For the perfect escape from East Coast winter blues, we recommend taking a trip to Del Mar, California for a little Vitamin D. With shopping, dining and shoreline, the seaside town, nestled along the coast of the Pacific Ocean in San Diego County, offers endless possibilities for a weekend getaway. The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club recently hosted the 2017 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, and continues to host the Del Mar Horse Races every summer. Take a stroll through the main street and you’ll see tons of horse memorabilia sprinkled throughout. From the beaches to the hiking to the horse races, we’ve rounded up the top suggestions for how to spend a weekend in Del Mar, California.
Where to Stay:
Within the sun-drenched Jewel of San Diego, otherwise known as La Jolla, you’ll find an hacienda-style resort with charming rancho-inspired architecture. Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is a luxury boutique hotel spread out over nearly ten acres. Indulge in a breakfast at the Adobe El Restaurante, and enjoy views out onto the hotel’s splendid courtyard. With outdoor seating throughout the property, various restaurants and bars and an internationally acclaimed spa on site, it might be difficult to leave. But, you’ll find beaches and attractions just a few minutes away.
What to Eat:
Between La Jolla and Del Mar you’ll find dozens of charming restaurants, offering a range of cuisines. A must-visit is Herringbone, a culinary concept from the mind of chef Brian Malarkey. The whimsical interior will transport you to a fantastic woodland forest, with twinkly lights draped throughout. Start with the ahi poke, a refreshing mix of nori crackers, inamona jus and a touch of spicy mayo. The Prime Dry Aged New York Steak will satisfy all of your meat cravings while the seared sea scallops are the perfect choice to match your coastal surroundings. Finish the evening with a decadent sundae topped with cocoa nibs and creamy caramel.
What to Do:
Horse racing is a huge part of the culture in San Diego, partly because the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is one of the most dazzling racetracks in the country. Surrounded by palm trees and stunning coastline, the legendary Del Mar racetrack has been rightfully nicknamed the place “where the turf meets the surf.” Following the excitement of hosting the 2017 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, the racetrack has garnered even more attention. When there aren’t racing competitions, the track hosts various family-friendly events throughout the year that are worth checking out.
We recommend taking a trip to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the perfect interactive afternoon activity. With more than 5,000 fish and 60+ habitats, along with a modern museum, the aquarium gives visitors a deep understanding of the world’s oceans.
Where to Visit:
From the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, you can take a ten-minute drive into the main area of La Jolla where you’ll find high-end art galleries, posh boutiques and restaurants. Make your way up to La Jolla Cove where you’ll enjoy sweeping ocean views. If you’re a bit more rugged, you can visit Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, where the trails wind past trees and canyons for miles.
Within La Jolla Village itself, you’ll find the Karl Strauss Brewing Company, complete with an outdoor patio and a full list of year-round and seasonal beers. Try a flight of four beers and see which one you like the best. (We recommend the Peanut Butter Cup Porter!)