Living in Carmel Valley San Diego

Living in Carmel Valley San Diego

Today on Off the 56 Courtney Solis and I are taking you on a tour of the awesome Carmel Valley, San Diego neighborhood. Carmel Valley is full of family-friendly parks, awesome restaurants and shopping, and award-winning schools – and it’s just five miles to the coast! Does it get any better than that?!

We began our tour at the Western end of the Peñasquitos Preserve. There’s a trail that runs along the 56 freeway which you can follow all the way to the ocean. It starts at the 15 freeway and you can bike, walk, horseback ride, and hike down to Torrey Pines Preserve. This is a great trail that many locals love to take advantage of and you’ll often see people enjoying the trail at all hours of the day!

From there, Courtney and I headed to Pacific Highlands Ranch, the newer section of Carmel Valley. Many of the homes were built in the last five to seven years (2012 and later) with some still being built today! The median home price in Carmel Valley is about $1,300,000 for a single family home. Townhomes and condos are more affordable, with townhomes starting at around $650,000. If you’re in the market for a new home, reach out to me – I’d love to talk to you about your options.

The local schools are one of the main reasons people choose to move to Carmel Valley. This community is home to some of the best schools in the state! In fact, Canyon Crest Academy located right here in Pacific Highlands Ranch, Torrey Pines High School, Pacific Trails Middle School and Carmel Valley Middle School are all ranked in the Top 30 on the Niche.com list of the Best Public Schools in California. Many of the local schools in Carmel Valley are known for the strength of their S.T.E.M. Education. S.T.E.M. stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Next, we visited the Pacific Highlands Ranch Community Park in Pacific Highlands Ranch. This park is fairly new and has brought some much needed recreation space to the community. The park features playgrounds for kids, a bike track, a large open field, basketball courts, and a skateboard park with a halfpipe! This park truly has something for everyone.

Our tour of Carmel Valley made us work up an appetite so we stopped at local favorite doughnut shop, Sidecar Doughnuts and Coffee, in the Del Mar Highlands shopping center. If you’ve never been, be sure to put it on your list – trust me, they have some of the best doughnuts you’ve ever tasted! Click here to get the address and see all of the Sidecar Doughnuts locations in Southern California.

After fueling up, Courtney and I stopped at the newly opened One Paseo. One Paseo has a host of new restaurants and shops worth checking out like International Smoke (opened by basketball player Stephen Curry’s wife, Ayesha!) Salt & Straw, Pigment, Urban Beach House, Blue Bottle Coffee, and so much more! There’s even a Susie Cakes at One Paseo – that’s where I got my wedding cake from! Although there aren’t any specific kid-designated areas, there’s plenty of open space to sit and relax throughout the shopping center. Click here to see a full list of the shopping and dining options at One Paseo.

We conclude our tour with – of course – a trip to the beach! We stopped by Torrey Pines Beach, which we’ve visited before on Off the 56. One of Carmel Valley’s best features is definitely its location. Centrally located, it’s only about five minutes from Torrey Pines State Beach and just about twenty-five minutes from anywhere in San Diego County. Whether you head to Downtown San Diego often, fly frequently, or work out of Carlsbad, Carmel Valley is the perfect place to call home!

I hope you enjoyed our tour of Carmel Valley! I know we did! If you want to pick up the California Explorer Pass Courtney mentioned in the video, click here.

And again, if you’re thinking of making a move to Carmel Valley, don’t hesitate to reach out – I would love to help you find the perfect home!

Living in Rancho Penasquitos

Living in Rancho Penasquitos

As many of you know I live Off the 56 in the Rancho Peñasquitos neighborhood of San Diego. I thought we’d do something a little bit different today and go on a neighborhood tour to show you what life is like in this great community. With me is my neighbor and friend, Courtney Solis. Join us as we take you through our neck of the woods and show you all the best that Rancho Peñasquitos has to offer!

We begin our day at the Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. This is a beautiful, 4,000 acre preserve that is open to the public to enjoy hiking, biking, and even horseback riding on the trails! A lot of the trails in Peñasquitos Canyon are fairly flat, which makes it a great place for all skill levels to get some exercise. If you’ve been a regular viewer of Off the 56, you’ll remember this is the same canyon where I hung out with Canicross San Diego! So whether you’re looking for an easy family hike or something more challenging, you’ll want to check out Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve which is right in our own backyard.

Next we stopped by Peñasquitos Park, which is right across the street from Park Village Elementary School. As Courtney tells us, this is one of the many elementary schools in the area ranked in the fifty best schools in California! Schools in Rancho Peñasquitos are part of the award-winning Poway Unified School District. If you’re looking to enroll your kids in a great public school district, Rancho Peñasquitos might be a great fit for your family!

After enjoying our hike and visit to Peñasquitos Park, Courtney and I headed to a popular spot in the area, Andell’s Bakery. Andell’s is just around the corner from Bad Ass Coffee, which I visited on my Off the 56 coffee shop tour. Andell’s is an Asian-Pacific Bakery and Kitchen. As Courtney told us on the video, one of the most popular desserts on the menu is the Ube Londres Cake. Unfortunately, as we found out, Andell’s is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays so we weren’t able to try the purple cake for ourselves. We’ll be back another time for sure!

Next on our tour, we visited the neighborhood where the first Paranormal Activity movie was shot on Bavarian Drive. As a Realtor, it’s pretty cool to have a famous house in the neighborhood!

But the Paranormal Activity house isn’t the only famous house in Rancho Peñasquitos. We also checked out Christmas Card Lane, which isn’t as impressive in the summer, but turns into a magical place during the holidays! Courtney and I both highly recommend visiting Christmas Card Lane during December. All the homes on the street light up and the community of Rancho Peñasquitos truly comes together to celebrate Christmas.

After exploring Christmas Card Lane, Courtney and I headed to Hilltop Community Park. Rancho Peñasquitos has lots of great parks throughout the area. Besides Hilltop Park, there’s also Torrey Meadows Park and Black Mountain Open Space Park. But at Hilltop Park, you’ll enjoy amazing views of the ocean, great playground equipment, and plenty of open space for the kids to run around in. If you have young kids, you will love living in Rancho Peñasquitos.

For the last stop of the tour, we headed to one of my favorite local restaurants, Knotty Barrel. Home to great food, locally brewed beers, and an awesome outdoor dining space. If you haven’t checked out my latest visit to Knotty Barrel on Off the 56, click here to watch my interview with the owner.

I hope you enjoyed our day out and about in Rancho Peñasquitos! What was your favorite part of our tour? Let us know in the comments below.

And if you are thinking of making a move to Rancho Peñasquitos, don’t hesitate to reach out – I’d be happy to help you find the perfect home.

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