Del Mar is a delightful seaside resort town with a population of fewer than 5,000 affluent residents. Plus, it’s only 18.5 miles north of downtown San Diego via Interstate 5. Del Mar’s village-by-the-sea ambiance is an invitation to come and explore its beautiful wooded hillsides, magnificent beach, wonderful restaurants, fascinating shops, and beautiful homes.
Del Mar 2020 Racing Schedule
Del Mar is the only city in the county with a thoroughbred horse racing track. The horses will run at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (2) (858-755-1141). The Del Mar Thoroughbfed Club was founded in 1937 by movie star Bing Crosby.
This year, due the Cornonavirus Pandemic the following activities will be taking place off track to keep the spirit alive and well. Thus, the 2020 summer season will be run with an empty grandstand with television and online racing opportunities galore for Del Mar Racing Fans to enjoy and share the excitement with fans around the the county.
Del Mar Live Offers TV & Online Venues to Racing Fans for the Summer Season
More than 20 local restaurants, hotels and a casino have signed on to be part of “Live,” which will launch when the track begins running this Friday (July 10).
Those locations will offer a full scope of their unique foods and libations, notably the Del Mar signature drinks – the Del Margarita and the Del Martini. Also, they’ll be presenting special sign-up betting propositions from TVG – the nation’s foremost racing channel and advanced deposit wagering site – with a chance to be part of the action for fans, families and friends.
The Opening Day jewel – this year’s 26th edition of the Opening Day Hats Contest – will strut on stage via Instagram and Twitter for all to see with a panel of celebrity judges ready to declare the 2020 winner of a fashion statement that has become one of Del Mar’s most sought-after honors.
Multiple TV Screens Will Bring the 10-Race Card Venue to the Fans
The television connection for “Del Mar Live” consists of the TVG Network, DirecTV 602, Dish Network 399, AT&T U-verse 672 (SD) 1671 (HD) and Verizon FiOS 315 (SD) 815 (HD). Additionally, races can be seen on the TVG app.
Del Mar will race every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from July 10 up to and including Labor Day Monday, September 7. First post daily will be at 2 p.m.
Each “Live” location will be offering many TV screens to view the day’s 10-race card, the Del Mar drink specials and colorful Del Mar/TVG coasters for all. Fans can watch the majestic Thoroughbreds do their thing and be part of the sporting activity by wagering on their TVG app or at TVG.com.
The Opening Day Hats Contest is available to all who forward pictures using the hashtag #DelMarHatsContest and tagging @DelMarRacing in the photo. The Instagram location is www.instagram.com and the Twitter access is at www.twitter.com and they accept entries anytime on July 10 up until 6 p.m. PST. The profile must be publicly accessible to be viewed and judged.
The grand prize winner at Del Mar gets two VIP tickets to the 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar and a $500 gift certificate for Christine A. Moore Millinery. The total value of the prize is $1,500. Second-place finisher gets a $250 Studio Savvy Salon gift basket and a $250 gift certificate to Christine A. Moore Millinery. Third prize is a $250 gift certificate to Christine A. Moore Millinery and fourth is a $200 gift certificate to Studio Savvy Salon.
The “Hats” celebrity judges are Heather Lake (Fox 5), Lauren Phinney (KUSI), Ashley Jacobs (TV personality) and Deena Von Yokes (Studio Savvy).
RESTAURANTS, HOTELS & A CASINO WILL BE WHERE RACE FANS CAN SEE THE RACES
These are star-studded, cream of the crop restaurants, hotels and a casino where you’ll. undoubtedly have the time of your life enjoying the sport of kings. While it’s not the track, each venue offers a memorable experience. As usual, I have dined in every restaurant, and been to every hotel (inspected the rooms as well) so my recomendations are the gold standard of excellence. You won’t be disappointed with this venue. So, it’s hats off to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club for painstakingly selecting a venue their racing fans would enjoy if they couldn’t be spending a day at the track!
BRESSI RANCH OFFERS FAMILY FUN WITH A DAY AT THE DEL MAR RACES
Pizza Port, 2730 Gateway Rd., Carlsbad (760-707-1655). Family Friendly venue to watch thoroughbred horse racing of the Del Mar Race track..
CARLSBAD, OFFERS THE CASUALNESS OF THE BEACH WITH HORSE RACING
Pizza Port, 571 Carlsbad Village Dr. (760-720-7007). Family Friendly.
DEL MAR GOES OVER-THE-TOP WITH SPECIAL HOMETOWN DEL MAR RACING DAYS
Brigantine Del Mar, 3263 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar (858-481-1166). This top-of-the-line Seafood, Steak and Oyster Bar Restaurant offers a sweeping view of the the Del Mar Racetrack. The venue could not be better and the cuisine is second to none. Keep a look out for their soon to be opening Brigantine Restaurant at the. Embarcadero in Downtown San Diego. It’s taking over the location of the former Anthony’s Fish Grottto with a new building. built from the ground up.
