La Jolla is a little town on the outskirts of San Diego with nice sandy beaches, coastal cliffs, hotels, golf courses, a state park and the famous University of California, San Diego. It is also famous for the La Jolla Cove and Caverns. 

The nearby city of San Diego and the greater San Diego County are home to beautiful beaches, popular attractions, hiking trails and many more adventures.  Read the full San Diego review here.

No one knows for sure where the name originated, but some say it means the place with holes – referring to the many caves and coves on the shoreline. Others say it means the Jewel. In either case is a jewel on the beach and it is full of caves and coves – making it a very interesting place to visit and explore.

Interesting Facts: The Birch Aquarium at Scripps in La Jolla is the largest oceanographic museum in the country.

La Jolla Cove

nullA beautiful cove and beach with a nice path for walking and viewpoints to gaze at the waves and the sea lions. 

The cove is also right next to the underwater park with clean water and plenty of sea-life for snorkelers and divers.

The scenery around the cove spectacular. From the moment you park your car and start walking you will come across breathtaking views.La Jolla Cove, San Diego, CA

Tip: There are a few available parking spots at street level and next to the Cave Store, but they run out fast. Also next to the Cave Store you kind find a parking structure. 

From the cliffs, you can see a large arch with waves breaking against it. Big trees hang from the edge of the cliff and lots of wildflowers decorate the slopes. 

As you walk down the slope, you come upon a park and stairs going down to a very small La Jolla Cove, Coastal Trailbeach. At high tide, this beach stip all but disappears. It is mainly used as a launching pad by snorkelers and divers.

Along this park, there are cliffs occupied by seals and seagulls. You can climb down and get very close to the lazy seals. 

The Cave Store is also the only entrance to the La Jolla Cave. Pay $5 to descend into a steep stairway down to the water level. As you approach you will hear the surf breaking against the rocks and the cave walls. The cave opens onto the Ocean with a nice view of the cliffs in the distance. 

Tip: Another great way to enjoy La Jolla Cove it to rent a bike and take a ride along this paved trail. 

La Jolla Cove, Coastal TrailOnce you are done exploring the cave, you can extend your adventure by catching a trail that starts behind the store and goes further up the cliffs. This easy dirt trail offers amazing views of the ocean and has a variety of colorful vegetation.  

Tip: The best way to enjoy San Diego attractions is by getting a Go City Card. You pay one price and get all the attractions you want. Go San Diego Card

Across the street from the beach area, you can find many hotels, stores and restaurants. George's Ocean Terrace offers a high-end dining experience with great ocean views. 

Closer to the cove you can dine at Brockton Villa Restaurant. This place is famous for their brunch, especially the French toast. The view from the patio is breathtaking.  

Build your own discounted San Diego Go Card Here - Multi-attraction Pass.

La Holla Shores

nullOne of the most popular destinations in La Jolla is La Holla Shores beach. It is a one-mile stretch of sandy beach that is always crowded with sun worshippers, swimmers and kayakers. 

While at the beach you can rent bikes

Tip: Alcohol is not permitted on any of San Diego beaches. So leave your beer behind.

At the south end, you can find the La Jolla Underwater Park – a popular place for divers and snorkelers. 

To the north, you will find the Scripps institute Birch Aquarium, Torrey Pines State Natural Preserve and Black’s beach.

Torrey Pines State Natural Preserver

nullA 2000-acre stretch of coastal cliffs and a lagoon protected by the State with stunning views of the ocean and challenging hiking trails.

It is also home to the Gilder Port from which you can watch gliders launch above the cliffs and the waves. If you dare you can join a class and learn how to fly.

Right next to the glider port and slightly to the north you will find a very steep trail with hundreds of steps down to the beach. The hike very invigorating, but remember that you have to climb back up those steep steps. 

Build your own discounted San Diego Go Card Here - Multi-attraction Pass.

Another difficult but short hike is the “High Point” trail. But the view from the top is amazing. You can a panoramic view of the preserve and the lagoon. 

For an easy hike, try “Guy Fleming Trail”. It is less than a mile with mostly level ground and 2 overlooks with great views.

Black’s Beach

nullThis is a secluded stretch of beach under the Torrey Pines cliffs. The northern end of the beach is run by the State and nudity is tolerated in that area. While the southern end is run by the city of San Diego which enforces a strict no-nudity law. 

The beach itself if very beautiful and uncrowded, but getting down from the parking lot is a chore. You would have to climb down steep ramps or steps.

In spite of the difficulty, it is popular with surfers and naturalists.