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.

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.

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.

How One Woman Shaped La Jolla: The Legacy of Ellen Browning Scripps

Ellen Browning Scripps was many things to many people throughout her 96 years; a sister, schoolteacher, journalist, philanthropist, patron of the arts, among others. She and her brother, E.W. Scripps, created what would become America’s largest chain of newspapers, linking midwestern industrial cities with booming towns in the west. By the 1920s, Scripps was worth an estimated $30 million and was one of the wealthiest individuals in the United States – but more than 99% of that wealth was donated to or invested in charitable causes and buildings throughout La Jolla and San Diego.

In honor of Women’s History Month, a short look into Ellen’s lifelong legacy and how she helped to shape one of San Diego’s most unique communities.

Family portrait, circa 1915. Front row: Virginia Scripps, Ellen Browning Scripps, E.W. Scripps, sons Robert and John, Nackie Scripps (Mrs. E.W. Scripps), Mrs. James Scripps, E.W.’s mother, Judith Osborne. Back row: Fred Scripps, Mrs. Willam Scripps, William Scripps, James E. Scripps [source].

English Roots

Ellen was born in 1836 in London, England, to James Mogg Scripps (a bookbinder by trade) and Ellen Mary Saunders. She had five siblings, only four of whom lived to adulthood. When her father’s bookbinding shop failed and her mother passed away, the family emigrated to Illinois, where he remarried. The youngest child from that marriage, E.W. Scripps, would eventually become a well-known newspaper tycoon and the founder of The E.W. Scripps Company.

Ellen was the only one of her ten siblings to attend college. She studied science and mathematics at Knox College, one of the few educational institutions to admit women. She graduated in 1859 with a certificate (they did not yet give degrees to women) from the Female Collegiate Department. Afterwards, she returned home to teach in a one-room schoolhouse.

Business Beginnings

After the American Civil War, Scripps gave up her job as a schoolteacher and headed to Detroit, at that time a burgeoning industrial center in the West. She joined her brother James E. Scripps in publishing The Detroit Evening News, a short and politically independent newspaper pitched to the city’s working class. This was the start of the Scripps family fortune.

Ellen herself wrote a daily column, titled “Miss Ellen’s Miscellany,” that reduced local and national news to short sound bites. In the 1870s and 1880s, the Scripps papers expanded to include The Cleveland Press, The Cincinnati Post, and the St. Louis Chronicle.

As a shareholder, Ellen Scripps played a big role in the family company. She was business-savvy, and gave financial advice to her younger brother E.W. many times over the years; he actually credited her with saving him from financial ruin in more than one instance! In the 1880s, his attempt to seize control of the Scripps Publishing Company failed, resulting in a divisive lawsuit; he and his brother James had a falling out, though E.W. stayed close with Ellen.

Ellen’s first La Jolla home, South Moulton Villa [source

Settling in La Jolla

Ellen traveled to the west coast and eventually settled in La Jolla in 1899, when she moved into a seaside cottage that she had built. She loved the peace, solitude, and unmarred natural beauty of La Jolla; it was a much different world than her bustling hometown. Ellen named her little cottage South Molton Villa (sometimes spelled South Moulton Villa), after the street on which she’d been born.

Ellen gradually settled into her new home and started to get to know her community. La Jolla had a growing number summer and year-round residents, many of whom were unmarried women or widows. She remarked that in the early days, “It was a woman’s town,” which she happily immersed herself in. She became quite the active socialite: she listened to music at the Green Dragon colony, went to lectures, chaperoned dances at the Pavilion, picnicked at Del Mar and Pacific Beach, visited neighbors, took sightseeing trips, and invited friends to her cottage for dinner and conversation. She a founding member of the La Jolla Woman’s Club and became involved in a wide variety of progressive causes as the years went on.

