By Greg Aragon
There is a spot in Del Mar, where an old train bridge meets the beach and crosses over rocky cliffs and a dusty trail lined with flowers and coastal vegetation. This is a spot any photographer would cherish. I discovered this magical vista on a recent spring getaway to the seaside paradise, which located along San Diego’s north coast.
My adventure began when a friend and I pulled into Hotel Indigo Del Mar, a luxurious boutique resort set on the beach. Here we checked into a beautiful ocean-front suite with a hip, studio beach apartment vibe. Like the entire property, the room featured contemporary decor with hardwood floors, beach themed murals on the walls, California-inspired art and granite counters.
The room came with a king bed, sleeper sofa, large flat-screen TV, free wireless Internet, comfortable bathroom, and a kitchen area with microwave, mini-fridge, sink and stove, and a granite bar. The suite also boasted a large surfing mural on the living room wall, and a balcony with a table and chairs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the hotel pool.
The ocean was so alluring that once unpacked we drove about a mile and parked along the side of the road and walked to Del Mar Beach, which Time Magazine ranked as one of the “100 Greatest Beaches in the World.” To get to the water, we followed a dirt trail bounded by rocky cliffs overlooking the ocean.
As we followed the path down to the water, we past a giant wooden eagle sculpture carved into a tree. The bird was looking out over the cliffs of Del Mar and the Pacific Ocean. Continuing on we came to North Torrey Pines Bridge, a majestic concrete structure stretching over the rustic trail, against a backdrop of rolling hills and lush canyons, beach and ocean. The structure, originally built in 1933, recently underwent a massive, multi-million retrofit to meet current seismic standards.
This spot where the bridge dissects the landscape and ocean is beautiful, but if the sky is right, and you wait for an Amtrak train to pass under the bridge, you can get a picture to truly remember.
After admiring the bridge scene, we made our way to the beach, laid out our blanket and relaxed for a couple hours, napping and playing in the water. For dinner we hit the hotel’s signature restaurant, the Ocean View Bar and Grill. Here, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset meal on the outdoor terrace. We began with lightly breaded crab cakes with avocado and chipotle aioli and couple glasses of smooth and elegant Oberon Oregon Merlot wine with hints of black cherry.
For the main course I went with the exciting and tasty fisherman’s pasta, with shrimp, calamari, local fish and penne pasta tossed in butter wine sauce with spinach, roasted peppers and caramelized onions. My friend with super tender braised short ribs in a succulent cabernet sauvignon demi-sauce on top of mashed cauliflower and fingerling potatoes. We concluded dinner with New York cheesecake with seasonal berries and a memorable sunset falling in the ocean right in front of the hotel.
Spring is a great time to visit Del Mar. Not only is the weather perfect, but there are also lots of fun things to see and do. And since its before summer, the beaches are not overly crowded and there is plenty of room on the sand.
For more information on visiting Del Mar and the Del Mar Taste and Artisan Stroll, visit: www.dreamdelmar.com.