Del Mar Beach

Beautiful Del Mar beach in San Diego is popular with sunbathers, surfers, volleyball players, and families. Del Mar is an upscale but quaint community or village 20 miles north of San Diego, just north of La Jolla and south of Solana Beach. It is famous for the
Del Mar Fairgrounds and Racetrack, founded by Bing Crosby. The popular San Diego County Fair is held at the fairgrounds every year from early June through July 4th.

Updated June 21, 2024 by San Diego Beaches and Adventures

Del Mar Beach San Diego

Del Mar Beach
Del Mar City Beach is definitely one of the best beaches in southern California. We like to stakeout a spot in one of the nearby seaside grassy parks near 15th street, Powerhouse Park or Seagrove Park, for a picnic after a morning at the beach. You can pick up gourmet picnic items at a Del Mar grocery store a few blocks away across Camino del Mar.

“You'd catch 'em surfin' at Del Mar” as the Beach Boys sang in their hit Surfin’ USA, and the surfing is definitely good in Del Mar. Like many of the San Diego beaches, there are separate areas designated for surfers and swimmers.

Del Mar Beach San Diego

Del Mar Beach San Diego
Location: Pacific Ocean near Coast Blvd and 15th St. in Del Mar, California.

Directions: see below | Google Map

Parking: You definitely want to arrive in the morning, as parking is challenging and expensive in Del Mar. If you are lucky you might find metered parking along the street for $4.00 per hour, or you can park in the lot across the street for $6.00 an hour. (Tip – at the northern end of the beach, near 29th Avenue, there is a free parking lot and free on-street parking along Camino del Mar).

Getting There: Short walk to the parks and beach from parking areas.

Things to Do: There are 101 things to do at the beach, and you can do most of them here at Del Mar beach San Diego. The parks at the south end provide grassy places and a playground for the younger ones. The bathrooms and outdoor showers are very nice. Volleyball enthusiasts can enjoy a great game of San Diego beach volleyball here too.

Families love the deep sandy beaches at the south end near 15th Street, that stretch all the way north to 29th street, where the Del Mar Dog Beach begins. At low tide you can also walk south from Del Mar City Beach to Torrey Pines Beach.

Del Mar Beach

Coastal hiking trail overlooking Del Mar beach

Things to See: Young people and families at the beach, sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

Facilities: Restrooms, showers, changing rooms, trash cans, playground, grassy park

Services: Within walking distance there are restaurants, bars, surf shops, rental shops and a deli on Camino del Mar.

High Tide Access: Good access to the beach.

Lifeguard: Lifeguards during summer.

Dogs: Depends on the area and season. See dog beach information below.

Things NOT to Do: No alcohol, no glass containers, no smoking, no littering, no disturbing noise, no overnight sleeping, camping or parking.

Disability Access: Some disabled parking and access.

Hazards: Rip currents.

See what one of our readers had to say:

Picnic at Del Mar Beach and Powerhouse Park – Jessica, Solana Beach, CA

Our best time at a San Diego beach was a trip to Del Mar. We packed up a picnic lunch, 2 cars full of kids, and a roll of quarters, and headed out early to grab a coveted parking spot.

We staked out a spot on the grassy slope where we would have some afternoon shade, then spent the morning on the beach. The sandy beach was deep and the kids played in the gentle waves and body surfed. Later we enjoyed a picnic lunch in the park, played frisbee, and joined a group in a game of beach volleyball.

Before we left, we showered off in the nice outdoor showers near the restrooms, and walked into downtown Del Mar and picked out some awesome desserts from the deli.

I plan to return sometime without the kids, to enjoy dinner at one of the fine restaurants in Del Mar!

Del Mar Dog Beach - North Dog Beach and Rivermouth Beach

Del Mar Dog Beach
The Del Mar beaches are beautiful, but the dog rules are a little complicated.

• Leashed dogs are allowed at Del Mar City Beach (Powerhouse Park to 29th Street) from the Day after Labor Day through June 15.

