Del Mar is a laid back beach town on the Pacific coast about 20 minutes from San Diego. Called “the place where surf meets turf," Del Mar is famous for its beautiful beaches, world-known racetrack, wonderful weather, and upscale living. A popular weekend getaway in California, Del Mar is a place where you can spend the day on the beach doing nothing or fill it with non-stop action. Here are the best things to do in Del Mar.

1. Del Mar Beaches

Del Mar Beaches
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There are about two plus miles of fine sandy beaches in Del Mar, making it perfect for sunbathing, walking, or having a picnic. Del Mar City Beach is the most popular, and its northern part between the River Mouth and 15th street is considered the best in the entire San Diego area, with moderate surf and great swimming.

Bluffs line the southern side of the beach, and there are several trails leading down to the beach. Across from the racetrack is a popular dog-friendly beach, naturally called Dog Beach. It is located where San Dieguito River empties into the sea, creating a broad expanse of sand perfect for volleyball. It is not the best for swimming because of strong currents and shallow sandbars. However, it is protected from the wind and is great for making sand castles.

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2. Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve

Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve
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Hiking through Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, you can imagine how California looked before humans shaped it to their liking: wild, spectacularly beautiful, rich in plant and animal species, unspoiled, and untamed. Torrey Pines reserve is a 1,750-acre reserve located on the rough cliffs above Torrey Pines State Beach that was established to preserve the Torrey Pine tree and other native plants and animals in their natural environment.

There are about 3,000 of America's rarest pine trees- Pinus torreyana- in the reserve. This tree does not grow anywhere else except in the reserve and on Santa Rosa Island near Santa Barbara. The reserve also protects one of the last Southern California salt marshes and waterfowl refuges. About eight miles of challenging hiking trails will take you through this magnificent coastal wilderness of pine trees and sandstone canyons where every turn offers another spectacular view of the ocean.

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3. Del Mar Race Track, Del Mar, California

Del Mar Race Track, Del Mar, California
© Del Mar Race Track

Del Mar racetrack, where the "turf meets the surf" is aDel Mar Thoroughbred Club horse racing track located in the lovely beach town of Del Mar, about 20 miles from San Diego. It is one of the biggesthorseracing venues in the States, with the capacity of 44,000 spectators.

The racing season is between July and September, and the races have become major social events in the country ever since the venue opened its doors in 1937. The racetrack also hosts concerts on the Seaside Stage, and tickets are free with admission to the racetrack.Kids under 17 enjoy free rides, games, and activities while their parents are having fun at the racetrack.

2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA, Phone: 858-755-1141

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4. L'Auberge Del Mar

L'Auberge Del Mar
© L'Auberge Del Mar

L’Auberge Del Mar is a high-end resort overlooking Del Mar Beach and the Pacific Ocean in the charming village Del Mar, across the street from outdoor shopping mall at Del Mar Plaza. The resort is surrounded by five acres of beautifully landscaped gardens. The rooms are bright and elegant with colorful tropical décor. All rooms have flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, marble bathrooms and free wifi. Some rooms have balconies, patios and/or beach views. Suites also have living rooms, pull-out sofas and fireplaces. Guests enjoy two restaurants, a lounge with live music and an outdoor bar by the pool. There's also a spa, a free beach gear, an area shuttle and access to a fitness center and tennis courts.

1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014, Phone: 858-259-1515

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5. Things to Do Near Me: Del Mar Farmers Market, Del Mar, California

Things to Do Near Me: Del Mar Farmers Market, Del Mar, California
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The Del Mar Farmer's Market is a small but robust farmer's market located at the south end of Del Mar Village. The DMFM offers most of the traditional farmer's market fare you would expect, including honey, fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

Unlike many other markets, however, this one is known for its international cuisine, meats, and seafood; seafood in particular is not something often found at a farmer's market. The cheeses and antipasti offerings are also noteworthy. Visitors to the San Diego area might enjoy stopping at the DMFM to buy some goodies for a picnic basket and heading down to the beach for a tasty lunch with a view.

1050 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014, (website link)

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6. Things to Do Near Me: Coya Peruvian Secret

Things to Do Near Me: Coya Peruvian Secret
© Coya Peruvian Secret

Coya Peruvian Secret is a charming family owned open-air Peruvian restaurant located in the heart of Del Mar's European-style downtown. It is famous for its traditional ceviche and wonderful, warm atmosphere. Literally on the street, the restaurant's tables are surrounded by a profusion of blooming bougainvillea and tasteful Peruvian traditional textiles.

