San Diego 101: Del Mar

In Travel by Nicole StandleyLeave a Comment

Greetings from Del Mar…

Planning a family vacation to San Diego can be so overwhelming. The areas are very spread out and it can be hard to determine where to stay and what to do – especially, when you are traveling with kids. A little guidance and some first hand recommendations can go a long way. Let’s explore the quaint seaside village of Del Mar, just 20 miles north of downtown. This family and pet-friendly area of Del Mar, San Diego has an unmistakable California charm and plenty to do all year round.

Oh, how I loved our recent stay in Del Mar *insert sigh*. Specifically? Our time at The Grand Del Mar, but hold that thought because in my on-going Savvy Sassy Travel series, I’m exploring a few of my favorite places to eat, stay, play and shop around San Diego.

If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a million times, San Diego is very large. As in a small country large. Many first time visitors do not realize this and think everything is a hop, skip and a jump away. The truth about San Diego is you do in fact need a car and a few days to properly travel the beautiful coastal areas.

Where to stay?

Located east of I-5 is my pick for not only one of the best resorts in San Diego, but quite possibly one of the best in the U.S., The Grand Del Mar. I cannot rave about this property more after they graciously hosted a recent family getaway. The hotel might not be walkable to the beach (about a 15 minute drive;) however there are so many activities for families of all ages to enjoy, from golf and swimming to the amazing spa, you will never want to leave.

The Grand Del Mar

Photo credit: Nicole Standley

Besides the one-on-one golf lessons and numerous pools, a huge hit of our trip was the kid’s Explorer Club program which some of the best counselors imaginable use tech and arts and crafts to engage with the children in a state-of-the-art playroom.

Where to play?

Back at the coast, along the two miles of sandy beaches, tourists can make plans to soak up the sun by surfing, hiking, yoga, stand-up paddle boarding, ocean-view boutique shopping or visiting the world famous thoroughbred raceway, Del Mar Racetrack. The Del Mar Fairgrounds is also a very popular spot amongst families.

Things to do in Del Mar San Diego

Del Mar Fairgrounds // Photo credit: Del Mar Community & Visitors Center

Looking to embrace the local California culture? Del Mar is the home of the Del Mar Art Center’s gallery where guests can view the works of almost forty artists specializing in different mediums.

Where to eat?

Throughout our memorable stay at The Grand Del Mar, we enjoyed fabulous dining experiences at Amaya which also serves breakfast, lunch and Sunday brunch. Not only did the adults love it, but so did the kiddos. In fact, for a nicer dining experience, I couldn’t believe how many families were seated all around, yet the restaurant was still quiet and pleasurable in an upscale Mediterranean environment.

For those looking for something close to the beach, I’ve heard wonderful things about Kitchen 1540 from a few trusted foodies. I have not personally been to the restaurant, so I cannot recommend it first hand, but I did a little snooping on a favorite restaurant review site and if the food tastes anything like the amazing presentations I spotted, then you’ll be in for a culinary treat. You might even want to order one of everything just so you can show-off on Instagram.

Whether you are headed to San Diego for a family vacation, girl’s weekend or a romantic couple’s getaway, Del Mar has so much to enjoy. I look forward to returning and can’t wait to hear why you love it so much as well.

Have you been to Del Mar recently?

Photos courtesy of Del Mar Community & Visitors Center unless noted otherwise.

Meet the Author | Nicole Standley

Nicole Standley a.k.a. JetSet Mom, is a social influencer + lifestylist who shares her love of luxury family travel, fancy dancy hotels, fine dining and all things pop culture at The JetSet Family.

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