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Del Mar
Delightful and Delicious Del Mar
Story and photographs by Greg Aragon

he mere mention of some places can inspire images of vacation and relaxation. Del Mar is such a place. Located on the beautiful north coast of San Diego, this sea-side village is a California paradise, replete with ocean cliffs towering above sun-drenched beaches, a world-famous horse racing track, top-notch restaurants, a charming village and luxurious boutique resorts such as Hotel Indigo Del Mar, where a friend and I recently snuck away for a memorable mid-week getaway.

kids and dog at a Del Mar beach
Del Mar is a California beach paradise

Our adventure began when we checked into a beautiful ocean-front suite that was designed like a hip, studio beach apartment. Like the entire property, our room was highlighted by contemporary decor with hardwood floors, beach themed murals, California-inspired art and granite counters.

Hotel Indio signage, Del Mar
Hotel Indigo is boutique luxury with beach appeal

Our room came with a king bed, sleeper sofa, large flat-screen TV, free wireless Internet, comfortable bathroom, and a kitchen area with microwave, mini-fridge, sink and stove, and a granite bar. The suite also boasted a large surfing mural on the living room wall, and a balcony with a table and chairs overlooking the Pacific.

a room at the Hotel Indigo with surfing mural on living room wall
Rooms at Hotel Indigo come alive with surfing paintings

The ocean was so alluring that once unpacked with walked a few blocks down the street from the hotel to Del Mar Beach, which was recently ranked #4 in Time Magazine’s “100 Greatest Beaches in the World." He we strolled along the two plus miles of white sand, bounded by majestic rocky cliffs and a couple of family parks.

Back at the hotel, I hit the state-of-the art 24-hour fitness center, which features treadmills, bikes, free weights, a universal weight system, steam room and locker room. After a workout and a shower, I swam in the outdoor pool overlooking the ocean and soaked in the Jacuzzi next to my room.

Hotel Indigo pool with a view of the Pacific Ocean in the background
Hotel Indigo's pool and grounds sit on a bluff overlooking the ocean

For dinner we drove to Del Mar Village, where we experienced Jake's. A local favorite, Jake's sits on the sand, where it serves fine surf and turf with tons of atmosphere and stunning ocean vistas.

the entrance to Jake's at night, Del Mar
Jake's Restaurant serves surf and turf with ocean vistas

Our meal began with a perfectly marinated Moroccan grilled shrimp appetizer, with pomegranate raita, edamame roasted garlic hummus, and pea shoot salad; and a Buratta and heirloom tomato salad with arugula, pomegranate vinaigrette, pickled red onions, figs, toasted sesame tuile.

For the main course I went with Jake's mixed seafood pot. Full of tender Maine lobster, scallops, shrimp, fresh fish and saffron tomato broth, this was soup was a delightful compliment to the gorgeous sandy beach a few feet beyond our window seat. My friend's dish was equally tasty, highlighted by steak and barbecued lobster, with mashed potatoes and veggies. We ended dinner with a Bailey's Pot de Creme, a sinfully divine dessert with ice cream, chocolate hazelnut crust and whipped cream.

Jake's mixed seafood pot
Dishes such as mixed seafood pot make Jake's a local favorite

After dinner we drove back to the hotel and sipped wine on our lanai, listening to the waves crash in the distance. In the morning we had breakfast at Hotel Indigo's Oceanview Bar & Grill and then headed back the beach for a morning walk. Beginning at Powerhouse Park, we walked along the sand to Dog Beach, where we spotted dolphins playing about a hundred yards off shore.

Other fun things to do in Del Mar include biking and lots of hiking trails past ocean bluffs, mega-homes, and San Elijo Lagoon, one of the county’s largest coastal wetlands.

chekc-in counter at Hotel Indigo, Del Mar
Hotel Indigo is a great place to start a Del Mar getaway

Hotel Indigo Del Mar is located at 710 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014. For more information and reservations, call 877-8-INDIGO (877 846 3446) or visit: www.ihg.com/. For more information on visiting Del Mar, visit: www.dreamdelmar.com

Related Articles:
The Grand Del Mar; Bahia Resort Hotel Summer Fun, San Diego; Passport to San Diego; Fall Fun at Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa; Search of the Ghost at the Del Coronado; Grand Colonial Hotel, La Jolla; London – By Way of San Diego


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Let Greg know what you think about his traveling adventure.

* * * * *

Feedback for Harry Potter at Universal Studios

Going to Universal Studios Hollywood to see the Harry Potter "land" is on my bucket list!!

-- Nancy, Hawaii

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Feedback for A Spring Escape to Maui And Hotel Wailea

I leave here April 21 for Maui and can hardly wait. It'll be my 15th trip, more or less and I love it, and your pictures.

-- Ellie – Port Ludlow, WA

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Hi Greg,

It's not a forest of banyan trees in Lahaina by the harbor. It's one huge tree, about 140 years old. It's an important landmark of Lahaina, and one of our favorite views.We always stay at the Pioneer Inn, overlooking the harbor and the banyan tree. Every evening thousands of mynah birds fly into the tree, chattering and fluttering until they settle down for the night. Otherwise, great article.

-- Virginia – Northridge, CA

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Feedback for Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa

Very nice story, Greg.

-- Maris Somerville – Los Angeles, CA



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