Like so many of San Diego's beach communities, Del Mar started as a tent city for summer beach goers. The name was coined by Ella Loop and her husband Theodore in 1880 and means "by the sea." Development was enhanced when the South Coast Land Co. bought land and built the Stratford Inn as a resort hotel. When the area acquired electricity from the San Diego Gas and Electric Co. in the 1920s, its residential areas began to boom.
The city was incorporated in 1958, and is now home to approximately 6,000 residents. The beaches are still a big attraction, but the city is also home to the San Diego County Fair, an old-fashioned celebration of agriculture, crafts, gardening, rides and cotton candy.
Del Mar business town is a 6-block district stretches along the Camino Del Mar. It is a centralized group of specialty apparel shops, gourmet restaurants and hotels that provide for tourists and residents alike. The community is proud of its village ambience. Residents treasure their privacy and strive to support the low-growth policy that preserves their charming city.
The Del Mar Fairgrounds and Del Mar Racetrack are the biggest attractions of the city, drawing hundreds of people from all over California and the nation. Social activities and cultural events are often hosted on the grounds. Important events held on the grounds include the Annual San Diego County Fair, horse shows, antique car shows and the International Orchid fair. The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's annual race meeting, held every summer, attracts Hollywood celebrity fans and other fans year after year.