The aesthetics are simple and unassuming, letting the food shine. If you have never tasted Peruvian food, Coya Peruvian Secret is going to open your eyes. Start with Ceviche Mixto with fresh local fish, jumbo shrimp, octopus, Peruvian scallops, calamari, and New Zealand Green Lip mussels. For the main course, try Aji de gallina, a pulled chicken breast in aji sauce with walnuts, parmesan, and aji.

If you still have any space left, go for Quatros leches with strawberries and merengue. It is impossible not to fall in love with Peruvian food once you taste it prepared in just the right way, like in Coya Peruvian Secret. If you are lucky, there will be a guitar player strumming in the corner. Things to Do in San Diego

1140 Camino Del Mar, CA 92014, Phone: 858-792-0821

7. Magical Adventure Balloon Rides

Magical Adventure Balloon Rides
© Magical Adventure Balloon Rides

Visitors to Del Mar who would like to see the beauty of the area from a slightly different vantage point should consider a trip with Magical Adventure Balloon Rides. The company offers year-round balloon tours of Del Mar, and they invite guests to enjoy a romantic ocean sunset balloon flight over the elegant homes and golf courses of the region.

Included in the price is a one-hour or 4-mile balloon ride, a champagne, juice, or mimosa toast, a commemorative flight certificate, and a souvenir picture. Several special packages are available, including a sunset private basket flight and sunset engagement or re-commitment flight.

P.O. Box 891951, Temecula, CA 92589, Phone: 951-699-5800

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8. Del Mar Surf School

Del Mar Surf School
© Del Mar Surf School

The Del Mar Surf School provides visitors to the San Diego area with the opportunity to experience the joy of riding the waves. Whether it is your first time on a board or you are in need of a refresher, this surf school is prepared.

Would-be surfers can choose from Private Lessons, Semi-Private Lessons, Small Group Lessons, or Group Lessons - all at different price points in order to accommodate just about any budget. Lessons include use of a surfboard and wetsuit, on land and in water instruction, whitewater practice, real wave surfing, and photos to document the experience. (Phone: 858-621-3677)

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9. Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar

Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar
© Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar

Hotel Indigo is a relaxed Del Mar hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean, only a mile from Torrey Pines State Beach, four miles from Torrey Pines Golf Course and ten miles from the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego. Hotel rooms and suites are cozy and pleasant and are equipped with mini-fridges, coffeemakers, microwaves, desks, free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. Upgraded rooms have balconies with ocean views, whirlpool tubs, kitchenettes and fireplaces. Guests enjoy complimentary underground parking, a seafood restaurant and bar, two outdoor pools, a European-style day spa, a business center, a fitness room and a snack shop.

710 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014, Phone: 858-755-1501, (website link)

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10. Jimmie O's, Del Mar, California

Jimmie O's, Del Mar, California
© Jimmie O's

After a day of activities in Del Mar, Jimmie O's is a great place to grab a local craft beer and perhaps a bite to eat. With patio seating and customer acclaimed food, Jimmie O's is in walking distance from the shops of Del Mar, the dog beach, Power House Park, the San Diego Fairgrounds, and the Thoroughbred Club, as well as most hotels in Del Mar.

The Fish Tacos and Cajun fries come highly recommended. Jimmie O's offers not only big screen TVs for catching sporting events, but also karaoke, a DJ, and a dance club.

225 15th Street, Del Mar, CA 92014, Phone: 858-350-3735

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11. Things to Do in Del Mar: Free Flight

Things to Do in Del Mar: Free Flight
© Free Flight

For an adventure that is both educational and enjoyable, visitors should consider a stop at the Free Flight Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary's mission is to re-socialize and re-home parrots in need, while also educating the public about these beautiful and exotic birds. Visitors to the sanctuary walk among the birds and talk with them, as well as assisting with feeding them.

Staff members are available to help with handling those birds who like to be handled and to educate visitors about parrot care. While enjoyable for the human visitors, this daily routine helps the parrots become socialized and gives them a better chance to be re-homed, thus creating an advantageous situation for all.

