DescriptionWithin San Diego's city limits, La Jolla (Lah HOY-yah) is one of the city's toniest communities. The popular resort graced with a rocky coastline is punctuated by scenic beaches. Windansea Beach earns kudos both as one San Diego’s premier surf spots while the La Jolla Children's Pool, originally intended as a protected swimming area for kids, now mostly attracts sea lions and harbor seals (and the photo-happy tourists who love them). Sandstone cliffs edge tiny La Jolla Cove, one of California's most-photographed beaches and part of the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park. The protected waters draw swimmers, scuba divers and snorkelers as well as marine animals and seabirds.
Sea anemones, sea urchins and other exotic creatures also take up residence in La Jolla when tidal pools form in the area's rocky shores. The best time to view the tidal pools is from late fall to early spring, when low tides generally occur during daylight hours.
La Jolla also boasts seven sea caves, carved out of sandstone cliffs by centuries of wave action. These striking natural features were once used by smugglers trafficking everything from illegal workers to Prohibition-era whiskey. Six of the caves can be explored via kayak; Sunny Jim's Sea Cave, named after a bygone cereal mascot, is the only one accessible by land. The entrance to the Sunny Jim's Sea Cave tunnel, which was dug in the early 1900s, is in a souvenir shop at 1325 Coast Blvd. An admission fee is charged; phone (858) 459-0746.
The University of California, San Diego offers free 90-minute guided walking and bus tours that take in the highlights of the 1,200-acre campus. On the grounds are outdoor sculptures from the Stuart Collection as well as the Geisel Library, named after Theodor Seuss Geisel—aka Dr. Seuss—who moved to La Jolla after World War II. Campus tours depart Sundays at 2 from the South Gilman Information Pavilion at the corner of Gilman Drive and Osler Lane. Reservations are required at least 2 days before the tour; phone (858) 534-4414.
ShoppingBe prepared for sticker shock as you browse Prospect Street, where exclusive art galleries, clothing boutiques and high-end jewelry stores cater to La Jolla's moneyed residents. Upscale shops and national retailers like Lucky Brand and Kate Spade New York also line Girard Avenue, the charming coastal community's other chief commercial thoroughfare.
Also in La Jolla is Westfield UTC (4545 La Jolla Village Dr.), a ritzy outdoor mall with department store anchors Macy's, Nordstrom and Sears, contemporary-cool lounge areas (some boasting built-in TVs), beautiful fountains, a kid's play space and an ice-skating rink.
Things to SeeBirch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Summer ActivitiesHike Bike Kayak