The Del Mar Fair opens today and for most folks that’s enough of a destination.

But, if, like me, you can take or leave the Fair, leave the fair and head south on Jimmy Durante Boulevard to Camino Del Mar — the old U.S. 101 — to Torrey Pines.

Aside from the great view (assuming the fog has cleared) and wonderful places to hike, take the park road up from the beach. You’ll be driving on history… the first paved road from Los Angeles to San Diego.

Today, it’s a twisting road up to the park’s headquarters.

Back in 1915, it was the road from Los Angeles to San Diego and the park headquarters was a lodge, complete with a restaurant, gas station and repair shop.

There’s a plaque and other information about the original road a bit south of the headquarters, plus a display inside the building on its original use as the Torrey Pines Lodge.

A lot of my interest in driving is being able to see and touch actual history. When I can drive on the same road—better yet, the same pavement—that someone used a century ago, that’s cool.

And there’s a little piece of the original 1915 concrete pavement that’s part of the parking lot. No 21st century asphalt and widening covering things up here. It’s the same as it was put down by the guys back in 1915. ⚙


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