Palomar Mountain, which we affectionately call Mountainside, is a special place in southern California. Too distant from both San Diego and Los Angeles to be convenient for them, we have it to ourselves. Palomar Mountain is a real community, comprising 5th and 6th generation homesteaders, bikers, ex-hippies in exile, egghead scientists (associated with Caltech's iconic 200 inch Hale telescope and Observatory), and an ever so-slowly creeping influx of retiring boomers. The town comes alive on weekends in the summer months, and curiously, also in the winter months after frequent snowstorms when the gawkers drive up 5,000 ft to experience snow.
"Mountainside" is about 45 miles east and a mile up from Oceanside. In the 1930's, San Diego County built a road to Palomar Observatory which was then called the "Highway to the Stars." The highway was marked with the following road sign:
Over the years, the road signs became so popular with thieves that they were all stolen. Today the road is known and marked as County S-6. The best part is 7 miles of winding road with an ascent of a few thousand feet. There are turnouts with breathtaking views all the way to the Pacific on clear days. This time of year, there tends to be haze. It's a popular (and dangerous) route with the bikers in the summer. There's a popular watering hole at the summit (the mountain is also famous for its spring water).
[added] More iconic imagery: