Del Mar, California

Del Mar is a beach city in San Diego County, California, incorporated on July 15, 1959. Del Mar is Spanish for "of the sea" or "by the sea," which reflects its location on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The Del Mar Horse Races are hosted on the Del Mar racetrack every summer. In 1885, Colonel Jacob Taylor purchased 338 acres (1.37 km2) from Enoch Talbert, with visions of building a seaside resort for the rich and famous.[6] The United States Navy operated a Naval Auxiliary Air Facility for blimps at Del Mar during World War II.[7] The population was estimated at 4,347 in 2018, up from 4,161 at the 2010 census.[5]

Del Mar, California
City of Del Mar

Location of Del Mar in San Diego County, California.
Del Mar, California
Location in the contiguous United States
Coordinates: 32°57′18″N 117°15′50″W
Country United States
State California
County San Diego
IncorporatedJuly 15, 1959[1]
  MayorDwight Worden[2]
  City1.78 sq mi (4.60 km2)
  Land1.71 sq mi (4.42 km2)
  Water0.07 sq mi (0.18 km2)  3.94%
Elevation112 ft (34 m)
  Density2,557.12/sq mi (987.43/km2)
SD-TJ: 5,105,768
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
  Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)858
FIPS code06-18506
GNIS feature ID1656480


Del Mar is one of only two locations where the Torrey Pine tree naturally occurs. The Torrey Pine is the rarest pine in the United States; only two populations of this endangered species exist, in Del Mar and on Santa Rosa Island.[8] The Soledad Valley at the south of Del Mar severs two colony segments of the Pinus torreyana.

At the southern edge of Del Mar is the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon. To the north is the San Dieguito Lagoon and the San Dieguito River, which empties into the Pacific Ocean at Del Mar. The bluffs along Del Mar's south beach are subject to collapse.[9][10][11][12][13]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2). 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (3.94%) is water.


Del Mar's climate is considered mediterranean-subtropical with warm, dry summers and mild, humid winters. Temperatures exceed 85 °F (29 °C) only on a few occasions throughout the year and rarely drop below 41 °F (5 °C). The average yearly temperature in Del Mar is approximately 65 °F (18 °C).


Historical population
Est. 20184,347[5]4.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]


The 2010 United States Census[15] reported that Del Mar had a population of 4,161. The population density was 2,341.9 people per square mile (904.2/km²). The racial makeup of Del Mar was 3,912 (94.0%) White, 10 (0.2%) African American, eight (0.2%) Native American, 118 (2.8%) Asian, three (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 25 (0.6%) from other races, and 85 (2.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 175 people (4.2%).

There were 2,064 households, with 340 (16.5%) having children under the age of 18, and 927 (44.9%) with opposite-sex married couples living together, 114 (5.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 57 (2.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 124 (6.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 19 (0.9%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. There were 707 households (34.3%) comprising one individual, and 209 (10.1%) comprising one individual 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.02. There were 1,098 families (53.2% of all households); the average family size was 2.57.

The population comprised 564 people (13.6%) under the age of 18, 205 people (4.9%) aged 18 to 24, 1,071 people (25.7%) aged 25 to 44, 1,455 people (35.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 866 people (20.8%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.1 males.

There were 2,596 housing units at an average density of 1,461.1 per square mile (564.1/km²), of which 1,113 (53.9%) were owner-occupied, and 951 (46.1%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 7.9%. Of the population, 2,398 people (57.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 1,763 people (42.4%) lived in rental housing units.


The 2000 census,[16] reported 4,389 people, 2,178 households, and 1,083 families residing in the city, with an average family size of 2.61. The age distribution was reported as 13.6% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 33.1% from 25 to 44, 33.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 105.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.0 males. The median income for a household in the city was $120,001, and the median income for a family was $130,270. Males had a median income of $81,250 versus $70,069 for females. The per capita income for the city was $92,425. About 7.8% of families and 8.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.6% of those under age 18 and 8.5% of those age 65 or over.

