Ideally situated 20 minutes north of downtown San Diego, the quaint seaside village of Del Mar, known for its beautiful beaches and famous Del Mar Racetrack, offers 10 exciting reasons for a romantic getaway or a family vacation.

1. The Beach – Toes in the sand, blue skies overhead, pods of dolphins crossing the horizon: Del Mar is sure to be your new “happy place.” With more than two miles of pristine coastline and gently rolling waves, Del Mar is the perfect place to stroll, learn to surf, kayak or simply bask in the sun.

2. Pet-Friendly – Furry friends need a vacation too! In addition to having its own leash-free “Dog Beach,” many Del Mar hotels, restaurants and stores are pet-friendly. L’Auberge Del Mar even offers dog-sitting and grooming services for your pooch. If waves make Fido’s tail wag, an annual dog surfing competition takes place at Dog Beach in September.

3. Fun Events – There is never a dull moment in Del Mar. Del Mar offers a variety of annual events such as: Summer Solstice, a food and wine tasting event overlooking the ocean (June); Del Mar Fair (June-July); Del Mar Races (July-September); Taste of Del Mar, a strolling taste from Del Mar restaurants, music and kids activities (September); and Holiday Wonderland, a multi-block event with holiday activities such as horse-drawn carriage rides, crafts, snow play areas, and visits with Santa (December).

4. Walkability – While many say you can’t get around California without a car, Del Mar is a happy exception. Just two miles long, Del Mar is an intimate seaside village where hotels, restaurants, shops and entertainment are clustered within easy walking distance from each other – and everything is just steps from the sea!

5. History – The streets of Del Mar have long been walked by notable characters. Stratford Square, a famed landmark in the downtown village, contains a historical gallery with photos of Del Mar and its prominent residents, including Jimmy Durante, Desi & Lucy Arnez, Dick Enburg and Burt Bacharach. Also included are photos of Bing Crosby, who opened the Del Mar Race Track, and famous jockeys like Bill Shoemaker and Chris McCarron.

6. Weddings – Romance is in the air in Del Mar. In addition to six hotels that provide the perfect setting and home base to say “I Do,” Del Mar offers unique and beautiful wedding venues such as Seagrove Park, Powerhouse Park, and the Ocean View Deck at Del Mar Plaza. Couples looking for the ideal San Diego beach wedding venue should look no further than Del Mar!

7. Ocean View Shopping and Dining – Del Mar Plaza, an outdoor collection of boutiques, restaurants, and wine bars, offers an open-air, European-style dining and shopping experience replete with ocean views. Find a new stylish outfit at Coco Rose, enjoy a delicious Japanese meal at Shimbashi Izakaya, and finish the night with after-dinner drinks at Il Fornaio — all without leaving the Plaza. On special nights, relax in the deck lounges as you listen to live music.

8. Culinary Creations – Culinary talent is flocking to Del Mar, bringing a range of dining experiences to our seaside village. From fine dining to eclectic cafés, visitors will find plenty to delight the palate at restaurants such as L’Auberge’s Coastline, Coya Peruvian Cafe, Pacifica Del Mar, Zel’s Bistro, Prep Kitchen and many others. Local chefs love that Del Mar has its very own Farmers Market every Saturday from 1-4 p.m. – and it’s a great place for visitors to mingle with locals and discover the true flavors of Del Mar.

9. Spa and Wellness – Del Mar offers a variety of pampering and wellness experiences including Place360, an integrated wellness environment including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and homeopathy; Spa Namara, located in Hotel Indigo, is a full-service spa; and Spa L’Auberge, which offers a collection of treatments that draw on the healing wonders of the ocean.

10. Outdoor Recreation – In addition to the beach and coastal bluffs, Torrey Pines State Park and the trails through Crest Canyon provide picturesque trails for runners and hikers. In the northern part of Del Mar, the Scripps Bluff Preserve and the newly restored San Dieguito River Lagoon offer extraordinary views, native plants and wildlife viewing. For full descriptions on day hikes in Del Mar, check out this page.

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