8 Must Read Beach Books

Take yourself out of your day-to-day life of work and errands, and imagine yourself on a beach instead. Toes in the sand. Waves crashing down. The only thing that can complete it (besides an afternoon margarita)? A good book.

With countless libraries, bookstores and online sellers, book options are overwhelming. This is why we’ve put together a list of 8 books perfect for any beach day.

1. The Vacationers by Emma Straub

A family takes a trip to work on reconciling. Join in on their vacation and become part of this funny, touching story that explores what it means to be both an individual and part of a family.

2. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

If you’re looking for something light-hearted, go old school with Oscar Wilde’s work The Importance of Being Earnest. This play of secret identities, whimsical engagements and witty banter is absolutely hilarious. Best of all? Because of its short length, it’s something you can easily finish in one beach afternoon.

3. The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

Are you looking for a book that makes you contemplate life? This novel is all about the “what ifs” in life. What if you made one small decision differently? What if you had said yes? One different answer may have changed everything.

4. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

A classic chick flick book, Nicholas Sparks books are famous tear jerkers for a reason. Heart-wrenching and addictive, Spark’s typical North Carolina beach settings make his books the perfect summer and beach reads. You’ve probably seen the film version of The Notebook, but, if you liked it, it’s worth taking the time to read the original story on paper.

5. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

Okay, one more Nicholas Sparks novel, and then I’ll list no more. With strong themes of growing up, first love and adjusting to change, it’s a powerful story geared for a slightly younger audience, teenager to mid 20s.. If you’ve seen the movie, the book has many differences that make it its own unique story.

6. The Rosie Project by Don Tillman

If you enjoy the Big Bang Theory, this is a good recommendation. The Dr. Sheldon Cooper-like main character is conducting a study to see if he can fall in love. If you know Sheldon, you know this is sure to be interesting, heart-warming and hilarious.

7. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This suspenseful, gripping novel is nothing short of brilliant. A book compelling to both men and women, it starts on the 5 year anniversary of Nick and Amy Dunne. All seems well until…she disappears. It’s ideal to read the novel before seeing the famous motion picture, but, if you’ve already watched it, you’ll appreciate reading for the full details.

8. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

In the same genre as Gone Girl, this is a suspenseful, page-turning novel. Rachel witnesses something that throws her into a world of complete strangers. Put on your seat belt because there are going to be some jaw-dropping twists and turns.

Deciding which beach to go to? La Jolla, California beaches are beautiful and nearby wonderful communities for shopping and night-time adventures. Check out the best of them at our beaches directory.

The 5 Best Beach Snacks to Pack in Your Picnic Basket

Packing food for the beach is an art; it’s finding the perfect blend of treats that are portable, don’t melt easily and keep you satisfied through a day of beach activities. What snacks do all of these?

Here are our final picks for the 5 very best ones.

1. Frozen grapes

If they’re still frozen by the time you tuck in, you have yourself some mini popsicle bites. If they’ve thawed out most of the way, you’re left with cool, crisp grapes.

2. Individual pasta salads

Get a few mason jars and fill them up with a pre-prepared pasta salad. You can utilize fantastic recipes like saucy sesame noodles or black bean & corn pasta salad.
(These pasta salad recipes are especially are prime as they have ingredients that stay good for a good while, even in a semi-insulated lunch box.)

The mason jars are a great way to makes picnic snack portioning & serving easy. Tupperware works too, but the BPAs and chemicals in plastic (especially if sitting in the sun) can be dangerous. Glass, on the other hand, is a much healthier alternative.

3. Homemade Trail Mix

It’s easy to make trail mix personalized to your tastes. Make sure you’re eating your favorite types of nuts, dried fruit and seeds by going to places that offer them in bulk like Whole Foods and Windmill Farms.

Plus, by choosing ingredients yourself, you can make sure to make a trail mix recipe that doesn’t have chocolate, which will melt quickly in the sunshine!

4. Apples & Peanut Butter

The perfect combination of salty and sweet, apples and peanut butter are a fantastic beach snack packed with nutrients and fiber to keep you full until your next meal. Also, it’s just a really delicious combination.

(For an even lower calorie option? Try celery and peanut butter.)

5. Sand Dollar Sugar Cookies

Interested in something sweet that isn’t just fruit? Get DIY the night before with this easy, yet stunning recipe for Sand Dollar cinnamon sugar cookies. This beach cookie recipe uses nothing but a basic cinnamon sugar cookie recipe and some almonds. Your desserts will be the must-Instagram image of the day! Check out the full recipe at this link: http://blog.tuesdaymorning.com/pool-party/

5. Sand Dollar Sugar Cookies

Interested in something sweet that isn’t just fruit? Get DIY the night before with this easy, yet stunning recipe for Sand Dollar cinnamon sugar cookies. This beach cookie recipe uses nothing but a basic cinnamon sugar cookie recipe and some almonds. Your desserts will be the must-Instagram image of the day! Check out the full recipe at this link: http://blog.tuesdaymorning.com/pool-party/

Still deciding which beach to enjoy all this on? Check out our favorite beaches in La Jolla, California at our beaches directory.

8 Sand Castles You Have to See to Believe

You’ve seen sandcastles with a few towers and leaf for a flag, but have you seen the folks that call themselves “Sand Masters?” People from around the world, including here in San Diego area, have truly made sandcastle sculpting into a craft. Here are samples of the globe’s best.

1. Some couples attend baseball games together. Some bicycle together. Others, like Paul and Remy Hoggard, go around the world building first-class sand sculptures as a team. Here’s one of their best.

2. Okay, this couple is too good. We had to include one more from Remy and Paul.

3. Jeroen Kransen outdid himself with his Sleeping Beauty Castle. Wow.

4. In a land down under, Frankston Waterfront hosts the “Friends, Foes and Super Heroes” daily. This piece from the Australian event puts incredible in The Incredibles.

5. This Toy Story-inspired piece features some of the favorite characters that’ll have you Buzz-ing.

6. From right here in San Diego area, in the Pacific Beach neighborhood just south of La Jolla, came this beautiful sculpture. Makes one feel transported to Narnia, doesn’t it?

7. Weston-Super-Mare hosted a Hollywood themed contest. Sand masters from around the world participated; this creation was one of the results.

8. Also created in Weston-Super-Mare, anyone remember this classic film?

9. One more from this contest, this fairytale-like piece is truly jaw-dropping. William Cho invites us to view his creation graciously with the name, “Welcome to my Kingdom”.

Feel inspired to work on your own sculptures? Head to one of La Jolla’s beaches to start your very own masterpiece!

A Checklist for the Perfect Beach Day

Want an easy breezy day at the beach? Use this checklist, and you’ll have everything you need for a perfect beach day.

1. Directions & Parking Info

Nowadays, we all have GPS. However, a lot of beaches have a single address that may not take you to the right area or a spot with parking. Do a little recon ahead of time to find the right spot to park; that way you don’t drive up to the GPS address and feel any “where do we park?” panic.

(For example, if you’re headed to La Jolla, California, simply select the desired beach from our beaches directory. The parking details will be in there.)

2. A Picnic

If you have your dream beach spot, the weather is gorgeous and the view is dreamy…the last thing you want to do is have to get up for food. Pack a cooler with sandwiches and a basket of your favorite snacks beforehand, so you’re good to go.

3. A Good Book

In the day-to-day, most of us are far too busy to pick up a book. Take time to finally start that novel you’ve had bookmarked on GoodReads for forever.

