Outdoor Movies in San Diego & La Jolla: Your Summer Nights Just Got Way Better

What better way to enjoy a balmy summer evening in San Diego than with some popcorn, a blanket, your friends, and a movie under the stars?! We can’t think of one, to be honest. Some of our favorite venues throughout the city are showcasing some pretty excellent films this season, and the ‘theaters’ range from sandy beaches to cozy, lantern-lit patios.

We’ve done the hard work and put together a big list of the best spots to watch outdoor movies in San Diego and La Jolla this summer; so sit back, relax, and start planning your epic summer nights.

Flicks on the Bricks

Where: Athenaeum Music & Arts Library (1008 Wall Street, La Jolla 92037).
When: 7:30pm, every Thursday in August

One of La Jolla’s most beloved traditions returns this August at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library. Get ready to enjoy classic films, complimentary wine, and tasty bites on the outdoor patio! This year’s program is focusing on Film Noir, one of the first-ever showcases of the genre in America’s Finest City. With so many great films noir to choose from, this series focuses on films with a San Diego connection.

August 2 | Double feature night! Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947) and The Clay Pigeon (1949)

August 9 | Tension (1949)

August 16 | The Brothers Rico (1957)

August 23 | The Grifters (1990)

Movies on the Beach

Where: Hotel Del Coronado (1500 Orange Ave., Coronado 92118
When: Saturdays at 8:00pm; May 26-September 1

Experience a movie under the stars at the Hotel Del Coronado! Guests can snuggle up on one of the comfy Del Beach sand chairs, or, for the ultimate VIP movie experience, get cozy around a private beach bonfire with s’mores and a daybed. General admission tickets start at $20. Doors open at 7:00pm and the movie starts promptly at 8:00pm. We do suggest reserving your tickets in advance to guarantee seating.

The Ultimate La Jolla Summer Bucket List!

May 26 Finding Nemo (2003)

June 16 The Lion King (1994)

July 7 The Lego Ninjago Movie (2017)

July 14 Coco (2017)

July 21 Star Wars – The Last Jedi (2017)

August 4 Aladdin (1992)

August 11 Lilo & Stitch (2002)

August 25 Jumanji (1995)

September 1 The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Screen on the Green

Where: Museum of Art (Botanical Lawn) at Balboa Park
When: 8pm, every Thursday in August

Take a trip into the art world as you sit under the stars on the Botanical Lawn (east of the Museum) in beautiful Balboa Park. Grab a picnic, a blanket, and a few friends and enjoy a selection of films whose themes take inspiration from the Museum’s summer collection (this year’s exhibition is “Epic Tales from Ancient India”). Admission to the film series is free.

Note: alcoholic beverages are allowed in Balboa Park until 8:00p.m. Pets are allowed on the lawn, so feel free to bring Fido!

August 2 | The Lunchbox (2013)

August 9 | Original Copy (2015)

August 16 | The Music Room (1958)

August 23 | Nil Battey Sannata (2015)

August 30 | Paheli (2005)

Summer Movies in the Park

Where: Various venues throughout San Diego
When: Dusk (approximately 15 mins after sunset); May 25-October

Summer Movies in the Park is one of San Diego’s longest-running outdoor movie series. It began in 2007 as a ‘take back our parks’ initiative, giving local residents a reason to visit their local county and city parks for a free and fun evening event. This year, the venues are all across San Diego County – from here in La Jolla all the way to Oceanside.

Summer Moves in the Park: La Jolla Venues:

July 20 | Beauty and the Beast (2017).
Villa La Jolla Neighborhood Park; 8321 Via Mallorca, San Diego 92122.

August 18 | Coco (2017)
La Jolla Community Park; 615 Prospect St., La Jolla 92037.

For a complete venue lineup and film schedule, visit the Movies in the Park website.

Liberty Station Outdoor Movies

Where: North Promenade Lawn; Liberty Station
When: 8pm; 2nd Saturday of each month, May-October

Arts District Liberty Station presents its free outdoor film series once again this summer! These six curated films reflect the diverse arts and culture offerings at the growing ARTS DISTRICT at Liberty Station and appeal to film lovers of all ages. Evenings feature surprise pop-up performances or activities along with curated shorts preceding the feature film. So, bring your lawn chairs and blankets and settle down for a fabulous evening of great cinema! Space is limited, so plan to arrive early to set up your spot on the lawn.

May 12 | Coco

June 9 | Jumanji

July 14 | Wonder Woman

August 11 | Loving Vincent

September 8 | A Wrinkle in Time

October 13 | Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Movie Nights at Stone Brewing Liberty Station

Where: Stone Brewing at Liberty Station (2816 Historic Decatur Road)
When: 7:30pm; Tuesdays from June-Aug

Craft beer lovers, this is the film series for you! Every Tuesday this summer (June through August), bring your lawn chairs and blankets and settle down for a fabulous evening of great beer and even better cinema. Space is limited, so plan to arrive as early as 5pm to set up your spot on the lawn and have dinner in their garden before the show. For more information, see their website.

June 5 | The Big Lebowski

June 12 | The Naked Gun

June 19 | Zombieland

June 26 | The Three Amigos

July 3 | Super Troopers

July 10 | My Cousin Vinny

July 17 | Clerks

July 24 | The Bourne Identity

July 31 | Raiders of the Lost Ark

August 7 | Coming to America

August 14 | Jumanji

August 21 | The Dark Knight

August 28 | The Princess Bride

Why La Jolla Is (Definitely) a Better Weekend Getaway Than L.A.

la jolla weekend getaway

Angelenos often say, “There’s no city quite like Los Angeles,” which is true; it’s one of the most recognizable cities in the world, and is known for its upscale nightlife, celeb sightings, and its great food scene. However, if you’re looking for a quiet weekend getaway, La Jolla should be at the top of your list!

Whether you’re a family of four or a couple looking to escape for a few days, there is no shortage of activities and things to do in La Jolla. From top rated restaurants to water activities and hiking trails with ocean views, there’s a little something for everyone. Here are six reasons La Jolla should be your next vacation destination!

