San Diego County Fair


Location: Del Mar (22 Miles / 20 Minutes North of Downtown San Diego)

Open: June 7th – July 6th (Closed Mondays, Tuesday June 9 & June 16);

Cost: $14 ($8 for Kids ages 6-12 and Seniors 62+). Parking is $10

Features: Top 10 Fair in the Country; Several Dozen Amusement Rides; Concerts with Top National Performers; Competition in a Wide Array of Activities; Carnival Games & Food; 2011 Theme is ‘Race to the Fair’

Rides at the Del Mar FairSan Diego County Fair Highlights: The Fair in Del Mar consistently ranks as one of the top 10 most highly attended fairs in the country. Its beautiful setting and community support allows the San Diego fair to attract the biggest entertainers in the country. The diversity of people and climate zones in San Diego makes for competitive contests in a range of activities from farm animals and gardens to jewelry and photography. Most Out-of-town visitors do not realize that San Diego includes mountain and desert areas allowing for a wide array of flowers and gardens to be presented at our Fair. Many locals  do not realize that San Diego County ranks 2nd in country for the number of farms, which makes one of the mainstays of any fair, the livestock and other farming interests, a quite impressive one in San Diego. Add on top of this the diversity of people attracted to San Diego from South America and the Pacific Rim, and you end up with a fair that represents a wide array of cultural interests. Of course, no fair would be complete without the amusement rides and comfort foods, which the San Diego County Fair provides for in spades.

Best Times To Visit the Fair in San Diego:

  • Each day has its own set of contests and performers. It is best to view the schedule of activities to find the ones that interest you the most and plan on attending on those dates.
  • If you just want to be spontaneous, consider whether you want to head over in the mornings when crowds are smaller or the evenings and weekends when you can enjoy the best people watching and the most popular events.
  • One of the busiest days of the Fair is when you can obtain discount tickets at Albertsons Grocery Stores. If you want to avoid very long back-ups on the highway to access the Fair, avoid Wednesday, June 11

Crowds at the Del Mar FairWhat to Expect

  • The terrain is flat but you will still want to wear good walking shoes. For those with disabilities, check the Patrons with Disabilities Page for more information.
  • Attractions – You can expect plenty of amusement rides, games, animal shows, flower exhibits, musical performances, and more.
  • Contests – Contests and Competition are a big part of the San Diego County Fair. You’ll find quite a range of friendly contests from student speeches or dance performances to adult brew making or violin woodworking. One of the more popular competitions is the Flower and Garden Show with categories for professionals, amateurs and students. Check out all of the contests to find the ones that will make you want to go to the Fair.
  • Concerts & Entertainment – The San Diego County Fair’s close proximity to Los Angeles and beautiful setting attracts many of the nations top performers to Del Mar.
  • Don’t bring pets or sharp objects but you can bring food and coolers. Read all of the details on what you can and can’t bring to the San Diego County Fair.

Map of the Fairgrounds – If you like to plan things in advance, you can print a map, which lays out the attractions of the San Diego County Fair. The place is huge with both indoor and outdoor areas so it may behoove you to get a feel for what to expect.

Admission Prices: (Costs are Approximate)

  • Parking is $10 unless you go to a designated park & ride location. See more details below.
  • Standard Fee is $14; $8 for Kids ages 6-12 and Seniors ages 62 and up. (Kids 6-12 can go free on Tuesdays)
  • Active Duty Military Personnel are offered discounts.
  • Additional discounts can be found in local papers and retail outlets, including Albertons Grocery Stores.
  • Tickets for rides and carnival games are purchased separately.

Hours – Generally Open 11AM – 10PM (10AM – 11PM Weekends). The fair is closed on Mondays, Tuesday June 10, and Tuesday June 16.

Directions from Google Maps to 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard in Del Mar, CA 92014

Traffic – The San Diego County Fair averages nearly 60,000 guests a day. The Del Mar Fairgrounds are immediately off of Exit 36 (Via de la Valle) on the I-5 Freeway. Traffic will be very slow in the evenings and weekends approaching this exit from both directions. The traffic on surface streets in the area will also be very slow. Plan for a lot of extra time, especially if you plan on attending a popular concert. (Learn more about getting San Diego traffic updates.)

Transit – Extra transit and shuttles are arranged to accommodate the San Diego County Fair crowds, including transfer from the Solana Beach Train Station.

Parking – Parking costs about $10 for cars and motorcycles and can range up to $15 for RVs (no motor homes). The lots surrounding the Del Mar Fairgrounds are very large so a free tram circulates through the parking lots to take you to the entrance. Be sure to plan extra time if you want to attend a specific event at the Fair. You can also pay extra for preferred parking. If you want free parking, there are designated lots, one as close as a mile away, where you can catch a free shuttle to the Fair.

Find More Attractions with Similar Themes or Location: *Top San Diego Attractions*, Amusement Parks, Antiques, Cultural Gifts, Flower Gardens, Gems / Jewelry, Horse Carriages, Riding & Racing, Kids Attractions & Activities, Music Venues, North County Coastal, Nostalgia & Western Frontier |

Help others find things to do and see! Share your ideas.

Connect with Facebook

Or, fill in the form below:

  • Join our great San Diego Tours or Create Your Own Adventure!

    "Having trouble dreaming up the perfect trip...TourGuideTim has you covered...use his comprehensive website to design your own adventure." - Los Angeles Times
  • Translate Travel Guide

  • Search for San Diego Attractions

  • Follow-us to Explore San Diego

    TourGuideTim on Facebook     TourGuideTim on Google+ TourGuideTim on Twitter TourGuideTim on Pinterest TourGuideTim on YouTube