Del Mar (the name means "of the sea") is located just 20 miles north of downtown San Diego. The coastal city's special appeal is its small-town atmosphere, beautiful beaches and the Del Mar Fairgrounds, home of the famed Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. Founded by Bing Crosby and his friends in the 1930s, the crooner made the charming beach community of Del Mar a household name when he and his Hollywood buddies built the Del Mar Racetrack. Every summer, the fairgrounds hosts the summer horseracing season in grand style and is also the site of the Del Mar Fair, two weeks of family fun and activities.

The beachfront community, located just north of La Jolla and easily accessible via Interstate 5, is also home to stylish restaurants, a horse polo field and hot-air ballooning, with daily sunrise and sunset flights where champagne and hors d'oeuvres celebrations are held aloft. Home prices in Del Mar are relatively high. Houses in the newer, adjacent Del Mar Heights area are more moderately priced. As you move westward toward the beach, prices rise. Del Mar originated in 1885-86 when a Texas entrepreneur bought the land and built a hotel with a unique ocean-fed swimming pool, a dance pavilion and a school. —Reprinted courtesy the City of Del Mar

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Updated: 22nd May, 2019 2:57 PM.