"Del Mar: Where the Surf Meets the Turf!!" Top 5 Page for this destination Del Mar by lmkluque

Del Mar Travel Guide: 134 reviews and 247 photos

A Day Trip Or Wonderful Weekend!

Welcome to my Del Mar page,

"Where the surf meets the turf in old Del Mar!" These are the lyrics from a song written about the Racetrack at Del Mar that Bing Crosby, I believe, made famous.

Del Mar is about twenty minutes north of San Diego and worth a day trip if you like craggy coast lines, posh resorts, designer class shopping or just wandering around beautiful areas.

Del Mar means, "of the sea." This name was given to the tent city established by Theodore Loop in the early 1880s. Del Mar was incorporated as an independent city in 1959.

Del Mar has a population of about 5,000 and comprises a two square mile strip of the coast. The main attractions in Del Mar are the beach, Del Mar Plaza, during the summer the San Diego County Fair and of course, the famous horse races are held at the well-known Del Mar Racetrack.

Del Mar is a small town north of downtown San Diego. It is a charming place and as with most charming places in the U.S.A. the prices for everything is a bit higher. Let that not deter you from a visit. Walking through the Del Mar Plaza is relaxing and there is a patio area at the top level, overlooking part of the Pacific Ocean's rugged coast line where it costs nothing to sit and enjoy a sunset or just a view of the ocean.

Official City of Del Mar website will give more info, especially about rules at the beach. Check it out before going as this city has very specific ideas of how their beach should be visited.:

Enjoy your visit,

The Impact of Horse Racing!

The San Diego County Fairgrounds at Del Mar is also home to The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and this adds a flavor of horses and gambling to the city as subtle as diamond studded horseshoe rings displayed in the local jewlery store, just waiting for the big winner to plunk down the cash for a souviner of the lucky day.

Of course, it's rarely the fans who are the big winners, it's the owners of the horse and the horse's jockey that makes the most money on the race.

Bing Crosby, Pat O'Brien and Jimmy Durante found the perfect plot of land near the Pacific Ocean in Del Mar for their race track in 1937. Movie Stars, famous and not so famous flocked to Del Mar and this seasonal surge enriched the community. Seabiscuit and Billy Shoemaker are a couple of big names in racing that helped Del Mar become one of the leading tracks in the country. In recent years it has gone through a restoration accentuating the charming Spanish-style architecture of the buildings. Today, this track holds some of the most prestigious stakes events in California racing.

If you want to try your luck, stop and get a copy of The Daily Racing Form to educate yourself about the horse's chance in each race.

Your winnings may not be enough to buy a diamond studded ring, but the thrill of seeing horses running thrity miles an hour round the track, the sound of thundering hooves as they pass by the rail and the fresh ocean breeze offers a sense of natural power and energy rarely found outside of a racetrack.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Charming things to do and see
  • Cons:Expensive and Rigid City
  • In a nutshell:A Great Get-Away Location for Certain People!
  • Last visit to Del Mar: Feb 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (47)

Comments (13)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Apr 18, 2015 at 11:19 AM

    Hi, Linda! Thanks for your travel advice!

  • RickinDutch's Profile Photo
    Jan 15, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Nicely done Del Mar pages. Spent a week in Solano Beach a few years back. A condo overlooking the sea from atop a cliff. Wonderful break.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Mar 18, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Hi Linda, here you?ve made yet another complete and authoritative page on a part of the San Diego area. Amazing how much there is to see and do there. It?s good to know that there are such competent lifeguards in charge of the beaches.

  • travelgourmet's Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2010 at 2:24 AM

    Linda, Queen of San Diego, I had to visit one of my stomping grounds through your pages. I enjoy the Pacifica Breeze Cafe in the Del Mar Plaza. Have stayed overnight at the Del Mar Inn.

  • palomani's Profile Photo
    May 30, 2008 at 5:04 PM

    Stayed at Les Artistes (Furo Room) over Memorial Day weekend. It was a perfect mini-vacation & so close! When I was Googling places to stay and I saw Linda had a tip on it I figured it was a good bet. You never steer anyone wrong about San Diego!

  • Sep 1, 2006 at 3:10 PM

    Hi there. Your page on DelMar is so useful & thoughtfully put together! Thanks for your time and effort.

  • bugalugs's Profile Photo
    Aug 28, 2005 at 11:24 AM

    I see you have been making good use of that camera Linda :-) Did Bing, Pat O'Brien (my mum loved both those two) and Durante really own this race course?

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Jan 22, 2005 at 6:20 AM

    Del Mar is a fantastic little town with an amazing beach. We had lunch at the waterfront with seagulls sitting close by.

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Jan 14, 2005 at 8:53 AM

    Linda, thank you for showing me Del Mar here and in real...

  • b1bob's Profile Photo
    Jul 10, 2002 at 6:07 PM

    That pool looks refreshing.

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