La Jolla Visitors Guide

La Jolla California Vacation Guide

You can’t go to San Diego without spending some time in La Jolla California, whether for a dip in the cove, a blufftop walk or a visit to the Torrey Pines Gliderport.

Gorgeous coves and tropical foliage make this little area truly idyllic. La Jolla Cove is especially popular with snorkelers and swimmers. Swimming here in the summer the water temperature can be perfectly delightful. Pelicans and kayakers hang out nearby. A beautiful bluff top grassy park has a walkway winding around the various coves.

The little village atmosphere the place is very conducive to wandering. There are many boutiques and galleries to browse. The Cottage restaurant, with its outdoor patio is a favorite place for a leisurely brunch.

The Art Museum is full of contemporary works. Up the road near UC San Diego, is the  which was pleasantly uncrowded the day I was there. It’s back porch has spectacular views. There are lots of fascinating fish tanks in one section, and many interactive exhibits on the other side. Out front is a much-better-than-average cafe where you can get lunch and sit outside by the large whale fountain.

Torrey Pines State Reserve has lots of hiking trails where you can enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Nearby is the Gliderport.

Whenever in the La Jolla area, I love to stop at the Torrey Pines Gliderport and watch the brave paragliders and hang gliders soar above the ocean and Black’s Beach below, where sunbathers enjoy a different type of risk: sunburning their not-so-private parts.

There is a casual cafe and shop where you can grab some coffee or a snack or even a paragliding lesson. They offer tandem flights with an instructor as well. Tables out on the bluff are for customers only, so be sure to buy something if you come to watch.

You’ll find the gliderport located off of North Torrey Pines Road. (Take the Genesee exit off the I-5.)

La Jolla is located in North County San Diego, just south of Del Mar. It is a pleasantly small beach town from which you can base your San Diego vacation.

La Jolla Beaches

There is no shortage of scenic beauty at the La Jolla beaches. There are gorgeous coves for snorkeling and small sandy beaches for surfing or just watching the waves.

Torrey Pines State Beach is at the north end of La Jolla and is a part of the torrey Pines State Reserve. A trail leads down to the beach from the visitor’s center.

La Jolla Guide
Black’s Beach is a famous beach where clothing is scarce. There is a parking lot high on the bluffs by the Glider Port. The trail is steep down to the beach, but at low tide, you can get there by walking in from neighboring Torrey State Beach.Scripp’s Beach is found next to the Scripps research pier at the Institution of Oceanography. There are tide pools where you may look but don’t touch. You can park near Kellogg Park and walk to it.La Jolla Shores is the large main beach where you can enjoy all sorts of beach activities. People surf, swim, kayak and fish here. There are lifeguards and restrooms. There’s lots of sand, but Kellogg Park offers grass and picnic areas. La Jolla Shores Hotel is on the beach and there is also a waterfront restaurant there.La Jolla Cove is famous with snorkelers. It’s a very small beach, so there’s not much room to lay out on a towel, but the main activity is being in the water anyway, cruising around with the fish. The water is clear, especially on a sunny day. The bright orange Garibaldi are just one of the types of fish you can observe here.Children’s Pool is another small beach, mainly for gazing at the seals lounging around on the sand.

Marine Street Beach is enjoyed by surfers and body surfers. When the water is very calm, divers enjoy Horseshoe Reef.

Windansea Beach is at the bottom of a nice little neighborhood and is popular with surfers, but the sand isn’t crowded. It’s a really lovely place to spend some quality beach time, especially at sunset.

About La Jolla

Located 15 minutes from downtown San Diego is panoramic La Jolla. Derived from the Spanish word for “the jewel” La Jolla certainly is an impeccable jewel of a community to work, play and live. The hilly coastal resort town is situated on seven miles of lovely land encompassing soft sand beaches, rugged rocky shorelines, sea-level caves, and the famed Torrey Pines region. Torrey Pines Golf Course is home to the PGA Golf Tour. Nearby is the thrilling Torrey Pines Gliderport which was established as a soaring site during the 1930s. Torrey Pines State Beach and Torrey Pines State Reserve is a treasure for those seeking nature, sun, and surf.