Current estimates

According to the San Diego Association of Governments, the estimated population of Del Mar as of January 1, 2018, is 4,322, with 2.08 persons per household and a median household income of $129,880 (not adjusted for inflation). When adjusted for inflation (2010 dollars; comparable to Census data above), the median household income is $115,179.


The City of Del Mar is governed by a city council of five elected representatives. Each year a new mayor is chosen from among the councilmembers.[17]

In the California State Legislature, Del Mar is in the 39th Senate District, represented by Democrat Toni Atkins, and in the 78th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Todd Gloria.[18]

In the United States House of Representatives, Del Mar is in California's 49th congressional district, represented by Democrat Mike Levin.[19]

Del Mar has the highest property crime rate amongst cities in San Diego County[20]


Del Mar is served by the Del Mar Union School District, which includes eight K-8 schools. High school education is provided by the San Dieguito Union High School District.


North County Transit District provides their BREEZE bus service. The historic Del Mar station once served passengers on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Surf Line and the Amtrak San Diegan intercity service between the early 1900s until its closure in 1995, due to the opening of the new Solana Beach station two miles north. That station provides Coaster commuter rail and Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner service.


Notable people

  • Desi Arnaz maintained a residence in North Del Mar on the beach west of Highway 101 near the Del Mar Racetrack after his divorce from Lucille Ball. He was arrested once for brandishing a firearm and ordering people off of his beach area. He resided there until his death.
  • Burt Bacharach, songwriter, has a beach residence in north Del Mar.
  • Gary Beck radio DJ lived on top of Del Mar Heights in the early 70's on Mission Carmel Cove.
  • Drew Brees, quarterback of the New Orleans Saints.
  • Rachel Buehler, defender for the United States women's national soccer team.
  • Martin Cooper, conceived the first handheld mobile phone.
  • Tom DeLonge, guitarist and founding member of the pop-punk band Blink-182, rock band Angels & Airwaves, and punk rock band Box Car Racer.
  • Jimmy Durante, lived on the beach for many years and has a street named after him.
  • Steve Fisher, former head basketball coach at San Diego State University, resident since 1999.
  • Rachael Flatt, former figure skater, 2010 Olympian, 2010 US Champion, three-time US silver medalist and 2008 World Junior Champion, was born in Del Mar.
  • Craig Taro Gold, author, entrepreneur and entertainer, was raised in Del Mar and attended Torrey Pines High School.
  • Tony Hawk, skateboarder and business entrepreneur, was raised in Del Mar.
  • Kristin Hayter, singer-songwriter
  • Joel Holliday, president and CEO, Charles Lee Powell Foundation[22], and former Del Mar Foundation board member whose leadership established the Foundation's Community Endowment to benefit the Del Mar community.[23]
  • Rosanne Holliday, educator (child development, Southwestern College), philanthropist, and champion of women's and children's rights; the Planned Parenthood Holliday Family Administration Building in Mission Valley recognizes her family's major philanthropy in support of Planned Parenthood.[24]
  • Gary E. Jacobs, businessman, philanthropist, minority owner in the Sacramento Kings, founder of the Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High Charter School, and owner of the Lake Elsinore Storm, lives in Del Mar.
  • Nate Kaeding, former San Diego Chargers placekicker.
  • Charles David Keeling, American scientist known for the Keeling Curve, and Chairman of the Citizen Task Force responsible for developing the City of Del Mar's Community Plan (General Plan) adopted in 1976.
  • George R. Lunn, former US Congressman and Lt. Governor of New York.
  • William_Murray_(writer), American fiction editor and staff writer at The New Yorker for more than thirty years and author of numerous fiction and nonfiction work, including a series of mystery novels with a racetrack setting, spent the majority of his later years living in Del Mar.[25]
  • Carson Palmer, former NFL quarterback.
  • Steve Perry, former lead singer of the rock band Journey, lives in Del Mar.
  • Madeleine Pickens, along with her deceased husband Allen Paulson owned a home in Del Mar overlooking the Del Mar Racetrack. She currently owns a home on the beach in Del Mar.[26]
  • Tristan Prettyman, singer-songwriter.
  • Zandra Rhodes, celebrity fashion designer, splits her time between homes in Del Mar and London.[27]
  • Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.
  • Willie Shoemaker, jockey, lived in North Del Mar on beach west of US 101 near Del Mar Racetrack.
  • Garrett Stubbs, baseball player.[28]
  • Norv Turner, former head coach of the San Diego Chargers.
  • Jacqueline Mammerickx Winterer, Scripps Institute of Oceanography research scientist and seafloor mapping pioneer, for whom the first micro-tectonic plate discovered in the Indian Ocean, the Mammerickx Microplate, is named.[29]
  • In 1966, winners of a KHJ radio station contest rode with members of The Monkees band on a train from Del Mar, which had been renamed 'Clarksville' for the day by the town's mayor.[30]
  • Del Mar is the first surfing location mentioned in the 1963 Beach Boys' song Surfin' U.S.A.
  • Tip on a Dead Crab (Viking Press 1984), William Murray's first mystery in the Shifty Lou Anderson series, is set at Del Mar's racetrack.[31]


