Native American Kumeyaay history in the Carmel Valley area has been documented to 7,000 years ago. The area was known to locals as “Cordero” after the Mexican War of Independence, when land grants were distributed to rancheros to promote settlement. After the Mexican-American War and the California Gold Rush, the area was developed to support agriculture and horse farms, with some equestrian facilities still present to this day.
The Catholic Sisters of Mercy were given 1,000 acres of land by the McGonigle family in the late 1800s in exchange for health care. They named the area Carmel Valley, where they established the Mercy Hospital, a dairy farm, a monastery, and cemetery. Carmel Valley is one of the newer neighborhoods in San Diego, formed in 1975, when farms were replaced by residential communities. Today, Carmel Valley is home to many tract homes and is known as a safe, family-oriented community. A few communities in the area include the gated Rancho Pacifica, Stratford at the Villages of Fairbanks, Senterra, Derby Downs, Del Mar Mesa, and Del Mar Mesa.
In addition to residential homes, there is a large office and retail presence as the community continues to be developed. One Paseo, Sky Deck, and Pacific Highlands are all newly developed shopping and dining centers that have become local favorites, featuring the best shopping and dining in an open air environment. Accommodations for out of town visitors are plentiful, including the Fairmont Grand, a five-star hotel that can’t be missed. Access to and from the areas are convenient with close proximity to Highway 56 and I-5.