4. Sunscreen

The sun feels lovely and glorious, until your skin starts overheating. Prevent the unpleasant and unhealthy effects of too much sun with a strong SPF.

5. A beach umbrella

When SPF isn’t enough and you need a break from the sunshine, you’ll be thankful you brought your beach umbrella. Instant shade. Instant relief.

Learn more about fantastic beachside activities in La Jolla, California at our blogs: La Jolla kayaking, La Jolla snorkeling and general Ocean page.

5 Ways: You Know You Live in La Jolla When…

La Jolla is a proud community that’s notably unique from its Southern California neighbors. It may border San Diego, but it has a very distinct personality that is not to mistaken for anywhere else. Here are some of the top ways that, if you nod with understanding, you know you’re an official La Jollan.

1. When someone says they’re going to George’s, they’re probably not talking about a friend’s house.

Though it’s possible someone is visiting a pal named George, it is far more likely they’re headed to George’s at the Cove, a fine dining restaurant that offers incredibly seafood, ocean views and service. It may well be your perfect go-to for celebrations like birthdays or anniversaries.

2. Brunch makes for a truly ultimate Saturday or Sunday.

La Jolla has many fantastic spots for a seaside brunch on the weekends, all of which are popping with guests excited to indulge in good food and (most likely) sip on mimosas. Check out what we think are 4 Must-Try Brunch Spots in La Jolla.

3. You hear “The Playhouse” and know it’s not a child’s play area.

If you live in La Jolla, you’ve probably attended at least one event or play at the La Jolla Playhouse. Having sent countless plays to Broadway and won more Tony’s than almost any other theater in America, you know it’s a great place to experience theater.

4. Everyday is a good beach day.

You click on the news to see people bundling up in the snow, witness tornadoes hitting and watch treacherous, far-off storms. Then, you grab your light cardigan and head to a local beach…whatever time of year it may be.

5. This city has 3 distinct pockets, each with its own vibe and one-of-a-kind venues.

Visitors come to see the Cove and try the famous Coast Toast. They’re great spots, of course, but you know the local gems – like where to get the ultimate coffee in Bird Rock (Bird Rock Coffee Roasters!) and that the unassuming Cheese Shop in La Jolla Shores is a prime spot for grabbing picnic sandwiches.

Even if you lived in La Jolla for many years, there may be local spots you haven’t tried or heard of. Test your La Jolla knowledge by reading our Top 5 Best-Kept Secrets in La Jolla.

7 Top Tips for the Ultimate La Jolla Staycation

Staycation Vacation: 7 Top Tips for the Ultimate La Jolla Staycation

Everyone needs to take a break from the madness of day-to-day life. Sometimes, however, you want to escape without all the time and planning it takes to visit far-off places takes.

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The beauty La Jolla? You can feel a million miles away without having to go far at all. If you’re ready to start making your dream of vacationing a reality, we’ve put together top tips to simplify the process.

Decide the vibe.

What kind of trip are you imagining? Once you know the experience you desire, it’s easy to select the hotel that will offer the right accommodations. For example, if you’re looking for an all-inclusive resort where everything, from the food and pool to spa and workout facilities, is at your fingertips, we recommend the Estancia Hotel & Spa.

Once you enter the premises, there’s no need for you to run around town for anything else. If you’re dream vacation is on a far off continent, La Jolla has hotels that make you feel as if you’ve teleported. Stay at the Pantai Inn to feel like you’re in Bali or book a suite at La Valencia for a European-styled vacation.

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Pick your beaches.

If you’re looking to relax in this neck of the woods, it’s fair to assume you’ll be visiting the beach. Each one in La Jolla has a different atmosphere, so, to cater the trip to your own personality, check out which ones appeal to you at our Beaches Directory.

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What to pack.

Bathing Suit. Sandals. Sunscreen. Good walking shoes. Sunglasses. Jacket (for some surprising cool nights and mornings). A good book.

What to leave behind.

Work. It’s time for a well-deserved break!

Check out local offers.

You may already planning to hit a certain restaurant or try a specific activity like kayaking. Why not check out a site that may offer a discount? Head to our partners over at La Jolla Deals to see what exclusive offers are available.

Book entertainment.

If you’re interested in seeing a show or concert, look in advance to make sure your seat(s) is reserved ahead of time. Learn more about the local venues, like La Jolla Playhouse, and what they have to offer at our Entertainment Page.

Last but not least, transport.

At some hotels, paying for a parking spot can add up to a good chunk of change. If you’re coming from nearby anyhow and not planning to drive once in staycation mode, check out how much it would cost to travel by taxi or Uber. If it does indeed cost a lot less, save that money for afternoon drinks or a night at the Comedy Store!

Itinerary for Your Day in Bird Rock

Itinerary for Your Day in Bird Rock

The Bird Rock neighborhood of La Jolla is a unique, much loved pocket of the city. Nestled on the south side of town, it’s filled with hidden ocean lookout points, great cafes and highly-acclaimed schools. If you’re interested in spending the day here, read on because we’ve already laid out the itinerary. Ready to rock a day in Bird Rock?

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Fuel up.

Start the day with a good breakfast at Beaumont’s, which is known for its breakfast and brunch offerings. It’s great for large groups due to its wide variety of options. You can spice things up with a Smoked Chicken Breakfast Quesadilla or the Relleno & Eggs, load up on protein with egg options like Greek Scramble and Beaumont’s Benedict or go for classic breakfast items like Buttermilk Pancakes.

Take a bicycle ride.

The Bird Rock Bike Path is a local gem. Because it’s not well-known, you can look forward to an uncrowded path that’s full of ocean views and beautiful architecture. Learn more about it and other La Jolla bicycle and running routes at our blog: 5 Best Hikes & Trails in La Jolla.

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For a morning or afternoon pick-me up.

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters is an award-winning coffee micro-roaster devoted to producing good, organic beans. Order a latte to try it for yourself and, if you love it as much as so many others do, purchase your own bags to take home.

Walk the Street of Dreams.

Parallel to the cliffs overlooking the sea, there’s a boulevard of mind-blowing mansions that you have to see to believe. Dubbed the Street of Dreams, Camino de la Coasta is a beautiful place to walk, absorb architecture and feel inspired. Beautiful lookout points dot the boulevard, which are especially great for photo opportunities.

Grab Lunch.

Bird Rock Yogurt Co. may not sound like an ideal spot for lunch, which is half the reason it’s such a fun surprise. This walk-up spot has incredibly high-quality salads, sandwiches, wraps and more. From the quinoa salad and veggie patty to their salmon greek salad and hearty soups, it’s almost impossible to go wrong. Plus, if you’re toasty from a day of walking and bicycling, you can cool off with some frozen yogurt after!

If you’ve already walked so far enough down and find yourself ravenous, head to The Promiscuous Fork, a spot closer to the Village. It offers truly unique food, from lamb lollipops to portobello sliders, with a fun, pub-like atmosphere.

Head to Windansea Beach.

Enjoy lunch on the tables outside Bird Rock Yogurt or take it to go and head to nearby Windansea Beach. Park yourself on the sand and gaze at the waves as you enjoy your food. After, enjoy whatever beach activity it is you like best – reading, walking, surfing…you can do it all here!

Live Music.