The Bishop’s School, early 1900s [source]

Enduring Contributions: Education, Medicine, & the Arts

Her love of learning, the arts, and the land were clearly evident from the buildings and institutions she established while in La Jolla:

  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
  • Scripps Aquarium, La Jolla (now Birch Aquarium at Scripps)
  • The Bishop’s School
  • Scripps Memorial Hospital
  • Scripps Metabolic Clinic
  • Scripps Research Institute
  • La Jolla Woman’s Club (of which she was a founding member)
  • La Jolla Recreation Center
  • Torrey Pines State Reserve
  • The Children’s Pool (1931)

She also made donations to the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library and the La Jolla Library. Sources estimated that during her lifetime, she donated as much as $2 million to charitable causes. Ellen and her brother’s vision shaped the development of San Diego and La Jolla through the 1940s, if not longer. Today, many civic leaders still share the Scripps’ utopian vision of San Diego – as a sustainable paradise that fosters a sense of belonging and peace.

Ellen Scripps in the library of her La Jolla home [courtesy of Scripps College]

Celebrating Her Love of La Jolla

“The most important and beautiful gift one human being can give to another is, in some way, to make life a little better to live.” — Ellen Browning Scripps, 1924. It was clear that La Jolla held a special place in Ellen’s heart, and her generosity and philanthropic efforts were truly extensions of that love of her community. She carefully chose causes or institutions, and donated to those she found deserving of her support.

Her philanthropy extended beyond La Jolla, as well. She contributed to institutions throughout San Diego, including donations to the Natural History Museum, the San Diego Zoo, and the Zoological Garden and Research Laboratory in Balboa Park.

A Lasting Legacy

By the 1920s, Ellen Browning Scripps was worth an estimated $30 million (roughly $3.7 billion in 2018 dollars) and was one of the wealthiest individuals in the United States – but more than 99% of that wealth was donated to or invested in charitable causes and buildings throughout San Diego. She would later appear on the cover of Time magazine, after founding Scripps College in Claremont. After years of dedicating her life to the betterment of her community, Ellen was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame in 2007. And of course, today we have Ellen Browning Scripps Park, which was dedicated to and named after her in 1927.

Ellen Browning Scripps died in her La Jolla home on August 3, 1932, just a few weeks shy of her 96th birthday. Her obituary described her as a woman who had perfected “the art of living” as well as the art of giving. Today, we see her legacy throughout La Jolla – from the seaside park that was named after her to the museums, schools, and other institutions she helped to establish.

[Sources: sandiegohistory.orgsandiegoreader.comoac.cdlib.org]

The La Jolla Concours d’Elegance: A World-Class Car Show at the Cove

Beauty, elegance, and vintage cars intersect for the annual La Jolla Concours d’Elegance, which happens each spring at La Jolla Cove. This spectacular show features one-of-a-kind automobile gems from all over the world, and every year avid car enthusiasts head to the coast for a display of classic, unique, and timeless automobiles – a showcase that’s been going strong for over a decade.

This year, three main events will be held April 6-8 at Ellen Browning Scripps Park and The LOT La Jolla: the Rolls-Royce “Dapper and Delight” Soiree on Friday; the VIP Evening Reception on Saturday; and the main car show from 9am-4pm on Sunday. From specialty craft cocktails (Hendricks, anyone?) to the more than 150 specialty restored automobiles, we can’t think of any reason not to attend this fantastic car show.

A little history of the event

With origins in the late 17th century, the early Concours was a leisurely social affair where lighthearted competitions were rewarded with rosettes, wine, and champagne. As coaches and carriages segued into automobiles in the late 19th century, the competitions became more defined. By the mid 1920s, no society season on the French Riviera was complete without a variety of organized Concours events.

After World War II, a trio of visionaries – Jules Huemann, Reverend Paul Woudenberg and Loren Tryon – created what was to become the grandfather of all post-war Concours — Pebble Beach. What was a European staple for centuries has now become a true international tradition that pays homage to its French roots, and is a world-class event that La Jolla is proud to host each year.

