Del Dios Highway, California, USA
The road to Del Mar in San Diego County is one of the least-known roads leading to the famous Pacific Coast Highway. However, it is a very engaging 16-mile drive with twists, turns and straightaways made for a Porsche 911.
Exit the 15 Freeway at ValleyParkway in Escondido. Heading west on Valley Parkway, at first the scenery is one of typical suburban Southern California leading you past trailer parks and track homes.
Soon you’ll find yourself zipping through steep canyons, and menacing narrow ridges and bluffs. This area of your drive becomes quite impressive. The road abruptly undergoes a name change to ‘Del Dios Highway’.
Long sweepers are the norm as the road arches to the left, then to the right. In a GT3 RS the high revving flat six screams and the sound echoes off the canyon walls.
While there is plenty of space in this particular segment of the road as it has two lanes going both ways, be on alert as it very quickly narrows into lovely twisties. As the elevation changes from the sun-parched desert, you are pitched into the Santa Fe Valley, an area of extraordinary wealth.
Further in, the road receives another exotic name change and becomes ‘Paseo Delicias’. The beautiful green scenery is enthralling and picturesque. The latter part of the journey takes you through beautiful Rancho Santa Fe. The nearby Café Positano is often a gathering place for 911s on weekends.
Latitude: 33.0450° N, 117.1286° W
Length of drive: Approx. 16 miles
Points of interest:
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club race track
Food and accommodation:
The Fish Market Restaurant Del Mar
Courtyard Marriot Del Mar, Solana Beach
The final leg out of Rancho Santa Fe sends you past several San Diego landmarks including the Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, which held several equestrian events at the 1984 Summer Olympics, and the San Diego Polo Club.
More twists and turns allow your 911 to enjoy its superb handling before you quickly downshift and enter the city of Del Mar. Approaching Pacific Coast Highway you come upon Jimmy Durante Blvd, with the famous Del Mar Race Track on your left.
Passing that, the hot inland weather is replaced by cool coastal breezes. Your engaging great road trip from inland San Diego County to the coast has ended, perfectly setting you up for another great road along, of course, Pacific Coast Highway.