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Walnut Creek Magazine

Destination Del Mar

Aug 17, 2021 10:00AM ● By Pam Kessler

You’ve been to the San Diego Zoo. You’ve hit Petco Park, the Gaslamp Quarter, and Coronado Island, but before you put San Diego on the “been there, done that” list, make time to experience Del Mar. With its miles of unspoiled beaches and posh resorts, you’re in for a remarkable getaway.

Photography by Zemina Zaferakis


An affluent coastal enclave located between the Solana Beach cliffs and La Jolla highlands, Del Mar delivers easy access to the Pacific Ocean, interrupted only by an occasional passing train. Two plus miles of sandy beach invite you to run, walk, or picnic. Year-round swells and a rare reef break also make it surf heaven. Head to 15th Street and catch a wave. Canines romp freely on the stretch north; a famed dog beach that dispenses with leashes nine months of the year.

Blocks away on the town’s main drag, Camino Del Mar, hip restaurants like Beeside Balcony and Americana load seasonal ingredients in brunch power bowls and avocado toasts. Del Mar Rendezvous, named one of the best Chinese restaurants in the US by CNN Travel, is a good place for xiao long bao and konnyaku noodles. 

To catch a killer sunset, head to the top tier of Del Mar Plaza and relax at the spacious outdoor patio. Better yet, savor some local swordfish at Pacifica or halibut and shrimp ceviche at the town's new hot spot Monarch Ocean Pub.  A trip to Del Mar is not complete without an oceanview seat at Jake's and burritos at Roberto’s—where the outdoor deck looks out at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve coastal bluffs, a good spot for hiking. 


About 15 minutes from Del Mar Village is the exclusive, five-star Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa spanning 45-acres of plush landscape. The all-suite property boasts 49 exquisitely appointed casitas with large living rooms, spacious patios, and private Jacuzzis. A fitness center, innovative cuisine, a yoga pavilion, tennis courts, and a world-class spa attract wellness-minded travelers, celebrated entertainers, and business leaders from around the world. 

If you want to sleep steps from the ocean, L’Auberge Del Mar offers a resort experience reminiscent of seaside estate. This boutique property in the heart of Del Mar Village has a private beach path, a 5,000-square-foot spa, an ocean view deck for sipping champagne and taking in the sunset, and onsite restaurants for coastal suppers of tuna crudo and sea scallops.  

Located in Peñasquitos Canyon, the Fairmont Grand Del Mar is considered one of the region’s top luxury destinations. Stunning to the last detail, the Tuscan-inspired property boasts lavish architecture and spacious rooms that overlook the lush gardens and golf course. But despite its architectural opulence, 400-acres of natural surroundings in a private coastal canyon inspire relaxation. 


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