Del Mar is a charming beach community in North County San Diego. Located about 20 minutes north of Downtown, Del Mar provides an escape from the bustle of the city while offering a multitude of things to do. With two miles of scenic coastline, it is the perfect place to relax on the beach, go surfing, enjoy a hike, dine at one of the many quaint restaurants or cafes, wander through the streets, or check out what’s going on at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
In 1882, Theodore Loop sought to build a railroad connecting San Diego and Los Angeles. In his exploration, he came across what would become Del Mar, claiming he had “found the most attractive place on the entire coast.” The original tracks were laid down in Del Mar (called Township 14 at the time). A few years later, Loop and his business partner Jacob Taylor purchased land there and began building the town. Loop’s wife named this town “Del Mar” after the poem “The Fight of Paseo Del Mar.”
Word of Del Mar’s beauty spread quickly. In the 1930s, the town had a couple hundred residents and was hosting thousands of summer visitors. In 1936, the San Diego County Fair found its home at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and a year later, a racetrack was built at the same site.
• Del Mar is the smallest municipality in San Diego, with only about 5,000 residents.
• Tony Hawk, pro skateboarder, was raised in Del Mar.
• The Beach Boys reference Del Mar in their hit song “Surfin’ USA.”
• “Del Mar” is Spanish for “Of the Sea.”
Things To Do
Del Mar Fairgrounds—Each year at the beginning of summer, the Del Mar Fairgrounds hosts the San Diego County Fair with rides, attractions, shows, food, and entertainment! Starting at the end of July through early September, the racetrack is officially put to use as the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club brings you their annual horse races, with family entertainment, summer concerts, and beer and food festivals. Other events at the fairgrounds include various expos, conventions, shows, and the Festival of Lights in the winter.
Torrey Pines State Park—Walk along the coastal buffs at Torrey Pines State Park, so named because Del Mar is one of only two sites where the Torrey Pine naturally grows. Explore the 2,000 acres of land as you walk on one of the various trails leading you down to Torrey Pines State Beach. You’ll want plenty of water, good shoes, and a bathing suit at the end! At sunset, the park offers breathtaking views of the red-orange bluffs hanging over the shimmering Pacific Ocean.
Torrey Pines Gliderport—For all those adrenaline junkies! Have you ever wanted to try paragliding or hang gliding? Check out the Gliderport’s lessons and tandem flights. You’ll launch from one the tallest bluffs over Torrey Pines State Beach for an exhilarating twenty minute ride over the ocean.
Golf—Bring your whole family out for a round of mini golf at Pelly’s. Located by the Del Mar Fairgrounds, enjoy 18 challenging holes on an ocean-themed course, then hit the beach or go for Round 2! For a more serious game of golf, check out Torrey Pines Golf Course, which hosts the annual PGA Tour’s Farmer’s Insurance Open.
Shopping and Dining—Walk around the streets of Del Mar as peruse the lively window displays of boutiques and cafes. At Del Mar Plaza, you can find over 30 shops and restaurants, within a lively European marketplace.
Mass Transit Bus Route 101