La Jolla California Things To Do

A sparkling jewel of San Diego, the La Jolla area is a picture perfect post card with several beaches along more than seven miles of coast against an array of rolling hills known as Mount Soledad.

La Jolla is home to an endless variety of attractions to experience and explore. Like spectacular beaches, art and cultural venues, adventure tours, and world-class shopping. And within a short drive, you’ll discover other attractions throughout the Greater San Diego area.

The vacation showpiece of La Jolla, California. A picture postcard kind of beauty that is San Diego’s most upscale beach town with elegant homes, lush real estate, exquisite resorts, luxury hotels, economy hotels, and intimate bed and breakfast lodging. La Jolla Village is the gateway entrance to the most popular beaches that adorn the San Diego coastline.

Being a part of San Diego, La Jolla is only 15 minutes from the downtown district. Along with beautiful scenery, the area also offers many fine restaurants, art galleries, hotels and resorts, and many other attractions such as the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

La Jolla beaches

The shoreline of La Jolla consists of rocky headlands seperated by pristine coves and sandy beaches. All along the beach, you can find an assortment of different hotels and resorts, designed to make your stay a pleasurable one.

La Jolla beaches are the main attractions. From sunbathing to swimming, surfing, ocean recreation, and even scuba diving within the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve. And for those that enjoy moonlight strolls and romantic sunsets, there are no more spectacular views than what you’ll find in La Jolla, California.

Just choose your style of water recreation and relaxation. Swimming, surfing, bodysurfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, picnicking, sunbathing, or just people watching. Watch seals and sea lions and kayak to the caves along the beach coves. Be sure to come early to avoid the crowds. Stay late to enjoy the solitude of moonlit skies.

The cove in La Jolla is very beautiful, although one of the smaller beaches in San Diego. On either side of the cove, there are sandstone cliffs. This helps to add an isolated feel to the cove.

Traveling along the La Jolla shoreline, you’ll find the tide pools. These pools are great to look at, although you shouldn’t touch them. You should visit during low tide and be sure to wear rubber soled shoes, as it can get quite slippery.

North Pacific Beach

The North Pacific Beach extends to La Jolla, traveling from the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach. If you travel north of this area, you’ll find yourself on the beaches of La Jolla.

Windandsea Beach

By going to the south end of the La Jolla shoreline, you’ll find Windandsea Beach. Windandsea Beach has long had a reputation for being a surfer’s paradise, although the steep beaches and rocky cliffs can be very dangerous if you aren’t aware of them.

Shores Beach

Throughout La Jolla, the Shores Beach is the widest and longest beach. If you look off to the distance on the beach, you can see the Scripps Pier. Also on the beach, there are novice scuba classes held throughout the summer months.

Birch Aquarium

The Birch Aquarium is also a part of La Jolla, giving you the chance to enter the exciting world of sharks, living coral reefs, and many other undersea exhibits. This aquarium showcases the mysteries of the ocean and what actually lives there.

The Birch Aquarium is where the wonders of the ocean come alive for all ages to experience up close. The aquarium is the Interpretive Center for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla. Consider these interactive adventures into the mysteries of ocean life. Like seasonal scheduled Full Moon Pier Walks with guides on the Scripps Research Pier to explore the nocturnal habits of marine life. Or take the Movie Ride that takes visitors through a computer-generated marine life visual adventure complete with surround-sound.

On the third Saturday of each month, the Aquarium Family Days includes arts and crafts, special tours, and other activities to learn about sea life. A peek into the crystal clear coral reef farms that are environmentally raised for research and visitor enjoyment. Explore the Tidal Pool Discovery Center where the pools are exposed and then hidden as the cycle of the tides. Watch the Scripps Divers plunge into the giant 70,000 gallons Kelp Forest Tank with several varieties of sharks and fish.

The Aquarium sponsors many public programs such as kayaking to ocean caves, whale watching, and snorkeling the clear waters of La Jolla Cove.

Scripps Park

Most visitors just walk the shoreline around Scripps Park soaking-up the perfect vacation weather and the majestic views of the oceanfront panorama. If it’s romantic tranquility you desire, late afternoon and early evening strolls are less crowded and at dusk, you’ll find some of the most stunning ocean horizon sunsets.

La Jolla Golden Triangle

The Golden Triangle is an area intersected by three major freeways of I5, I805, and State 52. It lies just east of La Jolla Village and about ten miles north of downtown San Diego. The established residential community blossomed into a financial hub of high-rise office buildings, full-service fine hotels, shopping, and a plethora of restaurants. The catalyst and hub anchor of the Golden Triangle area of La Jolla is the University Towne Centre.

La Jolla’s Golden Triangle offers the business traveler and vacationer all they need within one self-contained environment of business, retail, shopping, hotels, dining, and boutique shops. It is conveniently located to the oceanfront beach area of the La Jolla Village and all the vacation attractions San Diego has to offer.

Museum of Contemporary Art

Visit the La Jolla branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego that is open to the public daily at 11:00 a.m. except Wednesdays to enjoy at your own pace or with guided tours delivered in both English and Spanish. Special exhibitions are continuously scheduled.

La Jolla Festival of the Arts

The annual La Jolla Festival of the Arts sponsored by the Kiwanis Foundation of Torrey Pines is held but once a year, but if you’re visiting La Jolla in June you don’t want to miss a weekend of art, music, food, and fun. The event benefits programs for physically challenged San Diegans.

