There’s plenty to do in the charming seaside town where the turf meets the surf. From the music scene to family-friendly fun, here are a few top contenders. MIASTEFANKO
1 The 72nd season of horseracing at Del Mar will soon be underway, and with it comes the Summer Concert Series, this year highlighted by Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Ben Harper. Music enthusiasts will enjoy a new and improved concert venue with the debut of the Seaside Stage, located at the west end of the Grandstand, which allows for easier access, better sightlines, and plenty of space. Some of our hot picks include G. Love & Special Sauce (July 22), Ziggy Marley presents Reggae Legends (July 30), Weezer (August 6), Devo (August 19), and Ben Harper (September 4). Concerts are free with racetrack admission purchased prior to the last race. Admission for those entering after the final race is $20. For the complete lineup please go online. (858/755-1141, www.delmarscene.com)
2 What’s not to love about Del Mar’s beaches? The Del Mar Rivermouth provides ample room for volleyball games and a gathering place for dogs (on-leash during the summer). The northern half of Del Mar City Beach, from 15th Street to the rivermouth, is decorated with dream houses and offers a wide sand beach with good swimming, intermediate surf, and access at every block. South of 15th Street, the beach is passable all the way to Torrey Pines (tide permitting). While up above, a dirt path running parallel to the train track on the bluff is a favorite of walkers and joggers taking in the ocean air and expansive views.
3 San Diego’s polo roots date back to 1906 when the first California match was held in Coronado. The first John D. Spreckels match was in 1909. Seventy years later, Willis Allen and Harry Collins dreamed of horses galloping by the Pacific Ocean and established the San Diego Polo Club in 1986, in an ideal location just down the road from Del Mar Fairgrounds (as you head into Rancho Santa Fe). There’s something for everyone each week, with two matches, live music, a full bar, bistro, VIP seating, and tailgating. For the kiddos there’s the jump castle, face-painting, and snow cones. Highlights of the season include a Western Party & Chili Cook-off (July 15), the Bi-plane Fly-In (September 17), and the Crash and Burn Party (September 30), when each polo player brings a case of beer to commemorate each time he/she has fallen during the season. (www.sandiegopolo.com)
4 Pelly’s Mini Golf offers two themed 18-hole miniature golf courses: Pelly’s Surfin’ Safari and Pelly’s Ocean Adventure. The Surfin’ Safari course includes information on surf history, local breaks, and surf legends. The Ocean Adventure course takes golfers on a journey from the beach into the deep ocean where they’ll encounter ships, dolphins, and whales. The courses were designed in cooperation with the Surfrider Foundation and Birch Aquarium. Life-size polystyrene sea creatures including sea lions, starfish, and whales created by Gerry Kirk decorate many of the holes. (Kirk heads the Solana Beach-based Sandworld International Inc., and has set a world record for building the tallest and largest sand sculpture). The Surf’s Up Café provides hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, French fries, pizza, ice cream, and shaved ice. (858/481-0363, www.pellysminigolf.com)
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