Del Mar Beach RV and Resort. Photo courtesy of Bill Reals.
My wife and I have been quite pleased with the upgrade of the Del Mar Beach Resort MWR facility at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, CA. They are cinder block bungalows right on the beach. The bungalows are arranged into duplexes and triplexes that have connecting doors. You can rent all connecting bungalows for a large family gathering. The furniture and fixtures have all been upgraded to a similar civilian recreation facility. However, there is no maid service or change of linens daily.
In addition, they all have barbecues on the patios and fire pits for the evening. Fire wood can be purchased at the PX nearby or at the beach. The bungalow pricing is based upon on rank, bungalow location and its amenities. The season of the year determines the amount of nights you need to stay. The ideal time for military retirees is in the winter, during the week, for best availability.
Like all similar MWR facilities, military retirees are the lowest category to rent. Active Duty is the top criteria. The facility is busy during the spring and summer with many unit parties and returning Marines from deployment. Del Mar has a large, wide beach and it is very scenic. There is plenty of room for kids to have fun on the beach and for surfing.
Del Mar Resort cantina. Photo courtesy of Bill Reals.
There are also campgrounds for both RV’s and tents. Large groups can also camp on the beach at one camp site. A new club house was built on the Del Mar beach. This can be rented for large parties and family functions through the Del Mar office which is located at the beach. It has a limited menu take out restaurant that is only opened seasonally. The Del Mar location is ideal for getting to the PX and main commissary, the liquor store (Class VI), and the service station. A few restaurants are on the base. Also the new base hospital is next to PX.
To get on Camp Pendleton, you need to have a Military ID. All ID’s are checked at the main gate by the Marine MP’s. The Base is closed to only military and retirees. However, non-military guests can come on base with photo ID’s giving the name and location of whom they are visiting. Security on the beach is very well done by the MP’s who patrol in the evening. It is a very safe and secure facility for a family to enjoy themselves. Sometimes during the day, the end of the beach is utilized for Amphibious Track Vehicles entering the water. Although you cannot get too close to them, they do put on a pretty good amphibious show moving in and out of the water. There is a large Motor Pool nearby the parking, but it is not a safety issue since all tactical vehicles have a Marine walking with the vehicle when moving down a street.
Del Mar Beach Cottages. Photo courtesy of Bill Reals.
There are two beaches with bungalows on Camp Pendleton: Del Mar and San Onofre. However, Del Mar beach is the largest and the most ideal to rent. The San Onofre facility has also been upgraded similar to Del Mar. San Onofre has a small Commissary, PX, service station and liquor store close by. Reservations for each facility are made by calling the office of that particular beach location.
Both beaches are located close to the CA 5 Freeway. The beaches and views are excellent, especially in the summer. It is a great place to have a vacation. And for those in California during the winter, it is a great place to go relax. We have enjoyed it very much, and will go back from time to time.
Bill Reals, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reprint from July–August 2015 • Volume 45, No. 4