Planners looking for an upscale beach-town setting can put Del Mar at the top of their list. There is a village ambiance along the coastal portion of the city, where the 15th Avenue beach serves as the backdrop for the opening credits of ABC-TV's Cougar Town. At the intersection of 15th Avenue and Camino Del Mar is the Plaza Shopping Center, across the street from the recently renovated L'Auberge Del Mar hotel, one of the best meeting venues in Del Mar.
Bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the west, Del Mar is about a 20-minute ($72) cab ride from downtown and the San Diego International Airport (a major hub for Southwest Airlines). The city is easily accessible from the Interstate 5 freeway.
Two Del Mar meeting venues are considered destinations in themselves. L'Auberge Del Mar hotel sits on a coastal bluff above the ocean, and can host groups up to 400 in six different event spaces. The Grand Hotel Del Mar is one of San Diego's premier resort destinations, offering the Old World charm of a Mediterranean estate. The 249-room property has 20,000 square feet of meeting space, with spaces that can accommodate up to 600 guests.
In Del Mar, hotel dining venues verge on the sublime. The Grand is also home to Southern California's only 5 Star and 5 Diamond restaurant, Addison. Even The Grand's more casual restaurant, Amaya, is a standout for breakfast, lunch and dinner. (The Grand's 36,000-bottle wine inventory is overseen by Jesse Rodriquez, one of the country's youngest and most-noted sommeliers.)
The Del Mar Fairgrounds comes to life each summer when the San Diego County Fair gets under way, followed by the three-month horse racing run at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club at the Fairgrounds. The Del Mar Antiques Show happens three times a year at the Fairgrounds. Be advised that during the time the County Fair and horse racing season are under way, traffic can become gridlocked.
Finally, Del Mar is one of few locations in the world where Torrey Pine trees grow. Groups who might enjoy an outdoor hike can find the trees in abundance in Del Mar's Torrey Pines State Reserve.
For more venues, view all of the San Diego event venues and view more about meeting planning in San Diego.