The ritziest of San Diego’s seaside suburbs, with a Tudor aesthetic that somehow doesn’t feel out of place, Del Mar boasts restaurants, galleries, high-end boutiques, and a horse-racing track where locals and visitors gather in the summer for races and other events.
Del Mar sits 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of San Diego, making it an easy day-trip destination (it’s not usually part of San Diego city tours unless you’ve booked a private customizable experience). Enjoy a relaxing day exploring oceanside Seagrove Park and Del Mar Plaza’s shops and eateries. To see “the village,” as Del Mar is known locally, from above, opt for an air tour or hot-air-balloon ride.
Things to Know Before You Go
Camino Del Mar is the town’s main thoroughfare, where you can find parking and the majority of local businesses.
The Visitor Center on Camino Del Mar provides maps, bus schedules, and other information, plus internet access in the lobby.
San Diego is known for its nearly perfect weather, so don’t forget sunscreen; bring a layer for the cooler evening temperatures on the coast.
How to Get There
The fastest way to get to Del Mar from downtown San Diego is a 30-minute straight shot north on Interstate 5. For a longer but more scenic route, wander up the coastal roads through La Jolla and Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.
When to Get There
Del Mar is lovely almost any day of the year. Major events include the San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds every summer and the horse-racing season from July to September. In September, Taste of Del Mar and San Diego Restaurant Week offer opportunities to enjoy Del Mar’s culinary scene.
Torrey Pines State Reserve
Just a few miles south of Del Mar is Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, a sprawling piece of coastal wilderness that features hiking trails, beaches, and the adjacent Torrey Pines Golf Course. It’s well worth making time to visit during your day trip to Del Mar. The reserve is open every day until sunset.