La Jolla

Explore the Jewel City - La Jolla, San Diego. Visit the beaches for high-quality surfing, kayaking, snorkeling and paddle boarding. Take a walk to the scenic parks, beaches, museums and shopping. End the day watching the sunset from a charming sidewalk café. Take a family trip you’ll never forget!
La Jolla
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Beaches
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La Jolla
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Surfing Beaches
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Surfing, Shopping & Beautiful Beaches In La Jolla

Looking at Marine Street Beach on a Sunny DayThe Taco Stand, a Popular Taco Shop in La Jolla

La Jolla is a highly desirable and affluent community on the western side of San Diego. Much of the area is built up on a small coastal mountain with many homes having incredible views of the ocean. Like the rest of the city, La Jolla’s climate is very mild with beautiful weather year-round. This is further compounded by the gentle sea breezes.

If you are visiting San Diego, La Jolla is one of the best places to stay. The community has a lot to offer. It is one of the parts of the city that most springs to mind when people think about San Diego. The best way to enjoy the area is to stay in the La Jolla Village, right at the center of it all.

Whether you want to explore some of the boutique shops, restaurants and spas in the area, head to the beach or just relax in the warm, South Californian weather, La Jolla is for you. Start planning your trip to see everything that this wonderful community has to offer.

La Jolla
Why you'll love La Jolla
Enjoy surfing the waves, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and beach bonfires. Or walk to the charming boutiques and sidewalk cafés in the village in La Jolla, San Diego.

Trolly Ride with Go Pass!

2-Day Hop-on Hop-off San Diego
Hop-on Hop-off San Diego Trolley
Using your Go Pass, grab a 2 day Hop-on Hop-off San Diego Trolley. The trolley tour takes you through all the most popular areas of San Diego. It's a great way to start your trip and you'll learn where everything around the city is located.
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Local Tips
How much can you save by using the Go Pass?

The Go San Diego Pass is the perfect way to explore more attractions and activities that the area has to offer, all while being cost-efficient.

With the Go San Diego Pass, you can save up to 55% off admission fees at some of the area’s most popular attractions.

Things to Do

Beach Fire Pits
Beach Fire Pits
Beach Volleyball
Beach Volleyball
Biking
Biking
Birch Aquarium
Birch Aquarium
Kayaking
Kayaking
Museums
Museums
Paddle Boarding
Paddle Boarding
Picnic Tables
Picnic Tables
Scuba Diving
Scuba Diving
Skateboarding
Skateboarding
Snorkeling
Snorkeling
Sunbathing
Sunbathing
Surfing
Surfing
Swimming
Swimming

Things to Do ln La Jolla

For the most part, La Jolla is an upscale part of the city with some attractions and activities tailored to some of the wealthier residents. However, there are plenty of hidden gems for the budget-conscious visitor as well. Additionally, anyone can enjoy the incredible weather and beaches for free.

Best Restaurants

La Jolla has a great combination of different cuisines. Many of the best restaurants are in the Village of La Jolla and along the coast. Whether you want a fun, local Mexican eatery or an elegant seafood restaurant, you can find something to love in La Jolla.

Many of the restaurants are surprisingly low-key. There is a common, coastal theme shared by many of them. After all, La Jolla is one of the most beautiful strips of coastline in the country. So, it makes sense that many restaurants have plenty of outdoor space and take advantage of their incredible location.

One of our favorite restaurants is Brockton Villa.This fine dining restaurant offers ocean views while you enjoy the delicious food. Brockton Villa is popular for its brunch menu but it is also open for dinner. Check with the restaurant for the specific hours.

Another favorite of ours is the Caroline's Seaside Café located on the campus of UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography. This ocean view café features California style cuisine with organic and sustainably sourced ingredients. Caroline's Seaside Café is open for brunch and lunch, it is the perfect place to go before or after going to La Jolla Shores beach.

Nightlife

Much like the restaurants, many of the best bars and lounges are located in the La Jolla Village with coastal views. Many of the bars have happy hours and musical acts, so make sure to check schedules when you are in the area.

The options range from hole-in-the-wall pubs to upscale cocktail bars. There are also some comedy clubs, breweries, distilleries and more. Whatever type of night out you are looking for, you can find it in La Jolla.

Beaches

No matter how long you are visiting La Jolla, you need to go to the beach. The incredible coastline is the most defining feature of La Jolla and the beaches here are rated some of the best beaches in San Diego County. Whether you look out over the water at sunset or relax on the sand during the day, there is a lot to love about the beaches in La Jolla.