Bring the entire family

General tickets for Concours d’Elegance are normally $70, but children under 10 are free – which makes it a great opportunity to bring your children and create some great family memories. With more than 150 classic cars ranging from vintage Rolls Royces to modern sports cars, it’s the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Kids will also get a kick out of this year’s vintage aviation show, happening for the first time ever this year. The spectacle will feature some of the finest restored aircrafts dating back to more than fifty years ago, making the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance the perfect combination of land, ocean, and air entertainment. The main car show event will take place from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday, April 8th.

Enjoy craft cocktails & delicious hors d’oeuvres

This year’s Sunday car show will feature complimentary craft cocktails with champagne and Hendrick’s Gin for those 21+; complimentary  samplings of honey flights (what other event can honestly boast honey flights?!), and one-of-a-kind cheeses from Venissimo Cheese; and live 30s-era swing music from award-winning Dave Patrone.

For a VIP experience, you can spend a little extra and enjoy fabulous bites from 15 of San Diego’s finest restaurants, a complimentary glass of champagne and honey tastings, a hosted bar in the VIP Sponsor Lounge, and a signed poster from the renowned La Jolla Concours Artist, Scott Jacobs.

View vintage and classic automobiles

Have you ever seen a 1937 Puegot Cabriolet by Poutrout? It’s okay if you haven’t seen or heard of it, because most people haven’t — but this burgundy and silver car was the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance Best Show Winner in 2015. It’s a rare gem that has withstood the test of time, and remains a testimony to the caliber of cars that the Concours showcases.

The oldest car at the 2016 show was the 1934 Bugatti T-57 Four Door Pillarless which typically retails for about $130,000 and comes standard with an eight cylinder engine. Bugatti is known for creating some of the fastest cars in the world, and it’s no surprise that the 1934 model remains a classic gem. The cars for 2018 have not yet been announced, but they’re guaranteed to be more incredible classics!

Rolls Royce is hosting an epic cocktail party

If you really want to celebrate the weekend in style, this is the place to do it. On Friday, April 6th, enjoy vintage champagne displays and a live band with a canary singer at Covo Restaurant in La Jolla. There will be a hosted bar by William Grant Portfolio, including wines, champagne, and incredible small bites and appetizers from Covo Restaurant of La Jolla.

Tickets are $100 each and available online before the event.

All proceeds this year will benefit the La Jolla Historical Society, which has been a champion for the preservation of La Jolla’s heritage since 1964 through discovery and tireless documentation. More than 100 historical monuments, annual art exhibits, and community events and tours are just a few of the ways the Society continues to promote awareness of our seaside town’s incredibly rich background.

For more information and to purchase tickets for the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance, visit their website.

4 Surprising Ways La Jolla Inspired Dr. Seuss

[Theodor Geisel at work in his studio. Photo courtesy of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, LP]

Theodor Geisel, affectionately known as Dr. Seuss or simply “Ted,” remains one of the most renowned children’s book authors of our time. Geisel and his wife of many years, Audrey Geisel, moved to La Jolla in 1953, where they bought an old observation tower high atop Mount Soledad. It was tucked away in “The Tower” that he wrote many of his most beloved and popular stories, including “Horton Hears a Who!,” “The Cat in the Hat,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Green Eggs and Ham.”

Dr. Seuss lived on Mt. Soledad until he passed away peacefully in his home there in 1991. Today, his name graces UC San Diego’s world renowned Geisel Library and we see remnants of his vision throughout all of La Jolla; from the trees that line its coast to the iconic spires of a famous Coronado hotel.

The “Truffula Trees”

Geisel was notoriously upset about the billboards and construction that threatened his tranquil community of La Jolla. He was incredibly environmentally conscious and concerned about the earth as a whole; this was evident in his multiple political cartoons and subtle messages within his literature. The Lorax, a Dr Seuss book published in 1971, weaves a familiar tale of just that: a good thing gone wrong. The irresponsible, ambitious Once-ler builds a huge, thriving business at the expense of Truffula trees and the creatures who depend on them.

