Unveiling the Magic of Del Mar: Your Comprehensive Guide to Race Day


Unveiling the Magic of Del Mar: Your Comprehensive Guide to Race Day

The Del Mar Racetrack, esteemed as the pinnacle of equestrian competition, has garnered legendary recognition due to its remarkable architecture, scenic location beside the shimmering Pacific Ocean, and a rich legacy as a hot spot for the stars of yesteryear's Hollywood. Its reputation continues to flourish over the years.

Now, every Opening Day at the racetrack becomes an unofficial San Diego holiday, with countless individuals showcasing their extravagant attire. Thanks to its close ties and proximity to Del Mar Village, racing fans are guaranteed a full day of enjoyment, whether on Opening Day or any other day during the summer.

Below, discover your complete guide to making the most of the races in Del Mar:

Arriving at Del Mar Village

Ensure you have ample time to reach Del Mar, particularly ahead of Opening Day celebrations. Here are some directions to easily reach Del Mar Village for a pre-race meal or if you wish to park there and use a rideshare to get to the racetrack:

If you're coming from the I-5 North, exit at Del Mar Heights Road and proceed West (left). Take a right onto Camino Del Mar and continue until 15th Street. Make a left turn on 15th Street, followed by a right onto Coast Blvd. Powerhouse Park will be on your left.

If you're on I-5 South, it's advisable to avoid the Via De La Valle exit due to heavy racetrack traffic. Instead, exit on Del Mar Heights Road, head West (right), and follow the above directions. Alternatively, you can exit on Lomas Santa Fe and take Coast Highway 101 south (left). Coast Highway will eventually become Camino Del Mar.

Parking in Del Mar

Del Mar Civic Center, located at 1050 Camino Del Mar, offers FREE parking.

In the parking garage, nearly 100 slots are available round the clock. Four of these are charging stations for electric vehicles. Additional four spots, including two with charging amenities, are dedicated for people with disabilities. Nearly 40 spaces outside the garage are also available to the public, except for Saturdays when these are reserved for Del Mar Farmers Market vendors (1:00 to 4:00 p.m.).

In the Village

Camino Del Mar and 15th Street offer free timed parking. Free unrestricted parking is available in the residential areas on Luneta, which extends north and south one block east of Camino Del Mar from 11th Street to 15th Street. To the west of Camino Del Mar, you'll find free, unrestricted parking on Stratford Court and Ocean Avenue. Paid parking is available at L’Auberge Del Mar and Del Mar Plaza, with the first two hours free at the Plaza.

Beach Parking

Directly across from Powerhouse Park, at 1658 Coast Blvd, is the paid Seagrove parking lot.

In the North Beach area, free all-day parking is available on both sides of Camino Del Mar from 22nd Street to 29th Street. Limited free parking spots are also available on the cross streets off Camino Del Mar in this area. Please respect driveways, corners, fire hydrants, and other safety requirements.

Where to Shop

Still need to find your perfect race day attire or accessories? Del Mar Village is your one-stop-shop, whether you're looking for a chic dress from Sundancer Del Mar, a statement piece from Made In Earth, or a sun hat from Julie’s Beach Life.

Discover all the shopping options in Del Mar Village, and be sure to take advantage of special offers for Opening Day or the entire summer meet from the following retailers:

  • Alexander Daas Opticians – Show your summer meet racetrack ticket and get $50 off sunglasses or $100 off a complete pair of prescription glasses or sunglasses.
  • Daffodils – Show your racetrack ticket and receive a 20% discount throughout the season.
  • Frustrated Cowboy – Avail a 20% discount on your purchases during the opening weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) of the 2022 season!
  • L’Auberge Del Mar – Visit L’Auberge’s Lyric coffee shop to find the ideal fascinator to complete your race day look.
  • Seabiscuit Del Mar – Enjoy a 15% discount during the race season by showing your tickets! Some exclusions apply.
  • Tulsi – Specialty IV drips
  • Urban Girl – Specialty race hats!

Attending a post-race party? Stop by Del Mar Liquor & Deli to grab a gift for your host. They offer a selection of fine wine, beer, spirits, and other delights to suit any preference.

Where to Eat and Drink

Del Mar Village is a gastronomic paradise with a range of dining options. Whether you're craving a hearty pre-race breakfast or brunch, or need to refuel post-races, explore the myriad of restaurants in Del Mar.

Don't miss these exceptional drink specials (and one drink-themed gelato special) in the village:

  • Americana Restaurant – Get into the race spirit with the Americana Starting Line specialty cocktail.
  • An’s Hatmakers – This award-winning gelato shop introduces a Mint Julep sorbet infused with lime, mint, and bourbon.
  • En Fuego Cantina – Don't miss the local favorite En Fuego margarita as you revel in the race day spirit!
  • Pacifica Del Mar – Offers a full specialty cocktail menu! Swing by to discover their mixologist's special of the night.
  • Tamarindo – Debuting three new cocktails for the races! Sip on the Mint Pedigree Julep, The Breeder's Marg, or the Watermelon Pay Day!
  • Viewpoint Brewing Co. – Celebrating its five-year anniversary with a special brew, the Hop Tank 11%, and featuring a “Show Pony Dish” on the menu. They'll be airing the races throughout the season.
  • WestBrew – Bring your Del Mar racetrack ticket throughout the summer meet (July 22 to September 11) for 15% off your tab!
  • Zel's Del Mar – A cocktail trifecta awaits you at Zel's Del Mar! Exchange your racetrack betting tickets for a special $10 price on your Trifecta Cocktails: the Preakness, Pacific Classic, and Front Runner Mule.

Post-Race Activities

The fun doesn't stop at the track! The village offers plenty of entertainment if you wish to extend your day:

Opening Day Afterparties

Details and ticket purchases can be found by clicking the links:

Happy Hours

Del Mar offers daily Happy Hour specials! Find the one that best suits your schedule HERE.

Also, don’t miss the racetrack’s two happy hour experiences:

Live Music

Most days of the week, live music is available in Del Mar Village. Click the links below to see who’s performing:

We look forward to seeing you in Del Mar!

These are just SOME insights leading up to and during Race Day in Del Mar! I hope you get a chance to experience “ Where The Surf meets the Turf”


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