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21 Fun Things to do in Del Mar
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21 Fun Things to do in Del Mar

Adventures al fresco, eateries by the shore, and picnics during sunset—what more could you ask for while on a getaway to Del Mar?

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7 min read

May 19, 2021

You can never tire of splashing around San Diego, and its underrated beach cities are a testament to that. Today, we’re exploring the fun things to do in Del Mar that’ll give you the ultimate tour of the oceanside city. Adventures al fresco, eateries by the shore, and picnics during sunset—what more could you ask for while on a getaway to San Diego? Without further ado, here are the coolest things to do in Del Mar

Fun Things to Do in Del Mar

Life is too short—play in the sand with your pup. Head down to Dog Beach with your four-legged pal to splash around the city.

1. Run along Dog Beach with your Pooch

The famous Dog Beach in Del Mar is one of San Diego’s best pet-friendly beaches. Also known as North Beach, this fun stretch of shore is always filled with leash-free dogs and their owners running around the sands. This is the thing to do in Del Mar if you’d like to mingle with other dog moms and dads in the city.

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2. Explore the Crest Canyon Loop Trail

This small park among the residential developments in Del Mar Heights gives you a chance to escape the crowds on a tranquil hike. The short loop trail has views of the city that’ll make you swoon any day.

Nothing beats a good day at Seagrove Park. Fill your picnic basket with snacks and cold beverages for a calm afternoon on the lush grounds.

3. Picnic at Seagrove Park 

Tucked between towering palm trees and surrounded by panoramic ocean views, Seagrove Park is the perfect spot for an afternoon picnic. The park also has beach access, so don’t forget to pack your bathing suit to enjoy two fun things to do in Del Mar in one day.

4. Dine at Poseidon on the Beach

Fresh coastal cuisine and gorgeous ocean views? Say no more. Poseidon on the Beach embodies SoCal’s laid-back sophistication perfectly—executive chef Mourad Jamal gives the state’s cuisine a unique twist. Indulge in Chilean sea bass and enjoy a pistachio-crusted Loch Etive salmon, with the Pacific Ocean as your backdrop.

Things to Do in Del Mar, San Diego

The Coast to Crest Trail is made up of segments, and when finished, it'll stretch 70 miles from the beaches in Del Mar to Volcan Mountain.

5. Trek the Coast to Crest Trail 

As one of San Diego’s best hikes, the Coast to Crest Trail is not one to be skipped. While it’s heavily trafficked, the route is pretty wide and gives hikers enough room to trek without feeling suffocated. The views are unbelievable—make the most of this fun thing to do in Del Mar by unwinding on the beach at the end of the trail.

6. Feed the Birds at the Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary

The Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary gives you the chance to interact with colorful tropical birds in the middle of San Diego. The sanctuary aims to maintain an environment that shelters and re-socializes parrots, and you can help them by sponsoring one. To find out more, schedule an appointment and pay a visit—this Del Mar attraction is one you won’t forget anytime soon.

Del Mar Plaza is a high-end, dog-friendly shopping center with boutiques, gourmet restaurants, and beauty salons. Photo courtesy of Del Mar Plaza.

7. Go Shopping at Del Mar Plaza

One of Del Mar’s primary shopping and dining destinations, Del Mar Plaza is a high-end, dog-friendly destination that’s nothing short of entertaining. You’ll find beachfront eateries, live music, and specialty boutiques that’ll make you want to shop ‘til you drop.

8. Escape to North Bluff Preserve

The nature preserve at the top of the bluff overlooking North Beach is still very much a wild stretch of land. Saved from demolition and construction in the 1970s, the overlook now stands as a top coastal photography destination. Still somewhat of a hidden gem, this awesome thing to do in Del Mar will definitely have you avoiding the cliché photo ops.

Things to Do in Del Mar this Weekend

The Del Mar Farmers Market offers pesticide-free seasonal fruits and vegetables, potted herbs, orchids, international cuisine, and more.

9. Grab Fresh Fruits and Veggies at the Del Mar Farmers Market

If you happen to be in this beach city on a Saturday, visit the Del Mar Farmers Market between 1 and 4 p.m. Also located on Camino Del Mar, this attraction offers everything from vegetables and potted herbs to hummus and baked goods, but you won't want to miss out on the arts and crafts.