If you were already there for breakfast, head back to Beaumont’s for drinks and live music Thursdays through Sundays. If you’d rather check out somewhere new, stroll into the nearby Pacific Beach area of San Diego. The Cafe Bar Europa in this neck of the woods offers live music, too. If you’re hungry for an evening meal by this point, no worries – these venues offer great dinner options as well.

The Perfect Day at Torrey Pines, Already Planned!

Torrey-Pines-State-Reserve-Guy-Fleming-look-out-pointThe Perfect Day at Torrey Pines, Already Planned!

Torrey Pines State Reserve is a local treasure. Home to the rarest pine tree in all of America, people from near and far come to hike the trails and explore the beach. You can easily come for a few hours of hiking, but with so much to do and see, why not make a day out of it? Here’s our itinerary for how to do just that.

 

 

Fuel up at breakfast.

With the active day ahead of you, you want your body to be fueled. If you’re coming from the north, we recommend hitting Pacifica Breeze Cafe in nearby Del Mar (they have wicked breakfast potatoes!) or stay within La Jolla by trying out the fantastic acai bowls or eggs florentine of the Bella Vista Social Club and Caffe at UCSD.

Arrive early for easier parking.

The earlier you come, the smoother finding a spot for your car will be. Pay to park in the paid lot or find a spot further up the road and walk in.

torrey-pines-state-reserve-trailPick a trail.

Decide what level of hike you’re going for, whether that’s more calf-burning hills or more relaxed. Learn about each of the trails at Torrey Pines and their difficulty level at our Torrey Pines State Reserve Page.

 

 

Bring equipment for the beach.

You can hike right out onto the sand or hike and return to your car to grab gear for the beach. Bring bathing suits. Surf boards. Boogie boards. The latest novel. Whatever it is you need for the ultimate beach day! After a morning of hiking, splashing in the cool Pacific will never have felt so good.

Picnic lunch.

We recommend enjoying lunch on the sand. Pack a picnic lunch before you head out for the day and leave it in a cooler in your car. That way, when you go to grab your beach equipment, you can grab your ready-to-eat meal at the same time.

Stay for sunset.

As it begins to darken, don’t head home yet! You’ll want to stay to watch the sun go down. The pictures you’ll snap will be worth it alone.

Not ready to head in for the night?

After packing up and heading back to your car, those still energized will be ready to keep the adventure going. There’s always plenty of entertainment going on in La Jolla, from comedy shows to live music. Learn more about what to do in the evening at our Entertainment Page.

8 Great Activities to Enjoy in La Jolla

Enjoy La Jolla

Known as the Jewel City, this affluent San Diego neighborhood lives up to its nickname! La Jolla visitors can experience both chic and modern city culture and beautiful natural vistas within a very small radius, making this area the perfect balance for days spent exploring both the outdoors and downtown.

Visit Birch Aquarium

Seahorses, gray whales, and leopard sharks—oh my! Birch Aquarium is a great place to spend the day learning about our oceans and the creatures that live there. Scientific education becomes fun for both children and adults with interactive tide pools, award-winning oceanography exhibits, and a live camera feed of the off-shore kelp forest.

Take a Bike Tour

Electric bike tours are a great way to get your bearings and enjoy the sun and fresh air in La Jolla. Fly Rides offers guided tours on these bikes, which run on clean-energy electricity supplemented by light pedaling. It’s a great in-between option for those who like the immersive feel of walking tours but want to keep their energy for other activities later in the day.

Snorkel & Scuba

La Jolla Cove and La Jolla Shores are the area’s most famous snorkel and scuba spots. The caves of the cove are breathtaking, making in one of San Diego’s most photographed beaches—however, the water tends to be chillier than its sunny shore counterpart, so divers may want to invest in a wet suit. Either way, you’re in for some great views!

Laugh at the Comedy Store

The Comedy Store has made its mark as America’s first road comedy club. Greats like Robin Williams and David Letterman performed here in their early careers, and the club has continued its reputation for showcasing both comedy’s biggest names and its best up-and-coming talents.

Hangliding & Parasailing

For those seeking amazing views, Torrey Plains Gliderport can give you an absolutely unforgettable experience. The gliderport has been active in Southern California for a century, servicing all types of man-powered flight. The gliderport offers training, tandem flights with their experienced pilots, and equipment rental for fliers with proper certification.

View Madison Gallery

This contemporary art gallery offers stunning and evocative exhibits from local and international artists in a serene and minimalistic setting. The gallery upholds a high standard of artistry in a variety of mediums, and makes a perfect afternoon or evening sojourn for the creatively-minded.

Shop Girard & Prospect

Girard Avenue and Prospect Street offer some of the best high-end shopping in the neighborhood as well as a wide selection of restaurants. If you’re looking for something in particular, you’ll probably find it here. If you’re just looking for a great walk and window shopping, you’ll find that too!

Cruise at Sunset

No sunset is ever quite the same but in balmy La Jolla, each one is memorable. Mission Bay sunset cruises are a beautiful and peaceful way to wind down and relax after an eventful summer day. Depending on your preferred charter, you can opt to spend a tranquil evening enjoying a romantic dinner and drinks, a panoramic tour of La Jolla’s coastline and oceanic wildlife, or both.

About the Writer: Christy Woodrow is an award-winning travel photographer and professional blogger based in San Diego, California. She launched her popular adventure travel blog, Ordinary Traveler, with her partner in 2010 — as a way to inspire others to travel the world and realize their dreams. Christy’s work has been featured on sites such as Lonely Planet, National Geographic Traveler, Go Abroad, Pinterest’s blog, Gap Adventures, and more.

Top 5 Activities in La Jolla for Adventurers

Kayak La Jolla Cove:

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, anyone can kayak La Jolla Cove and explore the beauty that encapsulates the sea caves and waters below. Sign up for a guided tour with Everyday California and not only will you get to glide through and near the spectacular sea caves, you can safely encounter wildlife from above, such as sea lions, Garibaldi and even leopard sharks. Paddling to and from the caves will definitely get your heart rate up and strengthen your arms at the same time!

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Rent a Bike:

The bike paths are endless in La Jolla. You can hop on the Soledad Slide Bike Tour and view the impressive views that stretch from Orange County to Mexico. From Mt. Soledad, you ride down the mountain (drooling at some of the most luxurious real estate in San Diego) to the breathtaking coastline where you can get up-close-and-personal with the large, shore break waves crashing at WindanSea Beach and the sea lions at the Children’s Pool.

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Or go at your own pace and create your own route. One of the most popular routes is the La Jolla City Loop. Start off of Prospect Street and follow the bike path signs; you can bike through Bird Rock and all the way south to the Pacific Beach boardwalk.

Hike Torrey Pines State Reserve:

The breathtaking Torrey Pines State Reserve is located between La Jolla and Del Mar. There are several different trails you can take along the way, so feel free to venture down different trails if you are up for a longer hike. Regardless, don’t forget to stop and take in the panoramic ocean views throughout your time at Torrey Pines.

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Once you reach the top you can head back down the way you came or take the paved road down the mountain. Either way, you will feel the burn and bask in beautiful views. Click here for directions.

Hours: 7:15 a.m. to sunset

Parking: Free parking along Highway 101 can be crowded and hard to come by; and the state beach parking can cost up to $15 per day.

Local Tip: We recommend parking along Carmel Valley Road in the free parallel spaces and walking under the Coaster Bridge to access the beach and hike areas.

