Winter in Del Mar doesn’t usually feel too different from summer, besides the fact that the days are shorter. Our winter weather is usually moderate—even hot at times (we’ve boasted December days with temperatures of 80 degrees). A trip to Del Mar between December and February will give you a unique perspective on the city; you’ll find fewer tourists and be able to have a more relaxed, authentic experience. To help you take advantage of the daylight hours, we’ve created a guide for spending a winter day in the Del Mar Village.
8:00 a.m.—Coffee at Stratford Court Cafe
The sun rises earlier in the winter, so set your alarm and get an early start on the day with a cup of coffee at Stratford Court Cafe. Regular coffee too boring? Stratford’s selection of drinks are anything but dull, such as their “Milky Way” (espresso, chocolate, caramel, steamed milk, and whipped cream) or their White Chocolate Mocha.
9:00 a.m.—Hike Through Crest Canyon
You’ll be happy you have coffee in you, because a trek through Crest Canyon is up next. Start walking from Village North down toward Jimmy Durante. Turn right on San Dieguito Road and walk until you reach the new path along the San Dieguito Lagoon; keep walking until the path connects to the entrance of Crest Canyon at the end of the lagoon. Enjoy the rest of your hike through Crest Canyon until you come out on Durango Drive. If you’re walking south, you’ll eventually reach Del Mar Heights Road, where you’ll head west back towards Coast Highway, until you reach 4th Street. Stroll north along Stratford Court and you’ll be right back in the Village. In total, it’s about a two-mile hike and easy enough for beginners.
11:00 a.m.—Brunch at Coya Peruvian Secret
Although it’s not that difficult, the Crest Canyon hike will probably help you work up an appetite. Since you’re already in the Village, grab a table at Coya Peruvian Secret. We recommend being adventurous and ordering one of the delicious Peruvian plates (like empanadas or ceviche) off the menu, but they also offer more traditional breakfast fare (like omelets and French toast) as well.
2:00 p.m.—Surf Lessons
This being a beachside city, you’ll find surfers in the water year-round. Visit Rusty Del Mar to get yourself a high-quality wetsuit to keep you warm, and then hit the water. The Fulcrum Surf School offers lessons throughout the year, and also has a winter surf camp the last weekend of December. So whether you’re a pro or need some help staying on the board, the less-crowded water in the winter gives you more room to catch waves.
7:00 p.m.—Dinner at Beeside Balcony
Don’t worry–you don’t need to board a plane to get authentic Greek food. In fact, you don’t even need a car. Perched on the corner of 12th Street and Camino Del Mar, Beeside Balcony offers traditional dishes like lamb meatballs with mint and feta and drinks from local wineries and breweries.
9:00 p.m.—Drinks at L’Auberge
If dinner and a few glasses of wine or pints of craft beer weren’t enough to warm you up, grab a cocktail and sit by one of the fireplaces at L’Auberge Del Mar. The hotel bar is always a popular place to imbibe because of its cozy atmosphere and live music on the weekends. During the month of December, though, it’s made even more special with Old Fashioned Christmas L’Happy Hour every Friday featuring old fashioned cocktails.
While most parts of the country are freezing during the winter, Del Mar offers a sensationally sunny getaway whether you visit for a day or spend your holiday break with us. For more information on places to stay, dine, and explore, visit the Del Mar Village online.