There’s Traffic, Then There’s LA Traffic

L.A. traffic is horrible. I wish I could it put it differently, but I can’t. According to a Forbes article published in 2017, L.A. has the 10th worst traffic in the world and the worst in the United States. The San Diego region doesn’t have enough traffic to even make that list. Not only that, if you want to visit the city on a weekend, everything is jam packed. Restaurants, hotels, bars, and museums are overcrowded with people. There’s always somebody nearby pushing you or bumping into you.

La Jolla doesn’t have much traffic. Yes, there’s an occasional blocked road or minor accident. Yes, there’s two streets in La Jolla with traffic (La Jolla Village Drive & Torrey Pines Road). But besides that, you can get around with ease.

la jolla weekend getaway

Easy Breezy Weather

La Jolla weather is cooler than L.A. During the summer, L.A. is on average hotter than La Jolla by about 5 degrees. That may not seem like a lot, but imagine if every room you walked into was 5 degrees hotter than what you’re used to. You start to really feel it.

Because La Jolla is on average 5 degrees cooler, it means whether you want to relax on the beach, eat outdoors, or do outdoor activities, you don’t feel like you’re melting in the heat. Not to mention, Los Angeles is more humid too.

La Jolla is also conveniently located next to the ocean. So there’s a cool breeze that’s unmatched anywhere in the world. L.A. is windy at times, but there’s no refreshing breeze that calms you down year round.

Restaurants

It seems like a no-brainer that L.A. has more restaurants than La Jolla (and many good ones). There are, so many I couldn’t count them (trust me, I tried). But La Jolla is better because there are more high-quality restaurants per square mile.

La Jolla has 20 Zagat rated restaurants in its small borders including George’s At The Cove, The Marine Room, Donovan’s Steak & Chop House, while L.A. has 19 Zagat restaurants total. Take into account the size of L.A. It’s over 500 square miles while La Jolla is just over seven. La Jolla restaurants are incredibly good and close to each other.

Let’s use Yelp to judge the food. La Jolla has about 25 highly rated restaurants (4.5 stars or higher) on the review app. L.A. has over 1000 restaurants with 4.5 or higher. People often say “more is better” but not when you’re looking for just two or three good places to eat. There are just too many choices when you go to L.A. – if you’re in town for just one weekend, finding a delicious restaurant shouldn’t mean scrolling through thousands of options. You should be able to find a place and enjoy a delicious meal without much hassle.

la jolla weekend getaway

Hiking

Hiking in La Jolla is easier to access. If you’re looking for a hike, everything is a 15-minute drive or closer. One of La Jolla’s most popular hikes, Torrey Pines, is a state natural reserve. It’s open 365 days a year, from 7:15 am to sunset. There is a small fee for parking in the South lot ($10-12 on Mon -Thurs & $12-20 on Fri-Sun) and even cheaper in the North lot. Best of all, there’s a breathtaking view of the ocean throughout the trail.

L.A.’s most famous hike is the Hollywood sign. While a fun hike, it’s complicated to even find the entrance (try it for yourself). There’s a high amount of traffic and it’s more crowded. Although there’s free parking, you’re not guaranteed a parking spot. Finally, despite beauty being subjective, I think an ocean view beats a cityscape any day. That’s just us though.

la jolla weekend getaway

Fun Beaches

It’s not fair to include beaches in this article, but we did because that is what makes La Jolla a better weekend getaway. The fact of the matter is La Jolla is a coastal city and Los Angeles isn’t. Regardless, we thought about looking at the nearest beaches would hammer the point home.

La Jolla Shores is one of the most sought after beaches in the world. It’s known for its breath-taking views, infamous leopard sharks, and mysterious sea caves. Plus there are all types of fun activities to do near the shores including kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba-diving. And of course, La Jolla Cove is well known pretty much around the world for its crystal-clear blue water, seals and sea lions, and beautiful views.

Santa Monica Beach is L.A.’s most popular and (unfortunately dirty) beach. It’s known for its chronic pollution. Plus, from the heart of L.A., it’s about 17 miles away, which is more than 30 minutes of traffic. And there’s always traffic.

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Location, Location, Location

La Jolla’s location is unbelievably convenient. Directions to La Jolla are fairly straightforward: it’s located 10 miles from downtown San Diego and major attractions like the Gaslamp District, Balboa Park, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Everything is close to L.A. too – it just might take you over an hour to get five miles across the city!

La Jolla is a better weekend getaway than L.A., not because there’s more to do in the small city, but because you don’t lose half the day battling traffic. Whether you want to get to the beach, restaurant, or hiking trail, it’s easier in La Jolla and La Jolla Cove. That means you get more time to explore. If you’re here for a weekend, enjoy the most possible time experiencing the city, not traveling from one part to another.

Have you visited both places? Leave us a comment below with your opinion of which city makes the best weekend getaway.

Everything You Need to Know About Snorkeling with La Jolla Leopard Sharks

Every year, thousands of leopard sharks head to the shores off the coast of La Jolla Shores to mate and then hatch their young. The warmer waters here provide an ideal temperature to incubate, and the sharks will typically stay for up to six months to complete the process.

The La Jolla leopard sharks are beautiful – and harmless – and snorkeling alongside them makes for an incredible afternoon out with the family. These little guys are hard to miss, and are distinctively marked with dark brown spots on a silvery, gray background that resemble a leopard print. Here’s the rundown on how to see the La Jolla leopard sharks; from where to go, when to go, and how to do it!

When can you see the La Jolla Leopard Sharks?

The leopard sharks are typically in their largest numbers from early June through the end of September or October, when thousands migrate to La Jolla Shores for their mating season. During the rest of the year about 100-200 local leopard sharks can still be seen, and some companies hold snorkeling tours through December or even year-round.

The leopard sharks congregate in the warmer shallow waters near La Jolla to look for food and find a mate; though they are a bit wary of humans, they typically keep to themselves and will gladly share the water with (respectful) swimmers and snorkelers.

