Inn at Moonlight Beach

San Diego's Pacific Coast Bed & Breakfast Inn

Dolphins at sunset on Moonlight Beach

The Del Mar Race Track - Horse Racing at Its Finest

San Diego's Pacific Coast Bed and Breakfast Inn is just 5 miles up the coast from the Del Mar Race Track and Horse Races on historic Coast Highway 101. After a day of horse racing, a delightful drive along the Pacific Ocean takes horse racing fans to their home away from home at the romantic Inn At Moonlight Beach.

Guests love the ocean-view suites, the free warm-from-the-oven, home-made pastries and the free fresh-brewed Starbucks coffee every morning The Inn At Moonlight Beach is situated on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the quiet "lost in time" beach community of Encinitas. Horse racing fans and patrons of the race track and horse races have been staying at the Inn for more than a few years.

Inn at Moonlight Beach receives excellent ratings from as having the finest Del Mar Bed and Breakfast accommodations in nearby Encinitas - far quieter and more intimate any Del Mar hotel.

Del Mar Race Track fans enjoy staying at the Inn At Moonlight Beach just 7 miles up the Old Coast Highway

Del Mar Horse Racing Race Track History

Bing Crosby on opening day, 1937

(Del Mar Race Track) In the photo on the left, Bing Crosby (the mastermind) collects the first ticket from the first customer to enter the fairgrounds on horse racing's opening day in 1937. Since then, the racetrack has become one of the world's most famous tracks. The grounds that surround the race track itself is the home of the Del Mar Fair. The fair is held in June and July, before the horse racing season begins. From mid June through mid September there is quite a bit going on at the fair grounds and horse race track.

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Jimmy Durante at the Del Mar Race Track Bing on horseback at Del Mar

The History of Del Mar Racing

In 1937, world-famous singer, recording artist and movie star Bing Crosby (along with some of his Hollywood pals like Jimmy Durante and Pat O'Brien) set out to achieve a horse racing dream they had talked about for many years. They wanted to build a world-class horse race track where they could go wild horse betting all day and get even wilder partying all night while enjoying the refreshing climate and cool ocean breezes of San Diego. They chose the little village of Del Mar and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club was born and built.

When Del Mar opened in 1937, Bing Crosby himself was at the gate to personally greet the fans. The seaside city of Del Mar, just north of San Diego, soon became famous as the home of the Del Mar Racetrack, visited by spectators, horsemen and horse racing fans from all across America.

In August of 1938, the track hosted a $25,000 winner-take-all match race between Charles S. Howard's Seabiscuit and Ligaroti. This was an era when horse racing ranked second in popularity only to Major League Baseball. The race was front page sports section news in all the major newspapers was the first nationwide broadcast of a thoroughbred horse race by NBC radio. Seabiscuit won this important race by a nose before a record crowd and the Del Mar Race Track was "on the map" as one of the most famous race tracks in the world.

In the years between 1938 and 1941, Del Mar entertained recording stars and Hollywood luminaries the likes of Douglas Fairbanks, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Dorothy Lamour, Ava Gardner and Don Ameche. Joe Frisco, a comedian of the day would crack his Del Mar racetrack one-liners, most of which played on his reputation as an inveterate loser: "I went to the racetrack today but it was closed, so I just shoved the money under the door."

From 1942 to 1944, Del Mar was shut down when the U.S. plunged into World War II. In the early war years it was a training base for the U.S. Marine Corps, then used as a manufacturing site for B-17 bombers. After the surrender of Japan in 1945, President Harry Truman declared August 15 a national holiday and 20,324 patrons attended Del Mar to bet whopping $958,476, a Del Mar record.

In 1946 the Santa Fe Railroad began offering a race track special to bring spectators, bettors and horses to Del Mar from Los Angeles. Greeting the train (the "racetrack special") at the train station became a popular tradition for Del Mar residents. Today, in 2009, more than seventy years (and sixty million dollars in improvements) later, the 2009 racing season begins on July 22 and extends through September 9.

Del Mar Race Track Attracted The Biggest Names

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Lucy and Desi check the race results Red Skelton demonstrates how he lost his shirt

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Mickey Rooney often flew his plane to Del Mar Jack Dempsey at Del Mar Race Track

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The Del Mar Fair

The Del Mar Fair is a county fair held every summer at the Fairgrounds in Del Mar, California, just five miles south of the Inn at Moonlight Beach via the historic Coast Highway 101. The fair follows the Horse Races at the race track and runs from mid-June through early July each year, drawing more than a million visitors each year.

The fair began in 1880 as an agricultural fair. The location moved from place to place for several years until finally settling on the fairgrounds in 1936. In 1954, the fair's name changed to the Southern California Exposition and San Diego County Fair. In 1970, this was shortened to the Southern California Exposition. The fair was again renamed in 1984 to the Del Mar Fair, which lasted until 2002, when the original name "The San Diego Fair" was reinstated, although we locals still call it the "Del Mar Fair".

From the horse races, Del Mar Beach Hotels and the famous celebrities coming to the race track and the fair, the fairgrounds have seen a lot of history.

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Inn at Moonlight Beach

105 N. Vulcan Ave, Encinitas, California 92024

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