Del Mar is a beautiful coastal city and tourist destination located in San Diego, California. Del Mar is Spanish for "by (or of) the sea" and it is aptly named, because it's two plus miles of sandy beaches are known to be the most beautiful and enjoyable in the San Diego county. With its warm, dry summers and mild winters, Del Mar is considered to have one of the most desirable climates worldwide; it is no wonder why it is known as one of the most beautiful destinations along the western coastline.
The community of Del Mar (also known as Del Mar Mesa) consists of 2,042 acres located east of Carmel Valley and north of Los Peñasquitos Canyon, which is approximately 4 miles from the coast. The community has since developed as a semi-rural community consisting of large homes and recreational facilities (such as golf courses and hotels), while a large portion of the eastern community is being conserved as open space under the City's Multiple Species Conservation Program.
Today, Del Mar is home to a population of 4,197 people (based on the 2014 United States Census) and it has been ranked as Exceptionally Livable, with an Exceptionally Livable rating of 81, by AreaVibes.com. The economy has remained strong and jobs in Del Mar have increased by 1.04% in the past year. The overflowing arts and recreational amenities in the area has opened the city up to crowds of people, including retirees, overseas and domestic migrants, and migrants from other parts of California.
Schools in Del MarThe Del Mar Union School District (DMUSD) is the public school district supervising the Del Mar area. Founded in 1906, it is widely recognized as an exceptional district throughout the city of San Diego and the state of California and it is highly regarded for its high standardized test scores. The district consists of eight K-6 schools: Ashley Falls School, Carmel Del Mar School, Del Mar Heights School, Del Mar Hills Academy, Ocean Air School, Sage Canyon School, Sycamore Ridge and Torrey Hills School. These Del Mar Union elementary schools generally filter into Carmel Valley Middle School and unto Torrey Pines High School or Canyon Crest Academy, which are all part of the San Dieguito Union High School District.
For those seeking higher education, there are approximately 36 colleges within 50 miles of Del Mar. Del Mar College offers Associate degrees and is partnered with a number of four-year institutions for those who want to pursue a baccalaureate program. There are 9 known community and junior colleges within the Del Mar area, the list includes San Diego Miramar College, San Diego Mesa College and Palomar college, which are all within a 20 mile radius from the Del Mar center.
Accessibility to Del MarDel Mar is a highly accessible city and it needs to be, especially because of all the visitors that flock the area due to its attractions and annual events. It is accessible by car, train and bus. It is located 20 miles north on the I5 from San Diego International Airport (SAN) and 100 miles south of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) if taking the 405 via I5. The options for public transportation in Del Mar include: the NCTD BREEZE, NCTD Coaster and the Amtrak Pacific Liner.
It has been said that much of San Diego is best enjoyed by bike and Del Mar is no exception. It offers bike routes and racks that make it highly accessible for bikers and cyclists. The COASTER train and BREEZE buses also make it easy for bikers and cyclists to take their bicycles along with them on their visits to Del Mar, so long as it is within the NCTD Bicycle Policy.
Outdoor Activities in Del Mar
Del Mar is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, which offers, visitors and residents alike, a place to relax and have fun. The two popular coastal parks in the area are Powerhouse and Seagrove Parks. These popular tourist destinations in Del Mar are just above the 15th Street surf break and offers areas where one can just enjoy the view and picnic with family and friends.
Del Mar is a dog friendly city and they have maintained this status since its incorporation in 1959. Aside from allowing dogs to enjoy the two plus mile stretch of beach and its major parks, the city is known for "Dog Beach", which is what dog owners affectionately call the North Beach area. Dog Beach is located north of 29th street and stretches nearly one half mile to Del Mar's border with Solana Beach. Del Mar has specifically designed its local dog laws to provide better access to dogs and their owners throughout the year, making the city a paradise not only for people – but for their pets, too!
Del Mar offers some of the best running, padding fishing and diving locations in the area. The Torrey Pines State National Reserve offers trails through the backside of Del Mar in Crest Canyon, while the Scripps Bluff Preserve and newly restored San Dieguito River Lagoon (located in San Dieguito River Park) offer exciting activities in the northern end of Del Mar. These locations offer splendid views of the San Diego coastline, while allowing visitors to enjoy the native plant life, shorebirds and other wildlife unique to the area.