Del Mar Hilton, 15575 cross 15575 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar (858-792-5200). It’s ideally located across the street from the track at This large, spacious Hilton Hotel will meet your expectations for a great place to enjoy a day at the races, a place to dine and a place to stay.
Jake’s Del Mar, 1660 Coast blvd. (858-755-2002) Located at the water’s edge, this world-reknowned restaurant is a perfect venue to enjoy ocean views, excellent steak and seafood and the races. However, parking is always an issue even through they have a superb valet service. So they there early.
Jimmy O’s, 225 15th St. is loccated almost at the corner of 15th Street and Camino del Mar in the heart of Del Mar. It’s within walking distance to everything. The best place to park is at the Del Mar Plaza, kitty corner across the street form. Jimmy O’s. Expect the warmth and charm of Old Del Mar.
Red Tracton’s, is550 Via De La Valle, Solana Beach (858-755-6600). Red Tracton is best know as the place where racetrack fans come to after a day at the race for a memorable east coast-style meals boasting gigantic portions of the finest eastern “prime” beef and seafood with a colossal baked potato, lobster bisque and their famous green goddess salad. They have an outstanding piano bar all of which make for the perfect atmosphere for a memorable meal.
DOWNTOWN/GASLAMP PRESENTS THE DEL MAR RACES IN DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO
Pendry San Diego, 550 J Street (619-738-7000). This boutique hotel in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter offers multiple restaurants and cocktail lounges. I have personally dined in every restaurant in this hotel and inspected several rooms. It is a good venue to enjoy the horse races.
EL CAJON’S SUPER SYCUAN CASINO SHOWCASES THE DEL MAR HORSE RACES
Sycuan Resort and Casino, 5469 Casino Way, El Cajon (619-445-6002). Minutes from Downtown San Diego, this sparkling casio with a new 10-story hotel wants to wow you. So, you couldn’t find a better venue to enjoy a day at the races. Plus, the awesome gaming venue, they offer superb dining altrnatives. An added starter in the mix is Sycuan Resort and Casino, which will be offering a Del Mar experience complete with guest handicappers, a dedicated area for TVG watch and wagering and a handicapping tournament where the winner can earn two VIP tickets to the 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championship.
LA JOLLA/UTC ADDS TO THE CLASS OF WATCHING THE DEL MAR HORSE RACES
Truluck’s, 8990 University Center Lane, (858-453-2583). This not well publicized Steak and Crab house is undoubtedly one of the top restaurants in America. From the plush booths to wine served by the flight expect an exceptional experience.
OCEAN BEACH FOR ENJOYING THE RACES WITH A MICRO-BREW AT THE BEACH
Pizza Port, 1956 Bacon St. (619-224-4700). A legend in fun times for enjoying the Races and micro-brewed beer at the beach. Attire would be shorts and a Hawaiian Shirt.
SOLANA BEACH OFFERS GREAT RESTAURANTS FOR WATCHING THE RACES
Fidel’s Little Mexico, 607 Valley Ave., (858-755-5292). This local favorite for memorable Mexican food has all of the charm it’s name emplies that it posses. However, as it has grown in popularity to where it’s a really large restaruant with nice areas for enjoying a meal with friends. It’s in Eden Garden near the track.
Tony’s Jacal, 621 Valley Ave. (Eden Gardens) Solana Beach (858-755-2274). Open daily. Credit Cards: AE, Discover, MC, VISA. This is the oldest and best Mexican Restaurant in San Diego County. It’s only about a mile from the Del Mar Racetrack and a popular place to come after a day at the races. Now racetrack fans can have more fun here.
Pizza Port, 135 N. Highway 101 Solana Beach (858-481-7332). Family friendly. Laid back atmosphere.
Del Mar Fairgrounds Home to the County Fair is Cancelled
Del Mar Fairgrounds is also home to many annual events including the San Diego County Fair (2), which historically is held June 2–July 4. However, it will be closed this yar. due to the Pandemic. Popular events include horse shows, livestock judging, art exhibits, flower shows, live concerts, carnival rides and more. Don’t miss the fair!
Across from the Del Mar Race track, on the corner of Via de la Valle and Jimmy Durante Boulevard, is where you should dine. It’s The Fish Market Restaurant (1) (858-755-2277). More than 100 menu selections are featured. The restaurant also has an oyster bar, cocktail lounge, and retail market. So drop by the retail market to take home and cook fresh seafood yourself.
Next door to the west is a popular dining destination called Red Tracton’s. Here you can enjoy excellent steaks and an entertaining piano bar. A few more steps to the west is yet another highly- regarded restaurant called Pamplemousse Grille featuring French-inspired cuisine.
Aficionados of outstanding Mexican cuisine will tell you that Eden Gardens, which is a few blocks north of Via de la Valle on Valley Avenue is the place to go (see map). The legendary Mexican Restaurant you are looking for is Tony’s Jacal at 621 Valley Ave. (858-755-2274). For better directions see (6) on the Solana Beach Chapter. They are open seven days a week during the racing season and for lunch Mon.– Sat. and dinner is served nightly except on Tuesday. They have been in business since 1946, making them one of the oldest and most recommended restaurants in San Diego County. Their adobe structure with its delightful patio is worthy of discovery.