Though much of the scenery in La Jolla is reminiscent of Seussian-style illustration, the trees in The Lorax are particularly notable. They belong to the fictional Truffula species in the book, but the real-life inspiration is called the Monterey Cypress and unique to the California coast. Although they aren’t numerous, some have been dated at two thousand years old!  A lone Cypress can still be spotted at Ellen Browning Scripps Park – ask any local La Jollan where the “Lorax Tree” is, and they’ll surely point you there. Geisel could actually see that exact tree from his mountaintop home.

The Spires of Hotel Del Coronado

Just to the south of La Jolla, you can see another one of Dr. Seuss’ real-life inspirations firsthand: the Hotel Del Coronado. Ted Geisel’s painting, aptly titled “I Dreamed I was a Doorman at the Hotel del Coronado,” is a colorful rendering of the 1888 Victorian hotel in its beachside setting with sharp angles, whimsical colors, and an eclectic feel. The doorman is just a tiny speck in the middle of whirlwind of activity and color.

The Del’s bright, red-shingled roofs and storybook style make it something of a fairytale castle, something that surely inspired Geisel; he was fond of all things whimsical (in fact, the word ‘Seussian’ is actually in the dictionary!). He could also see the hotel directly from his Tower perch atop Mt. Soledad.

One Fish, Two Fish…

“The Cat in the Hat,” published in 1957, features a rather odd-looking and disgruntled orange fish (referred to as Mr. Krinklebein in the TV show, but referred to simply as “The Fish” in all of the books) with a high-stress personality who is constantly trying to restore order in his home. It’s arguably his most famous child ‘s books, and Dr. Seuss only needed to look out into the bay to see his inspiration for this one – the State of California’s colorful and precocious Garibaldi fish. Though found frequently in La Jolla, the bright orange fish is rarely seen in places away from the southern California coast. And interestingly enough, they are usually aggressive defenders of their natural territory – much like its textual counterpart!

“The Fish” character appears in other stories and almost every other Seuss book, and they always play a similar role: an overly nagging, moralistic creature that admonishes any type of wrongdoing. Geisel actually once referred to his book’s fish character as “my version of Cotton Mather,” the Puritan moralist who advised the prosecutors during the Salem witch trials.

The La Jolla Birdwomen

In the 1960s, Seuss drew a series of illustrations titled “La Jolla Birdwomen.” They were gently but decidedly satirical, comparing the many birds of La Jolla with the upper-class socialites in La Jolla – a vehicle for another bit of Geisel’s spicy social commentary. As one of the few men in town who worked from home, Geisel lightheartedly considered himself a “bird watcher on the social scene, always looking to create gentle spoofs of his chic female friends taken up in their whirl of luncheons, parties, and charity balls.”

The Birdwomen series consisted of eleven paintings with comical titles and equally captivating captions: My Petunia Can Lick Your GeraniumNot Speaking,Martini Bird, Gosh! Do I Look as Old as All That!, View from a Window of a Rented Beach Cottage, One of the more direct titles simply exclaims “Oh, I’d love to go to the party, but I’m absolutely dead.” The subtle social jabs became characteristic of Geisel even in the later years, though other than “The Lorax,” many of them remained less popular than his other, more lighthearted works.

Ted Geisel won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1984, a testament to his enduring legacy. His children’s literature, and all of the creatures within his children’s books, are indelibly etched in millions of children’s imaginations around the world. From “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” and “The Cat in the Hat” to “Green Eggs and Ham” and “Yertle the Turtle,” Seuss has truly captured the whimsical, fantastical world of a child’s imagination. The realm of children’s books would be incomplete without his works of art, and his ties to San Diego and La Jolla California are indisputable – from the quote on the Coast Walk Trail to his very own art exhibit at the Legends Gallery – which is why we celebrate Dr Seuss birthday on March 2nd every year!

Today, the most notable memorial to Geisel is UC San Diego’s Geisel Library, in La Jolla California. It was renamed in 1995 (four years after his death) in he and Audrey Geisel’s honor for the generous contributions that they made to the library and their devotion to children’s literature and improving literacy around the world.

