Del Mar – Paradise Beside the Pacific
Renowned for Racetrack and Weather
Del Mar is a community of some 4,500 mostly well heeled residents who enjoy a privileged position along the coast of northern San Diego County. Every summer, the Del Mar Racetrack hosts horse racing. Del Mar means “by the sea” in Spanish. The town was considered a luxurious spot from its inception.
Colonel Jacob Taylor bought 340 acres of land from Enoch Talbert back in 1885. He had plans to create a resort where rich people could dally by the seaside. During the Second World War, the navy stationed blimps here at Naval Auxiliary Air facility.
The city is small covering only 1.8 square miles. That includes about 100 acres of water in the Los Penasquitos Lagoon that forms the southern border. The region is renowned for wonderful weather with mild winters and summers cooled by ocean breezes. The climate is one of the most equitable in the country with daytime highs seldom exceeding 85 degrees and seldom dropping below 60 degrees. The region is also famous for the Torrey Pine which is found only in a few spots in Del Mar and at points immediately adjacent particularly in Torrey Pines State Park Preserve. The Torrey Pine is listed as an endangered species because so few survive in so few spots.
In addition to horse racing, the Del Mar Fairgrounds also host an antique show. The grounds are also used for county fairs and various exhibitions.
Locale Attracts Celebrities
DelMar has long been known as a playground for the rich and famous. Desi Arnez kept a house near the racetrack for many years after his divorce from Lucille Ball. His house was set along the beach, and he was known to shoo beachcombers away from his property in an effort to maintain his privacy. Burt Bacharach had a house further south along the coast.
Willie Shoemaker fittingly also had a house close by the track. The famed jockey rode a string of winners at Del Mar. A number of NFL stars have homes here and not just members of the San Diego team, the Chargers. Drew Brees, quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, resides here as does Carson Palmers, quarterback of the Oakland Raiders and Aaron Rodgers, quarterback of the Green Bay Packers.
DelMar gets a mention from the Beach Boys in their classic, “Surfin USA” The line goes, “You’d catch em surfin at Del Mar.” Several of Del Mar’s beaches make it onto Time Magazine’s top 100 beaches listing with 15th St. Beach coming in at number 4.
DelMar is one of the most affluent communities in the country. Median income here in 2005 was estimated to be almost $170,000.