Snorkel and Swim:

La Jolla Cove is the best place to snorkel because the beach is sheltered from the waves due to its north facing location. Once you get your snorkel gear on, you don’t have to swim far to see a multitude of aquatic life. While the most plentiful are Garibaldi and sea lions, people have been known to see leopard sharks, octopus, stingrays, sea stars, urchins and many other fish species. You can also choose to swim at La Jolla Shores or WindanSea Beach.

Local Tip: We recommend swimming at La Jolla Shores for children and amateur swimmers due to its sandy bottom and smaller waves. WindanSea has a big shore break and a rocky bottom and is probably best-suited for adults and more advanced swimmers. Both beaches are fun for different swimming levels.

Guide to the Best Budget Friendly Day in La Jolla

Guide to the Best Budget Friendly Day in La Jolla

When you think of La Jolla, you think of its ambience. Luxurious yet relaxed. Decadent yet laid-back. You may not be ready to buy a house on the beach, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience the La Jolla lifestyle. Here’s how to have the ultimate day in La Jolla, that’s also friendly for your wallet.

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Enjoy breakfast at a local spot.

Enjoy a good cup of joe and the buzz of breakfast time on a budget at one of La Jolla’s cozy cafes such as the Brick & Bell Cafe or Harry’s Coffee shop.

 

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Brick & Bell Cafe: At this is budget-friendly haven, you can have a great breakfast that makes you feel as if you’re in Italy. Get a bagel with spread, bacon and veggie scramble or unique, locally-loved Swiss Muesli…each option being under $5.

At Harry’s: This spot has been here, family-owned, since the 1960s. It’s known for filling, heart-warming pancake and french toast deals. Get thick, powdered french toast for only $5.99. Order two eggs and two pancakes for $6.99. If breakfast is the meal you’d like to splurge a little on? The $11.95 B.W. Florentine is incredible. Eggs florentine on a waffle, syrup on the side. That’ll keep you full for a long time!

Make or Grab a Picnic Lunch. (Under $10)

For the best price, make your own lunch that morning and put it in a cooler. You can also get something in the city to take for later. If you’re already at Harry’s for breakfast, they have great sandwich deals under $7. Before leaving, simply order one to have wrapped to-go.

If it’s a Sunday, hit the Open Air Farmer’s Market, where you can walk the booths, soak up the organic atmosphere and pick up some fresh, locally grown fruit to take your lunch up a notch.

Hit the Beach. (Free)

Personalize this day by bringing whatever it is you most enjoy at the beach. Frisbee. Soccer ball. Boogie board. Time magazine. A good book. (And hey, if you’re a resident, go to the local library first, so you don’t even have to spend money purchasing a novel.)

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Spend the day here engaging in activities, reading and walking the coastline. When hungry, stop for your picnic lunch. Not sure which beach to go to? Help decide by checking out our blog: La Jolla’s Best Beaches.

Take the Ocean Path towards the Village. (Free)

After your day of enjoying the beach and picnic lunch, head towards land and take the Ocean Path to Children’s Pool. Walk the cliffs until you hit the sea lions. You may be surprised at how much fun you’ll have observing these fun creatures, as well as all the other people nearby!

Check out the Tide Pools. (Free)

Head over to Shell Beach. This spot is known for great tide pools, where you can check out aquatic life like sea stars and sea anemones. It’s a wonderful experience for people of all ages to get lost in.

Explore the Art Galleries and Shops of the Village. (Free)

Downtown La Jolla Village is filled with shops, restaurants and art galleries. Walk through the art galleries and take in artists’ paintings, photography and more. You’ll see work from local artists and from across the globe.

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Each place you visit acts like an exhibit of one massive museum…the main difference? You don’t have to pay for entrance. Afterwards and in-between galleries, stroll the streets for some fun window shopping, perhaps inspiring your own creative DIY mind.

(To learn about some of our favorite galleries, check out our blog: 3 Must-See Spots for Art Lovers in La Jolla.)

Watch the sunset. (Free)

Walk back towards the sea lions you visited earlier. Set yourself up on the grass of Ellen Browning Scripps Park or the railing all along the coast there. Take in the ambience of awe as the sun goes down.

Enjoy Dinner. (Under $20, prices vary)

There’s been a lot of walking and activity since lunch. You saved big on the first two meals of the day and didn’t even have to spend money on activities. Dinner can be your opportunity to enjoy expertly cooked food and keep costs reasonable at the same time. We recommend Karl Strauss as a prime place to do just that.

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Karl Strauss Brewing Company: This brewery and restaurant combo attracts beer and non-beer lovers alike. You can find a great variety of meals that range in price, many being between $11 and $20. Enticing options like Ginger Crusted Salmon, Brick Chicken, Pesto Chicken Pasta, Spicy Tofu Curry and Chipotle Pastrami all under $15.

The Ginger Crusted Salmon, at $19.95, is a gorgeously crafted meal that would go for far more at other nearby establishments. The chefs here take great pride in presentation, and this dish is the perfect example. The ripe avocado on top brings perfect contrast to the crusted salmon underneath, and the decadent firecracker sauce circling the dish adds the ultimate touch. It’s understandable that you’ll probably want to snap a picture before eating.

Check out a show or live entertainment. (Price varies)

The Loft: This contemporary, 20 something oriented loft hosts a wide variety of events. Music shows require tickets, but tend to be no more than $30 for even the most famous of artists. Many events, such as trivia, are actually free. You may buy a drink or two, but with beers and sangria at $6, the cost is low.

Comedy Store offers a variety of single headliners and multi-comedian shows. If you join their list, you can sometimes even snag tickets for free on Thursday nights. (Just remember there’s a 2 drink minimum. However, sticking to low-cost drinks like cranberry vodka over more-expensive cocktails will keep your cost down).

Moonlit beach walk. (Free)

You’ve already done a lot, but perhaps you’re still not quite ready to head home. Take in the beach one more time…from a new perspective. Walking along the beach by moonlight is the stereotype of romance for a reason. Walk here with (or without!) your honey to end the day on a perfect note.

You truly can have a wonderful, action-packed day in La Jolla without the guilt of overspending. Just remember that no matter one’s bank account, you can live up the La Jolla seaside lifestyle.

Scuba Diving in La Jolla

Scuba Diving

Perhaps you’ve gone snorkeling and are ready for something more extreme. Take it to the next level with scuba diving! In La Jolla, you can take scuba classes, get certified, go on scuba tours or, for those want to go guide-free, simply rent scuba diving equipment.

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Classes & Locations

As for classes, you can find a selection of private, small group and big group classes. Times and dates are flexible. If you want to get certified quickly, certain companies are able to offer courses that finish in as little as 4 days.

Newer divers are advised to hit the easiest shore dive at La Jolla Shores. This spot is protected by cliffs and has shallow waters that are ideal for those just starting out. Be on the look out for the wide variety of sea life, ranging from fish and rays to sea stars and leopard sharks! However, you’ll want to note that because it’s the easiest, La Jolla Shores also tends to be the most popular and draw the biggest crowds.

For those looking for an experience particularly unique to La Jolla, dive into a kelp forest at La Jolla Cove. Amongst the kelp you’ll spot aquatic wildlife like Garibaldi fish, rays and even grand sea lions and dolphins! Find yourself shivering? The water in La Jolla Cove tends to be colder than the average La Jolla beach, so you may want to rent a wetsuit.

For the Truly Adventurous

The most adventurous of the adventurers can also up their ante through night diving. Local companies like SD Expeditions offer a nocturnal experience that lets you go diving at night. But don’t worry, you won’t be swimming in total darkness. You’ll be led by a light that’s attached to your own body.