2132 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92014, Phone: 858-481-3148

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12. Things to Do in Del Mar: Poseidon on the Beach

Things to Do in Del Mar: Poseidon on the Beach
© Poseidon on the Beach

The Poseidon on the Beach embodies the Southern California lifestyle - laidback yet sophisticated. Executive Chef Mourad Jamal comes to the Poseidon by way of Morocco, Southern France, and Disney World, bringing with him a world of experiences and recipes. These are reflected in the restaurant's numerous menus.

Whether guests are there for lunch, brunch, dinner, dessert, bar food, or just to enjoy a local craft beer with a view of the famous Del Mar sunset, the available culinary options are impressive. Of particular note is the Mini-Taco menu available Mondays and Thursdays.

1670 Coast Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92014, Phone: 858-755-9345, (website link)

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13. Jake's Del Mar, Del Mar, California

Jake's Del Mar, Del Mar, California
© Jake's Del Mar

Another dining option of note in the Del Mar area is Jake's Del Mar. Part of a family of restaurants in the Southern California area, Jake's offers lunch, dinner, and bar menus but is most famous for its extensive Sunday brunch offerings.

The breakfast selection of brunch includes favorites such as Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Langostino Lobster Omelet, and Banana Stuffed French Toast. But the star is the Eggs Benedict with a choice of ten different toppings. Those looking for something more lunch oriented might wish to try the Mac & Cheese Stuffed Meatballs or Lobster & Shrimp Rajas Tacos.

1660 Coast Boulevard, Del Mar, CA 92014, Phone: 858-755-2002

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14. Things to Do Near Me: Market Restaurant + Bar

Things to Do Near Me: Market Restaurant + Bar
© Market Restaurant

In 2006, locally born and raised professional Chef Carl Schroeder opened his now award-winning Market Restaurant + Bar in Del Mar. With two creative and innovative professional chefs in the kitchen, this restaurant promises a culinary adventure that is sure to impress. The menu consists of a selection of seasonal dishes created from fresh, locally grown, hand-selected ingredients.

The menu does however change daily as the chefs find exciting new menu items that take advantage of the best produce, seafood, and meats available at any given time of the year. They offer a dinner, sushi, and tasting menu, meaning guests are sure to find something new and exciting for their Del Mar dining experience.

3702 Via de la Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014, Phone: 858-523-0007

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15. Pacifica Del Mar, Del Mar, California

Pacifica Del Mar, Del Mar, California
© Pacifica Del Mar

What would a visit to Southern California be without some spectacular seafood? Pacifica Del Mar is an award-winning seafood restaurant featuring both coastal cuisine and stunning views. The restaurant's dramatic setting is the perfect canvas for the highly acclaimed cuisine. The Pacifica offers a lunch, dinner and weekend brunch menu, as well as a 2-course Sunset Dinner menu.

Starting at 6pm, this pre-fixed price menu includes offerings such as Sugar-Spiced Salmon with Chinese Long Beans, Mustard Sauce, and Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Cavatappi Pasta with Rock Shrimp, Artichokes, Spinach, and Arugula Pesto, and Mustard Catfish, Mustard Marinade, Green Onion Aioli and Yukon Potato-Corn Succotash.

1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014, Phone: 858-792-0476

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16. Best Western Premier Hotel Del Mar

Best Western Premier Hotel Del Mar
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Located in a quiet a residential area along a main thoroughfare in Del Mar, California, Best Western Del Mar has magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean. It is only a mile from Torrey Pines State Beach and Crest Canyon Park hiking trails. The rooms are modern and comfortable, offering balconies with the view of the ocean or pool. All rooms have flat-screens, free Wi-Fi access, iPod docks, microwaves, mini-fridges and coffeemakers. Some rooms also have wet bars. Guests enjoy a large pool, a restaurant, a hot tub, a gym, laundry service and a small store. The hotel is less than two kilometers from the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairground..

720 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014, Phone: 858-755-9765

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17. Del Mar Motel on the Beach

Del Mar Motel on the Beach
© Del Mar Motel on the Beach

Located right on the beach in the village of Del Mar, Del Mar Motel on the Beach is bright and informal, only a short walk from Powerhouse Park and two miles from the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club racecourse. The rooms are modern and comfortable, with traditional furniture. All rooms are equipped with mini-fridges, free Wi-Fi, cable TV and coffeemakers. Upgraded rooms have spectacular ocean views. Guests enjoy complimentary parking and all beach gear, a sundeck on the beach, a picnic area with BBQs and a laundry. The Belly Up Tavern with live music and national touring bands is only a short drive away.

