Del Mar History
Colonel Jacob Taylor purchased 338 acres of beautiful coastline in 1885 with visions of building a seaside resort. Del Mar (“Of the Sea”) incorporated in 1959.
First renowned during the golden era of the movie industry, Del Mar was the retreat for Hollywood’s biggest movie stars who came to enjoy its peaceful ambiance, pristine beaches, and exhilarating thoroughbred horseracing.
Not much has changed since the 50’s. Del Mar is still a hot destination for vacationers and celebrities alike.
Where the Turf Meets the Surf
In 1937, Bing Crosby greeted the first fan through the gate at Del Mar Race Track. The well known Seabiscuit – Ligaroti match was held in 1938 with the famous “by a nose” finish. The 40’s mark a heyday with celebrities like Ava Gardner, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and Red Skelton cheering on the thoroughbreds. Today, race fans can compete in an opening day hat contest or attend a Friday Night Concert aside from placing bets or just enjoying the horses.
Summer Season – July 22 – Sept 11
Bing Crosby Season – Nov 11 – Dec 4
Del Mar Village
Along Camino Del Mar (aka Highway 101) you’ll find Del Mar Village. This beach side town touts award-winning cuisine, unique shops and outstanding views. Dog friendly beaches are the icing on the cake for this upscale community.
Be sure to make reservations at Poseidon Restaurant on the beach or Pacifica Del Mar at sunset for dinner with an ocean view.
Shop at Del Mar Plaza for boutiques and coast-inspired decor while savoring the open-air ocean view plaza.
FUN FACT: Desi Arnaz maintained a residence in North Del Mar on the beach west of Highway 101 near the Del Mar Racetrack after his divorce from Lucille Ball. He was arrested once for brandishing a firearm and ordering people off of his beach area. He resided there until his death.
Torrey Pines Reserve & State Beach
Torrey Pines SB in Del Mar is one of only two locations where the Torrey Pine tree naturally occurs. The Torrey Pine is the rarest pine in the United States; only two populations of this endangered species exist, in Del Mar and on Santa Rosa Island near Santa Barbara.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a wilderness island in an urban sea. The park preserves not only the trees, but also one of the last salt marshes and waterfowl refuges in Southern California. The reserve features high broken cliffs and deep ravines on headlands overlooking the ocean. Hikers can follow trails through stands of wind-sculpted pines.
FUN FACT: Del Mar is the first surfing location mentioned in the 1963 Beach Boys song “Surfin’ U.S.A.”
Del Mar Highlands
Grab your wallet and head east a mile or two for more unique shopping and restaurants! Del Mar Highlands Town Center is a recently renovated open air shopping center. The new “Sky Deck” features nine different restaurants featuring tastes from around the world. The upscale atmosphere has multiple fireplaces with lounge seating and live music on Fridays from June to October.
You can catch a movie at Cinepolis, get a massage, do yoga or acupuncture, or check out the cute locally owned shops.
Also located in the Highland area of Del Mar is One Paseo. The coastal vibe includes comfortable places to gather and one of a kind finds and services. The hand selected shops showcase artist-driven brands and local designers. A variety of dining options available including modern Mexican, sushi, Italian and French pastries. Enjoy “Weekend Tunes” on Friday and Saturday evenings.
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