The Best Thing About Del Mar?
The Place to Get Away + The Place to Be
Del Mar is the kind of place where you lower your blood pressure on your morning walk on the beach and then raise it again – but in a fun way – cheering at a horse race in the afternoon. Receiving an “A+” from Niche.com in the Public Schools, Good for Families, Weather and Health & Fitness categories, an “A” in Outdoor Activities, and “A-” in Nightlife and Commute, Del Mar is one of the top suburbs to live in within the San Diego area.
Let’s start with how people “get away from it all” in Del Mar. The neighborhoods feel secluded and serene. The ocean is often a walkable distance from your front door and even if it’s not, the hilly terrain of the city means houses have a better chance of scoring that ocean view. It’s a small, tight-knit community. You’re going to know your neighbors, and you’re going to see them out and about like you would living in a small town. You can destress in a million ways: watch for dolphins playing in the waves, enjoy the surf at 15th Street Beach or hike the trails in the nearby nature reserve.
Now, if you’re looking for something to do, and for an attraction big enough to bring your friends from all over, Del Mar has that too. When the summer months welcome an influx of visitors interested in everything from the pristine beaches to your town’s cultural events, you’ll feel like where you live is “the place to be.” The Del Mar Race Track, an iconic horse track, attracts fans from around the world. The Del Mar Fairgrounds hosts everything from the San Diego County Fair to holiday festivals to wild rides to live music concerts.
And if having all this at your fingertips isn’t enough, you’ve got downtown San Diego and the airport not too far away either. If you like Del Mar but want slightly fewer crowd-attracting events, check out our post on Solana Beach, which borders Del Mar to the north.
The Worst Thing About Del Mar?
If you’re looking to move to Del Mar, chances are you already know that the cost of living is a hindrance to many potential residents, so we chose to focus on something else for this section instead: seasonal tourist crowds. Turns out that living next to popular cultural attractions does have its downsides. In summer months, residents can expect impressive crowds of visitors on their way to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, world-famous Del Mar Race Track, one of the city’s beaches or any number of other cultural events and festivals that cycle through town in this season.
Residents with a more flexible schedule have learned to be creative, working around the busiest times of day, but it can still grow tiresome as the summer progresses. As a town known for most of the year as a serene and peaceful place, the influx of visitors during peak seasons, and the traffic and noise that they bring with them, can be a bit jarring for some. That said, some residents really enjoy the spike in energy around town that coincides with these events.
Lifestyle of Del Mar
Beach Town with a Side of Boujee
The people of Del Mar chose to live here because it has a bit of everything: cozy coastal community meets high-end amenities meets family-friendly atmosphere meets iconic cultural attractions. It’s the kind of place where you find your center while walking your dog at North Beach, then lose your balance a bit after a few drinks at Monarch’s rooftop bar in the downtown area. The only people who feel like there isn’t quite enough to do are the young professionals looking for an abundance of nightlife options, whereas Del Mar residents prefer things a little more subdued.
There’s an even split between renters and homeowners in Del Mar. With a distinct and varied housing market, residents can find everything from a $1.8 million fixer-upper condo to a $10+ million oceanfront oasis. Median sales prices for single-family homes hover around $2.9 million.
For most, the prices are worth it. One way to look at it is residents are paying for ‘connection.’ Connection to nature via the incredible beaches, parks and nearby nature reserve – only made more accessible by the year-round 60’s-70’s temps. Connection to culture via the high-end artisanal shops, art galleries and annual festivals. And, not to sound too cheesy, but also connection with one another via community building events like the local farmer’s market, beach cleanups and neighborhood gatherings.
Schools in Del Mar
Some of the Best in the Area
The Del Mar Union School District and the San Dieguito Union High School District offer families an array of top-rated schools to choose from. The former consists of eight K-6 schools. In conjunction with schools in the Solana Beach School District, the Del Mar Union elementary schools typically feed into Carmel Valley Middle School, followed by Torrey Pines High School or Canyon Crest Academy. Well regarded for its high standardized test scores, these districts are top performers in San Diego County. The high degree of academic excellence they inspire mixed with the warm, welcoming and tight-knit community of Del Mar make this city a popular place to raise a family.
Beyond public offerings, families will also find satisfactory private schooling options. Within city limits, Del Mar Pines School offers a private alternative to the eight public K-6 schools, and beyond, La Jolla Country Day School, The Cambridge School and The Grauer School are just a few of the most popular offerings in neighboring cities.
Why You Should Move Here Now
Space is Limited
Like other small towns planted on California’s coastline, demand is high and space is, well, limited. Even with Del Mar’s way above average cost of living, everyone from young families to retirees are vying for their place in this upscale beach city. If you’re looking for your quintessential coastal lifestyle with great amenities and access to downtown San Diego and the airport, we suggest you begin your search sooner rather than later.