After discovering Del Mar’s dining venues near the racetrack, continue south on Jimmy Durante Boulevard until you come to 15th Street and Camino del Mar (see map). This short trip by car will bring you to the heart of romantic Del Mar. Here is where you will find more restaurants and a lot of shopping venues.
DEL MAR SHOPPING & DINING
Shopping and dining take on a whole new perspective at the Del Mar Plaza (4) (858-792-1555), which is at the corner of Camino del Mar and 15th Street (see map). Breathtaking ocean views and more than 30 fine shops, boutiques and restaurants combine for one of the best shopping experiences in San Diego. Del Mar Plaza offers three shopping levels with spectacular views. Convenient underground parking via 15th Street or Camino del Mar is provided.
A trip to Del Mar Plaza would not be complete without dining at one of its award-winning restaurants. Il Fornaio (4) (858-755-8876) serves fine gourmet Italian cuisine. Their classy outdoor bar offers a panoramic view of the ocean and Del Mar proper. Also visit their Coronado location. See Restaurants.
At the southwest corner of Camino del Mar and 15th Street is Stratford Square (5) (see map). This landmark Tudor-style building is home to great restaurants and charming village shops.
For contemporary American cuisine at its best, visit Sbicca Bistro (5) at 215 15th St. (858-481-1001). This charming American bistro and bar has a welcoming atmosphere, and the food is great. Ask for table 301 on the terrace for a beautiful ocean view.
A block farther down 15th Street to the west is the ocean. You will pass the post office and a nice grassy park that overlooks the beach. Just across the railroad tracks is Del Mar’s beautiful beach. Paid parking is available adjacent to the old Amtrak station.
Two legendary restaurants at the beach are The Poseidon Restaurant (6) at 1670 Coast Blvd. (858-755-9345) and Jakes Del Mar at 1600 Coast Blvd. (858-755-2002).
East of Interstate 5 and Del Mar proper is the upscale suburb of Carmel Valley. It’s home to hundreds of luxurious new homes, condos and apartments. It includes the areas of Torrey Hills and Torrey Highlands.
The options for shopping, dining and living here are numerous. Carmel Valley’s largest shopping complex is the newly renovated Del Mar Highlands Town Center (8) at Del Mar Heights Road and El Camino Real. The anchor store is a Ralphs supermarket, which is complemented by dozens of retailers. The shopping center’s newest sensation is Cinépolis Luxury Cinema (858-794-4045). To purchase tickets online go to [cinepolisusa.com]. Movie goers not only sit in plush leather seats with foot rests, but they are served food and beverages including mixed drinks, wine and beer (at select theaters) while they watch their favorite movie. See Welcome.
The other shopping center is the well-established Flower Hill Promenade at the corner of Via de la Valle and the Interstate 5 Freeway.
RANCHO SANTA FE
Rancho Santa Fe is an inland community that rivals the beauty of the coast. Tucked away in the hills only seven miles from the ocean, this plush yet tranquil village is a perfect setting for the more relaxed side of the lifestyle of the rich and famous. (See the Rancho Santa Fe Chapter and Map).
Among the scant 5,000 residents are such celebrities as former professional major league baseball player Rick Aguilera, Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Janet Jackson, and even a movie star or two. These are but a few of the many notable people who enjoy privacy and anonymity in this extraordinary community.
Rancho Santa Fe is also a wonderful place to discover a memorable meal and a weekend getaway. It’s home to an enchanting little shopping district where you’ll find several delightful shops and romantic restaurants.
The easiest way to get to Rancho Santa Fe is via Interstate 5. Take the Lomas Santa Fe exit and drive east. Lomas Santa Fe feeds into Linea del Cielo, and you will notice that the road begins to meander, forcing you to slow down. The roads throughout the Ranch (as it is known to locals) were engineered for this very purpose, so take your time and enjoy the scenery and the scent of citrus and eucalyptus groves.
WHERE TO DINE
One of the many enjoyable things to do here is to join the local tradition of lunch or Sunday brunch at any of the fine restaurants at the Ranch.
A highly-acclaimed restaurant is Mille Fleurs, which is at 6009 Paseo Delicias in the heart of the Village (858-756-3085). They feature French California cuisine.
At the corner of San Dieguito Road and Rancho Diegueno Road in the Del Rayo Village Shopping Center, is the Ranch’s most popular casual restaurant. It’s Leucadia Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant (7) at 16085 San Dieguito Rd. (858-759-2222). You’ll just rave about the cuisine! They serve more than 20 tantalizing pastas and sensational pizzas with up to 50 toppings. You can dine in, pick up or they’ll deliver. Plus, they are well-known as one of the top caterers.
Rancho Santa Fe is where many of the rich and famous live. Their attraction to the rural charm and cosmopolitan atmosphere is reason enough for you to discover this place as well. A single visit is usually the beginning of a long love affair with charming Rancho Santa Fe.