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Photo Video West, Del Mar, California

Railway, Highway, Byway, and Airway Travel Photo Destinations© by Carl Morrison

Photo Video West

The Largest Educational Photo & Video Show on the West Coast

Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. Del Mar, California 92014

Del Mar - Another Southern California Rail Destination Report, by

My recommendations are only for places where I personally have stayed, eaten, ridden, or a function I have attended.  Feel free to look on the Internet for Reviews before you commit.

All Photos and Text by Carl Morrison, April 27-28, 2013

Table of Contents

  1. How to Get There by Rail
  2. Photo Video West
  3. Del Mar Travel Photo Highlights
  4. Where to Stay
  5. Where to Eat
  6. Links

How to Get There by Rail

Del Mar, California, can be reached by either Amtrak Surfliner or Coaster trains or Breeze Bus Route 101.  The closest train Station is Solana Beach, California where all three aforementioned modes of transportation stop.


Solana Beach Train Station with arriving Coaster Train. 

To catch Coaster Bus No. 101 southbound to either the Fairgrounds or Downtown Del Mar, take the elevator up to street level.  At the station you can go to the front  and catch a cab to the Fairgrounds.  Another option, involving walking along the river and across the RR tracks to the Fairgrounds is to use the pedestrian walkway at the train station to cross over the tracks to Coast Highway/Hwy. 101.  At the stop light, cross the street to be on the west side and look for a Bus Stop.   Take Bus 101 south to the first stop across the river.


Coaster and Del Mar Fairgrounds from Hwy. 101 after getting off Bus 101.

After getting off the southbound Bus 101, you will see a walking trail along the south side of the river.  This is the view of the Del Mar Fairgrounds and the trestle crossing the river.  Walk along the river, across the tracks, to the river bridge that leads you directly to your left into the Fairgrounds.


Amtrak Surfliner on the river bridge between Hwy. 101 and Del Mar Fairgrounds.  Photo taken from the walking trail.

The City of Del Mar is planning to replace this 96-year old bridge and to put a platform for train riders to enter/leave the Fairgrounds.  However, I would not wait for this to happen by the time you plan to go to Del Mar for an event at the Fairgrounds.  Currently, you can walk from the bus stop on Hwy. 101, along the river, or take a cab from the Solano Train Station. 


The trail as it crosses the railroad...not an accessible trail or accessible for crossing of the railroad.


View from along the walking trail, looking west to the Solana Beach Bluffs and the RR bridge.


Nearing the Fairgrounds, once you reach the San Dieguito River Bridge, cross it and you are at the Fairgrounds entrance.


The first building inside the Fairgrounds on your left is the O'Brien Building where Photo Video West is located.

Photo Video West

Held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. Del Mar, California 92014, Photo Video West, formerly Photo Expo West, was a two-day event that featured over 30 seminars lead by 22 world famous photographers.  The Admission price to over 60 exhibitor booths and the seminars was only $15 for one day or $25 for a two day pass with a $10 discount available from camera stores and clubs.

Attendees could have their Portfolio critiqued by trained professionals.  Each review session lasted 15 minutes and you could select one of 6 reviewers.  Portfolio Reviews cost $59 and included a one-day pass.

About 4,500 people attended the 2-day expo.  Part of the proceeds went to the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park (  Look for the show to return in April or September of 2014.

Stephen Burns of in Mission Valley helped set up the Expo.




Bill Thomas, Riverside Photography, giving a Portfolio Review.  The lady said afterwards that it was wonderful and a great bargain for the advice she received.

There were four curtained theaters in the same building as the exhibitor booths.  Unfortunately, the speakers' voices overflowed into the adjacent theater so it was difficult to hear the speaker in one's own theater. I chose to attend the following Seminars.  Notes from those Seminars are at my Facebook Page:  Look for entries on April 27, 28, and 29, 2013.

"Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Workflow" by Jack Davis (I arrived 15 minutes before the presentation and the program had already started and the theater was closed, even to standing room only.  So I went to a session I had no interest in:)

"How to Start in the World of Stock Photography" by Jay P. Morgan

"Using HDR Photography to Expand Your Capture Potential" by David King

"Shoot from The Hip:  When All You've Got is a Cell Phone" by John Toma

"Faces and Places from Around the World" by Nadia Salameh

"Multi Shot Mahem:  HDR, Panorama and Time-Lapse" by Colin Smith

"Transform Your Snapshots Into Photographs" by Mantell

The Sessions I attended were excellent.  Again, you can find notes on each of these Seminars at

Del Mar Travel Photo Highlights

There is plenty to do in Del Mar, beyond the Fairgrounds and its many year-round events.  Del Mar is a beach town of about 4,000 people in North San Diego County, California.  You might first think of a Pacific Ocean beach walk, or going swimming, surfing, or sun bathing.  From 15th Street, where there is beach parking and Seagrove Park, you can reach the beach.  You can walk south either down the bluffs along the railroad property, which is actually trespassing, or east of the tracks along a walkway, or walk north toward the river either on the beach or along streets and alleys, both with beautiful homes facing them.

Walking South of Del Mar's Downtown


Walking south along the Del Mar Bluffs, is quite a few feet above the beach, but you will see some surfers navigating down the steep bluff.


Beware, some places you must walk very close to the tracks and there are many trains.  Their speed limit is 80 southbound or 90 northbound.



East of the tracks, there is a walkway that is much safer to follow.


The walkway on the east side of the tracks.


On the beach, it is much safer, but except for bluff or surf shots, you might have to look for unique photos.  I tell my students to study local photographers to find new photo angles.  That is how I found this 5 ft. tall drain to the beach.  After entering the dripping, slippery tunnel, I was lucky a bike rider came by at just the right time to add interest to the photo.

North on Del Mar Beach from 15th Street

One thing you will notice as you cross the only railroad crossing in town is the new Wayside Horn.  The trains do not blow their horns for the crossing, the horn is automated  and located on top of the signal tower.


Walking north of Downtown, the bluff height is much more manageable to reach the sand.


The Powerhouse Community Center has restrooms, drinking fountain, shower for washing off sand, and scheduled events.


New Lifeguard Tower


The San Dieguito River is the farthest north you can walk on the Del Mar Beach.  The Solana Beach Bluffs lie north of the river.


Walking back south from the river toward downtown, you can take the alley and find impressive homes.



The Lifeguard Tower, which also has public restrooms, has this pelican mural and quotation on the alley side.


On the street-side of the Powerhouse Community Center is this large map of Del Mar's Downtown.

Where to Stay In Del Mar, California


Wave Crest Resort as it looks from the public walkway along the railroad south of Seagrove Park.
1400 Ocean Ave  Del Mar, CA 92014  (858) 755-0100
  Vacation Rentals available.



If you love trains, you will like the fact that the trains are halfway down the bluff to the beach, but the Wayside Horn across the park from the resort is the only place the horns can be heard.


Expedia lists 5 other hotels in Del Mar and more in Solana Beach and LaJolla.

Where to Eat


The Fish Market at 640 Via De La Valle, Solana Beach, CA  (858) 755-2277 is on the north side of Del Mar Fairgrounds and Track, and has a Solana Beach Address, but is a short drive from downtown.

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