Del Mar means ‘by the sea’, and the origin of the name can be traced back to Ella Loop who had previously given the name to the tent city on the beach that she and her husband, Theodore, established in the early 1880s.
Theodore Loop was a contractor and engineer for the California Southern Railroad that began passing through the Del Mar area in 1882.
The town began to grow when Theodore joined up with Jacob Taylor, and the two began selling 50×140 foot lots in the midst of a land boom.
Howard and Lyons, a development firm, began developing area to the east and south of Del Mar, but were unsuccessful when the land boom ended in the late 1880’s.
The growth of the city stalled until the South Coast Land Company bought the vacant land and built a resort with the Stratford Inn being the centerpiece.
Over the years, Del Mar grew and finally received electricity from San Diego Gas and Electric in the late 1920s. It was at this time that Del Mar started developing its residential areas.
It wasn’t until 1958 that Del Mar residents began to debate whether the area should stay as a county of San Diego, become part of the City of San Diego, or attempt independence through incorporation. In 1959, residents chose incorporation and established a five-member City Council.
Today, the City of Del Mar is two square miles of coastal land with a population of about 5000.
The main attraction of visitors is still the beach and sunny weather. Of course, the annual Del Mar Fair and the well-known Del Mar Racetrack bring in people from the surrounding area and beyond.
Del Mar is very dog-friendly and if you travel with your dog check out the Del Mar Dog Beach, see also map below.