When is the best time to go?

End of August and September are usually the best times to see La Jolla Leopard Sharks, as this is towards the end of the mating season and there are higher numbers of sharks. The ideal time to go is during the day, when there are calm waters and when it’s sunny (as they will be easier to spot).

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Where should I go?

The La Jolla leopard sharks congregate at La Jolla Shores,  where the water is warmer and shallower. It’s easier for them to search for food in the sand and kelp forests, which are protected by the La Jolla Underwater Park Preserve. Their diet consists mostly of smaller shellfish; including clams, crabs, shrimp, squid, and fish eggs.

During peak season, you can simply swim out into the water at La Jolla Shores and see the leopard sharks – they will often be that close to shore. Wade out up to your knees or hips, and you’ll see them swimming around your feet (which is quite an experience!). There’s no reason to be scared of these little guys, as they are completely harmless to humans and won’t bite or bother you.

How can I snorkel with the La Jolla Leopard Sharks?

There are a few different ways to really see the La Jolla Leopard Sharks. You can:

  • Swim out by yourself at La Jolla Shores and simply watch them through the water, which is usually pretty clear.
  • Snorkel out by yourself and get a better look at the sharks through a snorkel mask; either with your own gear or a snorkel rental. If you don’t have your own gear, many companies will rent you gear for the entire day at one price: Everyday California and La Jolla Kayak are just a couple.

Fun Facts About Leopard Sharks

  • Leopard sharks are only about four to five feet long
  • They’re found all over the coast of California, but they particularly like the warm water in La Jolla
  • During breeding season, females can produce anywhere from seven to 36 offspring, which measure 20 centimeters at birth
  • The maximum lifespan of this species is estimated at 30 years! They’ve lived up to 20 years in captivity, and are a popular attraction in many aquariums.
  • There is only one leopard shark attack ever recorded: in 1955, there was an unprovoked attack on a diver in Trinidad Bay, California. Fortunately, the diver was not injured and swam away unscathed.

Tips and Safety Guidelines

  1. Use common sense – keep an eye on the tide, watch out for rip currents, and always be aware of your surroundings.
  2. Always listen to the lifeguards.
  3. Treat the animals with respect; don’t try and touch them or interfere with they are doing
  4. Stay calm. Approaching the sharks quietly and calmly is your best bet to seeing them up close. If they perceive you as a predator, they may try and defend themselves.
  5. Wear appropriate gear; if you want to see them up close, have your fins and snorkeling gear ready.

Guide to the Museums in La Jolla

Despite its small size, La Jolla is a haven for local arts and culture; there are multiple museums, art galleries, and historic spots to see in the Village, from the Museum of Contemporary Art to the Map & Atlas Museum. If you’re looking to spend the afternoon brushing up on some culture, spend time in these locales absorbing new knowledge, renowned art, and local history.

Museum of Contemporary Art

The La Jolla branch of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has been bringing folks into its Prospect Street location since 1950. The museum is home to multiple constantly rotating exhibits to keep things fresh, and is currently undergoing extensive renovations to further enhance its art exhibitions.

After spending time walking the interior and taking in the galleries, make sure to take in the ocean view from the front of the museum, then head to the Edwards Sculpture Garden out back to wander the sculptures and have a picnic. If you’ve been inspired to do some art of your own, bring a sketchpad and let your artistic side take over!

Please note that the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla is currently closed until 2019. Head to the MCSASD downtown San Diego location until then, and stay tuned for updates!

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

This library is free to enter, though it’d be worth an admission price! The Spanish-Renaissance styled library was built in 1921, and the exterior is as beautiful today as it was then. Step inside and you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported back in time; the museum is filled with books, magazines, CDs, DVDs and other materials on a wide range of artistic and musical genres. You can simply take in the interior and explore the works, or become a member to take materials home and receive special offers.

Each month, the Athenaeum hosts Murals of La Jolla Walking Tours. These docent-led tours take visitors on an hour-long excursion throughout the Village to see each of the seventeen murals that grace various walls, alleyways, and nooks and crannies. Visit their website for the tour schedule.

The Athenaeum is open 10am-5:30pm Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; and 10am-8:30pm on Wednesday.

La Jolla Historical Society

The quaint museum run by the La Jolla Historical Society is the epitome of charming. Located at 7846 Eads Avenue, just off Prospect, this cottage gives you a historical feel and context for the very city you’re in (in fact, the cottage is one of the first buildings to be built in all of La Jolla, and was initially the home of Ellen Browning Scripps). Step inside the to see the carefully put-together exhibits of this historic Wisteria cottage, which has had many significances since it’s creation. Across more than 100 years, it’s served as a home, a school, a bookstore and, since 2005, a museum.

The Historical Society also hosts events. We particularly want to highlight their yearly spring event, the Secret Garden Tour of La Jolla. Buying a ticket lets you explore normally off-limits, private gardens in the community that are truly tremendous.

The Historical Society is open noon-4pm Wednesday through Saturday.

Map & Atlas Museum of La Jolla

When you think of maps, you may think of the giant foldout ones you grab on trips to foreign cities or locals ones to have in your car in case the GPS fails. However, there is a lot of history, beauty, and culture surrounding maps and mapmaking (also known as cartography) that we don’t think about, specifically with antique maps and atlases. This is a great niche museum that offers rotating exhibits throughout the year, showcasing things like “A Selection of 19th Century Gold Rush Maps” and various other mapmaking trends.

This spot is a real treat, and there is nothing else like it in San Diego County. Come explore this small but impactful museum for yourself: it’s open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month from 11am to 4pm.

Near La Jolla: Balboa Park

We would be remiss to not mention Balboa Park in San Diego when talking about museums! Home to 17 world-class museums and galleries, Balboa Park is an incredible cultural center in the heart of San Diego.

With multiple gardens, restaurants, art galleries, and exhibits, this is definitely a must-visit during your time in the city. Keep an eye out for incredible Spanish architecture while you’re there: the park was built in the early 1900s for the Panama-California Exhibition, and one of its defining features even today is the California Tower; which you can now tour!

