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Del Mar is a beach town in San Diego County, California, located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Established in 1885 as a seaside resort, the city incorporated in 1959. The Del Mar Horse Races are hosted on the Del Mar racetrack every summer. 

In 1885, Colonel Jacob Taylor purchased 338 acres (1.37 km2) from Enoch Talbert, with visions of building a seaside resort for the rich and famous. The United States Navy operated a Naval Auxiliary Air Facility for blimps at Del Mar during World War II. The population was estimated at 4,347 in 2018, up from 4,161 at the 2010 census.

The town has a wealthy population along the coast and the bluffs above the ocean. However, these properties are very vulnerable to climate change caused sea level rise and subsequent coastal erosion. Already transportation infrastructure has been under threat. The city has a Climate change adaptation plan that notably doesn't have any managed retreat strategy even though it was recommended by the state California Coastal Commission in 2019.

Del Mar was first settled in the early 1880s by Theodore M. Loop, a railroad official, and his wife Ella. Ella gave the site its name, inspired by Bayard Taylor's poem "The Fight of Paso del Mar". In 1885, Del Mar was officially founded after another settler, "Colonel" Jacob Taylor, purchased the land from homesteader Enoch Talbert.

Del Mar's climate is considered mediterranean-subtropical with warm, dry summers and mild, humid winters. Temperatures exceed 85 °F (29 °C) only on a few occasions throughout the year and rarely drop below 41 °F (5 °C). The average yearly temperature in Del Mar is approximately 65 °F (18 °C).





  • Del Mar racetrack, held live during the summer and now the fall at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The fairgrounds also hosts the satellite wagering facility Surfside Race Place throughout the year when races are not live.

  • San Diego County Fair

  • Torrey Pines State Beach

  • Powerhouse Community Center

  • Del Mar Antique Show, held three times a year for over 50 years on the Del Mar Fairgrounds

  • North Beach Area (29th Street to Solana Beach border), also known as "Dog Beach".

Notable People: 

  • Desi Arnaz maintained a residence in North Del Mar on the beach west of Highway 101 near the Del Mar Racetrack after his divorce from Lucille Ball. He was arrested once for brandishing a firearm and ordering people off of his beach area. He resided there until his death.

  • Burt Bacharach, songwriter, has a beach residence in north Del Mar.

  • Gary Beck radio DJ lived on top of Del Mar Heights in the early 70's on Mission Carmel Cove.

  • Drew Brees, quarterback of the New Orleans Saints.

  • Rachel Buehler, defender for the United States women's national soccer team.

  • Martin Cooper, conceived the first handheld mobile phone.

  • Tom DeLonge, guitarist and founding member of the pop-punk band Blink-182, rock band Angels & Airwaves, and punk rock band Box Car Racer.

  • Jimmy Durante, lived on the beach for many years and has a street named after him.

  • Steve Fisher, former head basketball coach at San Diego State University, resident since 1999.

  • Rachael Flatt, former figure skater, 2010 Olympian, 2010 US Champion, three-time US silver medalist and 2008 World Junior Champion, was born in Del Mar.

  • Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corporation, has a vacation residence on Del Mar beach.

  • Craig Taro Gold, author, entrepreneur and entertainer, was raised in Del Mar and attended Torrey Pines High School.

  • Tony Hawk, skateboarder and business entrepreneur, was raised in Del Mar.

  • Kristin Hayter, singer-songwriter

  • Gary E. Jacobs, businessman, philanthropist, minority owner in the Sacramento Kings, founder of the Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High Charter School, and owner of the Lake Elsinore Storm, lives in Del Mar.

  • Sara Jacobs, US Congresswoman

  • Nate Kaeding, former San Diego Chargers placekicker.

  • Charles David Keeling, American scientist known for the Keeling Curve, and Chairman of the Citizen Task Force responsible for developing the City of Del Mar's Community Plan (General Plan) adopted in 1976.

  • George R. Lunn, former US Congressman and Lt. Governor of New York.

  • William Murray, American fiction editor and staff writer at The New Yorker for more than thirty years and author of numerous fiction and nonfiction work, including a series of mystery novels with a racetrack setting, spent the majority of his later years living in Del Mar.

  • George Emil Palade, Nobel Prize winner.

  • Carson Palmer, former NFL quarterback.

  • Steve Perry, former lead singer of the rock band Journey, lives in Del Mar.

  • Madeleine A. Pickens, along with her deceased husband Allen Paulson owned a home in Del Mar overlooking the Del Mar Racetrack. She currently owns a home on the beach in Del Mar.

  • Tristan Prettyman, singer-songwriter.

  • Zandra Rhodes, celebrity fashion designer, splits her time between homes in Del Mar and London.

  • Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.

  • Willie Shoemaker, jockey, lived in North Del Mar on beach west of US 101 near Del Mar Racetrack.

  • Garrett Stubbs, baseball player.

  • Norv Turner, former head coach of the San Diego Chargers.

In Popular Culture:

  • In 1966, winners of a KHJ radio station contest rode with members of The Monkees band on a train from Del Mar, which had been renamed 'Clarksville' for the day by the town's mayor.

  • Del Mar is the first surfing location mentioned in the 1963 Beach Boys song "Surfin' U.S.A."

  • Tip on a Dead Crab (Viking Press 1984), William Murray's first mystery in the Shifty Lou Anderson series, is set at Del Mar's racetrack.

Sources: Wikipedia


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