Not really smog, but I do see an occasional dirty cloud coming out of the stack near the lagoon in Carlsbad, CA.
The water is cold all year around, but the surfers and kids don't seem to mind it.
Inland is alot warmer and you can still see the ocean from far away if you're on a mountain.
I hope that helps! Look me up if you need someone to show you houses in the area.
Amanda Joy Barba
(760) 429- 4017
CA DRE# 01924288
Since no one has answered you, I will tell you what I can about smog factor here in San Diego being that I have lived here since 1983 and prior to that lived in LA and go to LA fairly regularly. First, you maybe able to find to good information at the San Diego Air Pollution Control District. Their website is http://sdapcd.org/ .
Basically, what you have read is correct to a point and seems to be seasonal. Fall is the worst time for smog here as the Santa Ana winds which occur at that time of year push the smog in LA out to sea as you describe and then the smog is blown back inland into San Diego. Ironically, the mountain areas of San Diego are the worst hit by this phenomena.
The APCD has air monitoring equipment all over San Diego County that take air readings to determine whether or not the air quality is attaining certain air quality standards. The County gets dinged for not meeting those standards and then industry here gets more heavily regulated for their air emissions. That is where the argument our "non-attainment" status that we have in some areas here is not from our pollution, but from LA.
Basically, how it affects you depends where you want to live down here. I have lived by the coast in North San Diego County for the past 28 years and really don't find smog to be an issue. However, places like Julian and Alpine will have higher concentrations of smog during the fall because when it does blow in from the ocean, it collects against the mountain range and concentrates in those areas.
When I was a kid in LA, I remember having days in which our physical activities (ie. recess) were limited due to poor air quality because of smog. I haven't seen those down here EXCEPT when there is a fire burning in the area, which is another issue altogether as across Southern California each Fall the arson wackos light the hillsides on fire at the first inclination of a Santa Ana weather condition.
But along the coast, it is beautiful, warm, and absolutely the place to be if you like the beach lifestyle.
Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. Good Luck!