Del Mar California

Del Mar, California: Where to Visit, What to do, and Best Places for food


Del Mar is a seaside resort city in San Diego County. It has an amazing beach, and beautiful walkways overlooking the ocean. Del Mar is also known for its horse racing track and casino which are two of the most popular tourist attractions to visit while you’re there! With all that Del Mar has to offer, it’s no wonder so many people want to live here!

Most visitors will be interested in seeing what’s on shoreline boulevard–the main street where shops, restaurants, and bars line up with every imaginable type of cuisine offered. There are plenty of hotels as well as bed-and-breakfasts if your stay lasts more than one day or night. The beaches themselves attract surfers from around the world and the trails, parks, and gardens offer great opportunities for walking or running.

As a visitor to Del Mar, you can enjoy many different activities including golfing, swimming in one of two public pools (the other is at La Costa Resort), tennis, snorkeling on the beach with fish like California sheepshead that is only found off the coast–walk up and ask anyone about it! You’ll be surprised how much there is to do here. Del Mar is also home to some famous people who live here year-round such as actress Sally Struthers from All In The Family fame. 

We looked at some of the unique places you can visit in Del Mar. Have a look to see which one is your favorite!

Torrey Pines Beach

Torrey Pines Beach

Torrey Pines beach has two miles of coastline that stretches from La Jolla Shores down to Black’s Beach and encompasses the entire length of Torrey Pines State Reserve. The sandstone cliffs are home to many nesting seabirds, including cormorants, pigeon guillemots, pelicans, and shearwaters. Birdwatching tours include close encounters with these species as well as a chance to spot whales offshore during their migrations south or north along California’s coast between December and April each year. Visitors can also take surf lessons, watch the sunset, or enjoy a picnic.

Del Mar Racetrack

San Diego

The Del Mar racetrack is home to North America’s only year-round race and offers great family fun on horse racing days with its one-mile turf track that also hosts two of California’s most popular Quarter Horse races – the San Diego Handicap and the Del Mar Oaks. On non-race days visitors can explore ‘The Paddock at Santa Anita’ which offers an impressive collection of art galleries showcasing paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and photography by Southern Californian artists as well as an array of shops offering unique gifts for everyone in your life from clothing to food items. There are also wine tasting tours available where you will get exclusive access to the wine cellars at Del Mar’s oldest winery, Firestone Vineyards.

Del Mar Town Center

The Del Mar town center features lots of great shopping and dining options with quaint shops like art galleries, clothing boutiques or gift stores as well as restaurants offering healthy salads and pasta dishes for lunch or seafood fare in a seaside ambiance after dinner. Highlights include Sea Rocket Bistro which offers organic items grown on-site without pesticides or fertilizers, La Jolla Shores raw fish bar that serves sushi from fresh ingredients delivered daily by boat so you can be sure it’s not sitting around waiting to spoil before serving time! For more casual choices try Surf Taco Shack where everything is made quickly during peak hours, or J.P.’s Trattoria & Wine Bar which offers a cozy Mediterranean atmosphere with Italian wines and rustic, coastal cuisine that will leave you feeling satisfied.

Del Mar Plaza

Del Mar plaza, on the other hand, is home to more upscale stores selling high-end fashion items for women, men, and children as well as one of California’s most exclusive jewelry stories H Stern Jeweler who has been designing exceptional pieces since 1945! The mall also features two stylish indoor restaurants – Tiki Surf Lounge where it feels like dining at an outdoor beachside cabana bar or Paradise Garden Grill serving mouthwatering Chinese dishes cooked in large woks right before your eyes by friendly staff members…and don’t forget about Uncle Joe’s Gelato for dessert!

Del Mar Farmers Market

The Del Mar farmers market is a weekly event and features fresh ingredients from the surrounding farms with booths offering locally grown produce, local honey, eggs, cheese, or flowers as well as handmade crafts. As an added bonus there are live music performances every Friday night by musicians of all styles to entertain visitors while they shop…or just sit back enjoy some tasty treats like lemonade ice cream or anything made with strawberries in season!


Enjoy a Hot Air Balloon Ride

hot air balloon

Waterview Hot Air Balloons offers incredible views over Southern California at sunrise or sunset (with champagne!) followed by champagne breakfast on location. Make sure to get there early as reservations fill up fast! 

Attend a San Diego Fair

San Diego Fair

This annual event has something for everyone including rides, games, entertainment, food vendors, and more. Hot tip: Save time and money by purchasing tickets online in advance to avoid long lines at the entrance gate!

Eat Fish Tacos & Cajun Fries

This is a MUST try for anyone who loves seafood! The Lobster Lady offers amazing fish tacos with cajun fries that are sure to delight your taste buds. (Check out our blog post on where else you can find great food in Del Mar)


  • The Ocean Avenue Coffee Company offers fair trade organic coffees with their espresso drinks and teas iced or hot while also providing a selection of delicious food options like bagels, muffins, breakfast sandwiches, and more. They have free WiFi too! 
  • There are many other excellent places for eating out in this wonderful city including Café Luna which has both indoor tables as well as outdoor seating overlooking the beach – perfect for people-watching and enjoying saltwater taffy from nearby shops at La Jolla Shores Beachwalk (of course). 
  • Another favorite location in town is Sabrosa where you’ll find authentic Mexican cuisine that will fill up your stomach and keep you coming back for more.

Del Mar is a hidden gem that many people overlook for the more popular beaches like Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach. The city features beautiful views of blue waters, delicious seafood restaurants with live music filling your ears while you eat outside on their patio seating, horse racing at its racetrack (the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club), great hiking trails in Torrey Pines State Park where you can see seals lounging or flying overhead as well as take some amazing scenic hikes to watch the sunset over the ocean from one vantage point.

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