Attractions in Del Mar
There is no question that Del Mar is a beautiful city with an abundance of beaches, parks and areas for visitors to appreciate the wonder of nature, but that's not only what the city is popular for. It has been the destination of choice for celebrities, people who enjoy fast horses and award-winning cuisine and those who simply want to have fun.
Foodies are welcome to explore Del Mar's award winning restaurants such as Addison Del Mar (located in the Fairmont Grand Del Mar hotel), which is the only AAA Five Diamond and Mobil Five Star-rated restaurant in San Diego. It also boasts of award-winning restaurants such as Kitchen 1540 (in L'Auberge Del Mar), Arterra (in San Diego Marriott Del Mar) and the Brigantine Del Mar.
Shopaholics will enjoy the Del Mar Plaza, which offers three levels of shopping and dining with a beautiful ocean view, for those in need of an upscale shopping experience. The place holds an atmosphere of elegance with its fountains, sculptures and palazzo-style terraces, which will allow you to enjoy the beauty of the Southern California coast while you take a break from your shopping spree. Del Mar Village is also a popular destination for shopaholics, tourists and even Del Mar residents. It is a shopping and dining promenade located between 9th and 15th street, which offers an assortment of specialty boutiques and bistro-style patio dining.
The Del Mar Village also plays host to the Del Mar Farmer's Market, which happens every week ever since it was started in 1986. This 27-year old market supports California farmers by providing them with opportunities to sell directly to the public, while also promoting healthy living to Del Mar residents and visitors. Popular vendors include certified farmers such as Bernard Ranch and Blue Heron Farm, who offer organic and pesticide-free fruits and vegetables, international cuisine, eggs, seafood and flowers along with the other vendors that participate in the Del Mar Farmer's Market each week. The Del Mar Farmer's Market takes place every Saturday between 1-4pm in the Del Mar City Hall lower parking lot, between 10th and 11th street.
The Del Mar Artisan Market is another weekly market or bazaar to watch out for. Also held every Saturday between 12pm to 4pm at the Camino del Mar, this weekly market is perfect for those who want to browse and shop for handcrafted jewelry, imported linens, flowers, fresh kettle corn and much more. It is located adjacent and south of the Del Mar Farmer's Market, so it is literally just a hop away.
For those with a taste for culture and the arts, Del Mar also offers locations where you can absorb the SoCal culture. The Del Mar Art Center offers public lectures, poetry readings, seminars and technical demonstrations on top of the beautiful artwork showcased in their gallery. Del Mar is also the home of the Erik Skoldberg gallery (located in Del Mar Plaza), which displays artwork of contemporary artist Erik Skoldberg, whose mission is to bring modern art to the community through his abstract and vivid works.
The Del Mar Fairgrounds and Horsepark is one of the popular attractions in Del Mar. This tourist attraction hosts an average of 350 events each year. It is ideal for conventions, conferences, shows and festivals, weddings, reunions and all sorts of social events. It is also the home of the San Diego County Fair, which is held from early June through the Fourth of July weekend each year. This annual event draws in millions of people, with a record attendance of 1,517,508 people in 2012.
Crowds of horse racing fans flock the Del Mar Racetrack during the annual Del Mar Thoroughbred Club racing season, every summer between mid-July through early September. This long time horse racing tradition dates back to 1937, when Bing Crosby personally greeted the first guests of the Del Mar Racetrack. The Del Mar Racetrack is also where the Seabiscuit won by a nose in the infamous race in 1983. The Del Mar Thoroughbred Racing season consistently showcases the nation's top race horses, trainers and jockyey's, which offer entertainment to its visitors.
Del Mar is also known for the Del Mar Taste & Art Stroll, which is an annual celebration of local artists and restaurants. The event features a free art walk with live music, an interactive art area for children and a pet parade. The Del Mar Art Taste & Stroll showcases delicious cuisines from the restaurants and selections in the area, along with the best wines and spirits from California wineries and San Diego breweries.
One thing is for certain, Del Mar is a city that has virtually everything, that people from all walks of life and all ages, needs. Constantly bustling with life, its long-time traditions and events, allow it to maintain its culture and charm. This makes it even more irresistible for visitors and keeps its residents happy to live in one of the best places in California.
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Updated: 23rd August, 2016 7:16 PM.