List of the museums within Balboa Park

  • San Diego Natural History Museum
  • San Diego Museum of Art
  • San Diego Hall of Champions
  • San Diego Air & Space Museum
  • San Diego Museum of Man
  • Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
  • San Diego Model Railroad Museum

Learn more about the park and its museums at our Balboa Park Page.

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Bird Rock: La Jolla’s Neighborhood Gem

bird rock
Tucked away along the San Diego coast, just south of downtown La Jolla, is Bird Rock: a quirky but laid-back neighborhood known for beautiful ocean views, cozy restaurants, and independent boutiques. While perhaps slightly lesser known than La Jolla, the community has a fascinating history and is one of the most unique and interesting areas of San Diego!

1. Local lore maintains the neighborhood was named after a rock, that – you guessed it – was shaped like a bird.

The offshore rock can be spotted at the end of Bird Rock Avenue, and was thought to once resemble the shape of a bird (the rock once had an arch with an opening under it, but the arch was eroded by wave action and finally collapsed a few years ago).

2. The first war-time sinking of a U.S. submarine occurred off the coast near Bird Rock.

Two F-series submarines collided in the fog on a training mission in 1917, sinking one of them within 10 seconds and killing all 19 aboard. The submarine is reportedly still there to this day.

3. The neighborhood was subdivided by pioneer developer Michael F. Hall in 1906, who officially named it “Bird Rock – City by the Sea.”

Bird Rock’s path to becoming an official community started in the early 1900s, when the M. Hall Company bought large tracts of land in southern La Jolla for a subdivision the company dubbed “Bird Rock, City by the Sea.” The new neighborhood stayed small until the 1930s, when the arrival of World War II factory workers set off a housing boom. The building continued after the war, and Bird Rock Elementary opened in 1951 to accommodate the influx of new families.

4. During World War II, the area was home to the Bird Rock Coastal Defense and Anti-Aircraft Training Center.

Bird Rock was a major military hub during WWII, when the Training Center was built as part of the Coast Artillery unit. Around the same time, Camp Matthews was also being set up on what is now the UC San Diego campus; it’s reported than more than a million Marine recruits received their marksmanship training at this military base.

5. The 26th season of MTV’s The Real World was filmed in Bird Rock in 2011.

The show set up camp in Bird Rock back in 2011, much to the chagrin of local residents. The 6,800-square-foot house, located on Chelsea Drive and Crystal Street, boasted a huge a pool, and news footage showed a rooftop tennis court had been covered with a life-sized chess set. It was estimated to be worth $3.5 million in 2011! Real World’s tenure was the source of multiple noise complaints and safety concerns from its neighbors.

Resentment festered for weeks until the production company increased security and agreed to turn off roof lights at 10pm and pay for off-duty police officers to discourage night visits.

6. Aviator Charles Lindbergh ate at the Bird Rock Inn before taking his historic flight.

Lindbergh, whose name graces the San Diego Airport, is recognized for completing the first solo airplane flight across the Atlantic Ocean. He is reported to have eaten his last meal at the favorite seafood restaurant, Bird Rock Inn, before leaving San Diego for Paris on May 20, 1927. The inn hotel, located at Bird Rock Avenue, was said to have been built with stones from the nearby beach.

Neighborhood Guide

Today, Bird Rock in La Jolla is a fun, easy place to explore. Head north on La Jolla Hermosa Avenue to find the Bird Rock Bike Path, which usually doesn’t get too crowded and makes for a nice stroll.

Afterward, head over to the Street of Dreams, (aka Camino de la Costa), a stretch of oceanfront mansions with gorgeous panoramic views of the water. From there, head to Calumet Park, where you’ll find benches, picnic tables, and expansive ocean views (we also love La Jolla Hermosa Park, a bit north of here). Finish off your day by visiting one of Bird Rock’s boutique shops and restaurants, including:

  • Bird Rock Coffee Roasters for an award-winning cup of coffee
  • Wheat & Water for pizza and brews
  • Bird Rock Surf Shop to pick up new surfing gear
  • Bahia Don Bravo for casual Mexican fare
  • Beaumont’s for dinner with a view and live music
  • Farm to Fork Juice for a healthy smoothie
  • Mimi & Red to shop casual, beach-chic fashion
  • Studio Barre for a quick workout

What are your favorite parts of Bird Rock? Share your photos with us in the comments!

[article sources: La Jolla Light; SDNews.com; San Diego UT]

Sugar & Scribe: Chef Maeve Dishes on What’s Next for La Jolla’s Favorite Bakery

Since its revamp and reopening in 2015, Sugar & Scribe has quickly become a La Jolla favorite: delicious baked goods, sandwiches the way your mom used to make them, and sweet treats, all infused with a touch of old-world Irish magic. Chef Maeve is a veritable force in the restaurant industry, and takes pride in having built her business from the ground up.

Chef Maeve

It was a sunny day when we stepped into Sugar & Scribe for lunch; the doors were wide open, and we were greeted with Chef Maeve’s characteristically contagious grin as she came from the kitchen. While we waited for some new menu samples, the restaurant was buzzing with activity, and we got the chance to chat with Maeve about this year’s exciting updates; her inspiration for the new menu; and where she sees the bakery in five years.

To this day, Chef Maeve creates everything on the menu completely from scratch, and takes much of her inspiration from her homeland in Ireland. Ingredients are locally-sourced when they can be, and the entire team at the restaurant (including Maeve’s husband, Andrew) have full input when it comes to crafting the next menu.

New Menu: Fresh Favorites & Classic Comfort Food

The La Jolla restaurant’s brand new menu has made its debut, and we are loving it. This particular menu iteration took a lot of teamwork and multiple test batches; it kept the staples of her old menu, but she felt ready to experiment and mix things up a little. Maeve’s goal here was to take food items that already exist, and do something totally different with them. She was inspired, in part, by one of her chefs – Chef Bernard – and the way he utilizes everyday items in unusual ways. She worked tirelessly with her entire team to fully flesh out the menu, and it shows.