To Learn More

To learn more about companies offering classes, tours and more, we invite you to look to our website’s profiles. Find out more specific details about each place to find the experience best for you!

Interested in other Aquatic Activities?
You’ll want to check out our Ocean Page to learn more.

**Thumbnail Image Accredited to Biscarotte. Some right reserved by Biscarotte
Only adjustment made: Sizing to 333 x 313

Play in La Jolla

Play

Who says playing is just for kids? By definition, the wordplay (plā/) means: To engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose. That sounds like something both adults and children need alike! La Jolla wants to help you do this, to take time off from serious things and simply…play.

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Beach

The beach is the ultimate playground for people of all ages. On the sand you can build sand castles, toss a frisbee, wade in the water or dive in for full-on swimming. Interested in more extreme forms of water play? Read on! And to help you decide which beach to try first, cruise over to our Beaches Directory.

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Snorkeling & Scuba Diving

Dolphins are often described as playing. Play amongst them and other creatures of the sea through underwater activities. Go snorkeling or scuba diving to get up close and see how they have fun under the sea! Learn more about taking classes, getting scuba diving certified and renting equipment at our Snorkeling Page and Scuba Diving Page.

Parks/Outdoors

La Jolla has parks full of greenery that are perfect for playing frisbee or kicking around a soccer ball. For those who like to play with their food, you can do so here by grilling and BBQing your own grub. Check out the best of La Jolla’s parks and what they have to offer at our Parks Page.

For a more rugged outdoor playing experience, head to Torrey Pines State Reserve and hit the hiking trails. With six trails to choose from, choose a climb as easy or difficult as you desire! Either way, your legs will be thanking you after.

Dressup

We love to play dress up when we’re young. When we grow up, we still do! Embrace shopping as a grand-scale dress up game at one of La Jolla’s many shopping areas. Don yourself with diamonds at Cartier. Make yourself up in full-glamor at Nordstrom. Try on a bright bathing suit at one of the beachside surf shops. Decide where to start your adventure at our Shopping Page.

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Restaurant Critic

Play restaurant critic by visiting local dining venues and evaluating the cuisine for yourself! Take in the atmosphere. Observe the decor. Taste the wine. Savor the food. To learn more about the La Jolla food scene and restaurants to try first, check out our Food Page.

Attend a Play

Get play-ful at the La Jolla Playhouse! This venue has already sent more than 25 shows to Broadway, and you never know which one may be next. Learn more about this beautiful venue at our La Jolla Playhouse Page.

Painting & Art

Explore your inner artist by experiencing the art and painting scene of La Jolla. Walk the galleries to see local artwork, explore the art museums or play Picasso for yourself by taking a painting class at “My Art Shed”. They’ll not only provide the materials, but teach skills and give tips to help you hone your craft.

Visit Solana Beach

Visit Solana Beach

If you’re visiting La Jolla, you’re probably interested in the beach. While you’re here, why not soak up as many beach towns as you can? Just 15 miles north of La Jolla lies the city of Solana Beach, a place famous for surfing, the Cedros Avenue Design District and Pizza Port. With unique shops, galleries, bars and, of course, the seaside, it’s a great spot to spend a day.

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The Best of Solana

If you’re visiting La Jolla, you’re probably interested in the beach. While you’re here, why not soak up as many beach towns as you can? Just 15 miles north of La Jolla lies the city of Solana Beach, a place famous for surfing, the Cedros Avenue Design District and Pizza Port. With unique shops, galleries, bars and, of course, the seaside, it’s a great spot to spend a day.

The Basics

This town has 1.7 miles of coastline, averaging temperatures in the high 70s during warm season and low 60s during the “cool” winter months. These factors alone make it an ideal spot to check out year round.

The three small beaches here have wicked waves that make them havens for surfers and body builders. And hey, because this place is fair game for water activity year round, the lifeguards are posted at many spot through all 4 seasons.

Must-Do Activities in Solana Beach

• Start the day at the beach

Whether you love to surf, build sand castles, run or simply lay out with a good book, a morning or afternoon here is one well-spent.

• Stroll Cedros Avenue

This street and surrounding area is filled with galleries and unique shops. After some window shopping (or actual shopping!) swing by Carruth Cellars Winery to let your palate do some wine tasting. They specialize in red wines, so if that’s your favorite type? This place will be that much more of a must see.
And if it’s a Sunday, you’ll be here for the farmer’s market. Grab some fresh produce at this event held each Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm.

• Hit the Belly Up Tavern for live music

Watching music live definitely adds an extra pizzazz to any day. The type of music varies, so you’re always trying out something new.

• Grab dinner before or after the show!

There’s a wide variety of dining options here in Solana Beach. For a fine dining experience, we recommend the French cuisine of Pamplemousse Grille. Let’s just say, it’s très bien.
If you’re looking for a more casual meal, Pizza Port here is mouth-wateringly good. Try unique hand-crafted pizzas like the Solana Pizza (which is covered with shrimp and clams) or the Meet Extreme Meat (perfect for the serious carnivores.) If it’s lunch or dinner time, though, make sure to accommodate wait time into your schedule. This place gets packed!

• Parking

Most parking here is private off-street parking. Head to the main area and, if you don’t see parking, cruise into the nearby residential neighborhoods. You’re sure to find a spot, and the scenery is so lovely, we doubt you’ll mind the walk.

Related Events

Perhaps you’d like to spend the day in Solana Beach and head back to La Jolla for an evening closer to home (or hotel!); no problem. Check out activities, live music and more you can experience in La Jolla at our Entertainment Page.

5 Ocean Adventures in La Jolla

Ocean

The ocean, it’s why you’re here. Maybe you want to swim in it. Maybe you want to wade in it. Maybe you simply want to take it in from land. Whatever oceanic experience it is you desire, La Jolla is here to provide it.

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Beaches:

The best way to experience the ocean is, of course, at the shoreline. There are several beaches up and down the coast of La Jolla, each of them with their own personality. Some are known for surfing and swimming, while others are famous tide pools. We also want to provide the need-to-know details here, so you’re not surprised there. (For example, did you know La Jolla has the nation’s first nude beach?) Get the inside scoop you need at our Beaches Directory.

Surfing:

Whether you’ve been surfing for years or are trying it for the first time, you can find the right experience here. With places to rent boards and take classes, you’ll be able to ride the waves with confidence. Find the ultimate spots to take classes and rent equipment at our business profiles.

Kayaking:

Interesting in coasting above the water, rather than being in it? Kayaking is a great option. You can ride single or bond with a buddy by renting a 2-person. There are multiple companies that not only rent equipment, but host tours to take you along the coast and, weather conditions permitting, into the majestic La Jolla caves. Interested? Get more of the inside scoop at our Kayaking Page.

Snorkeling:

Perhaps you want to do more than just look out at the ocean, you want to see beneath it. Feel like you’re in Hawaii or Australia by grabbing your snorkel and hitting the water. Find out more about how to get this ultimate underwater experience at our Snorkeling Page.

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Scuba Diving:

Snorkeling along the top of the ocean water not enough for you? For an even more adventurous underwater adventure, go deeper through scuba diving. There are companies in the area that hosts class if you’re new to the activity; after, you’ll even come out with a certification. Learn more about how to and where to scuba dive in La Jolla at our Scuba Diving Page.

