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 18 and continues to impress where the turf meets the surf until September 7.
It’s the exclusive after parties that lend to Opening Day’s luster, where high fashion and posh people 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 Del Mar Opening Day after parties to continue the stylish celebrations.
Flavor Del Mar: Del Mar’s gem by the sea celebrates Opening Day with spectacular flair. This year, head to Flavor for double the after party. The Photo Finish event rolls out the red carpet with dancing, drinks and a photographer capturing every moment in the restaurant. Experience the luxury of live jazz from 3-7pm, followed by DJs bringing home the beats from 7pm-1am. The Photo Finish party has a $20 cover from 3-5pm and $30 cover after 5pm. If you’re looking for a more private affair, Sip Wine Bar will host their Dark Horse Soiree set in the swanky lounge. Guests can hideaway from the masses and enjoy 50+ wines by the glass, craft cocktails and a full bar menu with no cover charge until 1am. For more information, visit flavordelmar.com.
Burlap: Just a year ago, Burlap opened doors for the first time on Opening Day. Now, with 365 days under their belt, they’re going bigger and better with the Opening Day After Party from 5:30pm to close. Filled with swanky hats, gorgeous locals and ample food and drink from celebrity-chef Brian Malarkey, Burlap will bring fresh allure through the incredible space. Mix and mingle on the wrap-around patio with koi ponds and fire pits as DJ Decon starts the night off, followed by DJ Cobra spinning the main set for the evening. Opening Day admission starts at $20 and tickets can be purchased at wantickets.com. Insider Tip: Purchase an all-inclusive track package from Burlap for the perfect Sunday in Del Mar. A ticket includes a Turf Club Pass, transportation to and from the track, brunch and bottomless mimosas all for $80. Purchase your track package at wantickets.com
Prepare Yourself: Check out pictures from last year’s Burlap Opening Day After Party
L’Auberge: Each year, the Opening Day After Party at L’Auberge Del Mar ups the elegance with top entertainment and an exclusive crowd mingling in the seaside resort setting. Sport your finest party hats and live lavishly with culinary treats from Executive Chef Scott Thomas Dolbee of Kitchen 1540, fabulous and fun music by DJ Gabe Vega and spectacular ocean views. From 5-11pm, guests can celebrate and toast on L’Auberge’s Pacific, Sunset and Ocean Terraces. Tickets are priced at $100 per person and guests must be 21 years or older. For more information and tickets, visit laubergedelmar.com.
Firehouse: The pre- and post-party at Firehouse brings the racetracks to Pacific Beach. This stylish Opening Day Soiree just steps away from the sand will feature San Diego’s hot party-people reveling in the glitz and glam that encompass Opening Day. At Firehouse, score $15 bottles of champagne, $5 Skyy drinks or $150 bottles of vodka, plus 20% off all food. And your transportation to and from the tracks will be taken care of, via party bus that comes equipped with drinks and bathrooms. The pre-party starts at 10am; Buses leave for the tracks at 1pm sharp and return 30 minutes after the last race. Pre-sale Opening Day Packages start at $40. For more information and tickets, visit djheretickets.com
Hilton Del Mar: Put your party pants on as you head to the Hilton Del Mar for an Opening Day after party bash. SFiNX Productions and Voyeur proudly present this all-out rage featuring DJ Vice, DJ Sid Vicious and a surprise DJ set. Just a quick 5 minute walk from the track, the hotel’s ballroom will be transformed into a nightclub complete with custom VIP areas, over 10 bars and a large outdoor patio to accommodate every guest’s need. $5 bus transportation will be available back to Pacific Beach or downtown. A limited number of early bird tickets are available at wantickets.com.
Insider Tip: Get your party started early at Jimmy O’s, kicking off with a Pre-Opening Day Party on Tuesday, July 17 at 7pm. Giddy up with the Downtown Dolls and Club VIP for this exclusive Pre-Opening Day Party filled with dancing, mingling and taco and drink specials. Come care-free —this party has no cover charge and encourages race-inspired attire. For more information, visit ticketderby.com
Stay tuned for more Opening Day parties added daily…
Discover more San Diego entertainment ideas and follow our San Diego lifestyle blog for tips and trends