I didn’t realize how lucky I was when I lived in Del Mar my senior year in college. A quaint little town right on the beach, just 20 miles north of San Diego, it’s famed for its beautiful coastline and the horse races at the Del Mar Racetrack. “Where the Surf Meets the Turf” was and still is, the town motto. My roommates and I even used to buy colorful sweatshirts with tiny horses on them from a local boutique and as a result, we were dubbed “The Ponies” by some of our guy friends. At the time, it was annoying. Now? It makes me wistful.
While that was longer ago than I’d like to admit, Del Mar amazingly hasn’t changed all that much. On a recent three day weekend with my family, I discovered that many of my favorite old haunts were still there; Jake’s at the Beach and The Poseidon are still the places to sip cocktails as you watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean, and Bully’s is still the pub for prime rib or a great burger and a beer (since 1969!).
And of course, there’s the racetrack which is still going strong. Although it suffered from lower attendance for a few years, a recent makeover and more music and special events has attracted a younger, hipper crowd. While the town makes for a great getaway all year round, the racing season from mid July through September is when it’s really hopping.
Here are some great places to stay, eat and shop and some fun things to do!