Cruises:

If you enjoy gazing out at the water, it’s fun to try the opposite. Head out on an ocean cruise to admire the coastline of La Jolla from the sea itself. Find out more about doing so at our Dinner Cruises Page & Sunset Cruises Page.

Folks truly are spoiled for choice when it comes to La Jolla ocean activities. We hope this page and its links to other, more in-depth pages help you decide where to start.

Mission Beach vs. Mission Bay San Diego, CA

You’re in the mood to venture outside La Jolla and are selecting where. Though the Mission Beach & Mission Bay area is along the water, just like La Jolla, it has a very distinct personality and culture that makes it unique and well worth your time.

The Difference Between the Beach & Bay

Mission Boulevard runs along the sandbar that forms a dividing bridge. One one side, we have the lapping waves of Mission Beach. On the other, we have the inward, calm waters of the bay. It’s easy to explain the vibe of each side; the atmosphere matches the water.

Where the waves are constantly in motion, so are the people. On the Mission Beach side folks are bicycling, running, surfing, boogie boarding, flying kites and more. On the bay side, people are in action too, but in a far more calm kind of way. People are strolling the bay. Folks are stand-up paddle boarding and canoeing. The demographic is a little bit older. People are more likely to be reading on this side. Simply choose which side based on the experience you want. Or hey, visit both!

On the Main Boulevard

Through the main street, Mission Boulevard, you can easily cross to either side. On this street you’ll find all types of local restaurants, cafes, boutiques, rental shops and more. Here are some of the favorites for different genres of venues:

  • Coffee:
    The favorite spot here? Better Buzz Coffee. There’s something truly exquisite about this local chain’s coffee, probably because of their emphasis on organic and fair trade products. They also make some truly unique and decadent acai, fruit smoothie bowls!
  • Breakfast & Lunch: 
    Speaking of food, where do you get a good breakfast to power you for an active day? Or a lunch after an active morning of surfing?The Olive Cafe, on the corner of Mission Boulevard and Santa Clara, provides a wide array of menu items for a really good price. From omelettes and breakfast burritos to fruit bowls and sandwiches, it’s hard to go wrong with anything you order here.
  • Classes:
    Looking to learn something new? Head toMission Bay Aquatic Center and do everything from take classes in stand-up paddle boarding to getting certified in sailing.
  • Rentals: 
    There are several spots up and down the boulevard to rent equipment, the most well known being Cheap Rentals. You can get land exploration gear gear, like bicycles, as well as aquatic equipment like canoes and paddle boards.
  • Casual Dinner: 
    This area is less known for dinner then neighboring Pacific Beach, but you can still find a great bite. Head to Arslan’s Gyros for some casual (but wicked!) Greek food. Their tag line? Freaky Food, Freak Fresh.
  • Formal Dinner:
    For a more formal dining occasion, head into Saska’s Steak & Seafood. It’s right by the beach, so you know the fish is fresh!
  • Cocktails: 
    Head to the Catamaran Resort’s lounge for wonderful, hand-crafted cocktails in their upscale lounge. They have a fantastic bar with a well-kept secret of a happy hour. Not only are the drinks wonderful, but you walk by an incredible waterfall in the lobby before entering!

The Boardwalk

No true California beach is complete without the Hollywood-highlighted beach boardwalk! Mission Beach has a boardwalk with all the Southern California necessities you could think of:

  • Giant wooden roller coaster
  • Carousel
  • Arcade
  • Stands making classic carnival food that entrances you by mouth-watering aroma alone!
  • Miniature golf
  • The fact that it’s about ten steps away from the sand!

South Mission Beach

The very end of this area is known as South Mission Beach. It’s hosts volleyball tournaments (due to its vast area of many nets) and a rock jetty that’s perfect for walking out onto for a romantic date.

On land, this area has more vacation rentals and homes than businesses and shops, but there are couple specific spots we want to highlight:

  • Beachcomber:
    This local bar is a great place for grabbing a drink after work and casually meeting friends. It’s also a prime place for trivia nights; they’re every Tuesday and a great way to combine a mid-week drink with new knowledge!
  • Seriously Good Pizza:
    Whether you need refueling after an early day of activities or find yourself ravenous after a whole day of beach festivities, sometimes there’s nothing better than some decadent, cheesy pizza! At South Mission Beach, the spot you want to try is Capri Pizza and Pasta.

Other Important Information

As you can see, there’s a lot to do here! To learn where to park for visiting these areas, check out our Mission Beach & South Mission Beach Page and Mission Bay Page.

Visit Pacific Beach Neighborhood

Pacific Beach Neighborhood

Head slightly south of La Jolla and find yourself in Pacific Beach, the neighborhood with the movie-like, casual beach lifestyle. With a reputation for surfing, yoga, beachside bars and hopping nightlife, it’s no wonder it’s the first stop for so many 21st birthday bashes.

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The wonderful thing about Pacific Beach is that if you’re seeking a high energy, glass-clinking experience, it’s easy to find. If you’re looking for a calmer experience that involves great cafes, meditation and long walks on the beach, it’s easy to take yourself from the heyday of the main street and relax.

The Main Downtown

The always-happening street of this area is Garnet Avenue. On it you’ll find dozens of bars, restaurants, dance clubs, boutique shops and more. On the weekend and Taco Tuesdays, this area is particularly famous for bars that are open until 2 am. There’s a wide variety of bar types and vibes. Some are smaller and have games like foosball, while you’re more likely to find yourself dancing to colorful lights at Typhoon’s or playing human-sized Connect 4 with a margarita in hand at Cabo Cantina.

On weekends, brunch is a much beloved tradition here. Many venues offer hand-crafted Bloody Marys and incredibly bottomless mimosa deals. (It has been suggested that the people who most love these brunches are those who were heavily enjoying the bar scene here the night before!) Shopping-wise, this area tends to be quite underrated. Pacific Beach is so popular one assumes most clothing is expensive and oriented towards visiting tourists.

However, you can find great quality clothes, sunglasses, accessories and more for reasonable prices. The most popular form of shopping is through the second chance stores. Some examples of these shops include Buffalo Exchange, Thrift Trader and Goodwill. You’ll find incredible deals on great clothes. Sometimes you can find top designer options that even still have the tags on! If that’s not a good deal…we don’t know what is!

Bird Rock: The Blurred Line of La Jolla & Pacific Beach

Northern Pacific Beach is the more calm, more laid back area of PB. Stroll this area to find decadent San Diego-made coffee, take great pilates classes and, if you stroll far enough North, find yourself arriving back in La Jolla! The coastline at this end of Pacific Beach is also more calm.

You’re more likely to see people laying on towels engrossed in books than a group of fraternity men from one of the local schools hosting a volleyball tournament.

Top Activities

Besides nightlife and shopping, just about all of the most popular activities, of course, relate to the beach. We highly recommend:

Renting a Bicycle

If you’re visiting, bicycling is the best way to get around because it eliminates the trickiness of parking on a sunny weekend!

Surfing or Boogie Boarding

You can rent or buy equipment at many local venues and the water here is prime for both.

Running

Along the boardwalk, along the sand…there are many great runs. Check out the top 4 trails our friends over at Visit PB recommend at their blog: Best 4 Trails to Run in PB.

Trying New Food. Specifically? Sushi!

Being right by the water, this neighborhood is a mecca for sushi restaurants. They’re all good, but our favorite and recommendation is Zen 5 Sushi.