La Jolla Playhouse

The La Jolla Playhouse is a creative home base for both performing artists and cultural seeking audiences. The Playhouse has received over 300 major awards including the 1993 Tony Award as America’s Outstanding Regional Theatre.

The La Jolla Playhouse has earned over 200 awards including the 1993 Tony for Outstanding Regional Theatre. It is a creative haven that attracts more than 150,000 theatre enthusiasts each year. And mark your calendar each year in about June for the annual La Jolla Festival of the Arts benefiting the physically challenged in the San Diego area.

Torrey Pines Golf Course

The famous Torrey Pines Golf Course is the home of the PGA Tour Buick Invitational held each year. Held the last week in January – its purse is over 5 million dollars. La Jolla Shores beach, La Jolla Village, University of California San Diego, Jonas Salk Institute, and Scripts Institute of Oceanography with its marine life aquariums are some of the other more notable attractions and institutions to be found here.

Its beaches are legendary. The Torrey Pines Golf Course is situated atop high cliffs alongside a hang glider port that overlooks the clothes-optional Blacks Beach hundreds of feet below. All three activities combined would make for an interesting day at the beach….

La Jolla Shores beach

The more traditional La Jolla Shores beach is broad, tranquil and a delightful place to spend the day with the family. Running a mile-long, it has the gentlest waves of any beach in San Diego. Kayakers and Scuba Divers depart from here to reach an off-shore marine preserve and mile-deep diving trench.

La Jolla Cove

Nearby is La Jolla Cove – a small, intimate beach for sun bathing and swimming – famous for its clear crystalline water. The Children’s Pool and beach – a short walk south of the Cove, has been taken over by wild California sea lions who provide much amusement to visitors as they spend their days sunbathing, quarreling and fighting over beach real estate, harems and other important issues.

Both of these beaches are just steps from the La Jolla Village boutique shopping district. Along the southern cliffs and oceanfront residential neighborhoods of La Jolla can be found the surfers Mecca of Windansea Beach – the site of many early surfing movies. Nearby Bird Rock – an offshore outcropping along with the nearby kelp (seaweed) beds is a much-favored area by fishermen and scuba divers for catching game fish. Minutes away are the San Diego Zoo, Mission Bay with its miles of beaches, biking trails and charming Belmont Amusement Park featuring an antique roller coaster, marinas and piers.

Torrey Pines Glider Port

Whether you just want to relish the breathtaking views or step into the venture of tandem hang gliding, visit the Torrey Pines Glider Port that sits atop the 300-foot cliff overlooking Torrey Pines State Beach and the Pacific Ocean. The Glider Port which has been named the “premier soaring for the United States” provides year-round paragliding, hang gliding, and remote-controlled gliding for the adventurous thrill-seekers.

La Jolla Shopping

Ahh. Then there’s world-class shopping right here in La Jolla Village, a 30-block shopping bonanza on and around Prospect Street just above La Jolla’s beaches. Here you’ll find a paradise of apparel, accessories, jewelry, specialty stores, quaint boutiques, and art galleries. The world-famous University Towne Centre (UTC) in La Jolla’s Golden Triangle area on La Jolla Village Drive adds to the shopping fun.

Other nearby attractions to La Jolla include SeaWorld, Legoland California, Mission Bay Park, The San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, The Wild Animal Park, and the major sporting venues of the NFL San Diego Chargers and the MLB San Diego Padres.

Final Word

With plenty to offer you and your family, the beaches of La Jolla are among the best in San Diego. There’s plenty to do and see here, with dining and swimming. For a great visit to the beach, La Jolla seems to simplify the best of life in California.

La Jolla is appealing in so many ways. It oozes with picture-perfect views of the Pacific Ocean. It’s lush with greenery and ablaze with brilliant color. It’s a continuous flow of gentle ocean breezes, blue sky, and a gorgeous year-round climate. Homes graciously sit on the hillsides overlooking the endless horizon. At first glance, many of these homes in La Jolla are somewhat unassuming yet carry price tags that few could afford.

But there’s a refreshingly different kind of down-to-earth attitude here. Rich yet unpretentious. Sure you’ll find the Beemers, Benzes, and Escalades like you will in any upscale community, but it’s different in La Jolla. When these locals step out of their vehicles they’re wearing shorts, tee-shirts, sandals, and ball caps…and they sport friendly, welcoming smiles. You would think they are everyday Joe’s. Well, that’s because they are.

That’s just one of the things that make vacationing to La Jolla so special. And it gets even better. La Jolla is simply one of the greatest vacation spots in the world. One can only imagine how awe-struck Spanish explorer Balboa must have been when he came upon this view from atop the hills of what would become La Jolla, California. Balboa named it El Mar Pacifico…”the peaceful sea”. Well, it is.

The waves along with nature carved this paradise. The playful dolphins looking inland must be equally awe-struck. Their view is lush colorful hillsides sprouting the rare Torrey Pine trees and giant queen palms that seem to relish the gentle breezes. We see an ocean horizon that curves around La Jolla Cove that silhouettes against sunsets that captivate all that is romantic.

Vacationers to La Jolla are the second luckiest people in the world. The luckiest are those that get to live in this spectacle. All combined, La Jolla could easily be pretentious, but this upscale beauty seems to transform an expected “stuffy” into the most serene place you’ll ever experience.

Most say that La Jolla means “The Jewel”. No doubt it is.

Share on:

Leave a Comment