For Maeve, the best part about cooking is  being able to “serve emotions;” to create food that people don’t just simply taste. We had the opportunity to sample some of Maeve’s favorite items, including:

The Loaded King Sandwich: An open-face sandwich packed with BBQ beef, Fontina cheese, grilled onions, and an egg cooked any way you like. The BBQ beef is cooked “low and slow,” in Maeve’s words: “the only way to go!” The meat takes six hours to slow-cook, and its flavors are a scrumptious combination of the best parts of both Kansas City and Texas barbecue.

sugar & scribe la jolla

Farmers Salad: Fresh, packed with fresh veggies, and decidedly not just another lunchtime salad! Tons of greens, radishes, sliced chicken, corn, goat cheese, avocado, and tomatoes are all topped with a tangy-sweet poblano honey dressing. The salad is a quirky blend of Maeve’s Irish heritage, with a little bit of a Baja twist; it’s still one of her favorite things on the menu.

Nutella Nuts French Toast: This was a serious treat. Cinnamon Brioche toast is topped with strawberry compote, Nutella, strawberries, vanilla bean whipped cream, and toasted almonds. It’s fluffy, light, and totally decadent – just the way French Toast should be!

Seasonal Mimosas: These are must-haves if you’re here for brunch. We tried the lemon lavender and the tangerine, which were delicious – crafted with house-made lemonade and fresh-squeezed juice, both flavors of the new mimosas are light, fresh, and just tangy enough. The best part? They’re bottomless!

Don’t worry; all the favorites and classics from their old menu are still available! The restaurant/bakery has an even larger selection of sandwiches, salads, house specialties (like Rochford Shepherd’s Pie and the Full Irish Breakfast), and baked goods, coffee, tea, and specialty drinks.

What’s Next for Chef Maeve and Sugar & Scribe

This has already proven to be an exciting year for Chef Maeve and the team at Sugar & Scribe La Jolla. Along with the new menu, they’ve revamped their outside patio and added waiter service. They’ve also seriously upped their coffee game, and are now brewing espresso and drip coffee from Dark Horse Roasters and nitro and cold brew from Bird Rock Coffee Roasters down the road. Pro-tip: their new Charcoal Latte with Micro-Fuchsia is a must-try!

The restaurant, this year alone, won not one but four Village News Readers’ Choice Awards: Best Desserts, Best Pastry, Best Pet-Friendly Restaurant, and Best Breakfast.

And that isn’t all! Maeve plans to launch her own cookware/bakeware line of Chef Maeve-branded products in HomeGoods stores and on Amazon.com in a few months. And toward the end of 2018, she’ll be collaborating with Chef’d (a meal kit service that delivers fully-prepared meals to your door) to develop tradition-based recipes for at-home cooks; another nod to her Irish heritage and influence. The meals will be seasonal and packed with fresh ingredients, and simple but full of flavor. Those who opt in will be able to pick and choose just one meal at a time, which will make it a great option for impromptu dinner parties!

Chef Maeve’s passion and enthusiasm for what she does is tangible, contagious, and altogether inspiring. A desire to support the local community and her deeply-rooted love of cooking has turned Sugar & Scribe into an iconic and beloved part of La Jolla; and with so many restaurants becoming less and less community-oriented, stepping into the warm, friendly atmosphere of Sugar & Scribe is truly a breath of fresh air.

Sugar & Scribe is located at 7660 Fay Avenue. They’re open Monday-Saturday from 7am-3:30pm, and Sunday from 7am-2:3-pm.

San Diego Surf Film Festival Returns to La Jolla

san diego surf film festival

The San Diego Surf Film Festival returns to San Diego and downtown La Jolla for its seventh year this May 9th-12th! Films will be shown at a dozen locations all around San Diego, with its hub being one of the newest art galleries in La Jolla: Misfit Gallery on Pearl Street. This year, a roster of fifteen of the best international surf films are being presented over the four-day festival. From La Jolla Cove to north county, here are some of this year’s SDSFF highlights!

This Year’s Highlights

Opening Night

The festival kicks off at 6pm on Wednesday, May 9th at Wade Koniakowsky’s (this year’s featured artist) art gallery in the Cedros Design District area of Solana Beach. The Opening Night movie begins at 7pm, but arrive early to catch a gorgeous sunset, take in the live art, and enjoy some refreshments. This year’s Opening Night will also feature a special tribute to Bruce Brown, the legendary filmmaker behind one of the most important and well known surf cinema productions of all time: Endless Summer. 

In tribute, the festival will be presenting three films on different screens that evening: Endless Summer, On Any Sunday, and Discovering Mentawais.

San Diego Surfing Hall of Fame Induction Ballot Ceremony

Thursday, May 10 is the highly-anticipated San Diego Surfing Hall of Fame Induction Ballot Dinner Ceremony, introduced by Hank Warner at the La Jolla Community Center. More than a dozen local eateries have come together to create a special tasting menu to be paired with Ballast Point beer, ZioBaffa wine, and Babe Kombucha in what looks to be an incredibly memorable evening amongst the legends of San Diego surfing. The dinner and event is $75, or included for VIP Nautilus Pass holders.

Last year the SDSFF presented Skip Frye with their highest honor, the Spirit of the San Diego Surf Film Festival. For SDSFF 2018, they have invited over two dozen San Diego Surfing Legends to show up for the San Diego Surfing Hall of Fame Induction Ballot. With the approval and guidance from these legends, they compiled a list of around 100 of the Most Influential San Diego Surfers; and during the ballot ceremony, you’ll be able to have your voice heard in the process! The Hall of Fame will inducts its first 25 Surfers in September, 2018.

3 Nights of Surf Films

All six nights of film viewings, as well as the closing Awards Ceremony, will be held at Misfit Gallery in La Jolla (565 Pearl St., #100). Friday and Saturday include the majority of the films, as well as special events running throughout the day and into the evening.