Local Tips
Did you know?
The The Children's Pool beach in La Jolla is not known for children swimming but for seeing hundreds of seals and their pups basking in the sunshine on the beach.

See the Seals & Sea Lions

The seals and sea lions around San Diego are a famous, though controversial, attraction in La Jolla. They are a wild population that comes onto the land to bask in the sun, relax and find food. Many tourists and locals like to watch them passing the day along the shoreline.

Keep in mind that the harbor seals and sea lions are wild animals. They are potentially very dangerous and should not be disturbed. They can be interesting to watch but are best observed from a distance.

You can find these local residents relaxing on the beaches, piers and other coastal areas primarily between the Cave Store and The Children’s Pool. There is a seal lion trail that you can follow to see get some of the best views in the area.

Better yet, there are different beaches for everyone. For example, the La Jolla Cove offers a relatively well-protected inlet with a pleasant combination of surf, sand, marine life and swimmable water. The Children’s Pool beach is a great place to watch the seals. Conversely, Casa Beach & Wipeout offers challenging surf that isn’t ideal for swimmers. Don’t miss out on the many tide pools in La Jolla, the La Jolla Tide Pools is a great place to start.

To the north, Blacks Beach, part of the Torrey Pines State Park, offers a very different beach-going experience. Control of the beach is split between the city and the state. The city portion is a fairly typical though enjoyable Southern Californian beach. The state park portion of the beach is famous for being swimsuit-optional. Surfing off of the southern end of Black’s Beach is popular but dangerous for inexperienced surfers.

Water Sports

Like many coastal communities, La Jolla offers a broad selection of rentals for paddleboard, boats, personal watercraft and more. Surfing is especially popular in the La Jolla area with some noteworthy underwater features such as submarine canyons and reefs creating excellent waves. However, some of the surfing is very challenging. Beginners should avoid some of the more advanced breaks.

Scuba diving and snorkeling are also popular choices. There is an immense amount of marine life living around various reefs underwater. In the area between La Jolla Cove and Black’s Beach is the 6,000-acre San Diego – La Jolla Underwater Park. It features a rocky reef, kelp bed, sand flats and submarine canyon. Anyone who enjoys diving should spend some time here.

Places to Visit Around La Jolla

La Jolla is conveniently located for visiting a wide variety of attractions around San Diego. Some of the most interesting places to go are either in La Jolla or within a short trip as downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter is only 13 miles away.

Torrey Pines

Torrey Pines State Reserve is a large natural park at the north end of La Jolla. It is home to several beaches, plenty of trails for hiking and biking as well as a golf course. It is contained within the Torrey Pines community, which is the northern neighbor of La Jolla.

The state park is home to bobcats, cacti, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, rabbits, skunks, and other flora and fauna including the Torrey pine tree. It is sometimes possible to spot migrating whales from the cliffs along the shores of Torrey Pines.

If you are a fan of adventure, try the Torrey Pines Gliderport. This is a unique attraction that takes advantage of the ocean winds to enable hang gliding and paragliding. It is a fun attraction even if you have no intention of flying. Simply watching can be a great pastime.

La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove is one of the best-known beaches in the area and is a popular draw for both locals and tourists. In fact, it is a top attraction for people visiting the city. Despite being relatively small, the cove offers a lot to do. It is a very attractive area that is part of the local marine reserve.

It is a popular site for snorkeling, swimming and scuba diving. However, there can be strong swells. Although safer than many more exposed beaches, La Jolla Cove nonetheless requires some thoughtfulness and care from anyone who wants to go in the water.

Contrasting its beautiful scenery, La Jolla Cove does not always smell as attractive you may expect. It is frequented by seals and birds. Visitors should be aware that the odor can get close to unbearable on hot, still days.

Birch Aquarium

The Birch Aquarium at Scripps is part of the University of California, San Diego. It houses over 380 species with more than 3,000 animals in total. This is a great family activity in La Jolla. Tens of thousands of school children visit each year for an educational experience that is perfect for the coastal community.

In addition to representing the marine nature of San Diego, the aquarium also holds a place in the city’s history. The institute was founded in 1903 and was supported significantly by the Scripps family. The same philanthropists who helped create the institute also funded other sites such as Torrey Pines State Reserve and The Children’s Pool.

Mount Soledad

Mount Soledad is a natural landmark in La Jolla. It offers beautiful views of the community and the rest of San Diego. It is also a popular cycling and hiking destination within the city. This coastal mountain is also famous for being the location of the last living home of Dr. Seuss.

SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego is located a short trip south of La Jolla in Mission Bay Park. It is one of the city’s most famous attractions. Making a trip here to a day of family-friendly fun can be a great source of entertainment.

The aquatic-themed amusement park has exhibits and shows that are fun for any visitor. This attraction is well worth the trip from La Jolla.

Featured Activity

San Diego Harbor Cruise on San Diego Bay at Sunset
San Diego Harbor Cruise
Enjoy this ‘San Diego Top Pick Award’ winner as you set sail on a three level luxury ship providing 360-degree views of San Diego’s scenic beauty. Relax for a 1-2 hour narrated tour, learn about the city from the bay.
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Where to Stay in La Jolla, San Diego

No matter where you stay in La Jolla, you can be certain you will have an enjoyable time. Many people like the La Jolla Shores area due to its proximity to the beach and the underwater park. Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton is a great choice.

Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is a beautiful place to stay and it is close to Torrey Pines State Reserve and more connectedto some of the other parts of the city. Alternatively, the La Valencia Hotel, located in the Village of La Jolla, is right in the center of La Jolla. It is a little less connected to the rest of the city, but it is nonetheless a wonderful place to stay with many restaurants and shops.

The community has a nice mix of well-known hotels and boutique accommodations. Whether you want something high-end and familiar or an off-the-beaten-trail place with plenty of local charm, La Jolla can deliver. There are options for every budget as well.

Featured Hotel
Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa
Balcony View at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa
Boutique
Boutique
Luxury
Luxury
Spa
Spa
4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is an exceptional beach resort, with the kind of amenities you would expect, from a full-service spa to four restaurants on property.
Prices Starting at $235
Check Availability

Know Before You Go & Tips

Amazing Sunsets
Amazing Sunsets
Cafes
Cafes
Museums
Museums
Parks
Parks
Shopping
Shopping
Walkable
Walkable

Tips for Visiting La Jolla

There are over 14 beaches in La Jolla alone and you can sunbathe at a secluded cove, go tide pooling or even surf some of the best waves in San Diego. La Jolla beaches have it all. Make sure you plan your visit around the tides as they can make a difference in the activities that you may be doing.

Get a discount on the activities you want to do. The San Diego Go Pass offers discounts for activities that you bundle together. You can have one discount pass that gets access to surfboards, snorkel gear, kayaks and bikes. It will even get you into the Birch Aquarium at Scripps and the San Diego Zoo. You can also get an extra discount if you use our link to purchase your pass.

La Jolla
is Famous For:
Beaches
Beaches
Sidewalk Cafés
Sidewalk Cafés
Sunsets
Sunsets
Surfing
Surfing
Known For:
Birch Aquarium
Birch Aquarium
Kayaking
Kayaking
Parks
Parks
Scuba Diving
Scuba Diving
This Month's Forecast
63℉ / 73℉
Partly Cloudy in June
Jul
67℉ / 77℉
Sunny in July
Aug
69℉ / 79℉
Sunny in August
Sep
67℉ / 79℉
Sunny in September

Stay

The Shoal Hotel La Jolla Beach
Near Windansea
2 Star Rating2 Star Rating
The Shoal Hotel La Jolla Beach
from $127 / night
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Inn by the Sea, at La Jolla
Family Friendly
2 Star Rating2 Star Rating
Inn by the Sea, at La Jolla
from $101 / night
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Empress Hotel
Family Friendly
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Empress Hotel
from $204 / night
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Pantai Inn
Luxury Hotel
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Pantai Inn
from $374 / night
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La Jolla Cove Suites
Beachfront
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
La Jolla Cove Suites
from $132 / night
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Scripps Inn
Beachfront
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Scripps Inn
from $289 / night
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Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton
Family Friendly
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Hotel La Jolla, Curio Collection by Hilton
from $169 / night
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Grande Colonial La Jolla
Luxury Hotel
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Grande Colonial La Jolla
from $249 / night
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Holiday Inn Express and Suites La Jolla
Family Friendly
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Holiday Inn Express and Suites La Jolla
from $158 / night
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Residence Inn by Marriott San Diego La Jolla
Near UCSD
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Residence Inn by Marriott San Diego La Jolla
from $189 / night
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La Valencia Hotel
Luxury Hotel
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
La Valencia Hotel
from $325 / night
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Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa
Boutique Hotel
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa
from $235 / night
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Sheraton La Jolla
Near UCSD
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Sheraton La Jolla
from $144 / night
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The Lodge at Torrey Pines
Near Torrey Pines
5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating5 Star Rating
The Lodge at Torrey Pines
from $343 / night
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