Affluent seaside city home to incredible beaches, fine dining, and panoramic mountain and ocean vistas.
Nestled just south of Del Mar and north of Pacific Beach, you’ll find the pristine seaside community of La Jolla (pronounced ‘Luh Hoy-Uh’). La Jolla is known for its extensive fine dining, rugged coastal terrain, rich history as a haven for the arts… and of course the large local population of sea lions and seals at La Jolla Cove! La Jolla is also one of the oldest communities in San Diego, known as a resort area as early as the 1890s.
In addition to the sublime coastal vistas, art galleries, and excellent seafood, La Jolla is an academic hub, home to the world-renowned University of California San Diego (UCSD), Salk Institute, Scripps Research Institute, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
From scuba diving at the rocky La Jolla Cove to ocean kayaking and surfing at the nearby beach of La Jolla Shores, this seaside community offers plenty of opportunities for aquatic adventure. La Jolla is also the site of Mount Soledad (822 feet), one of the highest points in the city of San Diego.
La Jolla is one of San Diego’s premier beachside communities and has been for over a century. Its rich history and culture are preserved better than in many other San Diego beach communities. This is perhaps due to La Jolla’s uniquely rugged, hilly coastal geography, which even today offers a haven from the hustle and bustle of Southern California.
Daily life in La Jolla is laid back and relaxed, with a focus on art, culture, and some of the best cuisine in San Diego, all housed in a mild coastal climate. Thanks to its secluded landscape, it’s also among the city’s most walkable communities, at least for those that can handle its steep hills!
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve and its beaches are one of the best and most beautiful hiking destinations in San Diego. Named for the endemic (and rare) Torrey pine, this 2,000-acre park remains among the wildest stretches of land on the entire Southern California coast, and features eight miles of trails weaving in and out of the rocky coastal cliffside. When you move to La Jolla, Torrey Pines is in your backyard! The park is bordered by the world-famous Torrey Pines Golf Course, which has hosted the U.S. Open on multiple occasions and hosts a PGA Tour event each year. The Torrey Pines Gliderport, a coastal hang gliding and paragliding destination in use since the late 1920s, also sits next to the park. It’s a classic San Diego weekend tradition to picnic on the cliffs above the sea, watching the gliders toss and turn in the sky.
Of course, you couldn’t miss Windansea Beach, either. Named for a hotel of the same name that burned down at the beach in 1940, Windansea is one of La Jolla’s most historic beach destinations. With waves reaching over eight feet in the winter, the beach is known as an expert surf break. It also has its own designated historical landmark, “The Surf Shack at Windansea Beach.” This surfer's hut was built in 1947 by a group of returning World War II veterans and avid surfers.
La Jolla Cove & Shores are two more classic La Jolla beach destinations. Featuring a small beach walled in by rocky cliffs, La Jolla Cove is perhaps La Jolla’s most famous sight, especially when you take into account its large population of California sea lions. The waters around the cove are protected as part of a marine reserve and are popular with snorkelers, scuba divers, and swimmers. In perfect contrast, the nearby La Jolla Shores is a long, wide, and sandy beach over a mile long, ideal for sunbathing, swimming, paddleboarding, surfing, and kayaking. The mellow Shores are an excellent beach for families with small children.
La Jolla is known both as an excellent spot for local seafood and for its expansive shopping. San Diegans from around the city often visits La Jolla for weekend brunch and a day of browsing the community’s shops, boutiques, art galleries, and jewelry stores. When you pair the fine dining with the expansive coastal views from La Jolla’s clifftop vantage point, you have an experience unrivaled anywhere along the Southern California coast.
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