With a name that means “by the sea”, Del Mar is a beach city on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, in San Diego County, California. It is home to a population of no more than 5000 people but it has been around for over two centuries.
As its history says, Del Mar was founded by a New Yorker by the name of Theodore Loop and Jacob Shell Taylor from New Mexico. Loop came to California to build a railroad that would unite San Diego and Los Angeles and laid his tracks right in the middle of what is now Del Mar. The businessman thought he had found the most beautiful place on the entire Pacific coast.
The New Yorker met Jacob Shell Taylor, a successful rancher, that very year and both were equally astounded by the beauty of the area. They saw a development opportunity there and, as a result, Taylor bought almost 340 acres of land in the summer of 1885. Theodore Taylorâs wife named the town âDel Marâ after a poem.
The new resort town started off with a water system, 40 small houses, a Victorian schoolhouse two stories high, a train depot and an observation tower. In just a year, Jacob Shell Taylor built the âCasa Del Marâ resort, a dance pavilion and a large swimming pool and the little town quickly became a popular vacation destination. But in 1889 the hotel burned down to the ground and was never fully rebuilt.
During the 20s and 30s Del Mar was once again a tourist attraction due to new developers and kept on growing. Soon, the San Diego Fair moved its location there and a racing track was built. It attracted many Hollywood stars as well as regular tourists.
Incorporated as a city in 1959, Del Mar grew family after family. To this day it focuses on slow growth and preservation of open spaces, which means that no high-rise apartment buildings there. It remains one of the most beautiful places to live and visit in the entire country.