Del Mar Travel Guide

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by lmkluque
  • Beach
    by lmkluque
  • Beach
    by lmkluque

Del Mar Things to Do

  • Torrey Pines State Reserve Park & Beach

    The flat-topped rock sticking out in the ocean is called "Flat Rock". From the Visitor Center you can take the Beach Trail to get here. The last 200 feet of the trail is a steep decend from the top of cliff down to the beach, and Flat Rock marks the end of your hike. The day I was there, the steep decend was a small waterfall due to runoff. So I...

  • Beach

    Before Del Mar Plaza, before the Race Track, before the Resort Hotels even before the tent city there was the beach. This stretch of coastline is a combination of flat sandy beach and craggy bluffs which adds to the charm. Activities at Del Mar beach include surfing, boogie boarding, swimming, sun bathing, picnicing and at certain times of the...

  • Racetrack and Fairgrounds in Del Mar

    It was 1880 when San Diego had its first agricultural fair at Kimbal Park in National City, and since that time many things, unique, funny and not so funny, have occured to give added color to this event. October 1936 the permanent location for the San Diego County Fair opened it's doors in Del Mar. Today the San Diego County Fairgrounds at Del...


Del Mar Hotels

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Del Mar Restaurants

  • Jake's Del Mar

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Business casual with an Hawaiian flare, this restaurant is very poplular as one of only two restaurants in Del Mar that is actually located on the beach. They have a retractable patio that can become enclosed during foul weather which is pretty nice. This restaurant is a bit more upscale than Poseidon but especially nice for more formal dining and...

  • Epazote

    Across from Epazote is the Pacifica Del Mar Pacifica Del Mar also has patio seating and a bar that has great martinis. They have great favorites are the potstickers or potato wedges. Otherwise for dinner they have a wonderful bbq sugar spiced salmon or the sauteed seabass with potato gnocchi.

  • Enclosed Patio On The Beach!

    Business casual with an Hawaiian flare, this restaurant is very poplular as one of only two restaurants in Del Mar that is actually located on the beach. They have a retractable patio that can become enclosed during foul weather which is pretty nice. This restaurant is a bit more upscale than Poseidon but especially nice for more formal dining and...


Del Mar Nightlife

  • An Unassuming Place to Gather!

    Sports Bar is the key. Jimmy O's is opened from 4:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. every day and offers drinks and dinners, except during (American) Football season. When football begins, Jimmy O's opens at 9:00 a.m. and offers breakfast with your drinks.In the evenings, Jimmy O's morphs from sports bar to a dance place so get there early and stay on for an...

  • Dining On The Beach At Sunset!

    This restaurant , situated on the beach has a close-up view of the ocean which makes it worth a visit and it's quite popular. During daylight hours, the inside looked shabby and disappointing. They may have refurbished it by now. The prices have gone up and that is in-keeping with the over-all image Del Mar displays as a swank resort town. The...

  • Del Mar Hotels

    9 Hotels in Del Mar

Del Mar Transportation

  • By Car

    As in most Californian cities, the best way of getting to and getting around Del Mar is by car. The compact "village" section of Del Mar with it's many hotels, restaurants and shops is just a block from the beach. However, this is just a small part of Del Mar and staying within these boundries will be more expensive than staying in the...

  • The Coaster!

    Don't you just hate it when the photo doesn't match the tip? Well, what if I told you the photo is typical of your view from the Coaster while cruising along the ocean? Would that help sooth your reaction?Good.Getting to and from Del Mar is possible by train. The Coaster runs from Oceanside to the Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego with stops at...

  • Bus Along The Beach

    Aptly numbered, Route 101, this bus pretty much follows the Historic Highway 101 from Oceanside in the north to UTC, "University Town Center," at the south end. (UTC is a large and popular shopping center on the east side of La Jolla and a major transit center with buses reaching all points in San Diego County.) Bus Route 308 leaves the Coaster...


Del Mar Shopping

  • Del Mar Arts & Gifts

    If nothing else, stop here to buy your postcards. It's a blast from the past and one of my favorite places to visit while in Del Mar. Books, new and used are sold here but that's not all. This shop is a living part of Del Mar and has been for over thirty-five years. There are always people in the store chatting, browsing and buying. The sales staff...

  • A Discordant Sight In Del Mar?

    This free-standing wooden cowboy is a shock to see in front of Stratford Square. He doesn't seem to fit-in with the overall image of this section of Del Mar. After exploring the interesting items offered and the prices asked, light dawns brightly! Racetrack. Horse racing. Owners, trainers and winners! Although Del Mar is a California beach resort,...

  • Convenient & Costly

    Convenient for shopping while staying at L'Auberge Spa and Resort, but also open to the public. Even "window shopping" is a treat if the prices happen to be beyond the budget. Designer clothes for women, bathing suits, accessories and all those little things one might have forgotten to pack. Expect to pay much more than at Wal-Mart, but also...


Del Mar Local Customs

  • More than a Resort Town

    The city of Del Mar is popular as a resort town and most of the stores, restaurants and hotels command a high price for their product and service. However, the town's people themselves are not typically the "beautiful-people" seen in many Hollywood movies, nor are they high-living and reckless. Rather, the average citizen of Del Mar is more mature....

  • Stratford Inn / Stratford Square?

    The Powerhouse supplied heat to the near-by Stratford Inn in the early 1900's and over the years the Stratford Inn building has changed from resort hotel for the rich and famous into a mulit-purpose landmark building, with shops, restaurants, business offices and even an historical photo gallery. As a landmark it has changed it's name to "Stratford...

  • Powerhouse Community Center!

