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7 Things to Do, See, Eat and Drink in North Coastal San Diego

Go beyond the beach

The northern coastal area of San Diego is home to miles of gorgeous beaches, the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds, fine dining, fabulous shops, attractions and more. Connected by California's historic Highway 101, this area boasts a beautiful drive and a host of hidden gems to discover. Here are seven ideas to get you started.

By: San Diego Magazine
Thoroughbred Racing at the Del Mar Racetrack

Thoroughbred Racing at the Del Mar Racetrack

2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014

Take a plane, take a train, or take a car to where the turf meets the surf to witness the ‘sport of kings’, Thoroughbred racing. Horse racing in San Diego County can be traced as far back as the 1930s, when crooner Bing Crosby and his pals formed the Del Mar Turf Club. Grab your biggest hat and head to opening day in July, or drop in for another race or two during the summer season that stretches through Labor Day. The track’s second season, affectionately named the Bing Crosby Season, runs through the month of November. Check out the full schedules on the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s website.

San Diego Surf Polo Club Matches

San Diego Surf Polo Club Matches

14955 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014

Play the ponies in a different way at the San Diego Surf Polo Club in Del Mar. Witness the elegant equestrian action at the San Diego Polo Fields each Sunday from June through September. Private polo and riding lessons are also available—or book a signature event session that combines a polo introduction, an exhibition match, and golf cart polo.

French-influenced cuisine crafted by Relais & Chateau Grand Chef William Bradley at Addison

Luxury at it's Best

5300 Grand Del Mar Ct, San Diego, CA 92130

Looking for luxury? The Fairmont Grand Del Mar is your place. Enjoy award-winning French-influenced cuisine crafted by Relais & Chateau Grand Chef William Bradley at Addison, the coastal canyon resort’s signature restaurant. Enjoy a game on one of the Grand Del Mar’s pro-style tennis courts, hit the links on the 18-hole championship golf course, hike some of the 37 miles of trails, lounge by the pool, or relax the day away in bliss at the hotel’s five-star spa.

Hot Air Balloon Rides

Hot Air Balloon Rides

Soar over the San Diego coastline in style with California Dreamin’ Balloon Adventures. Its sunset hot air balloon flight promises panoramic views of the Pacific, as well as the coastal bluffs and estates that surround Del Mar. They say that on a clear day you can see all the way from the desert mountain slopes to the Coronado Islands. This experience is perfect for celebrating a special occasion or making memories that will last a lifetime.

Westfield UTC mall

Shop ‘til you Drop

4545 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92122

If you're in the mood for an upscale shopping, dining and lifestyle experience then look no further than Westfield UTC mall (4545 La Jolla Village Drive) in La Jolla. The mall recently completed a $600 million revitalization project, which included the opening of a new, two-level Nordstrom, a high-end barware store and tasting room Raised by Wolves, health-focused fast-casual eatery Tocaya Organica, and Great Maple Modern Diner, the brunch favorite famous for made-to-order maple bacon doughnuts.  For a more intimate shopping scene try the Del Mar Highlands Town Center (12925 El Camino Real).  Here you can pick up a high-fashion souvenir including fabulous resort wear from Daisy Blue, or locally made jewelry and purses at LOLO, or wrap yourself in designer fashion from Tucci Boutique.  

Hike Torrey Pines high above the Pacific

Hike Torrey Pines high above the Pacific

Start: Coastal Highway 101 at Carmel Valley Road

With more than 1,750 acres of winding trails, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a hiker’s dream. Gently sloping trails meander along cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with scenic outlooks dotted along the way. Stop for a breathtaking view of the ocean including vistas overlooking Del Mar to the North and La Jolla to the South. Park along the ocean’s edge and make your way up “the hill” – it’s all downhill from there - but that’s a good thing!

Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

9675 Scranton Rd, San Diego, CA 92121

San Diego is famous for its craft beer scene, so why not taste what’s on tap at one of the city’s craft beer pioneers, Karl Strauss Brewing Company in Sorrento Mesa? Beer offerings include both a core lineup and an ever-changing list of small batch and limited releases. The food menu includes bar food favorites such as burgers and gourmet mac and cheese. Visit during happy hour for the best deals on both brews and bites.

Explore More Sunny 7 Experiences

Get out and explore more of San Diego’s unique neighborhoods, attractions, and experiences. View more Sunny 7’s here.

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