• Leashed dogs are allowed year round at Del Mar South of Powerhouse Park (to 6th street).

• Unleashed dogs are allowed North of 29th street from the day after Labor Day through June 15 dogs, and allowed if leashed during the summer months. I’ve actually found two nice Del Mar beaches north of 29th street – Del Mar North Dog Beach and Del Mar Rivermouth Dog Beach. More information can be found on the San Diego dog beaches page.

San Diego Best Restaurants in Del Mar

Jakes Del Mar

Jake's Restaurant on the beach in Del Mar

Poseidon restaurant

Poseidon Restaurant on the beach in Del Mar

There are several famous beachfront restaurants along the Del Mar beach - Jakes and Poseidon, two of the best San Diego restaurants. We love to dine on the patio at Poseidon, right next to the sandy beach. Jakes is a popular happening place with a nice Happy Hour menu. Both have fine dining.

A short distance away near the Del Mar Fairgrounds and Racetrack is the Del Mar Fish Market, a fresh fish and seafood restaurant with friendly service (ask for Tara H.) and reasonable prices. If you are looking for the best Mexican food in San Diego, try Tony’s, an authentic family-run Mexican restaurant, or Fidel’s, one of our favorite Mexican restaurants that is popular with tourists and locals.

Del Mar Lodging

Del Mar Beach Cottages
Del Mar Vacation Rentals

There are a number of Del Mar vacation rentals along the beach. Some are right on the sandy beach, while others will be a short walk to the beach. There is easy beach access all along the Del Mar beach.

Del Mar Hotels and Resorts

Looking for upscale beach rentals in Del Mar? Exquisite Del Mar lodging can be found at the L’Auberge Del Mar. Beach front dining, luxury rooms, spa treatments right on the beach in the village of Del Mar.

The Del Mar Motel on the Beach is next to the Poseidon restaurant right on the Del Mar beach. If you are looking for beach rentals right on the sandy beach, the Del Mar Motel on the Beach is a nice find.

To search for hotels and resorts for your stay in San Diego area, see aRes Travel.

Directions to Del Mar Beach and Del Mar Dog Beach

Driving Directions to Del Mar City Beach, near Powerhouse and Seagrove parks in Del Mar Cal.:

From the north exit Interstate 5 at Via de la Valle and go west. Turn left on historic 101, which turns into Camino del Mar. From the south exit Interstate 5 at Del Mar Heights Rd. and go west. Turn right on Camino del Mar.

At 15th Avenue, turn west toward the beach and go two blocks and turn right. There is metered parking for $2.00 an hour (bring lots of quarters) or a parking lot for $4.00 an hour.

Google Map

Directions to 29th street entrance Del Mar Beach (free parking):

From the north exit Interstate 5 at Via de la Valle and go west. Turn left on historic 101, which turns into Camino del Mar. From the south exit Interstate 5 at Del Mar Heights Rd. and go west. Turn right on Camino del Mar.

At Camino Del Mar and 29th Avenue there is a small free parking lot on the west side of Camino Del Mar. There is also free street parking in this residential area. Through the parking lot is the beach access. The signs clearly mark 29th street, so if you have a dog with you, go north, if not, go south. There is plenty of beach to enjoy.

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Tides, Maps and Directions

Some beaches are best explored at low tide. Check out the tides and find maps and directions to the popular beaches below.

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San Diego Beaches

These are the top beaches in San Diego, listed from north to south:

Torrey Pines Beach

Blacks Beach (Nude beach)

Blacks Beach (Surfer beach)

La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Seals at Children's Pool

Windansea Beach

Pacific Beach

Mission Beach

Ocean Beach

Coronado Beach

Imperial Beach

North San Diego County Beaches

These are the top beaches in San Diego’s North County, listed from north to south:

Oceanside Beach

Carlsbad Tamarack Beach

Leucadia Beacons Beach

Stonesteps Beach

Moonlight Beach Encinitas

Fletcher Cove Solana Beach

Del Mar Beach

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