Living in Del Mar, San Diego

Living in Del Mar, San Diego, is a coastal dream. Just north of San Diego, the rocky cliffs and forests replete with evergreen give the area an ancient and quiet feel. But this sleepy area has plenty going on; from fun on the beaches, to hiking, to dining delights. Let’s check out some of the best attractions in Del Mar.

What to know about living in Del Mar, California

The History of Del Mar:

The area now recognized as Del Mar was originally contracted in 1885, with plans to turn the area into a resort for the wealthy. At this point in time, many wealthy families were flocking to the newly inhabited California coastline and they wanted a space to their own. Oil tycoons, up and coming Hollywood stars, and “old money” from back east all swarmed to the rugged coastline to experience the land where the mighty Pacific Ocean meets the awe inspiring landscape.

Though the oceanfront properties in Del Mar are still owned by a wealthy population, Del Mar never quite became the coastal Beverly Hills it was originally envisioned to be. Perhaps this has allowed the area to keep it’s more organic and quiet nature, and the current residents seem to want to keep it that way.

coastline of Del Mar San Diego, Living in Del Mar San Diego

Seagrove Park

Seagrove Park is a beautiful ocean view park in Del Mar. It’s a great place to enjoy a sunset and get some fresh air. It’s also a popular spot for weddings in Del Mar. One of the more unique things you’ll see in Seagrove Park is the Pacific Surfliner!

Meandering through Seagrove Park, you’ll see the Pacific Surfliner, a coastal Amtrak train that travels from San Diego all the way to San Luis Obispo in California’s central coast.  The train is not only a beautiful way to experience the gorgeous pacific coast, but a very eco-friendly way to travel; and San Diego loves to be green! Many who live in the northern areas of San Diego use the train to commute into Los Angeles for work, avoiding sitting in traffic, as well as being able to use that travel time to work from a computer.  Whether traveling for work or pleasure, the Surfliner is an excellent way to get an up close and personal view of the beautiful California coastline.

Surfliner train on the coast of Del Mar, Living in Del Mar San Diego

Surfing in Del Mar

Among the surfing community, the California coast is well known for its beach break, meaning the waves break against the long, continuous beach. The beach break in Del Mar, coupled with the reef breaks slightly to the south, make for perfect surfing conditions. Not surprisingly, almost any time of the day, surfers can be seen dotted among the waves; paddling out, waiting in the line-up, catching the perfect swell, or engaging in a spectacular wipeout.

Surfers in Del Mar can ride anything from short “fish” boards, to cruiser longboards, and on a calm day, even paddle boarders can be seen out in the surf. Because there’s so much space up and down the coast of this area of San Diego county, there’s usually enough room for everyone.

Take it from the locals, Del Mar is one of the best surf spots in all of San Diego. After all, if the Beach Boys mention the beaches of Del Mar in their 1963 hit “Surfin, U.S.A.” it has to be prime surfing real estate!

Downtown Del Mar

The downtown area of Del Mar, also known as the Village of Del Mar,  is cozy, quaint, and full of great restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. Like downtown San Diego, downtown Del Mar is considered the heart of town, where people can come together to meet up, grab a bite, and relax. The local restaurants are perfect for a date night dinner, and many of them have beautiful views of the coastline. Restaurants such as Pacifica Del Mar and The Poseidon Restaurant offer an array of seafood delights for those looking for coastal fare.

If something more laid back is what you’re looking for, there are plenty of casual options, such as Zel’s Del Mar, an American fare bistro with an outdoor fire pit and no easy to please menu. In keeping with the quiet nature of Del Mar, the downtown area isn’t open extremely late, so if you want to bar hop on a Saturday night, you might want to venture further into San Diego.

sunset at Del Mar beach, Living in Del Mar San Diego

Del Mar Fairgrounds

If you drive from central San Diego up north to Del Mar you will drive past the Del Mar Fairgrounds. This is where the annual Del Mar (horse racing) race season is located. It’s also where they host many exciting annual events, concerts and expos.


Del Mar Race Season:

Located amid the Del Mar Fairgrounds, the Del Mar Racetrack is host to some of the most competitive horse racing in the country. Founded by swing legend Bing Crosby, horse racing fans know Del Mar as the place “where the surf meets the turf.”

From July through September thoroughbred lovers (or just those hoping to get lucky!) flock to the racetrack to watch these equine marvels take to the turf. History is embraced at the Del Mar Racetrack, and visitors are not soon to forget the tracks, or historic events that took place here.  Many will be quick to tell visitors that the famed Seabiscuit took his underdog victory at the Del Mar Racetrack in 1938.

During racing season the track is open to the public from Wednesday through Sunday.

Del Mar Fairgrounds, Living in Del Mar San Diego

Kaaboo Music Festival

As music festivals across the country have gained popularity over the last fifteen years, SoCal has certainly hasn’t missed out on the trend. The Kaaboo Music Festival is held annually in Del Mar at the Fairgrounds in September. Contemporary, as well as classic rock acts grace the stage, and each year the spectacle becomes more and more exciting.

On a beachside stage, the performers bring world class entertainment to a venue beneath the stars, with the ocean breeze flowing through the crowd. Though the event was cancelled for the 2020 season, Kaaboo plans to return to Del Mar in September of 2021, bigger and better than ever.


The San Diego County Fair:

Every summer, San Diego locals and tourists flock to the Del Mar Fairgrounds to experience the largest county fair in the United States. Beginning in 1880, like many county fairs at the time, the San Diego County Fair was primarily an agricultural fair. Patrons could experience agricultural life such as interacting with livestock, or watching ice cream being made.

Today the fair serves as more of an “all around entertainment” exposition, with live bands, activities for children, contests, and a LOT of food to try! During the fair, the schedule of the Pacific Surfliner train adds extra routes to its schedule to accommodate the influx of visitors and limited parking in Del Mar.

Since its inception, the only years the San Diego County Fair has not taken place have been: 1917-18 during World War I, 1942-45 during World War II, and 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2021 fair is still projected to take place, with Covid compliant regulations in place. 

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Interested in living in Del Mar, California?

Del Mar is one of San Diego county’s most beautiful areas to live. With ocean views from many homes, delicious locally owned eateries and cafes downtown and the Del Mar FairGrounds within an easy driving distance, this neighborhood is a great choice in San Diego! We would love to help you find the perfect place to call home in Del Mar. Reach out to us today to get started!