There's no shortage of idyllic locations to call home in San Diego's North County. From the seaside serenity of La Jolla to the rustic inland escape of Rancho Santa Fe, there's no wrong choice when it comes to living in this pristine, luxury-laden area of Southern California. And for those seeking a wholly different but no less extravagant lifestyle, there is one community that stands above all others: the vaunted coastal enclave of Del Mar and the upscale neighborhood of Del Mar Heights.
Living in Del Mar is equal parts quaint and adventurous. Singles and young professionals will appreciate the hip ocean vibe positioned midway between Los Angeles and the San Diego area. Growing and established families (as well as retirees) favor Del Mar’s low-key, welcoming community for a wide range of outdoor activities.
Below are five of the many reasons people love living in Del Mar.
1. A diverse real estate market
Across San Diego's North County, real estate is unique and luxurious. There are no fewer than 20 distinct communities where high-end living is the rule—not the exception. From La Jolla to Rancho Santa Fe, buyers can take their pick of multi-million dollar homes situated on vast lots. Buyers searching for a distinct style or class of home will find Del Mar to be an extraordinary location for variety and design. Those enticed by an eclectic mix of properties, each offering a distinctive lifestyle and high-end livability will relish what the Del Mar luxury real estate market has to offer.
There's a healthy dose of Spanish, mid-century, and contemporary architecture, as well as a wonderful mix of single-family estates, oceanfront condos, and in-town villas to satisfy a variety of tastes. Of course, the coastal location means many home sites are positioned to take full advantage of the Pacific Ocean's stunning seascape.
Beyond aesthetics, Del Mar housing is a wise investment. Current median home values are over $3.1 million, which marks a 21% increase from the year prior. Looking back five years, the trend is even more impressive. Buying in Del Mar now, you stand to earn a considerable return on investment (ROI) later. You can read a breakdown of current market stats in Del Mar in our exclusive Pacific Sotheby’s IN FOCUS Market Report.
2. A buzz-worthy social scene
The area's nightlife remains a significant reason why residents love living in Del Mar. Travel up and down Camino Del Mar, and you're sure to find a restaurant, bar, or shop worthy of your attention. The dining and after-hours scene is a particular highlight, with many establishments serving a roster of international flavors daily. The Del Mar Highlands Town Center and Del Mar Plaza are two spots where you can partake in some of Del Mar's best dining and shopping options. Whether it's date night, a family dinner out, or a drink with friends and colleagues, Del Mar is a great place to see and be seen.
3. Never a dull moment
Having built a reputation as a vibrant coastal getaway, Del Mar’s excitement and vibrancy is unmatched anywhere else in San Diego’s North County. And arguably, the city's most exciting attraction is the Del Mar Fairgrounds. A magnet for major events, the Fairgrounds' calendar is filled with concerts, festivals, and expos throughout the year. Most notable is the venue's role as host of the San Diego County Fair and the location of the Del Mar Racetrack.
Additionally, The Grand Golf Club located at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar is a notable hub that makes for a great outing. The resort features a luxurious five-star spa and stunning views of the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. Even if you're not a guest, you can still experience one of the resort's six restaurants, including the two-star Michelin recipient, Addison.
4. A gateway to the outdoors
Perhaps the most underrated aspect of Del Mar's outdoor lifestyle is the access to North County's natural treasures. The town itself boasts eight different parks and preserves (plus a lagoon), 20 public paths, and six distinct multiuse trails. Head to the southernmost point in the city, and you'll find direct access to the 4.5-mile long Torrey Pines State Beach and the 2,000-acre Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve.
5. Proximity to the best of Southern California
Del Mar sits a comfortable 20-minute drive from the heart of San Diego and a 90-minute jaunt north into Los Angeles. Easy traveling in either direction for business or pleasure means coming back home to your stately seaside abode is a breeze. More than access to major cities such as San Diego and LA, residents are also granted passage to North County's top attractions.
Equestrian aficionados—both serious riders and hobbyists—appreciate the fact that beyond the Del Mar Racetrack, it’s just a ten-minute drive to the Del Mar Horsepark. Travel a bit further east, and you're in Rancho Santa Fe and at the doorstep of its numerous riding clubs, horse training, and boarding facilities. Golfers based in Del Mar needn’t look far for a picturesque course on which to play a round. More than 50 golf courses are located within a 10-mile radius of Del Mar, including Rancho Santa Fe, The Bridges, and two-time host of the U.S. Open, Torrey Pines.
6. Del Mar climate & weather
Del Mar's climate is mediterranean like most coastal areas of southern California. Expect plenty of sun with little rain. In winter, temperatures may reach around 60 degrees Fahrenheit while summer temperatures reach around mid-70s. Del Mar experiences less rainfall than most other states, at 12 inches per year versus a national average of 38 inches. Del Mar boasts nearly perfect weather year-round.
Is Del Mar San Diego a good place to live?
Del Mar has an impressive reputation for being a great place to live. Del Mar is rated A+ from Niche, ranks number 1 among San Diego's best neighborhoods for raising families, and ranks #1 among the Best Suburban Areas to Raise Families in San Diego County.
What is living in Del Mar like?
Del Mar is a suburb of San Diego with 4331 residents. Del Mar is part of San Diego County, which is rich with things to do and pleasant places to visit. The Del Mar lifestyle is mostly suburban and residential. Del Mar has many restaurants, cafés and parks to enjoy.
Is Del Mar expensive?
Del Mar property prices are high. Del Mar competes against Rancho Santa Fe for most expensive place to live in San Diego County. In 2020, the median household income of Del Mar households was $161,705. In April 2022, the median listing home price in Del Mar, CA was $3.3M.