10 Fun Date Ideas for Couples in La Jolla

La Jolla is full of things to do, whether you’re with a group of friends or that special someone! If you’re looking for an especially romantic day or evening, however, La Jolla is definitely one of the top places to be in San Diego. Here are a few of our favorite date spots for couples in La Jolla and La Jolla Cove! As always, we recommend that you call ahead to check for availability on tours or screenings.

Spend the day at one of La Jolla’s beaches with a picnic.

La Jolla Cove, La Jolla Shores, and Windansea Beach are all great spots to watch the waves and relax. Swimming, tanning and paying frisbee are all great additions to this free date option (if you own a frisbee already). You can also schedule a walking tour of Scripps Pier with the Scripps Institute of Oceanography to learn more about what they do and catch some great ocean views from out above the water. Afterwards, head to Shell Beach and sit at one of the green belvederes to watch a beautiful sunset!

Go on a walking tour of the La Jolla Murals.

Many of the murals are hidden in small areas of La Jolla, often out of the way of main traffic. Hunting out the murals will not only let you stretch your legs, but introduce you to new areas of La Jolla. (Hint: the murals also make for great Instagram photos).

Tour the gorgeous Salk Institute, especially if you’re an architecture fan.

Just off of UCSD, the Salk Institute is a research institute that is beautifully designed with a focus on geometry, symmetry, and simplicity. Walking amongst the tall buildings and down angular hallways almost makes you feel like you’re in an alternate reality.

Stroll through the Stuart Collection at UCSD.

Sprinkled throughout the UCSD campus are several unique works of outdoor art. Ranging from neon lights to a house perched precariously atop a building named, Fallen Star, and a bear made from boulders, these 18 pieces are hidden gems – and finding each of them makes for a great day of exploration! Follow this printable map. The Fallen Star is free and open to the public on Tuesday and Thursdays from 11-3pm.

Check out Torrey Pines State Reserve

La Jolla has many great hiking options in easy reach, which means barely any planning on your part! Torrey Pines Reserve features a beach, trails of various difficulties, and a species of pine native only to La Jolla. Mt. Soledad is also a great hiking destination where visitors can see monuments to fallen U.S. soldiers from the Korean War, gaze up at a 42-foot cross, and enjoy panoramic views.

Head to the La Jolla tide pools

Keep an eye out for nature! When we’re caught up in the shopping and dining, we can forget that cities are included in “the natural environment” too. La Jolla’s great weather means we may not notice the seasons too much, but wildlife sure does. The La Jolla tide pools also make for a great free date where you can find beautiful creatures and experience the the biodiversity our area has to offer. There’s also several types of animal attractions at the beach to enjoy from afar, including dolphin sightings, leopard sharks, baby seals, and more. You likely won’t be able to see all these things at once, though. November to March is the best time for tide pools because of the lower tides, while December to May is when baby seals are born and August and September is when most of the leopard sharks appear.

Image from Facebook.

Watch the sunset above La Jolla Cove.

The little green belvederes above the Cove and along the rest of the beach in La Jolla are great spots to bring a mini picnic, some blankets, and hot cocoa to watch the sunset. Get there a bit early to snag a spot, and enjoy the show!

Walk the sea wall at Children’s Pool before a romantic dinner.

If you have dinner reservations at a cozy La Jolla restaurant, walk by the ocean or along the sea wall at Children’s Pool beforehand. Dusk is a beautiful time to be on the water, especially during a full moon!

Treat yourselves to a spa day

It’s no secret that La Jolla is home to tons of great resorts, beautiful spas, and relaxing hotels! Treat you and your honey to a relaxing day at the spa – indulge in a couple’s massage or treat yourselves to a facial. The best part is, most spas allow you to stay as long as you like enjoying their facilities afterwards!

Check out one of La Jolla’s many art galleries

Many art galleries in the Village are open to tour, including the Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery, Madison Gallery, Peter Lik Gallery, and more. The Athenaeum Arts Library on Wall St. also hosts rotating art exhibits that are open to the public, which typically feature a mix of sculpture and visual arts. It may not be the most romantic of venues, but depending on your interests, the Map and Atlas Museum of La Jolla could also be a really cool place for a free date.