Practicing Yoga

Whether you’ve been practicing for years or are just interested in loosening up, PB allows yogis of all levels to practice and increase their depth. The library offers yoga for free on Tuesdays, the infamous cliffs at Law Street host free sessions every weekend morning and private venues like Corepower Yoga attract many with the popular “hot power infused” classes. Learn more about yoga in PB at Visit PB’s Yoga Page.

Nearby & More Information

Slightly south of this area is the laid-back, local vibing Mission Beach & Bay. You can incorporate it into your Pacific Beach itinerary by reading more about this area at our Mission Beach & Bay Neighborhood Page.

And, hey, want to learn more about the specific beach area of Pacific Beach, like where to find parking? Head to our Beaches Directory and check out our Pacific Beach Page.

Downtown Sunset Cruises and Tours near La Jolla

Sunset Cruises

As Carlos Santana once said, “There’s never one sunrise the same or one sunset the same.” Experience of the Pacific Ocean’s unique sunsets by coasting the water on a sunset cruise. There aren’t cruises that leave directly from La Jolla, but you don’t have to go far to enjoy one. We’ve outlined top places for you to go and what they have to offer.

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Seven Seas Adventures (San Diego & Surrounding Area)

Seven Seas sends out sunset cruises around San Diego Harbor near the San Diego Downtown. Their 3 hour long sunset cruise gets rave reviews for a reason, such as the helpful staff and wonderful captains. If you’re planning a special event, the captains have been known to truly try and work in detail requests!

San Diego Comfort Cruise (Shelter Island & Point Loma Area)

For a fantastic, less-downtown filled experience, head out from this Shelter Island and Point Loma based site, which is slightly closer to La Jolla than downtown San Diego. The owners, Ed and Cheryl, are abound with San Diego knowledge and incredibly fun, genuine people. They are known for creating a great celebration cruise, especially for birthdays! Just be aware that they can provide drinks if requested, but not food. To ensure you have the tastes you desire, we recommend bringing both food and drink.

Hornblower Cruises & Events (Downtown San Diego)

This is the go-to name for cruises in San Diego. It has some seriously large yachts that are used for regular sunset cruises, as well as large planned parties and bashes such as New Year’s Eve Celebrations. (These often include dinner buffets and DJs too!) As a much larger scale company, running cruises in other cities like Newport beach, San Francisco and New York City, they do have a more corporate, big business feel. For those who don’t mind a more “touristy” vibe and want the truly big boat experience, this is a great choice.

San Diego Sailing Tours (Downtown San Diego)

Cruise the ocean while overlooking the skyline of San Diego’s downtown and Gaslamp Quarter. Known for captains that go above and beyond, the small team here is incredibly friendly and welcoming.

Pacific Sunset Cruises (Mission Bay)

Stay nearby and experience a fantastic sunset cruise at Mission Bay, just south of La Jolla,. This cruise is shorter than some of the other options at 90 minutes, which is ideal for those who’d prefer not to be out on the water for a full 3 hours. When looking at this option, just make sure to be conscious of the season. Due to its popularity taking over parking, Pacific Sunset Cruises had to cancel sunset cruises during summer. They are still available every weekend from the start of Daylight Savings Time to Memorial Day Weekend and begin again Labor Day until Daylight Savings Time.

Bay Dreamin’ (San Diego & Surrounding Area)

Praised for their attention to detail, Bay Dreamin’ is a great company to check out for a private, down-to-earth experience. Rather than a grand yacht, you’ll be on a smaller, more local-vibing boat. You can bring 2 to 6 people for a truly intimate, get-to-know the area adventure.

Most of these cruises are focused on the water and skyline of the cruising experience. People bring a lot of their own food and drinks. If you vision yourself having dinner served to you whilst sailing the sea, you’ll want to check out our Dinner Cruise Page.

 

Del Mar

Del Mar

Just north of La Jolla and 100 miles south of Los Angeles is Del Mar, a city known for its racetracks and all-out county fairs. Like La Jolla, it is along the coast, further emphasized by its name which translates to “by the sea” in Spanish. This neighboring city has a lot to offer, whether you’re a native of La Jolla or visiting the area for the very first time.

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Fun Facts & Culture

This town has produced famous folks like Tony Hawk, the world-famous skateboarder and entrepreneur; Carson Palmer, a quarterback in the NFL and Martin Cooper, the man who concepted the first cell phone to hold by hand (something I’m sure we’re all very thankful for today!)

There’s definitely something inspiring about the seaside culture of Del Mar. It’s beaches have made the top 100 list of TIME Magazine’s Best Beaches, and its farmers market is the second oldest in the Southern California area. It’s a town that loves surfing, promotes entrepreneurship and revels in horse racing.

Del Mar Races

The Del Mar Races at the Del Mar Fairgrounds bring in droves of people from near and far. They are held mid-July through early September. And now, to the excitement of many, are open for a fall season as well, around the end of October through the end of November.

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This venue, where the “surf meets the turf”, can accommodate almost 45,000 people. It’s history involves well-recognized names like Bing Crosby and Gary Cooper. A character also made famous here? Seabiscuit, the racehorse who overcame incredible obstacles. He was even the basis of a motion picture film.

Learn more about the Del Mar Races and the excitement they entail at our Del Mar Races Page.

The San Diego County Fair

Summer time certainly is a popping place here. Line your times up right and you can go to the Del Mar Races one day; hit the county fair the next! The fair traces all the way back to the 1880s and has been growing ever since.

Between farm animals, music shows, amusement rides and awe-inducing food creations, there’s so much to do and experience here, we had to give the fair it’s own profile. Learn more about why this county fair is so magnificent at our Del Mar’s San Diego County Fair Page.

Del Mar Antique Shows

Three times a year, Del Mar hosts an antique show that rivals most others. Simply stroll the event or bring in antiques of your own for repairs or appraisals. Admission prices are very low at only $8. A ticket gets you in for all 3 days of the festival, and children are free.

Get more information on these Del Mar antique shows here.

Del Mar City Beach

Del Mar has some seriously incredible beaches. As mentioned before, they’ve been placed in the top 100 beaches in the entire world according to TIME Magazine. Learn more about the beach nearest La Jolla at our page: Del Mar City Beach Page.

Of Further Interest

If you love the Del Mar City Beach so much that you want to check out more beaches in the area, learn more by exploring our Beach Directory.

Tours in La Jolla

Tours

There’s only one potential problem with La Jolla; there can be too much to see! With so much to explore, it may be hard to know where to start. This is where La Jolla’s trusty tours can step in and help. From exploring the area’s best wine to discovering the ultimate seaside view, we are here to connect you with the very best tours for the very best value.

“We want to make sure you experience what you desire in La Jolla.”

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Food & Wine:

La Jolla loves its food and relishes its wine; you want to know why. A great way to explore this city’s wine scene? La Jolla Wine Tours. By bus or by foot, you can traverse this town in search of your perfect wine.

This company also pairs with San Diego Beer & Wine Tours so, if you desire, your tour can go outside the city and include IPAs and hops, as well as wine. To learn more about the food here in general, cruise over to our Food Page.

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Classic Sightseeing Tours:

Especially if you’re new to the area, you probably want to take in the sights and learn what makes La Jolla unique. Companies & tours such as Tour Guide Tim are great resources to introduce you to this town.

Explore by Segway:

Looking for a tour more unique than going by foot? We Love Tourists offers a new way to check out the city, by segway. These 2 wheel rolling devices may have been made famous by mall cop comedies, but, after trying one for yourself, you’ll only be laughing at how shockingly fun and wonderful they are.

