment rooms, swimming pools, beautifully landscaped gardens, home offices, and covered grand verandas. For those seeking larger homes, properties with 6 bedrooms, 6.5 bathrooms, and 7,890 square feet are available for $5.7 million, while 4-bedroom residences spanning 2,724 square feet are priced at $1.9 million.

Residents of Meadows Del Mar enjoy a coveted lifestyle, with its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean beaches, the vibrant community of La Jolla, the bustling Golden Triangle area, and the thriving business hub of Sorrento Valley. Nature enthusiasts can explore nearby hiking trails and the scenic Mission Trails Regional Park, while golf enthusiasts can indulge in the world-class amenities of the Grand Golf Club, complete with a spa and pool facilities.

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SONOMA: Spacious homes, walkable streets, and 10 cul-de-sacs

With a rich history and established in the early to mid-1990s, Sonoma is a well-regarded neighborhood with a distinctive architectural style inspired by Spanish Mediterranean design. The homes in Sonoma feature charming red tiled roofs, expansive floor plans, stucco exteriors, and a vibrant array of colors, creating an enchanting atmosphere. With a total of 150 homes, Sonoma offers a range of options, like 4 to 6-bedroom homes with 3 to 5 bathrooms. Lot sizes are from 3,000 to 4,000 square feet, providing ample space for all residents.

Sonoma offers attractively priced homes such as a 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom, 1,719-square- foot property at $1.3 million. A 6-bedroom, 6.5-bathroom home boasting 7,980 square feet of living space lists at $5.8 million. Many of the homes in Sonoma feature desirable amenities, including swimming pools, beautifully landscaped gardens, spacious driveways, and roomy  living areas to ensure a comfortable and elevated lifestyle.

One of the appealing aspects of Sonoma is its convenient location. The neighborhood features 10 cul-de-sacs for added privacy and serenity. Residents enjoy being within walking distance to schools, parks, shopping centers, and nearby beaches. Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the nearby parks and hiking trails, such as Carmel Knolls Park, Ashley Falls Park, and Carmel Creek Park, allowing for leisurely strolls and outdoor activities.

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Aerial view of Carmen Valley

COLLINS RANCH:  Luxurious amenities in homes within a gated community

Renowned for its expansive 1 to 2-story residences, Collins Ranch epitomizes luxury and comfort. This prestigious neighborhood is surrounded by picturesque parks, golf courses, and swimming pools, creating a haven for recreation and relaxation. The Mediterranean-style single-family residences are designed to add elegance and sophistication to the neighborhood.

Many homes in this exclusive gated community offer ocean views and panoramic vistas of the Black Mountain range. Additionally, Collins Ranch enjoys a prime location near Carmel Valley Road, providing easy access to major highways and allowing residents to explore the surrounding areas with ease.

The homes in Collins Ranch showcase exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail. Prices for these remarkable residences start at $1.7 million for a 5-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom home measuring 3,864 square feet and up to $2.6 million for a 5-bedroom, 5.5-bathroom home spanning 5,540 square feet. For those seeking grander homes, a magnificent 6,558-square-foot property boasts 5 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms for $6.9 million. These homes often feature luxurious amenities such as a home theater, gated courtyard, hot tub, chef’s outdoor kitchen, expansive swimming pool, and a home bar with a wine cellar.

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CARMEL COUNTRY HIGHLANDS: Proximity to schools make it ideal for families

Carmel Country Highlands is an incredibly desirable neighborhood that offers residents a wealth of amenities and a prime location. Located along the hills of Carmel Valley, San Diego, CA, the neighborhood offers views of the Pacific Ocean, which create a picturesque and tranquil environment. Convenience is another key feature of Carmel Country Highlands, as it is just a short drive from the beach, restaurants, and shopping centers.

The homes in Carmel Country Highlands cater to a range of needs and budgets. Prices start at $800,000 for a 2-bedroom, 3-bathroom property with 1,274 square feet of living space. Bigger homes with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms measuring 3,601 square feet list at $2.7 million. These high-value homes are often found within gated communities, near world-class golf courses, and in proximity to top-rated schools, making Carmel Country Highlands an ideal neighborhood for families.