 

 

The Farmers Insurance Open Returns to La Jolla January 25th

The Farmers Insurance Open Returns to La Jolla January 25th

The upcoming Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego is the golf event of the year! It has been held at Torrey Pines every year since 1968. Tiger Woods has already confirmed he’ll be playing this year, marking his first PGA event since last year’s FIO. Woods, who recently turned 42, won eight of his PGA Tour victories at the Torrey Pines Golf Course, including the 2008 U.S. Open. Woods is a clear favorite, especially among locals; keep an eye out for him and you just may score an autograph!

Overview

Opening Day is on Thursday, January 25, and each day through Sunday, January 28 holds a Championship round in the morning. Here’s the schedule breakdown for the week:

 

  • Thursday, January 25
    • Opening Round, North and South Courses
    • Post Party presented by Harrah’s Resort SoCal at The Fringe
  • Friday, January 26
    • Second Round, North and South Courses
    • Post Party presented by Harrah’s Resort SoCal at The Fringe
  • Saturday, January 27
    • Third Round, South Course
    • Post Party presented by Harrah’s Resort SoCal at The Fringe
  • Sunday, January 28
    • Final Round, South Course

In addition to Tiger Woods, players this year include defending champion Jon Rahm, who has risen to No. 4 in the world and won the FIO last year, No. 5 Hideki Matsuyama, No. 7 Rickie Fowler, and three-time tournament champion Phil Mickelson.

Before you go, purchase tickets online at the Farmers Insurance Open website. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the parking options available and the detailed Spectator Guidelines. Specific tee times will be updated the night before each event.

 

History of the Farmers Insurance Open

The tournament (originally called the San Diego Open) was first played in Chula Vista, then moved in 1954 to Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, which had hosted the Crosby Pro-Am prior to World War II. The event was played at Mission Valley Country Club in San Diego in 1955 for one year, then moved to El Cajon in 1956.

In 1968, the event began its present relationship with Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, a 36-hole public facility owned by the City of San Diego. In the current tournament set-up, players split the first 36 holes between the North and South Courses, then play the final 36 holes on the South Course. In 2008, the South Course hosted the U.S. Open, won by Tiger Woods in a playoff. Today, the Farmers Insurance Open is a PGA Championship tournament known as the “West Coast Swing,” and is organized by The Century Club of San Diego .

Itinerary

6:00 am – Get breakfast! Nearby restaurants include Caroline’s Seaside Cafe open at 8 am, and Farmer & The Seahorse open at 7 am weekdays. The Grill at Torrey Pines also opens at 6 am, situated at The Lodge at Torrey Pines hotel right next to the golf course for a closer breakfast.

7:00 am – Gates Open. If you’re an early bird, now is a great time to get yourself situated and set up your chairs or look for autograph opportunities (Tiger Woods if you get lucky!).

9:00 am – The round opens. You can bring pop-up stools and chairs without their carrying bags, but no lawn chairs or step stools. Times for each of the holes are on the schedule, and the player list is here. Then grab lunch at the event zones found at multiple locations throughout the event. See below for a full list of concession areas and food spots!

3:30 pm – Typically, the day’s round lasts until about 3:30 pm. The Post Party hosted by Harrah’s kicks off after the end of the rounds (Thursday, Friday and Saturday). Enjoy drinks and live music while mingling with other tournament attendees.

Attractions

SERVPRO Fan Village:

  • The Michelob ULTRA Zone: Open to the public, the 30,000-square foot Michelob ULTRA Zone features premium food and drink offerings.
  • Champions for Youth Tent in the Fan Village: Buy an official Farmers Insurance Open “Keep Calm & Torrey On” quiet paddle. All proceeds benefit at-risk youth charitable organizations!
  • Official Merchandise Tent: Shop all Official Tournament gear.
  • Fan-Friendly Expo: Try the latest golf equipment, learn more about special offers from Tournament partners, and engage in interactive displays.
  • The Fringe: Located on the 15th green. Upgrades on site are available at The Fringe entrance so check out what has become our most popular venue with artisan menu choices for purchase and a premium cash bar.
  • The Post Party: When play ends, keep the party going with live music from local DJs and Happy Hour drink specials.

