Del Mar is a small, seaside hideaway approximately 20 minutes north of downtown San Diego. Defined by calm salt water lagoons on each end, this charming, laid back town is best known for it’s exceptional weather, world famous thoroughbred racetrack, the county fair, fabulous beaches, haute cuisine and unique shopping.
With a population of approximately 4,500 in the 2.1 square mile coastal area, Del Mar offers an oasis of unhurried, yet civilized, living. Visitors can enjoy many of the pleasures of the Village without ever needing a car.
The historic downtown village dates back to 1880s. Today it is lined with over 60 shops offering everything from high-end apparel to one-of-a-kind specialty shops. The village hosts 25 restaurants, many providing outside patios overlooking the ocean. There are cafés with sidewalk seating and award-winning dining perfect for any occasion. Visitors will find a variety of hotel accommodations.
With 2 miles of coastline and gently rolling waves, Del Mar’s famous beaches are an ideal destination for beachgoers, surf combers and surfers seeking the legendary California surf. There’s even a sliver of beach for dogs. Del Mar’s primary beach also offers wheel chair access, the only such beach in the county with special wheelchairs designed for the sand. Whales, porpoises, sea lions and a myriad of birdlife populate the shimmering coastal waters and lagoons.
Residents and visitors alike enjoy several parks. Seagrove Park and adjoining Powerhouse Park are ideal grassy locations for a picnic or a wedding, walking a dog, for lovers catching a romantic sunset, or for simply gazing at the many magical moods of a majestic Pacific. And throughout the summer there are free concerts in the park. (Please see this Web site calendar). Not to overlook the little ones, there is a delightful children’s playground adjacent to Powerhouse Park, affectionately referred to as the Tot Lot.
The Del Mar Library is a landmark worth a visit. In 2002 two local artists, Betsy Shultz and Pat Welsh, created the mixed-media mosaic on the wall that frames the historic building which has served as a famous church for both movie stars and residents, a restaurant and other uses over the decades. The wall incorporates memorabilia and treasures from Del Mar’s history, as well as featuring terracotta birds and wildlife from the area.
At any age, at any season, Del Mar is truly a wonderful place to visit or to live.
In 1959 Del Mar incorporated as a city. It is now the smallest municipality in the booming San Diego region; a gem nestled along the coast. The most significant impact on the community over the last 40 years has been nearby University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Many faculty members and students reside in the community, influencing the political, social and cultural climate. In the 1970 the emphasis of the local government shifted towards slow growth, open spaces and preservation. Because of the efforts of an active group called the Friends of Del Mar, there will never be high-rise apartment buildings or billboards in the City. Seagrove Park and Powerhouse Park are both the results of the community citizenry working together to preserve open space.
Del Mar has grown family-by-family over the last 150 years. Today, almost 4,500 lucky residents call Del Mar their home. People still come to visit or live in Del Mar for the same reasons, as did the founding fathers: it is one of the most beautiful places in the country. Whether coming to enjoy the beach, shop in the village, spend a day at the races or just relax, Del Mar is “always in season”. Enjoy your visit, and come back again.