Del Mar Fair
In 1880, a group of San Diegans organized an agricultural fair to bring county farmers together to share ideas, see who had the best citrus fruit, who baked the best pie, and who had the fastest horse. After that first fair, the county fair was held annually with a few exceptions in various county locations until 1936, when it moved to its present Del Mar home. During World War II, the fair was suspended, and has been held annually since 1946.
2011 marks the 75th anniversary of the Del Mar Fairgrounds . The Fair will commemorate this milestone with special exhibits and merchandise.
San Diego Oceanside California hosts attractions like Sea World, Wild Animal Park, Legoland and so much more...
This is at the top of our list. The San Diego Seaworld was the first Seawold in the world. You can see first hand various types of animals such as beluga whales, orca whales, a pilot whale, polar bears, dolphins, penguins, manatees, and much more. When it comes to the rides they are short and slightly dissapointing. It should be noted that this is the most expensive attraction, at nearly $50 for an adult. We recommend you pay $10 more and get the 2 day pass. With this pass you get a behind the scenes tour. The tour is different each day, but we got a close up look at a pilot whale, and had the opportunity of petting various small sharks.
This is the Zoo of the future. Animals roam and interact with one another in over 2000 acres. The animals are all truly happy. There is a lot to see and do. Since this is 35 miles out of the city you will need to rent a car or take a tour to get there. We highly recommend this attraction. The must see exhibits include the all new lion habitat. We witnessed 5 lions cuddling within inches from us. You should also take some time to feed giraffes. The featured attraction is a 1 hour narrated train ride, that takes you through the various habitats, you should do this no matter what. Our favorite was dining at the restaurant in the Heart of Africa habitat. You can eat outside and have an amazing view of the habitat.
This is probably the most famous Zoo in the world, and placed San Diego on the map for many tourists. They have several exhibits that are not available at other zoos, such as being able to watch panda bears. You should also take some time to view the Mountain Gorilla habitat, as it's one of the best in any zoo. When we attended there was a baby gorilla entertaining the humans while annoying his siblings.
San Diego has Grey whales that pass through as they migrate annually from the end of December through the end of March. Unfortunately we stayed in San Diego in mid-December and therefore missed this opportunity. In the past I have seen Belugas, and Humpbacks in the wild, and there is nothing like whale watching. If you have never done this, I highly recommend you take a day to go out in the ocean and enjoy yourself.HELGREN'S COMPLETE SPORTFISHING CENTER and SPORTFISHING FLEET
Is located along a scenic stretch of the Southern California Coastline in beautiful Oceanside , California ( San Diego North County ) just south of Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. Helgren's Sportfishing trips offer a variety of daily scheduled, or charter activities for individuals or groups: Deep Sea Fishing Trips exciting Sea Life Whale Watching , and relaxing Oceanside Harbor Coastal Excursions . Helgren's is also a provider of Buriels at Sea and Ocean Memorials, serving families and funeral professionals throughout the area. Whatever your needs, Helgren's will provide you with the professional, courteous staff you should
Expect from a quality landing.
This is one of the most under recognized attractions. They are a research station with a nice public exhibit. This aquarium has various types of sharks such as nurse, leopard, horn, angel, and much more. They have an outside pool that enables you to touch tide-pool animals and to see them in their natural habitat. Once you're done with this you should enjoy the spectacular view, as it directly overlooks the ocean. What the aquarium specializes in is raising its own coral reefs, and these are spectacular. You'll see reefs from various parts of the world. They also do a lot of sea horse breeding, and it's amazing to see the various types of sea horses, some of them have adapted in unique and strange ways when it comes to camouflaging themselves. A must see for ocean and nature lovers.
The pamphlets and website really don't do this place justice. You can walk around and enter themed shops, and visit museums. Everything is free, and it's a good way to spend several hours. The shops here are unique and sell some unusual objects. There's also a trolley tour that's offered, but you'll get much more out of the place if you walk.
This is the heart of the city. Balboa has 13 museums and the World Famous San Diego Zoo. The San Diego Museum of Man and the San Diego Natural history museum look very impressive. We tried the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and are sorry to report that we were very disappointed. Many of the interactive exhibits were small, outdated, or simply non-functional. Unless you have kids you might consider skipping this museum. You should take some time to simply walk around Balboa Park to enjoy the fine architecture.
