Sweet stop: Getting to and parking at the San Diego County Fair

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - It's arguably the most heavily trafficked area during the summer.

The Del Mar Fairgrounds will be buzzing from June to July during the San Diego County Fair. But for those worried about the impending calvary of vehicles to the area, there are plenty of options to beat the rush.

In addition to ridesharing options like Uber and Lyft, guests can choose from on-site or off-site parking. Both options include free shuttle service so it comes down to how close drivers are willing to park or walk.

MAP: Updating traffic conditions around the Del Mar Fairgrounds

So before you head out, naturally, familiarize yourself with your options. Plan ahead and parking won't be a summertime nightmare at the fair.

ON-SITE...

On-site parking at any of the fairgrounds' parking lots will cost $15 for general parking or $25 for preferred parking.

On-site lots will be open beginning at 8 a.m. on weekends and July 2-4, and 9 a.m. on weekdays. Lots open at 1 p.m. on Opening Day (June 1).

Trams will provide service to lots continuously throughout the day. All on-site parking lots close an hour after the fairgrounds close.

OFF-SITE...

Off-site parking will be available for free at the fairgrounds' horse park, Torrey Pines High School, and Miracosta College San Elijo and are available at the following times:

  • June 1: Only horse park parking open 1 p.m. to closing.
  • Saturdays: All lots open from 9 a.m. to closing.
  • Sunday: All lots open from 9 a.m. to closing.
  • Wednesday-Fridays (through June 17): Only horse park parking open 10 a.m. to closing.
  • Wednesday-Fridays (after June 20): Horse park parking open 10 a.m. to closing, and Torrey Pines High parking open 12 p.m. to closing.
  • July 2:  Horse park parking opening 10 a.m. to closing, Torrey Pines High and Miracosta College parking open 9 a.m. to closing.
  • July 3:  Horse park parking opening 10 a.m. to closing, Torrey Pines High and Miracosta College parking open 9 a.m. to closing.
  • July 4:  All lots open from 9 a.m. to closing.

Free shuttle services will be available from off-site lots to the main fairgrounds gate. Off-site lots close about an hour after the fairgrounds close.

The fairgrounds also encourages drivers to tune into AM 1680 for up-to-date parking information.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION...

On North County Transit District:

  • Coaster: From Oceanside Transit Center to Santa Fe Depot, with stops in downtown Carlsbad, Poinsettia Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Sorrento Valley and Old Town. Fair guests will stop at the Solana Beach and ride Special Route 408 to the west gate.
  • Sprinter: From Oceanside Transit Center and Escondido Transit Center with stops in Oceanside, Vista and San Marcos. Fair guests can connect with the Coaster in Oceanside, or connect to Special Breeze Route 408 from Escondido.
  • Breeze Route 408: From Escondido Transit Center and West Gate. Route 408 also goes between west gate and Solana Beach train station.

San Diego MTS (Trolley lines connect with Coaster at Santa Fe Depot. Trolley riders can take the Coaster to the Solana Beach station, and connect on Special Route 408 to the west gate.):

  • Blue Line: From San Ysidro to downtown San Diego Santa Fe Depot. 
  • Orange Line: From El Cajon to downtown San Diego Santa Fe Depot. 
  • Green Line: From Santee to downtown San Diego Santa Fe Depot. Also connects with Coaster at Old Town station.

Amtrak: 

Pacific Surfliner runs from San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles Union station, and San Diego Santa Fe Depot. It makes a stop in Solana Beach.

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