Plus, amenities include a private clubhouse featuring a swimming pool, spa, fitness center, media room, and business center. All enhance the lifestyle of residents and offer convenience at their fingertips.

The location also provides an abundance of recreational activities. People who live in Carmel Country Highlands can enjoy an active and vibrant lifestyle with opportunities to swim, surf, kayak, bike, and run.

The neighborhood’s numerous community centers, recreational facilities, and local events likewise foster a sense of belonging, neighborliness, and care. Additionally, there are art galleries, theaters, museums, and a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes to help shape a local culture that’s vibrant, thriving, and well-rounded.

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BREAKERS: Serene and well-established within Carmel Country Highlands

2nd floor house view

FOR SALE in BREAKERS, CARMEL VALLEY: 4 beds, 4 baths, 3,601 square feet.View details.

Situated within the Carmel Country Highlands community, Breakers is a well-established neighborhood known for its large, high-value homes. Dating back to 2000-2001, Breakers offers an attractive location near Sage Canyon School and Park. The neighborhood consists of 68 single-family detached homes with 4 to 6 bedrooms.

Home prices in Breakers vary from $1.5 million for a 5-bedroom, 4-bathroom property with 3,609 square feet of living space to a $2.8 million custom-designed and upgraded 5-bedroom, 5-bathroom home sized at 3,730 square feet.

The Breakers neighborhood is clean, family-friendly, peaceful, and well-maintained, which translates to a serene and comfortable living environment. Hiking, photography, walking, gardening, and a host of family-friendly activities can be enjoyed within the neighborhood.

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RANCHO SANTA FE: Celebrity enclave

mansion with golf course

SOLD in RANCHO SANTA FE, CARMEL VALLEY: 5-bed, 6-bath, 8,998-square-foot home

Rancho Santa Fe is an esteemed community in Carmel Valley, San Diego, CA renowned for high-profile residents like  Bill Gates, Bill Murray, Tiger Woods, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The price points of homes in Rancho Santa Fe begin at around $1.6 million for a 3-bedroom, 2,243 square feet property, to $8.7 million and up for a 6-bedroom home with 11,757 square feet of living space.

Given its preference by the rich and famous,  Rancho Santa Fe offers plenty of multi-million dollar properties as well. You’ll find homes listed well above $14 million to a 77-acre property  priced at $98 million.  Rancho Santa Fe’s exquisite homes, coupled with its prestigious reputation, make it a highly sought-after location for those seeking an ultra luxurious lifestyle.

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THE BRIDGES: Total luxury in a beautiful, natural environment

The Bridges is a prestigious neighborhood boasting 240 single-family homes, each offering custom villas with pools, guest houses, and expansive indoor and outdoor living spaces. The homes in The Bridges are typically priced at $2 million for a 4-bedroom, 3,128-square-foot residence, with more luxurious options at up to $16 million for a 5-bedroom property on a 8,998-square-foot lot.

Located near the scenic foothills of Carmel Valley, San Diego, CA, The Bridges provides an idyllic setting for dining, events, wellness, and recreational activities. Residents can indulge in facilities like a spa, pools, and tennis courts, ensuring a luxurious lifestyle in a beautiful natural environment.

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These are just some of the many Carmel Valley neighborhoods to choose from! Whether you are looking for Carmel Valley, San Diego homes for sale or luxurious estates with breathtaking views, family-friendly neighborhoods with top-rated schools, or convenient locations with access to amenities and recreational activities Delorine Jackson’s real estate team  has the expertise and knowledge to guide you every step of the way.With a commitment to personalized service, Jackson and her team goes above and beyond to prioritize our client’s interests. Get to know them here.

Work with a trusted real estate team with a proven track record in finding prime  properties in Carmel Valley, San Diego, CA. Contact The Jackson Team today. With 25 years of experience and dedication to client satisfaction, we are ready to assist you in finding the perfect Carmel Valley, San Diego home for sale that aligns with your lifestyle and investment objectives.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to work with seasoned professionals who will make your real estate journey a seamless and rewarding experience. Call Delorine Jackson and her team today at 858.822.9694 and find your dream home in Carmel Valley, San Diego, CA with confidence and service catered especially for you and your needs.