The lively enclave of La Jolla is certainly one of the surprises that will delight you about San Diego, California. Situated in the metro’s coastal area, the village is home to family-friendly attractions, fantastic natural sites and some of the best dining facilities in the San Diego area. There is no denying that La Jolla is one of the most prominent beach destinations in the whole of California.
The village is surrounded by the sea with the slope of Mt. Soledad serving as its background. Visitors come to this quaint village for a chance to relax on its sandy shore and enjoy its Mediterranean-like weather. La Jolla has also become a favorite vacation getaway for the rich, which is evident by the number of million-dollar homes that line its coast.
The beaches are, of course, one of the main reasons you want to spend time in La Jolla. Summer and autumn in particular, are popular times because of the gentle surf and warm waters. It can get very busy during these periods as well, so try to come early in the morning or late in the afternoon if you want to avoid the crowd. The number of tourists on the beach dwindles by September, but the weather is still comfortable.
La Jolla Cove on Coast Boulevard is a very popular beach, known for its picturesque sea cliffs serving as backdrops. La Jolla Cove is ideal for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. This sandy stretch is actually a part of San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve so fishing, water devices and other water-based activities such as surfing and boogie boarding, are prohibited. Other notable beaches in the area include Windansea Beach, Black’s Beach and La Jolla Shores.
Because it attracts a great number of visitors, it is not surprising that the village is an established shopping and dining haven, housing a fantastic selection of upscale shops, fashion boutiques and world-class restaurants. If you want to shop till you drop or till you get hungry, then make your way to the chic Prospect Street in the downtown area. This street is also known for its outdoor cafes and old-world hotels.
La Jolla’s proximity to the beautiful Torrey Pines State Reserve, makes it a very ideal hub for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. While here, you can try to conquer the 18 holes of the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course, which also conveniently offers magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean. Other exciting outdoor activity prospects include following many of the scenic trails in the vicinity of The Lodge at Torrey Pines, or taking on hang gliding or paragliding at the Torrey Pines Glider Port.
If you are exploring San Diego with your family, La Jolla is one of the perfect spots to spend some time exploring together. Visiting families with children often head out to the Scripps Park for a picnic or the Children’s Pools, (a man-made beach protected by a sea wall) for swimming. The Birch Aquarium, an interpretive center for the prominent Scripps Institution of Oceanography, is also a popular family-friendly site.
Art enthusiasts are usually thrilled to set foot at the nearby Museum of Contemporary Art, which promises to fascinate you with its thought-provoking and perspective-altering exhibits. If you want to see other galleries featuring works of globally-renowned artists, most of them are on Girard and Prospect Avenues.