It seems like every year, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s race season gets more and more popular. People from all over the country visit Del Mar to experience the excitement and festivity. With celebrities making appearances and the who’s who of Southern California mingling about, it’s not just an opportunity to bet on the ponies. […]
It seems like every year, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s race season gets more and more popular. People from all over the country visit Del Mar to experience the excitement and festivity. With celebrities making appearances and the who’s who of Southern California mingling about, it’s not just an opportunity to bet on the ponies. If done right, Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetrack can be one of the most glamorous events of the year. Here’s everything you need to know about making this year’s Opening Day a day to remember:
1. Dress to Impress
Getting glammed up for Opening Day at the races should really start with your hat or fascinator. It’s become a longstanding tradition to make sure your race outfit is complete—literally from head to toe—and that tradition actually has ties to royalty. Modern races and derbies were modeled after the horseraces in Europe, which required formal dress. When the sport came to America, the elite and wealthy used hats to flaunt their status.
Today, the races aren’t just for the upper class but donning a statement hat is still a must. The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is known to have contests to celebrate the extravagant and audacious hats, so it’s the perfect opportunity to let your fashion sense and personality shine through. If you don’t already have a headpiece, visit the Del Mar Hat Company at the Del Mar Plaza to pick up something truly unique. The shop has a stunning collection of fascinators, headbands, and Derby hats, as well as the opportunity to purchase a custom-made Carol Bader design.
With your hat chosen, you can start planning the rest of your outfit. Del Mar’s racetrack dress code can be described as “California chic,” or a cool blend of casual sophistication. The Turf Club, however, requires a little more formality than the rest of the stands. Men must wear a dress shirt or sport jacket at all times; denim, athletic shoes, shorts, and t-shirts are not permitted. Women are required to be in suits, daytime dresses, or sundresses; denim, sneakers, and shorts are not allowed.
If you’re stuck on how to put together the perfect outfit, there are several shops at the Plaza that can point you in the right direction.
- Garys Studio has a selection of stylish and sophisticated suits for men. Far from boring, their collection includes bold colors and unique patterns.
- Visit Coco Rose for a breezy selection of tunics, rompers, and sundresses with a bohemian flair. While the apparel is mostly causal, any item can be dressed up with the right hat or accessories.
- Peaches En Regalia is a little boutique with lots of high-end pieces to choose from. Selling both men and women’s fashion, you can get a smart button-down for him and matching sundress for her all in one place.
- Banana Republic also has apparel for both men and women that will easily fit the racetrack dress code.
2. Primp & Pamper
With an outfit chosen, it comes down to the details—your hair and nails.
Holding up a Champagne glass and your betting tickets make for some of the best photo opportunities while on the track, so make sure your nails are clean or your color is fresh. Del Mar Nails & Spa caters to both men and women, and will help you to feel both relaxed and polished before you head to the track.
Of course, you also want to make sure your hair sits well with your hat, or that your cut is fresh and clean. Whether you need help securing your fascinator, want the perfect curl, or need a color touch up, Haim, Ltd. Salon can help you out.
3. Indulge & Imbibe
While the Thoroughbred Club has its share of libations and bites, it doesn’t hurt to have a little bubbly with brunch before you make your way over to the racetrack. Pacifica Breeze Café opens early so you can sip on a Bloody Mary, mimosas, or a breakfast beer while enjoying a meal on the sun-filled patio.
No matter how many times you’ve been to the Del Mar Races, Opening Day always gives you the opportunity to make a trip to the track a special event. From contest-winning hats to salons that’ll get you a picture-perfect look, the Del Mar Plaza has everything you need to make your day at the races truly memorable.
Summer is here and in Del Mar, that means one thing. Sure, the ocean water is warmer and the days are longer, but in our city, summer is all about the Summer Twilight Concert Series. For a few days out of the year, locals and visitors flock to Powerhouse Park to listen to live music […]
Summer is here and in Del Mar, that means one thing. Sure, the ocean water is warmer and the days are longer, but in our city, summer is all about the Summer Twilight Concert Series. For a few days out of the year, locals and visitors flock to Powerhouse Park to listen to live music while enjoying the warm summer evenings and views of the Pacific.