This year’s film highlights include:The Church of the Open Sky, Nathan Oldfield

  • Proximity, Taylor Steele
  • Biarritz Surf Gang, Nathan Curren & Pierre Denoyel
  • Big Wata, Gugi van der Velden

Special Events

The festival isn’t just about surf films! Other activities will be happening throughout the week, including morning surf and yoga sessions, special Filmmaker Workshops by Salty Surf Housings, and the 3rd Annual SDSFF Art & Surf Expression Session Invitational in Carlsbad on Saturday (artists will be riding the waves and creating works of art on the beach throughout the day). Afterwards, enjoy the Filmmaker & Artists Meet and Greet at El Pescador in La Jolla, followed by Happy Hour at the Misfit Gallery.

The San Diego Surf Film Festival boasts seven years of incredible films, hard work, and talent behind it. The fest was founded by Pierce Kavanagh  as a small film showcase in 2012; that first year, every film sold out and they had lines around the block. The City of San Diego presented them with a plaque, and seven years later, it has become one of the largest and most respected surf film festivals around the world. 2018 returns with another awesome lineup of the best surf films, filmmaker Q&As, special events, and more.

Visit the SDSFF website to purchase tickets or see the full film lineup.

things to do in la jolla

The Ultimate La Jolla Summer Bucket List

We won’t lie – summer in La Jolla is a beautiful thing! Endless hours of sunshine, warm weather, and seven miles of gorgeous, sandy beaches make our little village by the sea one of the best places to spend the summer in all of San Diego.

With so many things to do in La Jolla (not to mention the world-class dining options), you’ll definitely want to take advantage of absolutely everything while you’re here. So, we’ve put together the ultimate activities guide for things to do in La Jolla this summer; start ticking things off the list and get out there!

Take a kayak tour of the La Jolla caves

If nothing else, this is the one activity you absolutely cannot miss during a visit to La Jolla. The seven sea caves that line the shore are millions of years old and carved from sandstone; they’re beautiful to look at, and even better, incredible to kayak through.

Guided kayak tours (you can choose from several local tour companies down at La Jolla Shores, where the tours start) will allow you to experience the whole enchilada, from paddling out and braving the waves to exploring Clam Cave, the biggest and one of the easiest ones to kayak through. On lower tide days, you’ll also get the chance to kayak into one or two of the smaller caves, but that may be an activity reserved for the braver members of your group!

la jolla things to do

Snorkel around La Jolla Cove

There’s nothing quite like getting up-close-and-personal with the marine life at La Jolla Cove. During the summer months, leopard sharks number in the thousands when they come here to hatch their young. The sharks are harmless, and the Birch Aquarium even hosts guided snorkel tours that take groups out to the most populated spots.

Other creatures you may see while exploring include Garibaldi, shovelnose guitarfish, sea urchins, sea anemones, crabs, stingrays, and all types of other fish.

Have a beach bonfire at La Jolla Shores

Need we say more? Beach bonfires down at the Shores are pretty much the epitome of an awesome summer night in La Jolla. There are several bonfire pits located on the sand along the shores at this beach, but fair warning: they do fill up very early on weekends. To secure a pit, you’ll probably need to get down there and stake one out around 11am. But hey, it’s totally worth it once you’re staying warm next to a roaring fire right on the beach.

For more information on how to have a bonfire, head here.

things to do in la jolla

Learn how to scuba dive

Interested in going one step further than snorkeling in La Jolla? Try your hand at scuba diving! There are a couple of different companies (such as SD Expeditions) that offer scuba diving certification and classes throughout the year. From beginner open water certification to advanced rescue diver classes, you’ll be able to customize your own experience and really get a feel for how it all works. Plus, the amount of marine life you’ll be able to see is incredible!

Venture into Sunny Jim Cave

Sunny Jim Cave is the only sea cave accessible from land in California; which is a pretty cool thing in and of itself when it comes to things to do in La Jolla. Adventurers can access the cave via The Cave Store, which has been there since 1903, and pay the $5 to head down 145 stone steps to one of the most unique views that you’ll see in all of La Jolla. There are six other sea caves, but most of them are inaccessible except for by kayak during low tide and calm waters.

 

Learn More About the Seven Sea Caves Here!

 

There has been much speculation regarding the origin of the cave’s name; though the most common theory is that it was named by Frank L. Baum for a British cartoon character!

Take one of La Jolla’s coastal hikes

There’s nothing better on a clear, sunny day than going on a great hike! There are a ton of great hikes in San Diego alone, but there are a few hidden gems right here in La Jolla. The Coast Walk Trail, which begins at the Cave Store, travels along the bluffs for a super scenic, easy walk.

The Scripps Coastal Reserve is a bit more of a rugged hike, but offers terrific views of the Torrey Pines Gliderport and beyond. Finally, there’s the Coastal Meander Trail, which starts at La Jolla Shores Dr. and heads down to a bluff overlooking Scripps Pier for sweeping ocean views.

Whichever hike you choose, you’re definitely going to be greeted with scenic panoramas of the Pacific Ocean and all of San Diego.

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Walk the sea wall at Children’s Pool

Walking along the sea wall down at The Children’s Pool is one of our favorite pastimes. If you walk all the way to the end, you’ll get a great perspective of looking back at La Jolla from the water; which is hard to do unless you’re out in a boat or kayak. Fair warning here: you most likely will get wet by doing this! But that’s really all part of the fun, right?

Enjoy dinner with a view

La Jolla is home to a number of incredible fine dining restaurants along the coast, boasting great views. Prospect Street is your best bet for dining with an ocean view – George’s at the Cove, Eddie V’s, Crabcatcher, Duke’s La Jolla are all incredible fine dining restaurants and will make for an experience you won’t soon forget!

Paraglide at the Torrey Pines Gliderport

Adrenaline seekers, here’s an activity for you! Hang gliding or paragliding from the Torrey Pines Gliderport is an awesome experience that’s totally unique to La Jolla. You can take a tandem flight with an instructor (which is recommended for those who have never flown before) or learn how to fly one yourself. For the experienced flyers, there are even advanced clinics that take place every few weeks.

