Top 10 Things to Do in Del Mar

Top 10 Things to Do in Del Mar

  • Sonja Huter
  • 04/5/23

Del Mar is the epitome of luxury and coastal charm. The tiny village, only 1.8 square miles total, offers breathtaking views steeped in history and rich with influence from Hollywood’s most beloved stars.

With the beauty of the ocean and easy access to neighboring cities like San Diego, this beach resort village has everything and more. From premier Del Mar real estate to thoroughbred racing and golf, residents and visitors alike are guaranteed to enjoy their time.

History of Del Mar Village

The roots of Del Mar begin with Theodore Loop, a New York railroad tycoon who came to the area known as Township 14. Mr. Loop called it  “the most attractive place on the entire coast.” Del Mar was named by his wife, Ella, who was  inspired by a poem called ‘The Fight for Paso Del Mar.”

From 1882 to 1900, Del Mar grew thanks to Loop and Jacob Taylor, a New Mexico rancher. Taylor built more than forty houses, a train depot, schoolhouse and developed a system for water. Taylor opened the first resort, “Casa Del Mar,” in 1886. After adding the beach pavilion and a swimming pool, Del Mar became a high-demand vacation destination.

In 1909, 10 acres of land were devoted to constructing the Stratford Inn, the first world-class hotel in Del Mar. The village experienced massive growth in the 20s and 30s. During this time, the Kockritz Building was finished and still stands today as Stratford Square. Eventually, Del Mar became the premier destination for vacationers and residents. Today you can explore the top ten things to do in Del Mar.

Explore the coast

Every trip to Del Mar is complete with seeing its gorgeous location along the California coast. Del Mar is perfectly situated along the route to San Diego (18 miles), Carlsbad (33 miles), and Oceanside (36 miles). Spend the day cruising the Pacific Coast Highway, also called Camino del Mar, to sightsee or explore the string of coastal villages.


Del Mar does not disappoint when it comes to picturesque shopping. You'll find everything you're looking for, from quaint luxe shops to upscale consignment boutiques here. Del Mar Plaza features resort-chic styles with shops like Jennifer Croll and outdoor bistro dining from restaurants like Pacifica Breeze Café. This open-air shopping and dining location hosts music, art events, and private parties by reservation.

For Saturday afternoons, the Del Mar Farmers Market offers pesticide-free seasonal produce, fresh goods, and specialty vendors from 1-4 p.m. The farmer’s market is located on the lower parking lot at the Del Mar Civic Center and operates year-round. In addition to Del Mar Plaza, visit the boutiques on Camino Del Mar for more shops.


Del Mar features opulent coast views with hiking for all levels. Notable hiking trails include San Dieguito Park Trail, Crest Canyon Trail Loop, Mar Scenic Trail, and North Rim Trail.

Spend the day on the beach

One of the main attractions of Del Mar is the beaches. At North Beach, every family member is welcome to explore the shallow waters, play volleyball or simply walk along the sand. North Beach is a dog-friendly location with both free street parking and metered spots along Camino Del Mar. This beach is commonly referred to as Dog Beach or Rivermouth because it is located where the San Dieguito river meets the ocean.

Other top choice beaches in Del Mar include Del Mar Main Beach and Del Mar South Beach.

Spend the day at Del Mar Art Center

The DMAC Gallery is committed to increasing quality art accessibility and providing visibility for local artists. The gallery opened in 2000 and, since then, has hosted numerous demonstrations, receptions, and exhibits. Visit “Art with a View” on the fourth Saturday of each month on the top level of Del Mar City Hall.

Catch a race at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club was founded by Bing Crosby and first opened in 1937. Along with Crosby, the Thoroughbred Club became a second home to other stars such as Desi and Lucy Arnaz, Pat O’Brien, and Rita Hayworth. The track has hosted famous racehorses, including Seabiscuit, Silver Charm, and Zenyatta. The season kicks off in May, and the ticket office opens online at 10 a.m.

Visit the fourth-largest fair In North America

The San Diego County Fair is held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, a 212-acre campus, each summer beginning in June. The fair is the perfect summer activity for guests and residents of all ages, offering rides and exhibits plus nightly events. The opening ceremony for this 10-day event begins June 7, 2023.

See the Sunset Seat

Sunset Seat is continually named one of the best places to view a San Diego sunset. Carved from a Torrey Pine, this sculpted bench features a Red Tail Hawk in the design. Sunset Seat is located in the Southern portion of Torrey Pines State Reserve.

Other scenic sunset locations in Del Mar include Dog Beach, Powerhouse, and Seagrove Parks.


Viewpoint Brewing Company is located in Del Mar and is the city’s first brewery. The 7,000-square-foot restaurant and brewing facility offers a full-service menu and unbeatable views of the San Dieguito Lagoon. Viewpoint Brewing features 20 rotating taps, from Blonde brews and classic Lagers to Kombucha and guest tap ciders.


The Grand Golf Club at Grand Del Mar is a Tom Fazio-designed course with gorgeous fairways and elevations. This private club is bolstered by the amenities of Fairmont Grand Del Mar and features exclusive facilities with a 50,000-square-foot Clubhouse. Golf memberships include unlimited golf and cart fees, three resort pools, and preferred member pricing on resort experiences. Members also gain access to a five-star spa and Michelin-star restaurant at Fairmont Grand Del Mar with a membership.

Invest in Del Mar real estate

To gain access to these top activities and more, work with the leading real estate agent for luxury Del Mar homes for sale, Sonja Huter. Start your Del Mar real estate search with featured listings from Sonja Huter.

Work With Sonja

Whether you are looking to sell your home, buy a home or learn about the prestigious communities of Rancho Santa Fe, La Jolla and Del Mar, Sonja Huter’s expertise in the San Diego real estate market is like no other real estate agent in the area.

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