10. Stroll Along Camino Del Mar

Camino Del Mar is perhaps the most visited street in the city. This shopping and dining destination keeps Del Mar residents and tourists entertained all day, every day. Visit on an empty stomach to dine at Beeside Balcony before discovering other things to do in Del Mar this weekend.

We all know yoga is a relaxing activity. Combine that with the beach and you're completely one with Earth. Talk about unwinding in nature.

11. Unleash your Inner Yogi at Del Mar’s Beaches

Whether you’re a pro yogi doing a self-guided session or a newbie just looking to get into meditation, the beach is the best place to be. Companies like Yoga Del Mar offer beachside sunrise sessions that’ll have you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day—no matter what fun things to do in Del Mar are on your itinerary.

12. Try authentic Peruvian Food at Coya Peruvian Secret

A favorite spot for Peruvian food, Coya Peruvian Secret is a must-visit Del Mar restaurant. The fresh ingredients and authentic recipes will have you daydreaming about ceviche for days to follow.

Del Mar Attractions

Rides, games, hot dogs, funnel cakes, and cotton candy reign supreme at the San Diego County Fair, and we're always down for a good time.

13. Join the San Diego County Fair 

If you happen to coordinate your visit during the summer months, you shouldn’t miss this seasonal event. The San Diego County Fair is a major tourist draw—over a million visitors have attended the festival in the past years. Come for the food, stay for the atmosphere, and enjoy your Ferris wheel ride.

14. Attend a Race at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club 

Del Mar is known for hosting world-class horse racing competitions every year, from July through September. The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is one of the biggest of its kind in the United States—it’s been a major Del Mar attraction and social hotspot ever since its establishment in the ‘30s.

The Sunset Seat is a wooden bench where people can sit and look at the scenic surroundings. Photo courtesy of Kristina Houck.

15. Watch the Sun go down from Sunset Seat

If the city has a designated sunset seat, then it has to be the perfect spot to watch the sunset in SoCal. The picture-perfect spot is actually an old California-native Torrey pine carved into an artistic bench. While you might need to wait in line to take a pic at this Del Mar attraction, the views will definitely make your wait worthwhile. 

16. Test your Golfing Skills at the Del Mar Golf Center 

Pro golfers and mini golfers alike will enjoy spending time at the Del Mar Golf Center. Sign up for a lesson, play a friendly game with your family, and watch professionals score a hole-in-one as you check out this cool Del Mar attraction.

Things to Do Near Del Mar

San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve provides natural solace to runners, hikers, birdwatching enthusiasts, photographers, and painters.

17. Admire the Natural Beauty at San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve 

One of the largest remaining tidal wetlands in the county, the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve and Nature Center captivates every nature enthusiast. Trek a few of the easy or moderately rated hiking trails and become one with nature as you explore this unique ecosystem near Del Mar.

18. Skate at La Colonia Park 

Are you or your travel companions skaters? If so, you’re going to love this thing to do near Del Mar. If you’re planning on relocating to Del Mar, La Colonia Park is a great place to find your local skate community right off the bat. Localism hasn’t been reported to be an issue at the park either, so you won’t have to worry about receiving a sour welcome.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a 2,000-acre natural wonder that's home to the rare Torrey pine. It's also a fantastic whale watching spot.

19. Hike the Trails at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Hiking the trails at Torrey Pines State Reserve is a must-do San Diego activity for outdoor enthusiasts. The 2,000-acre reserve in La Jolla offers plenty of awesome trails for all skill levels. Fan favorites include the Torrey Pines Beach Loop Trail and Broken Hill Trail Loop.

20. Surf at Torrey Pines State Beach

More of a surfer than a hiker? Torrey Pines is still where it’s at. At the half-mile stretch south of Del Mar, you’ll face consistent and powerful waves fit for intermediate surfers. Following this fun thing to do in Del Mar, San Diego, head out to the nearby Mexican eateries for quick and tasty bites (we recommend Roberto’s Mexican Food).

21. Wave Goodbye to Del Mar from a Hot Air Balloon

A few companies near Del Mar offer scenic hot air balloon rides—the perfect way to wrap up your trip. Compass Balloons and Magical Adventure are two top-rated companies you won’t regret choosing. This is how you properly bid adieu to a weekend full of fun things to do in Del Mar with style.

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