    This landmark building has had many lives over the years since it was first built as a generator for heating the Stratford Square Hotel. Water desalination plant was one such life. A Roaring Twenties night club was another. The latest and maybe the last reincarnation is Community Center.As a visitor, the main service this center will offer you is...


Del Mar Warnings and Dangers

  • ...AAAAAnd They're Off!

    It can be dangerous to take all your vacation money with you to the Del Mar Racetrack! It is so much fun to wander around the beautiful grounds, to make a bet with the hopes of winning the big one, it is thrilling to watch the speed of powerful horses thunder around the track, but losing that bet is more common than winning. Honestly, the win off a...

  • Rip currents and high surf

    The Pacific Ocean can be dangerous.My suggestion: always enter the water slowly and swim near a lifeguard. Del Mar beaches frequently experiences rip currents and/or high surf.If in doubt about conditions, ask a lifeguard.

  • Beach Games

    Beach Games limited to approved Activity Zones. Check with Lifeguards for current locations of Activity Zones and allowed games (i.e. surfing, volleyball, Frisbee, smashball, etc.).


Del Mar Tourist Traps

  • Know Before You Go....

    Each beach in San Diego County has some sort of regulations and every year these rules are added to. It seems to me that the fine people of Del Mar have really made an art of controlling their section of the Pacific Coastline which ends up trapping visitors in the quagmire of do's and don'ts they have been adding lately.In some cases it seems that...

  • Seasonal Traffic Jams

    Usually I focus on the positive aspects of a place and in that spirit I will say that the I-5 freeway and it's exits in the area of Del Mar are awful during the morning and evening rush hours, anytime in the weeks of the Del Mar County Fair, and sometimes during the racing season. At least give yourself plenty of time when planning your arrival...

  • Parking lot shortage

    It seems that there is not enough parking lots in Del Mar. We had a problem to park a car close to the beach on Saturday midday in April. And one more thing: they are EXPENSIVE, time-limited parking (up to 1 or 2 hours) as I remember well, costs $5. Not much? Hmm... happy walking to your parkometer every 1-2 hours. Hmm... citizens of the city don't...


Del Mar What to Pack

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    by lmkluque Updated Oct 14, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Miscellaneous: Check Del Mar's community calendar for any concerts planned during your visit. Web address provided below. Concerts are often times held during the summer especially at the Powerhouse Community Center and would be worth knowing about before your arrival.

    This little patio area is open to the public and it is a lovely place even to just sit, relax and enjoy the ocean view when there is no concert playing.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Music
    • Arts and Culture

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Del Mar Off The Beaten Path

  • Torrey Pines State Beach and Reserve

    In between Del Mar and La Jolla the state of California has set aside beach and cliff to perserve the coast line, the flora & fauna as well as the natrual beauty of this area. What this means to the visitor is that only hiking or walking through the Torrey Pines State Reserve is permitted. When reaching the bottom of the cliff, at the Torrey Pines...

  • Day Trips!!

    While staying in Del Mar you should know that there are many things to see and do in San Diego County and I've tried to make a sort of cross-index to make finding these options easy and possibly give you ideas of what you'd like to include on this trip to Del Mar. My San Diego page has links listed to other cities and communities of San Diego for...

  • Take A Drive Up /Down the Coast

    Coast Boulevard / Ocean Avenue in Del Mar is a relatively short street that makes a loop from17th Street to Lois Lane off Camino Del Mar. Here you'll have a good view of the Pacific Ocean and a few places to stop. Jakes and Poseidon restaurants are located here, The Power House Community Center & Park is here and offers restrooms, open showers to...


Del Mar Sports & Outdoors

  • Boogie-Boarding!

    In the parking lot of Poseidon Restaurant, next to the Valet station, is a typical beach shack offering snacks and boogie-boards for rent.On the north side of Poseidon's building is a pathway from the beach. The main lifeguard tower stands west of this path, and it is a simple task to reach the shack.Boogie-boarding is much easier than surfing as...

  • Surfing!

    Not all beaches in San Diego County allow surfing. The City of Del Mar does have surfing areas clearly marked out and if you aren't a surfer yourself, it is a very interesting sport to watch. Mostly you'll see novice surfers paddling out on their boards to catch a meger wave, make an effort to stand and then watch them fall into the roiling ocean....

  • Baseball was not born in California

    The most popular American sport is - no doubts for me - baseball. It's like football for Europeans. So, no wonder, I met quite many people (fathers with kids usually) playing/training baseball (hmm... some elements of baseball rather) in parks of Del Mar.DID YOU KNOW?Baseball had first taken root on American continent in the mid 1700's when English...


Del Mar Favorites

  • Sea Grove Park and the beach in Del Mar

    One of the things I enjoy in Del Mar is time spent at one of the two parks by the ocean. The view is breathtaking and it's a great place to picnic, or to enjoy the view from the edge of the cliff. Sea Grove Park is older, as a destination, than Powerhouse Community Center Park. Although the land has always been there and it has been well used,...

  • Torrey Pines State Reserve Park

    The photo shows Red Butte, one of the higher grounds in Torrey Pines' trail system. Several trails spread out from here, including Razor Point, Yucca Point, and the trail to the beach. When I visited, all these trails were closed due to erosion (this year we got more rain in southern California than in Seattle). But that didn't stop people from...

  • No More Book Signings!

    As stated earlier, the Earth Song Book Store wais one of my favorite places in Del Mar. Occasionally they offered book signings and it was interesting to meet the author of a book, hear a bit about themseves and stories about actually writing the book. If you happen not to have their book with you, it was always possible to buy it at the...


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