If you want a beach house of your own rather than a motel room that’s part of a huge block, book a daily or weekly bungalow or suite at the Wave Crest Resort (1400 Ocean St., Del Mar, 858/755-0100, www.wavecrestresort.com, $200–500). Here you’ll get a studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom private unit. These are condo-style accommodations, so you’ll get nice furnishings but no daily maid service.
Even if you go for a more economical garden-facing unit, you’ll enjoy the view of the meticulously landscaping that makes the whole complex lovely. For a modest extra fee, your unit will face the near-enough-to-touch Pacific Ocean.
Take a quick walk to Seagrove Park and down to the beach beyond. Perhaps the only downside, which can also be an upside, is its proximity to the rail line and the highways. They provide both easy transportation and noise.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition