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Torrey Pines State Beach in La Jolla

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Torrey Pines State Beach in La Jolla


Gateway to San Diego

Beaches and Horse Racing Await in Del Mar


This summer, if you find yourself in the Del Mar/La Jolla area, a couple of reasonable lodging choices can give you great access without denting your wallet too much. These picks fit both business and pleasure as all that San Diego has to offer will be just a short drive away.

The Location

The Del Mar area is one of the nicest spots in San Diego County and allows easy access to all activities. Sea World and the San Diego Zoo are a short drive as is most of the San Diego business community. La Jolla is even closer just an exit or two further south. If you are here for the beach, Del Mar and Torrey Pines are hard to beat.

Torrey Pines State Beach is one of the most scenic settings in an area full of them. This is a place of surfers and seals with an occasional train passing through the pristine wetlands adjacent to the blue Pacific. I was surprised to find two almost new hotel properties just five minutes away on Vista Sorrento Parkway. The Homewood Suites San Diego/Del Mar and the Hilton Garden Inn San Diego/Del Mar are both just minutes from the ocean and all that you might want to do in the San Diego area.

The Lodging

Homewood Suites is a relatively new idea from Hilton, and this location near Del Mar is superb. The rooms are tastefully decorated to fit the needs of both business and leisure travelers. Suites run from deluxe studios to one and two bedroom units. They come with a fully equipped kitchen including dishwasher, refrigerator, two-burner stove, and microwave oven. The bedding is quite comfortable with Serta Suite Dreams mattresses and Down Dreams pillows. Rooms look out to the large pool area surrounded by palm trees. There is also a fitness area on the ground floor near the business center.

A complimentary breakfast and evening reception are also included, and the offerings were very good. The lobby area is very nicely appointed with couches and a fireplace. The restaurant is nearby, along with large flat screen TVs so you can enjoy sports and current events.

The Hilton Garden Inn San Diego/Del Mar is geared more to the business traveler. Some of the unique touches here include your choice of five different types of pillows, and mattresses that can be adjusted to the desired firmness. Bistro 39 is the hotel’s signature restaurant and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They are especially proud of their seafood dishes. The New York Deli serves more casual fare throughout the day.

The Serenity Spa and Salon is located on property and easily accessible to both hotels. These two hotel properties are owned by the same people, and the service is out of this world. In all my travels, I have never experienced this kind of attention at anything less than a five-star property. Visit HomewoodSuitesDelMar.com and HiltonGardenInn.com for further details.

The Activities

Most will want to take a shot at the famed layouts at Torrey Pines, home to an annual PGA Tour stop. The South Course was the site of the epic battle between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate at the 2008 U.S. Open. The North Course is also well worth a visit and is used for early round play in the tour stop. Check with hotel management for the best way to get on these popular layouts. The Carmel Highland Doubletree Golf Resort is also close by, now with the fairly new Ted Williams Parkway connecting to the inland areas. There are many private clubs in the area if you have introductions. Fairbanks Ranch Country Club has 27 holes and formerly hosted horse events in the Olympics.

Spending some time in La Jolla is always worthwhile, and you are no more than 15 minutes to the heart of downtown. La Jolla Cove offers diving, snorkeling, and kayaking. Serious shoppers will have no problem passing hours on Girard Street.

Del Mar is very well known for its race track and fairgrounds. The thoroughbred season runs during the summer “where the turf meets the surf.” If you get the chance, take in the elite Turf Club here, the finest of its kind on the West Coast.

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