  1. "California Cities by Incorporation Date". California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Archived from the original (Word) on November 3, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  2. "Del Mar, CA - Official Website | Official Website". Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  3. "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  4. "Del Mar". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  5. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  6. "Del Mar city history". Archived from the original on October 27, 2008. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
  7. "U.S. Naval Activities World War II by State". Patrick Clancey. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
  8. C. Michael Hogan (2008). Torrey Pine: Pinus torreyana, Globaltwitcher, ed. Nicklas Stromberg Archived May 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  9. RIGGINS, ALEX; WARTH, GARY; GRAD, SHELBY (August 3, 2019). "Encinitas beach cliff collapse that killed 3 women part of larger California coast crisis". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  10. Xia, Rosanna (August 9, 2019). "A cliff collapse. Three deaths. More bluff failures expected with rising seas". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 13, 2019.
  11. SMITH, JOSHUA EMERSON (December 16, 2018). "Officials press forward with emergency plan following string of collapses at Del Mar bluffs". Del Mar Times. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  12. Diehl, Phil (July 28, 2019). "Del Mar is weak link in San Diego's coastal railroad". Del Mar Times. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  13. SMITH, JOSHUA EMERSON; ROBBINS, GARY (November 30, 2019). "Bluff collapses within steps of passenger train tracks in Del Mar after heavy rains". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
  14. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  15. "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Del Mar city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  16. "American FactFinder: Del Mar city, California". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  17. "City of Del Mar website". Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  18. "Statewide Database". Regents of the University of California. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  19. "California's 49th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC.
  20. "Table 8 - California".
  21. "New Race Track Executive Joins Del Mars Surfside Race Place ~ EquestrianMag".
  22. "Charles Lee Powell Foundation: Three Decades of Giving to UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering". UC San Diego News Center. July 18, 2018.
  23. "Del Mar Visionary: Joel Holliday". Del Mar Sandpiper. March 2018.
  24. "Del Mar woman honored for decades of work in community". Del Mar Times. April 15, 2016.
  25. "William Murray, Novelist and New Yorker Writer, Dies at 78". NYTimes. March 12, 2005.
  26. "Regional Spotlight: $35 Million Home Sale Crushes Del Mar Record". RISMedia. June 2007.
  27. "Fashion designer crashes car into Calif. store". Associated Press. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  28. "Garrett Stubbs - 2015 Baseball Roster - University of Southern California".
  29. "Scientists Date Birth of Himalayas from Newly Discovered Microplate".
  30. "The Monkees rename city!". (The Monkees Live Almanac, 1966 Promotional Tour). Monkees Live Almanac. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  31. "Tip on a Dead Crab".
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