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Billing itself as "where the surf meets the turf," Del Mar, 20 miles north of San Diego, is renowned for its three-mile-long beach with two seaside parks — Seagrove and Powerhouse — great for picnicking. The gorgeous beach is a delight to stroll, especially along the cliff-top trail. To the south, Torrey Pines State Beach draws surfers. In the 1930s, Hollywood stars hung out at the Del Mar Race Track, now the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, still hosting races in summer. Horse-fans flock, too, for the Del Mar National Horse Show (April-May), three weeks of equestrian pageantry now in its seventh decade. The Del Mar Fairgrounds hosts the annual ...

Billing itself as "where the surf meets the turf," Del Mar, 20 miles north of San Diego, is renowned for its three-mile-long beach with two seaside parks — Seagrove and Powerhouse — great for picnicking. The gorgeous beach is a delight to stroll, especially along the cliff-top trail. To the south, Torrey Pines State Beach draws surfers. In the 1930s, Hollywood stars hung out at the Del Mar Race Track, now the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, still hosting races in summer. Horse-fans flock, too, for the Del Mar National Horse Show (April-May), three weeks of equestrian pageantry now in its seventh decade. The Del Mar Fairgrounds hosts the annual San Diego County Fair (June-July), featuring a miscellany of attractions, from a flower and garden show to livestock exhibits. And try to be there at Christmas for the Holiday of Lights, supposedly the largest animated light show on the West Coast. A new attraction, opened in 2007, is The Screamzone. Guaranteed to scare the dickens out of visitors, it features a haunted hayride, a tunnel-of-terrors roller-coaster, and the inevitable House of Horror. If you wish to relax, join the rich and famous be found at The Inn L'Auberge Del Mar, a luxurious retreat with spa treatments.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Christopher Baker for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time is good. June has two major festivals.