Bonus: Falconry classes are offered at the Gliderport during certain months of the year! This is seriously a must-do bucket list item if you happen to be in La Jolla when they’re happening. Check their page for the class schedule.

Experience a High Tide Dinner at The Marine Room

Each spring and summer, The Marine Room offers a series of High Tide Dinners, where guests can experience the magic of giant waves crashing up against the floor-to-mirror windows while they dine. This is truly one of the best restaurants in San Diego, and is definitely worth a visit if you’ve never been. Their website lists the exact time at which the highest tide will be, so you can plan your reservation accordingly. Do reserve in advance, as these fill up way ahead of time!

things to do in la jolla

Check out the views from Mt. Soledad

If you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy view, Mount Soledad should definitely be on your list. The mountaintop offers 360-degree panoramas of La Jolla, downtown San Diego, and even Mexico (on super clear days), and it’s totally free to go and park. Pro-tip: go just before sunset for an even more gorgeous view!

If you’re in the mood for some walking, take the 5-minute drive over to La Jolla Heights Open Space Park. It’s a short walk that will give you even more great views, plus a cute little bench to sit down on and take in the scenery. It’s worth checking out!

things to do in la jolla

Watch the seals at La Jolla Cove

We would be remiss if our list didn’t include a visit to the seals at La Jolla Cove. Though a bit odiferous, it’s great to see these creatures up close. You can usually find them sunning on the rocks just offshore from the Cove, or on the sandy beach and rocks at the Children’s Pool nearby. You can easily walk from the Cove to the Children’s Pool; stop to have a picnic or a drink of water at Ellen Browning Scripps Park to break the walk up a bit. Read up on how best to see these animals without endangering their safety before you go.

Take in the art galleries and museums downtown

La Jolla is a great place to experience a little arts and culture. Museums in downtown La Jolla include the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (which is closed for renovations until 2019, but you can still check out the Edwards Sculpture Garden in the back), the Map & Atlas Museum of La Jolla, Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, and the La Jolla Historical Society.

There are also several incredible art galleries here, including Madison Gallery, Thumbprint Gallery, and the Legends Gallery which is home to a huge collection of Dr. Seuss’ art.

These spots are pretty gorgeous parts of San Diego, and as you can see from the list, there is definitely no shortage of awesome things to do in La Jolla!

It’s Grunion Run Season! 5 Things to Know Before You Go

They flop around, surf the waves, and make sweet love under the moonlight: the season of the grunion has begun! On beaches all throughout Southern California, you’ll get the chance to experience these strange little creatures up close; and La Jolla has some of the best seats in the house. Just grab your flashlights, a few beach chairs and, if you don’t mind staying up late, get ready to watch them run!

So, What Is a Grunion Run?

Each spring, from April to May or June, thousands of these little silvery fish wash ashore to partake in a strange mating ritual under the moonlight. While on the beach, female grunion bury themselves half-way in the sand to lay eggs, while males wrap themselves around the females to fertilize their eggs. The females will lay anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 eggs. Then, as the next round of waves wash in, the fish simply float back to sea. Some may call them the original bodysurfers!

1. Grunions runs are unique to Southern California.

That’s right – because grunions are only found off the coast of Southern California, from San Diego to San Luis Obispo, and in Northern Baja, Mexico (just north of Punta Abreojos), we Californians are the sole witnesses of this incredible event every year.

2. They usually ‘run’ on wide, sandy beaches.

Ergo, La Jolla is the perfect grunion run destination! La Jolla Shores, to be exact. If you’re a newbie and you want the full experience, we recommend going with the expert naturalists at the Birch Aquarium during, or just after, a full moon. They host guided visits of grunion spawning areas at La Jolla Shores throughout April-June, which includes a full rundown on these mysterious creatures as well as a demonstration of hatchlings emerging from their eggs in a vial of seawater.

Birch Aquarium Grunion Run 2018 schedule:

Wednesday, May 2: 11:00pm – 1:00 am
Thursday, May 31: 10:30pm – 12:30am
Friday, June 1: 11:00pm – 1:00am

3. You can even catch the grunions – but only during specific periods.

If you’re in the market for some fresh seafood, you may want to check out a grunion run this year! While April and May are off-limits to fishing or catching the fish while they’re onshore (this is their prime mating period and are therefore protected), you are allowed to do so in March and June – and only with your hands. No nets, buckets or other gear is allowed, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Additionally, people over 16 need a fishing license to participate, and while there is no official bag limit, it is illegal to waste them. Digging holes in the sand as traps is also forbidden.

4. For the best runs, look for the fish after new or full moons.

These silvery little fish are most likely to surface after the highest tides during a full moon, and the largest numbers of grunions usually wash up about an hour after the ‘run’ begins. Try to avoid using flashlights, as the illumination can scare away the fish, and if you do, limit their use to times after the waves have receded. Do remember to tread carefully; you never know what you may be stepping on, and the vibrations of your feet will often scare the little guys away.

5. Though unlikely, be prepared for a no-show.

As with any creatures, there is an element of luck to our ability to witness them; and while grunion can hit the beach by the thousands, they can also decide not to show up at all. It’s disappointing, but not altogether unusual. And, at the very least, you’ll be enjoying a peaceful moonlit walk along the beach – what could possibly be more Southern Californian than that?

A few grunion run tips and things to remember:

  • Do not touch or or interfere with spawning during closed fishing season (April and May).
  • Walk quietly and don’t shine a flashlight directly on the water
  • Leave your furry friends at home
  • Wear waterproof shoes, or at least shoes you don’t mind getting wet. Same goes for clothing, as well.
  • What to bring: a flashlight, a beach chair, a bucket to put your grunion in, and a fishing license if you are planning to take them.

Above all, have fun – and happy grunion running!

