Del Mar Journals

Southern California vacation

A January 2003 trip to Del Mar by RudysDad

Quote: Southern California is one of our favorite places to visit. We’ve stayed in Solana Beach, Carlsbad, and Del Mar, but we spend most of our time in the town of Del Mar because we love the romance of the place.
Best Things Nearby:San Diego Zoo, Wild Animal Park, Del Mar Racetrack, Sea World, Quail Botanical Gardens, Pacific Ocean.Best Things About the Resort:Atrium-style pool and hot tubs, free videos, ocean view with balcony to watch sunset over the Pacific.Resort Experience:The timeshare units at the Tamarack are two-bedroom, two-bathroom units with full kitchen, and a balcony facing the Pacific Ocean just 20 yards away. We got to watch seven beautiful sunsets, each different from the other. We’d get a glass of sparkling spring water and toast the sunset every evening. The units have VCRs and free videos, many of which are recent vintage, so we got to catch up o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 29, 2003

Tamarack Beach Resort
3200 Carlsbad Blvd
Del Mar, California
1(800) 334-2199



Several groundrules for my dining experiences: we are seniors; we seek romantic ambiance, preferably with a lovely view; we only eat out at lunch hours or early dinner. Sbicca is easy to miss from the street level, as it has a very unassuming and narrow frontage on 15th Street. But it has a lovely interior for dining and a romantic rooftop terrace with an ocean view. The menu is very California seaside village with lots of seafood and salads available. The service was attentive and friendly. There were local people having business lunches as well as tourists such as ourselves. I had the pepper-seared ahi nicoise salad and my wife had the grilled ahi. We both had iced tea. The p...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 31, 2003

215 15th Street
Del Mar, California 92014
(858) 481-1001

Among our touristy places to visit are the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, and the Wild Animal Park at Escondido. Of those, the San Diego Zoo is one place we hardly ever forgo, but we did so on this trip. There weren’t any new exhibits we wanted to see, so we decided on the Quail Botanical Gardens in Encinitas, instead. It’s 300 acres of once-private gardens bequeathed to the city with the proviso that it could not be sold. A citizens group maintains it and it was quite beautiful. It’s inland enough that it’s protected from the elements and has sections representing botany from Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and other exotic lands. It’s got a world-class collection of bamboo (I didn’t know there...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 29, 2003

Quail Botanical Gardens
230 Quail Gardens Drive
Encinitas, California 92024
(760) 436-3036

Dining experiences

Best Of IgoUgo


The hub of our vacations in the area is the Del Mar Plaza, which is a three-tiered shopping venue that has indoor parking and beautiful views of the ocean from the plaza level. There are several wonderful places to dine in the Del Mar Plaza with four excellent restaurants and morning coffee with an ocean view at Pacifica Breeze Café on the Market Level or coffee with a garden view at Esmerelda’s Book Store. Both have outdoor seating, although the Pacifica Breeze offers both breakfast fare and heaters when it’s a bit too cool in the morning. On our trip down from John Wayne airport in Orange County, we stopped at "The Brigantine" restaurant in Solana Beach, just north of Del Mar. It’s across th...Read More