Outdoors & Active:

Kayak. Hike. Bike. Scuba dive. La Jolla is a place where outdoor exploration & fitness is synonymous with adventure. Hike Bike Kayak San Diego is one just one company that offers tours for the person who wants to get off the paved path. They offer enticing options like the La Jolla Cave Kayak Tour and the La Jolla Plunge Bike Tour, which will have you craving more of La Jolla…after you rest from the intensely active hours that is!

Fishing:

As all of us have heard, there are a lot of fish in the sea. We suggest, then, heading to the ocean to catch some! Southern California Fly-Fishing Expeditions offers tours that let you experience La Jolla fishing to the fullest.

We want to make sure you experience what you desire in La Jolla. By checking out the rest of our website, you can find the latest opportunities, companies and upcoming events to help you explore to your heart’s content!

Top Spots for Hiking and Running in La Jolla

Hiking & Running

La Jolla is a paradise for those who love to run and hike. With beautiful, sunny weather and endless ocean views, it’s easy to see why. There are many great paths and trails to explore. Here are some the best ones you’ll want to check out.

Run the Ocean Path

Explore the La Jolla coast on foot by running or walking the land overlooking the beach. Head to Prospect Street and head north on Coast Boulevard. This will take you to and around Ellen Browning Scripps Park, then guide you onward, taking you past the La Jolla Caves via the Coast Walk Trail. Round trip, this scenic route is about 3.3 miles.

Torrey Pines State Park Hiking

This oceanside park has 6 sweet trails to choose from, ranging from mild to difficult. Looking for serious climbs to intensify your outdoor activity? Experience the most challenging trails backed by breathtaking views via the Razor Point Trail and Guy Fleming Trail. And remember that no matter how hot the day, the breeze that sweeps in from the ocean keeps your hike pleasurable.

Travel South to Pacific Beach

Perhaps you’ve explored La Jolla thoroughly and are looking for a new route. Try out Bird Rock Bike Path. This trail isn’t well know, so it’s mostly just the locals. This means less crowds for you! Start out at the Fire Station on Nautilus. Head to Camino de la Costa and then continue where the road merges onto La Jolla Hermosa. You can go the full length for a nice 3.9 mile run, or shorten it up for a less lengthy outing.

La Jolla Colony Private Park

This private spot is a well-kept secret in La Jolla. It’s a beautiful park filled with trees and green grass, a lovely setting for a slightly more inland run. It’s a shorter path, but you can turn a run here into a circuit training workout because there are over 20 fitness stations. Reps at the crunching, leg lifting and pull up stations will take your run to the next level. Also, if you have a dog, you can workout by running together. As long as pups are on a leash, they’re allowed!

Run the Sand

For perhaps the toughest run of all, run the beaches of La Jolla for an all-sand, all-or-nothing, leg-burning workout. You can start on the sands of La Jolla Shores and simply run north until you are clearing the cliffs of Torrey Pines State Reserve. All in all, this amount coastline is about 5 miles one way, so just remember – however long you run in direction, you still have to head the same length back!

Itinerary for a Day at La Jolla Shores

Whether you’re from La Jolla or in California for the first time, La Jolla Shores is a wonderful beach to visit. Not only are the sands soft and the waves glorious, but it has plenty of parking, ample grass space and shops & restaurants available for just about any potential beach needs. We’ve put together the ultimate itinerary for how to live up the full beach experience here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Bring the Basics.

Swimsuit? Check. Sunscreen? Check. It’s nice to have all the basic ingredients, but, If you run out of SPF lotion or realize you need an umbrella, don’t worry. The local shops of La Jolla Shores have you covered.

2. Head out on the water.

La Jolla Kayak is a staple that’s been here, enabling people to experience the Pacific to its fullest, for years. No reservations necessary. Simply stroll over, and let them know how many kayaks you’d like to rent. They’re very knowledgeable and happy to get you the proper equipment.

3. Grab a good lunch.

After a morning of exercise and sunshine, you’re sure to be hungry. No problem. Return the kayaks and hit a nearby spot, The Cheese Shop. This European deli has fresh, fantastic ingredients that they use to make personalized sandwiches. If you’re in the mood for something a bit more classic California BBQ, head across the street to Jeff’s Burgers for a big cheeseburger. Yum.

4. Stroll the beach.

After a big mid-day meal, it feels good to walk it off down the sandy shores. Head north towards Torrey Pines. You’ll find yourself walking underneath the Scripps Pier, a premier spot for taking photographs. Walk as long as you like; just remember you still have to walk the length of the beach back! As you do, you’ll get to take in the sight of all the house speckled hills and La Jolla Cove in the distance.

6. Take in the sunset.

Well, what more can we say…it’ll be gorgeous.

7. Dine by the Shores.

Last but not least, top off your busy beach day with a great dinner at one of the local restaurants. We recommend hitting the Shorehouse Kitchen for some delightful American Bistro style food or Osteria Romantica for savory Italian cuisine.

8. Look forward to sleeping well.

After a day in the sand, you’re sure to sleep well. If it was a full-on family day, the kids are usually asleep within just a few minutes of the car ride!

But hey, if you’re still energized and looking to after-hours activities, we have a couple ideas for that too. Check out some of the local night attractions at our Entertainment Page.

The Perfect Romantic Date in La Jolla: How to Plan It

Creating Romance in La Jolla

Candlelight. Wine. A moonlight walk on the beach. These are are classic images of romance for good reason. Whether you have a special occasion to celebrate or simply want to spend special time together, La Jolla’s sandy shores are here to set the perfect backdrop for the perfect date. We’ve researched the ultimate affection-maximizing spots and want to share them with you. Let us help you make the itinerary for a truly exceptional date.

Have a Romantic Picnic.

Start the day off working in those extra smile-inducing details. Packing a picnic lunch is a great example. Lay out a blanket and adorn it with your date’s favorite snacks and treats (purchased ahead of time) to show you truly know them. We recommend having the picnic on the grassy areas at La Jolla Cove or La Jolla Shores, where you can eat while overlooking the water.

Try Something New.

Have they always wanted to try kayaking? Do you both love to bicycle? Try doing something together you haven’t before! Whether it’s cycling the Bird Rock Path for the first time or trying a completely new adventure by paragliding…it’ll make the date simply unforgettable.

The Perfect Spa-t for Romance.

The work and needs of the everyday don’t always offer a lot of time for daily romance. Pair time relaxing and rejuvenating with time put aside to focus on you two. At the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, you can purchase a couples massage. And if you’re interested in more, there’s always extra services and packages for you to choose from.

Fine Dining…Preferably with an Ocean View

Sometimes the way to the heart is through the stomach. Share fondness for both food and one another at one of La Jolla’s divine, fine dining locations. To ensure an ocean view, we suggest going to the best of the best: George’s at the Cove or Eddie Vs. Make sure to book reservations ahead. Not only does it guarantee a table, but it shows your date that you took the special time and care to plan the meal ahead of time, making them feel that much more special. And, once you’ve been led to your table, ordering of wine and delighting in the menu can take over.

Nighttime Walk on the Beach

Walking along a La Jolla beach at sunset tends to look like a scene from a movie… perfect. As night takes over the sky, the lights of the surrounding hills and cliffs light up like a daily Christmas. It’s the perfect ending to a perfect day.

To choose which beach to take your honey to, learn more about each of La Jolla’s beaches at our Beaches Directory.