Take After-Work Drinks to the Next Level at Herringbone’s Oyster Hour

With its charming ambience, tempting craft cocktails, and inventive takes on classic American fare, happy hour in La Jolla at Herringbone is not your average after-work bar. Executive Chef Brian Malarkey, a Top Chef finalist and founder of several successful restaurants (including Searsucker restaurant in San Diego), has created a space that’s both trendy and communal – so even though it’s stylish, it’s still got an inviting feeling that makes it perfect for a night out with friends. Not to mention Malarkey’s menu of savory dishes, which will totally change your concept of bar food.

Take your evening drinks to the next level and check out happy hour (or Oyster Hour, as they call it) at Herringbone first.

Romantic Coastal Lounge

Herringbone is well known by locals for its lofty, modern-rustic atmosphere. With its high ceilings, wooden beams, and exposed brick give it a “repurposed vintage” vibe. The location is actually a renovated 1930s warehouse; it was transformed from a practically abandoned building, to a chic space. Throughout this romantic coastal lounge, 100-year-old olive trees and strung fairy lights bring the outside in and add a touch of whimsy.

The restaurant has two areas: the sky-lit dining room in the back, and a more casual area in the front where happy hour takes place. With plenty of seating both inside and out (where you can enjoy some of the year-round lovely weather in San Diego) it’s great for a social dining outing. It’s spacious enough to fit everyone in your party while still feeling cozy. There are tables for bigger groups, while the plush chairs and window-side sofa are great for more intimate conversation. The wood-burning fireplace will keep you warm, too, if you can snag a seat nearby during the chilly nights. The outdoor patio is pet friendly, so feel free to bring along your furry friend.

Chic But Chill

Downtown La Jolla is perfect for when you’re feeling festive, but want something more laid back than a trip to the Downtown San Diego area or Pacific Beach.

While Herringbone is an upscale place, it’s low-key enough to still enjoy Happy Hour on the casual side. It’s definitely on the fancier side compared to an Irish Pub like Hennessey’s Tavern, but not quite as formal as the Marine Room – so no need to worry about a dress code. This makes it perfect for drinks before a date, a fun work get-together, or ladies night out to catch up with friends.

Live Music

Did we mention the music? Every Thursday and Friday from 5:00-7:00 pm, you can enjoy free live music from local artists as you sip your cocktails and taste delicious small plates. If you’re stopping by during the weekend, they have a set at 12:00-2:00 pm and again from 4:00-6:00 pm.

A tip for beer lovers: On Saturdays from 12:00-4:00 pm, the restaurant also hosts “Acoustics and Ales,” where they feature draft beers from a visiting brewery along with chill acoustic tunes.

Well Pours, Poured Well

A good happy hour starts with one thing: a good drink. Luckily, Herringbone has you more than covered there. Its happy hour menu has got some of the best cocktails in La Jolla, with a variety of both original recipes and classics. They’ve got well drinks down (and for only $5), but if you want something different, you’ve got to try one of their specialty cocktails.

Snake In The Grass [pictured left]

This is for anyone looking to step up their usual Gin and Tonic. Cucumber gin, lime, mint, and soda come together in this refreshing mix.

Jaleberry [pictured right]

Sweet, spice, and everything nice. The kick of the strawberry jalapeño tequila is balanced out with a little bit of lime and agave.

La Jolla Aviation

This luscious combination of gin, maraschino, creme yvette, and lemon will have you soaring.

Ocean Breeze

Probably the fruitiest cocktail option, this drink is a delicious concoction of Effen black cherry vodka, pineapple, cranberry, and lemon.

Housemade Infusions

The bar at Herringbone offers its own house-made infused liquors, which are made by soaking fruits or spices in spirits to create a unique flavor from natural ingredients. The happy hour menu includes two of their most popular, the cucumber gin and the strawberry jalapeño tequila.

The Usuals

Not into the hard stuff? They carry local craft beer like St. Archer, as well as other popular names like Anchor. The wine list also covers pretty much all of your bases, whether you want a light chardonnay or an earthy Pinot Noir (hint: visit on “Tannin Tuesdays” for half-off all bottles of wine during lunch and dinner, or on Saturdays for endless $25 rosé wine).

Fish Meats Field

When Malarkey opened Herringbone La Jolla in 2012, he envisioned a fine dining experience of “Fish Meats Field:” coastal cuisine made with the best seafood that markets have to offer, as well as the freshest farm produce of the season. His approach to contemporary American cuisine brings in the best of both worlds, reflected in the carefully curated happy hour menu that’s the perfect balance of surf and turf.

Seafood Offerings

Even though it’s a favorite around town for evening drinks, Herringbone is known first and foremost for having some of the best seafood in La Jolla. Only two of the options of happy hour selection come from the usual coastal menu, but they’re seriously delicious, and and seriously good deals.

Oyster Hour

Of course one of the of the most popular features of Herringbone’s happy hour menu is the Oyster Hour. Order their famous shucked oysters on the half shell for just a $1 each. It’s a great deal, and they’re always incredibly fresh. The variety depends on the chef’s selection of what’s best on the market that day.

Curried Mussels

This one is more of a full plate, which makes it optimal for sharing. If you usually shy away from mussels because of a “fishy” taste, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised by the subtle flavor here. Served with indian-inspired yellow curry, there’s a bite from the Calabrian chilies that’s balanced by the coolness of a little mint. Plus, on the side is helping of warm naan bread.

Arancini Risotto Balls

Filled with the creamy goodness of a three-cheese risotto cooked to perfection, these crispy delights are petite but very satisfying. They’re served with an herb aioli on the side for dipping.

Before You Go

Oyster Hour is from 4:00-6:00 pm Tuesdays through Sundays, and from 4:00 pm until close on Mondays. Since it’s a pretty casual event, Herringbone doesn’t take reservations for this time. However, you should be fine on any weekday – things usually pick up after 6:00 pm, or a little earlier on Saturdays.

Herringbone is located on 7837 Herschel Ave. There’s a private free lot for parking, and valet on Fridays and Saturdays. There are also some paid lots or free street parking on Herschel and Silverado (the two-hour spots are only monitored until 6:00 pm in La Jolla, so if you arrive at 4:00 or later try to find one of those).