Del Mar Thoroughbred Horse Racing is the most iconic annual summer event in San Diego. The thrilling season extends across seven action-packed weeks, from the end of July through the onset of September. This year, Opening Day at Del Mar is on Wednesday, July 20, and our lives will revolve around all things horse racing, high fashion, and elite society until the season comes to a close on Wednesday, September 7.
Everyone knows that the best part of Opening Day festivities are the swanky after parties, featuring all-you-can-drink hosted bars and exclusive celeb-studded guest lists, among many VIP perks. After you try your luck on the track, celebrate in style at these top five Del Mar Opening Day after parties.
Opening Day After Party at Burlap Del Mar
The newest creation from celebrity chef Brian Malarkey, nightlife expert James Brennan, and designer Thomas Schoos, Burlap is a brand new restaurant and bar, located within the recently renovated Del Mar Highlands Town Center. Burlap’s soft opening is on June 20, and this Opening Day After Party is your first opportunity to experience the food, drink, and atmosphere of Burlap. Aside from the fresh allure, this party offers guests an open bar and all-you-can-eat appetizers, paired with entertainment by DJ Vice. Tickets start at $150, and doors open at 6pm. Learn more at burlapeats.com and wanttickets.com.
Opening Day After Party at L’Auberge Del Mar
Year after year, L’Auberge Del Mar continues to host a sizzling hot Opening Day After Party, featuring top entertainment and an exclusive crowd in a picturesque seaside resort setting. L’Auberge is turning up the notch this year, boasting a talent-packed entertainment line-up, with DJ FishFonic, DJ Gabe Vega, DJ Noel 2033 and Chuck Prada, the former percussionist to the Black Eyed Peas. The resort’s acclaimed restaurant KITCHEN 1540 will provide sweet eats and killer cocktails throughout the evening. From the poolside Bleu Bar to the elevated Pacific Terrace, every part of this posh resort will be popping during the Opening Day After Party. Learn more at laubergedelmar.com.
Opulence in Vogue After Party at The Grand Del Mar
The Grand Del Mar is one of the most incredibly luxurious resorts in all of Southern California, and is located east of the track, on the cusp of Rancho Santa Fe. Club M is the resort’s lounge and event space, and will play host to the official Opening Day After Party, Opulence in Vogue. Created by West Coast Club Life, this event will be hosted by reality TV star Lynne Curtin from “The Real Housewives of Orange County” on Bravo, and will feature DJ Kray-Z-K and a runway fashion show. Tickets start at $45 per person, with a portion of proceeds benefiting globalgiving.org. Learn more at westcoastclublife.com.
Opening Day Pre & Post Party at Bar West
Our favorite upscale bar by the beach, Bar West is hosting the second annual Opening Day Pre & Post Party in Pacific Beach, along with promo partners DJhere, Night Access and Sfinx. Head to Bar West bright and early at 10am for $4 morning mimosas and $5 mint juleps, and then hop on the party bus to ride to Del Mar in style. After the races, escape the crowds and head back to Bar West for more food and drink specials, along with beats by DJ Decon and Brett Bodley. Act fast, as there are only a limited number of roundtrip party bus tickets available for purchase. Learn more at facebook.com/barwestsandiego.
LED Wednesday – Opening Day After Party at Guest House
Guest House is the revamped first floor lounge within Stingaree, and is now home to hot Wednesday night parties in San Diego, with a strong emphasis on House music. Through a partnership with LED Presents, the talent team behind Voyeur, new LED Wednesdays feature a rotating roster of femme fatale House DJs and producers. Following Opening Day in Del Mar, head downtown to catch Tatiana Flores spinning live at Guest House. Tatiana was born and raised in Brazil, where her father was a nightclub owner and her brothers were DJs, and now she is one of the top up-and-coming female DJs. Learn more at stingsandiego.com.
More Opening Day after parties will be at Flavor Del Mar, Jimmy O’s Del Mar, and Side Bar San Diego.
Get the full scoop in my 2011 Del Mar Thoroughbred Racing Season Guide.