Del Mar Outdoor Recreation Ideas

Outdoor Activities in Del Mar

In addition to dining and shopping fun, beautiful Del Mar offers an exciting range of activities for active folks looking for outdoor recreation by the sea, as well as those who prefer to just soak up the Southern California sun. Choose from swimming, surfing, biking, and golf to more unique recreational activities like hot air balloon rides, free-flying at the Torrey Pines Gliderport, and seasonal whale watching. And don’t forget the famous Del Mar Racetrack and the San Diego County Fair! With so many things to do in Del Mar, this little seaside retreat is a surprising coastal gem for families, couples, and business travelers alike.

Surfing in Del Mar

Del Mar is known for not only its great beach breaks at each of the numbered streets in the flats but excellent reef breaks, starting at 15th Street south. Due to limited parking in the city, the breaks rarely get too crowded. And within 20 minutes north or south, you’ll find some of the best surfing in California.  For more on surfing in Del Mar, please visit the Beach Activities page.

Fishing in Del Mar

From the north end of Del Mar, heading south, there are beach breaks on all the numbered streets, from 29th to 15th Streets, with 25th, 23rd & 19th seeming to break a bit better than the others most of the time.

From 15th Street, there are very good reef breaks at the ends of many of the streets, with a short climb down the sandstone bluffs to get to the water.

For decades, San Diego has been home to a fleet of boats that travel to Mexican waters to fish for yellowtail, dorado (mahi-mahi), wahoo, marlin, and tuna: big eye, yellowfin, bluefin, and my favorite, albacore. These boats go from 1 1/2 days to a few weeks (down to Cocos Island off the coast of Costa Rica) and everything in between.

Golfing near Del Mar

Golfing near Del Mar is a tradition dating back decades when this charming beach community was the secluded hideaway for Hollywood’s stars. Del Mar is an ideal home base for avid golfers looking to explore numerous nearby courses. Celebrated coastal Torrey Pines Golf Course and the popular Maderas Golf Club are located just minutes away. Learn more about Del Mar golfing here.

Tennis in Del Mar

Two public tennis courts are located near the intersection of 21st Street and Court Street in Del Mar. Municipal tennis court facilities are open to all members of the general public at no charge. All tennis tournaments conducted on municipal tennis facilities must have prior approval from the Del Mar City Manager.

Additionally, L’Auberge Del Mar offers tennis instruction for resort guests. Their tennis professional, Jason Miller, is available daily for the group, individual, private, and semi-private tennis lessons. 30-minute and 1-hour sessions are available by appointment. Guests of the hotel will receive world-class instruction on championship courts –  just two blocks from the beach – while enjoying breathtaking Southern California coastal views. Call the hotel concierge for rates and to set up your lesson: (858) 793-6455.

Hiking, Nature Walks, and Nature Preserves in Del Mar

Around Del Mar, you’ll discover sprawling lagoons and wetlands teaming with wildlife. All this natural beauty makes for some of San Diego’s best hiking, which includes Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve, San Dieguito Lagoon, and Riverpath Del Mar. South of 15th Street, bluffs line Del Mar City Beach. At all but the highest tides, the beach is totally passable all the way to Torrey Pines, and there are a number of rugged trails down from the cliffs. A dirt path paralleling the train track on the bluff is a favorite of walkers and joggers, who can go for miles without encountering a car or crossing a road. Click here for the best Del Mar day hikes!

Biking in Del Mar

Great spots for bicycling and jogging are the paths south of 15th Street along the coast. Playing volleyball is best at River Mouth (aka Dog Beach.)

Water Sports

A mild current and clean ocean waters make Del Mar an ideal spot for surfing, diving, fishing, stand-up paddleboarding, and swimming.

Horseback Riding

The equestrian scene is flourishing in Del Mar with many nature spots perfectly viewed from horseback. Check out Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve and Del Mar Mesa Ranch located at 6150 Del Mar Mesa Rd, San Diego, CA 92130 / Phone: (858) 792-2508


San Diego Beach Volleyball Club is located in Del Mar and Oceanside, CA. They offer elite classes and camps year-round from beginning to intermediate to advanced.

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