earliest memories are at the beach on 28th street in the late 50’s
(yeah, I ’m giving away my age), running along the shore, and dodging
the incoming waves like the sandpipers.
My brother and
I would drag our inflatable canvas surf mats with rubberized ends into the
waves to ride them. This was before surfboards made their appearance in the numbers we see now, yet it was how we learned to read the waves, know where to take off and get the best rides.
The lifeguards seem
to have always been there – the red trucks slowly cruising the shore,
the towers at 17th & 25th streets, providing a sense of security and
safety to us young waterdogs. I remember being in the Jr. Lifeguards program
one summer and learned about rip currents, undertows and basic lifesaving
This is also
where I first tried surfing at 15th St. when I was 12. It is a passion I
have to this day. I've surfed, bodysurfed, fished, skin & scuba
dived, sailed, and Zodiaked through the surf. My brother and I even waterskied
on surfboards behind our Zodiak in the slough west of the highway by the
racetrack. I like to think I basically grew up in the waters of Del Mar.
The beach is a romantic place for couples to stroll at sunset or in the morning with their coffee from Starbuck’s or the Poseidon. It is also ideal for vigorous
jogging or running, and for many beach sports like volleyball, Frisbee, paddleball,
surf-fishing, skim boarding, swimming, body surfing, Boogie boarding, and board
Many of these
activities are limited to certain hours or locations based on the season
and crowds, but you can almost always find something fun or relaxing to do
is an excellent place to drag a chair, bring a good book, plug in your iPod
and enjoy the calming effects of the Pacific waves against the white sands
of the beach.
Mar City Beach
of the coolest things about Del Mar is being able to check out the beach
at 17th Street from anywhere in the world! This site offers a real-time streaming
cam of Del Mar and provides weather and surf information.
Check out the Del
Mar Beach Cam
of Del Mar
To the north of
the city, the beach narrows as the bluffs take up much of the area right
around the border to Solana Beach. At certain times of the year, the reefs
are exposed and there is great tide-pooling.
If you walk south
along the beach a few miles, you’ll end up at Torrey
Pines State Park
The torrey pine
tree is unique to this small geographic area as well as San Nicholas Island,
one of the Channel Islands over 240 miles to the northwest. As a result,
it is the city of Del Mar’s official tree and cannot be removed without
a very difficult-to-get permit.
Mar Beach: Diving
the reefs just outside the surf zone are teeming with beautiful local sealife:
urchins, local fish, pacific spiny lobster, rock scallops and even abalone
can be found if you know where to look.
On a calm day,
scuba diving in the kelp forests off the beach are like being in the redwoods
up north: a sense of serenity and majestic beauty are to be found underwater.
For even better
diving, the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park that starts at the southern
border of Del Mar and ends at Pt. La Jolla off the La Jolla Cove.
The warm water
and excellent visibility make La Jolla a worldwide destination for divers.
the beach has not really changed much. There are now more lifeguard towers
(In addition to 17th & 25th Street, the 19th Street tower was added a
few years ago), and they are built to last. The trucks are newer and lifesaving
techniques more modern;
is free to the public with public rest rooms located behind 17th Street and
25th Street lifeguard towers. Not permitted are: glass objects, fires, surf/jet
ski launching or vehicles on the beach.
Mar: Dog Beach
Del Mar's Dog Beach,
also known as North Beach to Del Mar locals, is a recreational paradise for those
with four-legs and a tail.
and frisbee-catching are priority here.
Parking: Park on the street, but remember that Del Mar likes its
parking revenues -- and parking ticket revenues especially. Pay your meter
diligently, or buy a $4 all-day pass from the little pay-and-display-your-ticket
box at the top of Camino del Mar, just before Villa de la Valle.
doggie behavior is prohibited. Del Mar lifeguards enforce the rules and will
write you a ticket.
The crowd: This
is a very respectable pet-owning crowd. The beach is low-key with few incidents.
Yes, dogs can run
free from the bluffs to the river and it is quite a spectacle! Dogs are allowed
on leash south of the river along the city beach only from September 15th through
June 15th. The rest of the year they are prohibited on the beach.
Facilities: Most owners use the city-supplied clean-up mitts,
but it's still a good idea to watch your step. There are people restrooms,
too, in the form of portable toilets. The beach is 2.5 miles of sandy beach,
starting from the south at Carmel Valley Road, which is the boundary to
San Diego, north to the river mouth of the San Dieguito River, which also
happens to be the boundary of Del Mar’s famous Dog Beach.
For more information, Dog
Mar Beach: Surfing
Surfing has been
my passion for nearly 40 years. Starting in Del Mar, I've surfed all over California
and down to the tip of Baja California. I surfed 2 winters on the North Shore
of Hawaii, in New Jersey and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
In my early
20's, I drove my Datsun pickup with camper-shell to El Salvador for a 6 month
Mexico & Centro surfing adventure. I surfed most of the breaks down the
Pacific Coast of Baja and Mainland Mexico & El Salvador.
So far, I've
surfed in Hawaii, New Jersey, Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, Barbados, Costa
Rica & Tavarua, Fiji.
For more detailed
information on surfing Del Mar, click here.
Another great activity at the beach is surf fishing. For more information, click here.
Runs at Del Mar
Here's a great description
from the San Diego Union of these elusive fish... and yes, they really DO exist...
Broyles SIGNONSANDIEGO CONTRIBUTOR
the grunion runs are an urban legend, but, elusive and often appearing
very late at night, the grunion are real and the runs are a curious stunt
of nature to behold — if you can stay up that late.
are the Grunion?
small sardine-shaped silvery fish that ride the waves in Del Mar City Beach,
La Jolla Shores, Mission Beach and Silver Strand Beach up onto the sand
to procreate, making for a veritable sea of squirming 4-8 inch fish out
The female grunion
buries herself in the sand to lay her eggs and the male wraps himself around
her to fertilize them — a female's eggs might be fertilized by up
to eight males in one night. Then they wait for a wave to take them back
out to sea.
Take a flashlight
to the beach a few nights following the highest tide associated with a
full or new moon, beginning about 11 p.m. The spawning occurs for about
a two-hour interval with the second hour being more, well, productive.
Be patient. You may wait, sometimes for hours. Keep watching. And if you're
lucky, the grunions will run.
to find good dates to observe them come and go... Del
Mar 2017 Grunion Schedule Remember to take five minutes off the state's
grunion time charts for San Diego.
on fishing Grunion:
other regulations: If you're 16 or older, you need a valid fishing license
(available at bait and tackle or sporting goods stores) to catch the scaly
squirmers. It's illegal to use any sort of net or tool to catch grunion.
Use your bare hands only, and no digging a hole in the beach to catch them,
either. The fishing season is closed in April and May.
For more information on grunion, click here Del