1702 Coast Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014, Phone: 800-223-8449, (website link)

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18. Les Artistes Inn

Les Artistes Inn
© Les Artistes Inn

Les Artistes Inn is a charming, quirky boutique hotel in Del Mar with interesting architecture, two blocks from the oceanfront, a short walk from the beach and less than two miles from Crest Canyon Park. Hotel’s 12 rooms are bright and modern with the décor inspired by famous artists and are all equipped with free WiFi, cable TV and small sitting areas. Some rooms have whirlpool tubs, fireplaces, claw-foot baths, kitchenettes and/or balconies overlooking the ocean. Guests enjoy a beautiful garden, a stone walkway and nicely furnished patio. Café Secret, which serves Peruvian cuisine, is located a short walk from the hotel.

944 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014, Phone: 858-755-4646

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19. Hilton San Diego-Del Mar

Hilton San Diego-Del Mar
© Hilton San Diego-Del Mar

Hilton San Diego Del Mar is an upscale hotel across from Del Mar Racetrack, a short drive from the beach and less than four miles from Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. The rooms are warm and elegant, with custom beds, flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, a desk and free wifi. Suites have separate living areas; balconies, whirlpool tubs and wet bars. Club rooms have access to a lounge that provides free breakfast, drinks and appetizers. Guests enjoy free area shuttle, a restaurant with outdoor seating and fire pits, an outdoor pool, two hot tubs, a fitness center, a ballroom and large meeting space.

15575 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014, Phone: 858-792-5200

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The top attractions to visit in Del Mar, California near me today according to local experts:

Romantic Idea: Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Exuding Mediterranean elegance, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar makes the best of the San Diego weather with its endless days of sunshine. Mixed with this flair is a touch of charm, real Californian hospitality and five diamond service.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar has a championship golf course, gastronomic feasts as well as a spa to ensure that guests are situated firmly in the lap of luxury. The hotel is situated in the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve and serves a tribute to the style of Addison Mizner, and architect from the early 20th century who played heavily with Spanish design influences as well as the coastal look of France.

The 249 room hotel is one of the best summer getaways in California and is suited for guests who enjoy time spent outdoors amid sunny climates while being treated to world-class luxuries.

Fairmont Grand Del Mar boasts an impressive 249 rooms and suites with each one blessed with a view of the golf course or the surrounding preserve.

The guest rooms at the hotel range from grand to standard. Rooms are decked out with the comforts of home such as televisions, robes and luxury linens. All rooms are stocked with 100% cotton towels and bathrobes, as well as bathroom accessories designed for the hotel by Red Flower. Beds are pillow top and rounded off with goose down pillows. Each room also welcomes guests with a Nespresso machine as well as a kettle, bottled water and Wi-Fi.

The Fairmont Room is 550 square feet and located on the 1st to 3rd floor of the hotel. These rooms are equipped with one king bed or two queen beds and boasts a view of the resort grounds or the swimming pool. The marble bathroom is equipped with deep tubs for soaking and a separate shower. Guests are also treated to dual sinks, lush bedding and a flat screen television.

In the Deluxe Veranda Room guests can take in a view of the grounds from the large private balcony. The 550 square foot room has one king or two queen beds and is equipped with the same amenities as the Fairmont Room.

The Signature Terrace Room is found on the first floor boasting a view of the relaxation pool. These rooms are for adults only and are equipped with one king bed and a marble bathroom.

Dining at Fairmont Grand Del Mar comes courtesy of a talented staff of chefs and food professionals in a choice of six dining venues. Options range from fine dining to casual snacks next to the swimming pool. The hotel also has an extensive range of wines and menus are rotated on a seasonal basis. In addition there are also lavish afternoon teas available as well cooking classes and in-room dining for those who truly came to relax. Next to the family friendly pool resort, guests can also choose to dine on a selection of refreshing snacks and specialty drinks.

The crown jewel of dining at Fairmont Grand Del Mar, Addison is grandeur at its best. The menu at the restaurant is inspired by French cuisine boasting a modern twist and artisanal flair.

The menu rotates seasonally and the wine list itself has over 3500 choices, creating a tasting room environment. Grand Chef William Bradley also invites a selection of professional chefs to create a collection of dinners using the ingredients of the season.

