Carmel Valley is located in north county, San Diego, just a few miles from the coast. Interstate 5 creates the western border of Carmel Valley, and Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve the southern border. Other nearby neighborhoods includes Rancho Santa Fe and Del Mar Heights.
This family-friendly area has youth programs replete with baseball and softball teams, lacrosse, soccer, rugby, pop warner football, and cheerleading. Most of the programs are associated with the Carmel Valley Recreation Center, which also offers dance classes and a public pool. The Ocean Air Recreation Center has classes open to the public, such as painting, martial arts, youth gymnastics and yoga.
Carmel Valley is served by three school districts: Del Mar Union School District, Solana Beach School District and San Dieguito Union High School District. In total, 11 elementary schools, 2 middle schools and 2 high schools accept students from the Carmel Valley area.