Horses, hats and hot locals in hot heat – the iconic Del Mar Thoroughbred Horse Racing season returns to San Diego, an annual display of extravagance and rush of summer thrills. This year, Opening Day falls on Wednesday, July 17 and continues to impress where the turf meets the surf until September 4.
It’s the exclusive after parties that lend to Opening Day’s luster, where high fashion and local trend-setters reign with VIP glamour among themed eats and drinks. Once you’ve made your grand appearance at the racetrack, head on over to one of these top Opening Day after parties to continue the stylish celebrations.
L’Auberge: Del Mar’s gem by the sea celebrates Opening Day with spectacular flair. Each year, the after party ups the elegance with top entertainment and an exclusive crowd mingling in the seaside resort setting. Sport your finest racetrack hats and indulge in culinary treats from the team at Kitchen 1540, plus enjoy beats from DJ Gabe Vega and DJ FishFonics.
5 p.m. to 11 p.m. $100 per person; $150 at the door. L’Auberge Del Mar, 1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar. laubergedelmar.com
Hotel Indigo: Fortune 421 and Locale Magazine present an Opening Day after party breathing fresh allure through the coastal-chic hotel. Headlining the party will be DJ Gigamesh, known widely for producing Mike Posner’s multiplatinum track “Cooler Than Me.” He’ll be joined by the local talents of Adam Salter, Brady Spear and Dancellor. Celebrate less than two miles from the track with stunning ocean views.
5 p.m. $40+. Hotel Indigo, 710 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar. wantickets.com
Firehouse: The pre- and post-party at Firehouse brings Pacific Beach locals just a few trots closer to the racetracks. Hot party people can score $16 bottles of bubbly, $5 Skyy drinks or $150 bottles of vodka, plus 25% off all food. Your transportation to and from the tracks will be taken care of via party bus that comes equipped with drinks and bathrooms.
10 a.m. Buses leave at 12:30 p.m., return 30 minutes after the last race. $45+. Firehouse American Eatery & Lounge, 722 Grand Ave., Pacific Beach. djheretickets.com
Rancho Valencia: Riviera Magazine is hosting a mid-summer soiree at the awe-inspiring resort. Your ticket to the party will include cocktails, cuisine, live entertainment and complimentary valet parking. A most dapper dress code with be enforced.
5 p.m. to 8 p.m. $150 in advance; $200 at the door. Rancho Valencia, 5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe. modernluxury.com
Insider Tip: The new Searsucker Del Mar will open doors on Opening Day, replacing what was Burlap. They’ll be serving a dinner starting at 4:30 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 858.369.5700 for the $65 menu.