Ask 10 different people their favorite thing about Del Mar, and you’ll get 10 different answers. Our little seaside town of 4300 has something that appeals to everyone from thrillists to luxury-seekers and everyone in between. Take a look below, where we’ve assembled an eclectic list of some of our favorite things to do in Del Mar (in no particular order).
1. Hike Torrey Pines
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is about as beautiful as it gets. Seriously, it’s magical enough to turn even a non-hiker into a bonafide mountain goat.
2. Luxuriate at L’Auberge
The spa treatments at L’Auberge are the perfect way to pamper and rejuvenate yourself. Choose from single services such as facials and massages, or indulge in spa packages to reward yourself with hours of pure, luxurious bliss.
3. Play the ponies
It’s no secret that the Del Mar racetrack is one of the most thrilling places in all of San Diego. If you missed the summer season this year, don’t worry: the Bing Crosby Meet runs from November 11 to December 4.
4. Play with your puppies
Del Mar is for dog lovers. Nine months of the year, dogs are allowed along the entire stretch of Del Mar beaches and in both Seagrove and Powerhouse Parks. The leash-averse will be happy to note that at North Beach, leashes are only mandatory in the summer. From Labor Day to June 15, your pup can run free.
5. Browse the Dinosaur Gallery
Anyone who loves gems, geodes, and fossils will adore this quirky Del Mar shop that sells all of the aforementioned goodies plus Megalodon shark teeth, jewelry, insects, and artwork.
The Del Mar coastline sees good swell energy and offers a diversity of waves for fun, year-round surfing. Need we say more?
7. Ride in balloons
A hot air balloon ride over Del Mar with Compass Balloons is a romantic date idea that won’t be easily forgotten. It should be near the top of the “date ideas” list for everyone from newbie daters to proposers to anniversary celebrators.
8. Enjoy the company of birds
If exotic birds are your thing, the Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary could be your idea of Heaven. You can walk among the colorful birds, talk to them, and even feed them. Guided tours are also available.
9. Shop the Del Mar Farmers’ Market
The Del Mar Farmers’ Market vendors sell certified organic produce, prepared foods, jams, desserts, breads, fish, eggs, and more! If you’re looking for a no-pressure browsing-and-people-watching opportunity on Saturdays, this is a good one.
10. Relax at Seagrove Park
Imagine yourself lying on a blanket on a stretch of grass that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Imagine the sound of the waves, the gulls, and children playing in the distance. Imagine that you are doing nothing at all and that this is what you do all day long. Sigh.
11. Eat and drink at IRIS
After a long day of hiking Torrey Pines, browsing the goods at the market, riding in balloons, or doing absolutely nothing at Seagrove Park, you’ll be hungry and thirsty. Feed yourself and quench your thirst at IRIS Food & Spirits, where we offer lunch, dinner, happy hour, and incredible views over the lagoon. Our menu features “melting pot cuisine” prepared with local and organic ingredients, as well as global wines, local and regional craft beers, and handcrafted cocktails.
A visit to Del Mar is incomplete without a visit to IRIS!
We welcome all hikers, shoppers, and lovers of dogs, ponies, birds, and dinosaurs. Contact us today to make a reservation.