This is a nice little area that surrounds the harbor. Take some time to walk around and visit some of the stores. There are plenty of places to dine. Once you have enjoyed an hour or two strolling you can visit an old aircraft carrier turned museum. Visiting this museum should take a maximum of an hour and a half. You can also choose to do a 1 or 2 hour harbor tour. We took a tour offered by blowhorn, and were disappointed. This was advertised as being an educational narrated tour, but instead turned out to be narrated by someone who obviously had too much to drink and was making failed jokes. This turned out to be annoying, and made the entire 2 hour trip long and uninspiring. At $20 a person it's certainly not worth the money. The admission prices vary by institution. Memberships are also available for purchase from the museums and performing arts organizations, offering an opportunity for visitors to support these San Diego cultural treasures on an annual basis. Admittance to the Park grounds is free. The Botanical Building, outdoor gardens and some additional attractions are also offered free of charge.
Passport to Balboa Park , San Diego's best cultural value, offers visitors the chance to experience 13 museums in the Park, with savings of more than 50% and the convenience of a one-time purchase. The Passport is valid for seven consecutive days, and includes one admission to each of the 13 attractions. The Zoo/Passport Combo includes the Passport to Balboa Park plus one-day deluxe admission at the San Diego Zoo, all for one low price.
Del Mar is a small, seaside hideaway approximately 20 minutes north of downtown San Diego. Defined by calm salt water lagoons on each end, this charming, laid back town is best known for it's exceptional weather, world famous thoroughbred racetrack, the county fair, fabulous beaches, haute cuisine and unique shopping.
With a population of approximately 4,500 in the 2.1 square mile coastal area, Del Mar offers an oasis of unhurried, yet civilized, living. Visitors can enjoy many of the pleasures of the Village without ever needing a car.
The historic downtown village dates back to 1880s. Today it is lined with over 60 shops offering everything from high-end apparel to one-of-a-kind specialty shops. The village hosts 25 restaurants, many providing outside patios overlooking the ocean. There are cafés with sidewalk seating and award-winning dining perfect for any occasion. Visitors will find a variety of hotel accommodations.
With 2 miles of coastline and gently rolling waves, Del Mar's famous beaches are an ideal destination for beachgoers, surf combers and surfers seeking the legendary California surf. There's even a sliver of beach for dogs. Del Mar's primary beach also offers wheel chair access, the only such beach in the county with special wheelchairs designed for the sand. Whales, porpoises, sea lions and a myriad of birdlife populate the shimmering coastal waters and lagoons.
Residents and visitors alike enjoy several parks. Seagrove Park and adjoining Powerhouse Park are ideal grassy locations for a picnic or a wedding, walking a dog, for lovers catching a romantic sunset, or for simply gazing at the many magical moods of a majestic Pacific. And throughout the summer there are free concerts in the park. (Please see this Web site calendar). Not to overlook the little ones, there is a delightful children's playground adjacent to Powerhouse Park, affectionately referred to as the Tot Lot.
The Del Mar Library is a landmark worth a visit. In 2002 two local artists, Betsy Shultz and Pat Welsh, created the mixed-media mosaic on the wall that frames the historic building which has served as a famous church for both movie stars and residents, a restaurant and other uses over the decades. The wall incorporates memorabilia and treasures from Del Mar's history, as well as featuring terracotta birds and wildlife from the area.
At any age, at any season, Del Mar is truly a wonderful place to visit or to live.
History of Del Mar
In 1882 a New Yorker named Theodore Loop came to southern California to build a railroad connecting Los Angeles and San Diego. The original train tracks were laid down in the middle of Township 14, today known as Del Mar. Mr. Loop liked the area so much he told people that he had "found the most attractive place on the entire coast".
In the same year Loop met a very successful rancher from New Mexico, Mr. Jacob Shell Taylor. Taylor and Loop were both captivated by the beauty of the area and recognized a development opportunity. In the summer of 1885, Taylor purchased 338.11 acres and began building the new resort town.
Del Mar was named by Loop's wife, Ella, who took it from a popular poem of the time titled "The Fight of Paseo Del Mar."
