Top 25 Things to Do in Del Mar (Covid 2020 Edition)
Posted by Gary Fenton on July 9, 2020
photo courtesy of DMTC
Del Mar 2020 is here…..and what the heck has happened to the world!? While this summer will undoubtedly look different, being in Del Mar this week has reminded us why we come each and every summer. Even in a pandemic, this place is magical….and safe. Seeing many in masks, and beaches lined in social distancing rows were immediately noticed and impressive. Local restaurants also are buying in with tables spaced comfortably. While you are keenly aware the world has changed, you feel as safe as you can. Let’s face it, Del Mar, even in the worst of times, is still the best of times.
The season kicks off tomorrow and backyard gatherings (of less than 10) are already forming. The traditional first day craziness will be home based, but since DMTC wants videos, we expect to get a small taste of the annual craziness on social media. Adjusting to the new normal also means revising this list accordingly. We will discuss things never envisioned like "risk levels”, and “masks”.
Before the list, let’s get a couple things straight. COVID is real, and it’s spreads fast. Outside of those two facts, everything else is up for debate and this list is not a place for that debate. So if you believe 90%+ who get COVID remain asymptomatic, GREAT. If you want to travel with your spouse and never leave the rental, SUPER. The only thing we ask is that you wear a mask and wash your hands. And smile. It’s Del Mar.
So without further adieu, the Top 25 things to do in Del Mar - COVID 2020 Edition.
1. Beach. Remember the sun? It feels so good to be outdoors you won’t even feel bad about the few extra pounds you and everyone else has put on. Don't believe the photos. Lots of room to feel Covid safe.
2. Balboa Park. Outdoor activities will dominate the list this year. The central park of San Diego is a great spot to bike. Hitting up the Museums raises the risk level (please check who is open), but they are fun and unique.
3. Jimmy O’s. Just testing everyone! No. While we enjoy this establishment in normal times, it is crowded with low ventilation and we understand if you want to find a more suitable hot spot this summer.
4. Like…. Viewpoint Brewing Co. The entire restaurant is outdoors. The beer is micro clean, the food is delicious and maybe skip the communal skee-ball, or corn hole this year.
5. BBQ at Home. Let’s face it, your food tastes better than a restaurant. Google some fun recipes like the Summer Steak from horse owner Bobby Flay and invite your favorite Del Mar couple over.
6. Ken Sushi Workshop. Best sushi in San Diego. The four tables outside used to be for over flow. Now, it’s heaven. Go Omakase and you'll forget you're eating the best sushi ever in a parking lot. Literally. Arigato.
7. Hiking. Every year we take up a new local activity, and this year we walk the great and awesome outdoors. Lots of paths to choose, but we'd start in La Jolla.
8. Head to the Del Mar Racetrack. Owners are allowed for workouts and the mornings are always special. We’re hearing owners will be back on track for races starting in Week 2. Fans TBD. Let’s face it. Without a traditional crowd, watching TVG on your phone….from the beach... is more than acceptable.
9. Speaking of TVG... They not only provide great TV, but more importantly LRF partners DOUBLE THEIR WINNINGS every Friday ($200 max payout). Receiving free money will always be a Top 25 item to do in Del Mar (or anywhere).
10. San Diego Zoo. I mean it can't be a Top 25 list without this mecca. It’s open with limited capacity due to Covid so please book online. Watching others care for animals like us is inspiring. Del Mar legend Cape Capener created the "Capener Kid Map" which shows how to get in and out in under 60 minutes. Email us for details.
11. Board n Brew. While we don’t suggest picking up in the cramped and crowded space…. we DO recommend postmating the award winning sandwiches to your hotel or house.
12. Blue Ribbon Pizza. No better pizza in Encinitas. Fine, all of San Diego. But it's the fancy, foodie type of pizza. And you will love it along with the butterscotch pudding. Lots of outdoor seating and spacing and easy to pick up.
13. There is only one thing better than waking up in Del Mar. Heading straight to the The Naked Cafe for breakfast. It's the most important meal of the day and you will never have a bad one starting off with the Buff Breakfast Burritos in this outdoor only restaurant.
14. Handel's Ice Cream. Now in Del Mar in a safe and friendly glass screened off store! The Encinitas locale gets a little dicey with the long lines but when you need your Chocoholic Chunk we understand if your risk levels rise.
15. Cardiff Crack at Seaside Market. We've never met anyone who didn't have their lives changed by this three pound piece of pre-marinated tri-tip heaven. Like a drug, they don't need you. You need it.
16. Drive to the Top of Mt Soledad. It's fun, it's free and the views are amzaeballs while you check out the inspiring National Veterans Memorial.
17. Chino Family Farms. Yes, it is "that shack" at the end of a long dirt road. You will feel like you're in Tijuana, but bring your wallet. You're actually on the Rodeo Drive of vegetable stands.
19. Solo - Solana Beach. I've never walked out of this home store without buying something. The entire Cedros Design District is a great way to spend the morning. Solo is big and airy, while the other stores might raise risk levels. Lofty's Coffee is outdoors and the best coffee in San Diego.
20. Del Mar Wine Company. Visiting our wine guy Lucas is usually the first summer stop. Just saying wine guy makes me want a nice Cab. Call ahead, say LRF and he'll drop everything in your trunk. He will also find you an excellent bottle for under $30. Also, over $200. His brother hands out horse tips. What else do you want from a wine store?
21. FORE. Let's play some golf! Torrey Pines, Grand Golf Club, Crossings at Carlsbad, and Aviara Golf Club.... You can't play enough golf this summer....so take advantage of it!
22. Market Restaurant Take Out. Great example of a community restaurant being there for us in tough times. Has anyone ever had Michelin Star for take out? Support your local establishments, and they in turn, will be there when we return to normal.
23. Uncle Biff Killer Cookies. Cause you can't eat Handle's every night.
24. Bike Rides. There is a stretch along 101 from Solana Beach into Encinitas that will make you forget Covid, and all your other problems combined.
25. Be Kind. No matter what you decide to do this summer, please be mindful of your community. Wear a mask, wash your hands and remember, we can and will get through this together.
Topics: Opinion Piece