A weekend in Del Mar, California
This summer I found myself spending a weekend in Del Mar, California to attend a wedding. My amazing weekend had a lot to do with the company. Two rooms full of girlfriends from college make any destination fun. It’s humbling to know we’ve all remained friends for over 20 years. I’m grateful we’ve stayed close through marriages, distance, kids, and everything else. I have to admit, I’ve been to San Diego several times and heard of Del Mar, but never visited. There were lots of surprises (both good and bad) that I’ll share about my stay.
How to get there: Flying into San Diego, CA is the easiest way to get to Del Mar. All of us flew either Southwest or American Airlines, but all the big airlines service San Diego. As a group, we chose to Uber for the weekend. That way we could split rides among 8 people easily with the split fare option on their app. We also knew there would be a certain amount of revelry, so it would be better if no one was driving. However, the Uber XL from the airport (one way) was about $60 total in a minivan. So I’d run the numbers on renting a car and parking it at your hotel if there are only 2 to 4 people in your group.
Where to stay: One group stayed at the L’Auberge in Del Mar. It’s a luxury hotel with great ocean views from the lobby, restaurant and pool. Although, our friends’ room looked out onto the front drive, so that wasn’t great. Weekend nights are crazy busy in the lobby and attached bar with live music. The lively vibe made for a fun and crazy Friday night. But it wasn’t conducive to talking and catching up. The 3 night minimum stay policy at L’Auberge most of the summer was too much for some of us. Another group stayed at the Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar. It was just down the street from L’Auberge, so a $5 Uber ride made it easy to connect with our friends. Surprisingly, the Hotel Indigo is the boutique arm of the Holiday Inn hotel chain, which might be important to points/miles enthusiasts. The Hotel Indigo was built in a U shape with the rooms opening towards the pool in the middle. There was a small ocean view from the restaurant and open terrace. I’d have to give the edge to Hotel Indigo just because of the value for almost the same experience.
What to do: The weather in Del Mar and San Diego is fabulous most of the time. We had no problem sitting outside on the terrace at the Hotel Indigo, having a meal or a drink and talking the day away, or heading down one level to the pool. Girls, right? Getting to the beach from either of the hotels mentioned above was no easy feat. Both properties and a nearby park sit on high cliffs above the beach. It made for spectacular views, but not exactly an easy morning walk while everyone else slept in. The small beach in town was beautiful, but crazy crowded later in the day. As usual, the early bird gets the worm!
Aside from the beach, the main busy street in Del Mar was charming. It had so many cute shops and restaurants, I could easily see spending the day walking around taking everything in. We were a little tired from the prior evening’s festivities. Many people love the Del Mar racetrack. It’s old school horse racing next to the sea with great architecture. But with a short racing season (just 40 days at a time) be sure to check their schedule online before you go.
Would I make a special trip to Del Mar? Maybe not. But I’ve visited San Diego quite a bit over the years, so this area was a nice change. Would I spend extra money to stay in luxury there? Probably not. The town was so walkable, and the weather was nice. so I don’t think it’s worth the extra cash. Would I travel the world over for another weekend with girlfriends near and far? ABSOLUTELY!