Del Mar California is the quintessential dream beach town – a quaint, yet chic Southern California community overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Like La Jolla and San Diego, Del Mar’s aura of paradise comes in a large result from its world-class beaches and persistently clear blue skies. Add to all that a unique fairgrounds, horse track and a quaint, upscale “downtown” village, and you have activities for everyone.
1. The Place To Be Is Epazote
Del Mar’s historic downtown village dates back to the 1880’s and offers over sixty unique shops, quaint inns and hotels and twenty five restaurants with enough variety to please even the pickiest of shoppers and eaters. A great place to begin or conclude your shopping and dining tour of Del Mar proper is at the impressive Del Mar Plaza at the corner of Camino del Mar (old Highway 101) and 15th Street.
Del Mar Plaza is home of a favorite Del Mar restaurant, Epazote. Epazote is a wonderful place for lunch or end of the day cocktails because it has a sun-drenched outdoor patio with sea breezes and enchanting panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Epazote has something for all appetites with temptations ranging from premium cuts of what they call “Sterling Silver beef” to delicious seafood entrees followed by delicious desserts. The lively bar features an upscale menu – be sure to try their “Shaker Margaritas” – big enough for two. Sophisticated and chic, the 180-degree view of the ocean makes Epazote a great lunch, dinner or nighttime experience. As an added benefit, you can walk back to your hotel or Del Mar Bed and Breakfast after those margaritas.
2. Hike Through Abstract Red Rock Canyons
If you enjoy a nature hike with phenomenal scenery, Torrey Pines State Reserve is for you, with nearly 2000 acres of natural habitat along the ocean. The reserve was created because this is where the rare and beautiful Torrey Pine tree grows. You will find 6 or 7 trails for hiking, each with it’s own brand of awesome views: wind bent Torrey pines, abstract rock formations and lush wildflower displays, all framed by the magnificent Pacific Ocean. Parking Tip: You can park outside the park along the ocean and Highway 101 for free, then walk up the drive into the reserve for a great workout with magnificent views. Take your camera – especially in the spring when fields of wild flowers are in bloom and everywhere you look are fantastic views of the ocean.
3. See The World From Way “Up There”
Thought by many to be one of the best balloon rides in the world, a sunset flight from Del Mar is an extraordinary way to see Southern California. A coastal Del Mar Sunset flight is an unforgettable experience – up there the air is clear, the sun seem to shine brighter and a sense of relaxation overcomes you. You can soar through the sky and glide effortlessly above the hills and valleys – a calm, peaceful and relaxing way to panoramically take in the enormity of the Pacific Ocean and San Diego countryside.
Many describe flying in a hot air balloon as one of the most serene, enjoyable activities they’ve ever experienced. Sunny skies and heavenly sunsets allow you to experience what it’s like to float among the clouds. If you’re staying at a hotel in Del Mar, you can experience the views of a lifetime with Skysurfrer Balloon Tours, Magical Adventures or Sky’s The Limit Balloon Adventures. Google or Bing! them for more information.
4. Get The Tan Of A Lifetime
Located just north of Torrey Pines reserve, Del Mar Beach is a beach-lover’s delight, a great spot for families, friends and surfers who enjoy its wide expanse of soft sand. Swimming, loafing, sunning, walking, jogging, surfing, body boarding, boogie boarding and even grunion hunting are just a few of the activities you will enjoy here. In town, the most popular beach is at the end of 15th Street. Crowded year-around with families, couples, friends and surfers, parking can be a problem at 15th Street, and even if you find a space, you must feed the meters. Parking is free on 17th Street if you get there early in the day – during the summer the parking spaces fill early. Lodging and accommodations can be found throughout the area, from cute and intimate Del Mar bed and breakfasts to the more traditional hotels in Del Mar.
5. Pedal Around Town
Historic Coast Highway 101 runs through the center of downtown Del Mar and is one of San Diego County’s best cycling routes. Distance bikers start their rides in Del Mar and head either south to Torrey Pines Reserve or north to Solana Beach, Encinitas and Carlsbad. For less intense riders, bicycling is one of the simplest ways to have fun, enjoy the wonderful Del Mar scenery and stay fit and in-shape, especially if you’re enjoying the breakfasts at one of the Del Mar Bed and Breakfasts, inns or hotels in town. With great biking weather all year, you can ride up and down quiet residential streets and along the ocean until you’re ready for lunch – Epazote anyone?