There really isn’t a bad time to visit Del Mar. People from around the country flock to our beaches all summer long, and even though summer on the California coast can’t be beat, the warm glow of autumn paints our city in a new light.
Fall days in Del Mar are still warm, and there’s finally a refreshing chill in the air once the sun sets. The throngs of tourists are typically back home, giving you space for an authentic Del Mar experience. While the ocean is a little too cold for regular dips (sans wet suit, at least), there is still plenty to do in the area. Don’t believe us? From early morning to late night, we’ve laid out the best way to spend an autumn day in the Del Mar Village.
8:00 am — Rise and Shine
Wake up in one of the comfy beds at L’Auberge Del Mar. Take your pick of red, green, or orange juice from their Morning Coffee Bar in the Living Room (which opens at 6:30 am, if you really want to get an early start to the day).
9:00 am — Morning Walk
Now that you’ve had some fresh juice to add a little pep to your step, take a short stroll down 15th Street until you reach the beach. Head either north toward Dog Beach (whether or not you have Fido along for the trip), or south toward La Jolla. You’ll notice a few surfers and locals out and about, but overall, it’s a peaceful morning.
10:00 am — Breakfast at Stratford Court Café
Return back to 15th Street and to the Del Mar Village for breakfast. The Stratford Court Café serves up delicious and hearty dishes. Located on the corner of Stratford Court and 13th Street, the café is hidden to most visitors, but after breakfast on the patio, it’s sure to be one of your favorite spots in Del Mar. Order the Powerhouse breakfast with a large and frothy “comfort bowl” tea latte.
11:00 am — Self-Guided Tour of Downtown
After breakfast, grab your smartphone and take a self-guided historic tour of downtown Del Mar. First, you’ll notice the Stratford-On-Avon building by Davidson Communities, then heading north, you’ll find Bully’s, En Fuego, 1414-1418 Camino Del Mar, and the iconic Stratford Square. Cross the street to the Del Mar Plaza and spend some time shopping the local boutiques—maybe even pick up a few unique souvenirs from Urban Girl Accessories. Finish your tour by passing St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
2:00 pm — Lunch at Prepkitchen Del Mar
After walking around (and shopping) for a few hours, you’ve probably built up an appetite. Prepkitchen Del Mar offers a very Californian farm-to-table experience with distinctive local favorites, like bacon-wrapped dates and the house wedge salad.
3:00 pm — Relaxing at L’Auberge
Head back to L’Auberge and soak up the last bit of sunrays by relaxing by the pool, or book a treatment at Spa L’Auberge.
6:00 pm — Pre-Dinner Drinks at Bleu Bar
Now that you’re well rested, put on your best California casual attire and have a pre-dinner drink at the hotel’s outdoor Bleu Bar. Grab a seat next to the fire pit and sip on your cocktail or local beer while you enjoy the sunset.
7:00 pm — Dinner at Jake’s Del Mar
Once the sun sets, make your way to Jake’s Del Mar to catch the final daylight from your ocean-view table right on the beach. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but our favorite dishes are the prosciutto-wrapped shrimp and smoky guajillo roasted local fish—just make sure to save some room for the Hula Pie.
9:00 pm — Live Music and Cocktails at Zel’s Del Mar
After dinner, walk down to Del Mar’s neighborhood restaurant, Zel’s Del Mar. If you’re visiting Thursday through Sunday, enjoy the live music from local bands while you sip on late-night cocktails and warm up by the patio’s outdoor fireplace.
The fun doesn’t stop after just one day! Join us for Taste of Del Mar in early September to sample over 30 award-winning restaurants and over 15 craft beer and wine spots. In mid-September, experience the ultimate beachside music festival: KAABOO Del Mar. Held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, every year hosts a new round of amazing headliners and performers. Then, in November, make sure to come back (or just never leave? Sounds pretty good to us…) for the Fall Del Mar Racing Season, which extends into the beginning of December.
Any day you spend in Del Mar can be a memorable one, but a well-spent day in the middle of fall tends to be particularly warm and inviting.To find out how to extend your stay with even more things to do, visit the Del Mar Village online.