Carmel Valley is a flourishing community that is easily accessed from much of San Diego County, making it an ideal location for homes, offices, hotels, shopping areas and restaurants. The community of 39,000 people boasts many neighborhood parks and a community recreation center, as well as open spaces with hiking and equestrian trails that are enjoyed by the community. Carmel Valley is served by nationally-recognized schools and is also home to the City's newest police substation. The area has served as a home for Native American tribes, Spanish ranchers, gold miners and dairy farmers. Many of the valleys in the community have been left untouched, with development placed atop mesas and centered around the Del Mar Highlands Shopping Center.