The Top 10 Things to Do in La Jolla, CA
Surf, Shop, and Explore the San Diego Coast
La Jolla is the ideal California beach destination, featuring some of the nation’s best beaches as well as upscale shopping, dining, and plenty of family-friendly activities. Here are our favorite things to do in La Jolla:
La Jolla Cove
Protected by the surrounding cliffs, La Jolla Cove is a natural haven for marine life and one of the most unique beaches in the United States. Popular with snorkelers and divers, the shallow waters of the cove are an excellent place to observe the area’s rich marine life. La Jolla Cove is easily accessed from our hotel via a set of steps down to the beach. Lifeguards are on duty every day from 9am until sunset.
La Jolla Seal Beach
La Jolla Seal Beach, also called Children’s Pool Beach or Casa Beach, is a small sandy beach protected from incoming waves by a massive sea wall. Originally built so children could safely enjoy the beach without the heavy surf, the local wild seal population also found the beach to be a pleasant home! Today, as many as 200 wild seals use the beach regularly and it has become a popular attraction in La Jolla. A visit to La Jolla Seal Beach is a memorable way to observe wild seals up close!
Ellen Browning Scripps Park
Located just in front of La Jolla Cove Suites, Ellen Browning Scripps Park is a gorgeous expanse of green oceanfront lawn lined with picturesque palm trees. It’s no small surprise that this breathtaking park is reported to be among the most photographed attractions in San Diego. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a relaxing afternoon gazing at the Pacific and taking in some sun at Scripps Park.
Once you’ve observed wild marine life up close at La Jolla Seal Beach and La Jolla Cove, head to Birch Aquarium to learn more about sharks, seahorses, and other sea creatures. Part of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Birch Aquarium features more than 3,000 marine animals and a host of educational programs.
La Jolla Open Aire Market
The heart of downtown La Jolla, Girard Avenue is home to upscale shops, world-class restaurants and an eclectic mix of galleries and boutiques. It’s the ideal place for an afternoon stroll. On Sundays, head to Girard Avenue and Center Street for the La Jolla Open Aire Farmer’s Market where you’ll find fresh California produce from local farms as well as a selection of artisan vendors selling crafts, body care products and art.
Tourmaline Surfing Park
Bordering Pacific Beach and La Jolla, Tourmaline Surfing Park is one of Southern California’s premier surf spots. The beach is bordered by high cliffs and includes public parking, restrooms and showers. Whether you’re coming to catch a wave, or just want to watch others hang ten, Tourmaline Surfing Park is a great destination for those looking for surf in San Diego.
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
Presenting works across all media created after 1950, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has two locations with over 4,000 works in their permanent collection. Works by artists such as Ai Weiwei, Andy Warhol, Ellsworth Kelly and Sol Lewitt are on display in stunning galleries overlooking the Pacific.
Soledad Park is located on a high mountaintop just east of La Jolla Village and is home to the Mount Soledad Veteran’s Memorial. A great destination for panoramic views of the Pacific, La Jolla and San Diego, the park is also a popular choice for road cyclists looking for an uphill challenge.
La Jolla Shores
One of the best beaches in San Diego for scuba divers, snorkelers and kayakers, La Jolla Shores is the entry point of San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park. Spanning 6,000 acres, this underwater park features four distinct marine habitats and attracts a wide variety of marine life, from leopard sharks to Garibaldi fish. Visitors can also explore the underwater La Jolla Caves, which are perched within a 75-million-year-old sandstone sea cliff.
Torrey Pines State Park
Just minutes away from La Jolla, the native Southern California landscape has been remarkably preserved at Torrey Pines State Park. Bird watching, hiking, and guided nature trails are all on offer as well as a large selection of programs for children covering the local geology, native animals and plants.