La Jolla | Visit California (2024)

Although technically part ofSan Diego, the community ofLa Jollafeels like a destination unto itself: You could easily spend a few days in this enclave and get a full Southern California experience—along with a walkable village of hotels, shops, and cafés that possess a sophisticated vibe.

Things to Do in La Jolla

For starters, La Jolla (pronouncedla HOY-uh) has a prime perch on San Diego County’s coastline. Located about 20 minutes north of downtown, La Jolla is home to the wide, white-sand beaches ofLa Jolla Shores, with surfing, snorkeling, and made-for-sunset firepits, as well as an adjacent playground for kids. Book a surfing lesson atEveryday California, aneco-mindedocean adventure company that can also accommodate snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, or kayaking plans. Another option isSurf Diva, a local operation that started out more than two decades ago as an all-girls surf school but now offers programs for anyone looking to hang ten, as well as a shop with classic surf gear and fashions. Or head out onto the waters withLa Jolla Kayak,San Diego Bike and Kayak Toursand paddle or snorkel among La Jolla’s marine denizens, from colorful garibaldi to (harmless) leopard sharks. To see more aquatic critters while on land, explore theBirch Aquarium, affiliated with the renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography, or stand along the sea wall at a beach known as The Children’s Pool, and watch a large community of seals lounge, bark, and tend to their cubs.For more seal watching, visit the hilly village areas known as The Cove and Bird Rock. Another great option: Hike the ocean-view trails at theTorrey Pines State Nature Reserve, under the shade of the rare, long-needled pine trees that are common in this little pocket of the Golden State.

Arts and Performance in La Jolla

Don’t miss the cultural stops, too, like the La Jolla branch of theMuseum of Contemporary Art San Diego,Warwick’s(the nation’s oldest family-owned bookstore), or the local art galleries such asLegends Gallery, where you can see out-of-the box paintings by the late Theodore Geisel, the longtime La Jolla resident better known as Dr. Seuss. (Insider tip: Look at the unique flora around La Jolla to see what may have inspired Seuss’s whimsical plants and trees).

Or, go see a future Broadway hit atLa Jolla Playhouse, located on the University of California San Diego campus. Co-founded by Gregory Peck in 1947, the theater has been the birthplace of a long list of crowd-pleasing and Tony Award-winning hits, fromThoroughly Modern Millie and TheWho’sTommytoJersey BoysandCome From Away. Come for one of itsPage-to-Stageperformances to watch (and offer feedback on) works still in progress. You can even bundle in a dinner of fresh seafood or a Kobe burger at the theater’s on-siteJames’ Place, helmed by acclaimed sushi chef James Holder.

Restaurants in La Jolla

No matter what you do in La Jolla, the ocean is always in plain view—and that includes dining. Book a table at belovedGeorge’s at the Cove, colorful taco havenPuesto, Hawaiian-cuisine specialistsDuke’s La Jolla, or seafood and farm-to-table-focusedNine-Ten. A few other culinary must-stops in La Jolla stretch beyond the Cove.The Marine Room, in La Jolla Shores, offers incredible “high tide” brunches and dinners where the tall waves crash into the giant windows as you eat. To the north, tee off atTorrey Pines Golf Course before indulging in a sumptuous meal at A.R. Valentien, the signature restaurant at TheLodge at Torrey Pines.

Places to Stay in La Jolla

Long accustomed to hosting visitors drawn to the city’s undeniable charms, La Jolla has no shortage of impressive accommodations. Book a room at the historicLa Valencia Hotel, the Mediterranean-style “Pink Lady” that once hosted World War II soldiers about to ship out, as well as Hollywood A-listers. Dating to 1913, theGrande Colonial is another La Jolla institution; it offers bicycles for rent at the front desk, as well as the aforementioned Nine-Ten restaurant. Other options include the hacienda-styleEstancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa; Inn by the Sea, located 2 blocks from La Jolla Cove in the heart of La Jolla Village; and the relaxed, Polynesian-inspiredPantai Inn, which has spacious suites steps from Shell Beach and Seal Rock. Tennis-playing beachgoers have their very own mecca here: atLa Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, guests have 12 championship hard courts to choose from, plus the availability of lessons, camps, and clinics with USPTA pros; choose from luxury suites, beachfront guest rooms, and private cottages.

La Jolla | Visit California (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Velia Krajcik

Last Updated:

Views: 6104

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Velia Krajcik

Birthday: 1996-07-27

Address: 520 Balistreri Mount, South Armand, OR 60528

Phone: +466880739437

Job: Future Retail Associate

Hobby: Polo, Scouting, Worldbuilding, Cosplaying, Photography, Rowing, Nordic skating

Introduction: My name is Velia Krajcik, I am a handsome, clean, lucky, gleaming, magnificent, proud, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.