With an atmosphere reminiscent of Spain and Italy, Amaya has a shaded terrace where diners can indulge amid the Mediterranean atmosphere that is Fairmont Grand Del Mar. The menu is a showcase of market ingredients that are available each season and it changes constantly. The restaurant also caters for groups with private dining areas and menus that can be designed especially for the booking. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as an a la carte brunch on weekends.

Headed by Chef de Cuisine Joshua Dorfner, The Clubhouse Grill features a relaxed atmosphere with cocktails and classic grill cuisine that hits the spot. The restaurant serves up smoothies, classic dishes like tacos and calamari and also has an extensive brunch menu that features combinations like chicken and waffles. After sunset, guests can indulge with a tapas menu that is inspired by real Southern Californian tastes. Each day of the week is also assigned a special dish of the day with a matching cocktail.

Guests can take a gastronomic journey to Italy at Cent’ Anni Café. In the café iced teas, coffees and a wide variety of gelato and take-away meals such as sandwiches create the perfect spot to grab a coffee and snack before heading out to explore the San Diego surrounds.

The Lobby Lounge is kept cosy by fireplaces and a warm interior complemented by elegant furniture and a library boasting antique books. On the other side of the lounge, a marble bar sets the tone with unique cocktails and a selection of light snacks.

At Club M, guests of the Fairmont Grand Del Mar can dance until the small hours as live DJs keep the beat going with sultry rhythms and live music.

The Spa at Fairmont Grand Del Mar has a five star rating with a menu boasting an incredible array of treatments and indulgences. In the spa guests also have access to the Haim Salon with its bevy of beauty services like manicures, makeup and hair.

Decked out in real opulence, the Spa creates a lavish environment where guests are able to unwind with a full range of treatments of their choice. There are lounge areas for men and women where patrons can relax in between treatments with a whirlpool or a trip to the sauna. Guests are afforded exclusive access to the adults-only relaxation pool as well as a choice of fitness classes and exercise centre. While parents are indulging, little ones are given two hours of access to the Explorer’s Club to keep them occupied. The spa also allows guests to take home a touch of luxury from the boutique store with some of their wellness products.

With plenty of space, the spa has 11 treatment rooms and a suite for couples. Treatments are all exclusively designed by well-known spa consultants. Indulge in a body wrap or massage, or have stresses soothes away with a hand and foot treatment. A facial revitalizes the visage and even gentlemen are given a selection of treatments created specifically for them.

The Grand Golf Club course at Fairmont Grand Del Mar was designed by Tom Fazio with elevated areas, a challenging set of bunkers and naturally an emerald green fairway. This is the only course designed by Tom Fazio in Southern California, making it a dream destination for golf enthusiasts. Guests can also stop in at the golf shop to pick up the latest set of clubs and accessories.

The climate allows for year-round golfing, and the course comes with private lessons and access to the 50 000 square foot clubhouse. The course ends with a waterfall at the 18th hole, and there is ample practice space with almost seven acres of space. This practice area has a driving range, two bunkers and a putting green where golfers can perfect their swing.

Golfers are given access to a golf cart that is fitted with a GPS system as well as a forecaddie and yardage book. The scenic golf course is an ideal venue for golfing enthusiasts who not only enjoy hitting the green, but who want to be surrounded by the beauty of San Diego.

The Fairmont Grand Del Mar has over 20 000 square feet of event space for up to 600 guests, where guests can have a wedding, corporate meeting or simply host a private event.

Guests can also make use of the outside space for events, while the hotel extends a range of services to assist with event planning. Catering is also taken care of with a selection of banquet menus that can be created in conjunction with the hotel’s wedding specialist.

At the Fairmont Grand Del Mar amenities are not limited to a spa days and golfing – active guests can head to the tennis court to get their heart rate up, or unwind in the swimming pool. The hotel also offers an equestrian centre with trail rides and riding lessons suited to every level of rider. Kids can also enjoy pony rides as well as day camps to keep them occupied.

The Fairmont Grand Del Mar has four heated swimming pools that are kitted out for the ultimate in relaxation with a day by the pool. Poolside luxuries include cabanas and a pool bar as well as fire pits and snacks and refreshments. The pools themselves have vanishing edges and there are also wading pools where little ones can splash about.

With more amenities and activities than can be listed, and a setting that is the true embodiment of Southern California style, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar is family vacation dream.

5300 Grand Del Mar Court, San Diego, CA 92130, Phone: 855-314-2030