La Jolla incorporates terrific art galleries, institutions, and educational campuses. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography is a must-visit along with Stephen Birch Aquarium and Museum. Plenty of high-end dining and shopping along with unique boutique-lined streets are located downtown. Walk from La Jolla Village to the picturesque cove to experience it all. Take in sculpture at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Prospect Street. La Jolla is sometimes referred to as the American Riviera.

The seaside community of La Jolla is located along the coast of Southern California just fifteen minutes north of downtown San Diego on the Interstate 5 freeway. The town (a sub-community of San Diego) was once best known as a sleepy haven for successful people. Today Nobel Prize winners, many of Fortune Magazines Top 400 Wealthiest Families, famous artists and writers – and more recently – hundreds of biotech companies and their entrepreneur owners call La Jolla their home. Over time it has evolved from being described as: “A nice place for old people and their parents” (says former resident noir novelist Raymond Chandler), into what its Visitors Center currently promotes as “La Jolla – Shelter From The Norm.” This new aura may be well deserved as this town offers vistas of the Pacific from almost every street corner, more art galleries, upscale boutiques, romantic restaurants, coffee bars, and European luxury car dealers per square block than just about anywhere this side of Cannes. Yet it still exudes the tranquility of a peaceful California beach town from a time gone by. Bring your book and beach chair.

Situated amongst coastal hills and cliffs overlooking Mission Bay to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the west – its unique micro-climate provides Mediterranean temperatures ranging from the ’50s to low sea-breezed 90’s year around. Its clifftop reserves of Torrey Pines and other lush vegetation thrive in climes tempered by seasonal cool foggy mornings. The community overlooks the sea much like similar towns one would encounter in the south of France or along the Italian coast.

La Jolla Attractions

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.

view of la jolla shores
View of La Jolla Shores

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…. 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. Nearby is La Jolla Cove – a small, intimate beach for sunbathing 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 surfer’s 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.

Living  in La Jolla, CA

Real estate in La Jolla is among the most desirable in the country. With its splendid weather, upscale ambiance, perfect beaches, quick access to downtown San Diego, and being less than two hours from Los Angeles – it doesn’t get much better, more exclusive, or pricey.

Communities throughout La Jolla offer incomparable real estate. Check out Bird Rock for beach cottages and condos. Experience total tranquility from your deck highlighted by the ocean and canyon views when you choose a residence in Hidden Valley. Condominiums and townhomes located minutes from lovely La Jolla Shores Beach are the talks of the town in La Jolla Heights. For homebuyers who demand the very best, the communities of Ridgegate, Soledad South, and Muirlands will deliver. Mount La Jolla is complete with a community clubhouse, gym, sparkling pool, and spa for its residents. Many residential properties feature compelling ocean views.

La Jolla Neighborhoods

  • Beach Barber Tract
  • Bird Rock
  • Country Club
  • Hidden Valley
  • La Jolla Alta
  • La Jolla Farms
  • La Jolla Heights
  • La Jolla Mesa
  • La Jolla Shores
  • La Jolla Village
  • Lower Hermosa
  • Mount La Jolla
  • Muirlands
  • Ridgegate
  • Soledad South
  • Southpointe
  • Ventana
  • Villa La Jolla
  • Windansea
  • Windemere
  • Woodlands

La Jolla Market Facts

Homes Currently For Sale 287
Average Home Price $3,064,830
Homes Built Between 1911 – 2016
Ocean View Homes 51.9%
Homes With A Pool 13.6%
Golf Course Properties 0%

Related

San Clemente Beach Vacations

San Clemente Beach Vacation Guide

San Clemente California is one of the nicest Southern California beach towns to visit. It is an idyllic town which even has palm trees on ... Read more
Crystal Cove State Park

Crystal Cove – Newport Beach, CA

Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach Escape to Crystal Cove State Park to get away from urban modernization. It seems hard to believe that ... Read more
Newport Beach CA Vacation Guide

Newport Beach Vacation Guide

Where to Stay And Things To See In Newport Beach This Newport Beach vacation guide includes information about where to stay and what to do ... Read more