Taylor was a savvy businessman and a visionary. He knew that if he could lure visitors to Del Mar they would likely be loyal customers or new residents. Jacob Taylor initially built as many as 40 small houses, a two story Victorian schoolhouse, an observation tower, a train depot and a water system. Additionally, in 1886 Taylor opened "Casa Del Mar", the area's first resort. To entertain visitors Taylor built a dance pavilion on the beach and a large swimmingdesi pool that went out into the ocean called a Natatorium. Del Mar became a popular vacation destination.
For five years the town bustled with development. Sadly in 1889 Jacob Taylor woke up in the early morning to the smell of smoke in his hotel room. He woke all of the hotel guests, guaranteeing their safety, but within two hours the entire hotel burned to the ground.
Taylor insisted he would rebuild the hotel but, unfortunately, he never finished it. Taylor moved to Texas; leaving behind the town he founded, never to return.
The Big Boom - South Coast Land Company
Over 15 years lapsed before the next development boom. In 1900 the South Coast Land Company purchased the majority of land north of 9th Street. Like Taylor, the directors of the South Coast Land Company had big plans for Del Mar. Their first project was the grand resort hotel called the "Stratford Inn". They hired a prominent Los Angeles architect, John C. Austin. The new hotel was built on the hill overlooking the beach. (Today the L'Auberge hotel occupies this land.)
On March 9, 1909 the beautiful Stratford Inn opened for business. It was a world-class hotel built on 10 acres. It quickly became the desired destination for Hollywood's silent film stars.
The hotel had a salt-water swimming pool called The Plunge. Next to The Plunge the Powerhouse was erected to provide power and warm water to the hotel and to the Village.
Shortly after the hotel was finished, a pier (which was washed away in a storm years later) and a new train depot were built. The train depot was directly in front of the hotel, making it an easy commute. The same depot sits on the location today.
During the 20's and 30's Del Mar experienced tremendous growth. Although there were still just a few hundred permanent residents, the summer crowds reached almost 2,000.
To accommodate the growing population, the Kockritz Building was constructed across the street from the hotel on the southwestern corner of 15th Street and Camino Del Mar. The building was designed to match the English Tudor architecture of the hotel. The building remains to this day and is referred to as Stratford Square. It has become a Del Mar icon and treasure.
The Track and The Fair
During the early 30's the San Diego Fair was looking for a permanent home. Col. Ed Fletcher of the South Coast Land Company suggested the 184-acre site in the San Dieguito Valley just north of the Village. The Works Progress Administration provided the initial funding and the Del Mar Fair opened to great fanfare in 1936, a yearly tradition that continues.
A year after the Fair opened the mile-long oval thoroughbred racetrack was completed. One of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's prominent founders, crooner Bing Crosby, became the President of the Turf Club and movie star friend Pat O'Brien became the Vice President. Opening day of the track, July 3, 1937 began a new era in Del Mar. The track was hailed as Bing's Baby or Movieland's Own Track. Crosby himself coined the famous lyrics, which live on today, "Where the surf meets the turf, down in old Del Mar …".
For decades the summer racing season has brought crowds to Del Mar along with many Hollywood celebrities such as Pat O'Brien, Jimmy and Marge Durante, Lucy and Desi Arnez, Burt Bacharach and Angie Dickenson. All made Del Mar their second home and it continues to remain a favorite of many today.
During World War II the races came to a halt so that the facilities could be used as a bomber tail assembly plant. However, racing returned in August 1945 after Japan surrendered.
Del Mar Today
In 1959 Del Mar incorporated as a city. It is now the smallest municipality in the booming San Diego region; a gem nestled along the coast. The most significant impact on the community over the last 40 years has been nearby University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Many faculty members and students reside in the community, influencing the political, social and cultural climate. In the 1970 the emphasis of the local government shifted towards slow growth, open spaces and preservation. Because of the efforts of an active group called the Friends of Del Mar, there will never be high-rise apartment buildings or billboards in the City. Seagrove Park and Powerhouse Park are both the results of the community citizenry working together to preserve open space.
Del Mar has grown family-by-family over the last 150 years. Today, almost 4,500 lucky residents call Del Mar their home. People still come to visit or live in Del Mar for the same reasons, as did the founding fathers: it is one of the most beautiful places in the country. Whether coming to enjoy the beach, shop in the village, spend a day at the races or just relax, Del Mar is "always in season". Enjoy your visit, and come back again.