The first Twilight Series concert took place in 1983, and since then it’s been a highlight event of the summer season. All concerts are free and open to the public. With the shows kicking off in the evening, the concert series gives you the perfect opportunity to relax, dance, and relish a picturesque sunset.
Before you make any summer plans, make sure you mark your calendar for these upcoming performances. Opening acts will hit the stage one hour prior to the night’s headliner.
- Tuesday, June 20 at 7:00 p.m.: Blue Eyed Soul Band
- Tuesday, July 11 at 7:00 p.m.: DSB – The Next Best Thing To Journey
- Tuesday, August 8, 7:00 p.m.: The Ultimate Stones
- Tuesday, August 22, 7:00 p.m.: The Mighty Untouchables
- Sunday, September 10, 5:00 p.m.: Sensation Show Band
Del Mar Plaza is a proud sponsor of the Twilight Concert Series, and we invite you to celebrate, drink, and dine pre- or post-show at one of our many fabulous restaurants. Shimbashi Izakaya, Del Mar Rendezvous, Pacifica Del Mar, and Il Fornaio will be selling Gourmet Beach Boxes before the each concert of the series. You can pre-order your box online. The night of the concert, you can park at Del Mar Plaza (for free!), pick up your gourmet beach box, and then walk over to Powerhouse Park to enjoy the show. You can choose from several prix fixe menu options, and boxes contain all the utensils and dishes you need to have a proper picnic. Prices start at just $12.95 per box.
Of course, if you prefer to take a seat and dine in or create your own take-out option, the Plaza’s restaurants have a flavor to satisfy any bit you’re craving.
- The award-winning Del Mar Rendezvous has a wide variety of Chinese dishes that will please any type of palate. Vegetarians, vegans, and those who follow a gluten-free diet will be happy to know the restaurant offers dishes to fit their needs. And if you visit between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., you can enjoy Rendezvous’ “Happy Buddha Hour,” when all dim sum is half off (with the purchase of two dinner entrees) and your second glass of wine or draft beer is just $.88.
- If you’re trying to make the Twilight Concert a romantic date night, start your evening at either Il Fornaio Del Mar or Enoteca del Fornaio. Both authentic Italian restaurant have amazing wine selections, cocktails, and beloved dishes like Pennoni alla Vodka, Linguine Mare Chiaro, and Filetto di Bue. Don’t forget to finish your meal with something dolci, like Tiramisu, Cannoli Siciliani, or Gelato.
- At Pacifica Del Mar, you can enjoy a romantic, two-course Sunset Dinner before the concert starts. Served until 6:00 p.m., you can choose a starter and main-course dishes like Macadamia Crusted Mahi Mahi, Bucatini Pasta, and Turmeric Marinated Free-Range Chicken. For some time a little more casual, grab a seat at the bar during Happy Hour (from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.) and nosh on the restaurant’s small bites for half the price.
- Shimbashi Izakaya offers traditional Japanese food in a unique Izakaya, or “pub,” setting. Happy Hour is from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., which leaves plenty of time to have a couple glasses of sake, a few cocktails, or sushi rolls before the concert begins. Dinner entrees, sashimi, and sushi rolls can be taken to go as well, if you’re short on time or want to eat at the park instead.
- If you have no time to sit and dine, Smashburger is a casual favorite with fast burgers, salads, fries, and other sides that can be ordered and taken to go. There’s also a kids menu for mini concert goers to appreciate.
Whether you make it out to every show or have your eye on a particular performance, make sure you make your way to park for the Twilight Concert Series. And don’t forget to make one of our restaurants part of your evening with a bite or drink before the show. Visit the Del Mar Plaza online for more information on our dining options and our upcoming Seaside Sessions live music series.