THE ZTE GROVE (located between the 7th and 18th Fairways):

  • Grey Goose 19th Hole and Flight Deck: The expanded Grey Goose 19th Hole and Flight Deck will feature an all-new elevated viewing deck with panoramic views of the course, a Pétanque course and specialty drinks including the 2018 signature cocktail, the Torrey Breeze.
  • The William Hill Estate Wine Lounge: The Lounge offers ocean views and a variety of wine offerings from William Hill Estate Winery.

Vantage Point (located near the 1st tee and 18th hole of the South Course).

  • Grey Goose La Cantine: Get the morning started with signature Grey Goose Boody Mary
  • Practice Putting Green: Watch the Pros as they prepare to play.
  • Autograph Area: Snag an autograph from your favorite player after the round.
  • Torrey Pines Golf Shop: Buy Official Tournament merchandise and accessories.

 

The PGA Championship Tour continues after the Farmers Insurance Open with the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, the Genesis Open in Pacific Palisades, and the Honda Classic in Palm Beach, Florida in March. Open tickets and tickets for each upcoming event can be purchased at pgatour.com, along with a complete schedule and list of players. Tee times will be announced as each event approaches. The highly anticipated World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational will be held in August of this year in Akron, Ohio; the current American favorite player for that one is Zach Johnson.

 

 

Where to See Christmas Lights in San Diego

There’s really no better holiday tradition or way to get into the holiday spirit than going around to see Christmas light displays in San Diego! With so many unique neighborhoods in the area – each with their own vibe – there are countless light displays throughout the County. It can get a bit overwhelming to try and track them all down, so we’ve gone ahead and picked out some of the very best! Here’s your guide to the best Christmas lights in San Diego and San Diego County.

 

Garrison Street Lights: Point Loma

For more than three decades, this little neighborhood in Point Loma has been a popular destination for Christmas lights viewing in San Diego. Tucked away among decadent homes and incredible views, this little street lights up every day after dusk until New Year Eve.

December 1st – 31st, dusk-1pm. Garrison Street & Chatsworth (off of Rosecrans).

Sights & Sounds of Christmas: San Diego Temple

The Mormon Temple off I-5 near La Jolla is an awesome feat of architecture, and definitely worth a visit even during the daytime (although only members of the church are allowed inside). This holiday season, it turns into a winter wonderland–walk the Temple grounds and enjoy more than 130,000 lights and nativity scenes. Admission is free.

December 1st – January 1st; 5pm-11pm. 7474 Charmant Dr., UTC.

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights: The Bay

Now in its 46th year, the San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is truly a sight to behold. Presented by the Port of San Diego, the boat parade of more than 80 lavishly decorated vessels has become an iconic Christmas light installation in the area. This year’s theme is “Arrgh! A Pirate’s Christmas,” so you’ll be sure to see plenty of pirate-themed boats and decorations! The parade starts at Shelter Island, travels through the harbor and ends at the Ferry Landing in Coronado.

December 10th & 17th; 5pm.

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Forward House: Banker’s Hill/Downtown

This famous historic house was built in 1905 for then-San Diego Mayor John Forward Sr, and has been adorned with an array of holiday lights every season since 1998. It’s a beautiful, two-story house, and essentially every inch is covered in lights – this is a must-see.

November 23rd – December 31st; 5pm-10pm. 108 Ivy Street (1st & Ivy), San Diego. 

Luminaria: South Park

It’s South Park’s very own season of lights! Every tree, lamp post, roof, and courtyard is decorated with lights and ribbons. Stroll through the neighborhood and stop along the way at one of the coffee shops or restaurants in the area.

November 17th – January 1st; starts at dusk. Along 30th St. and Fern St. from Juniper to Grape and Beech Streets. 

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Belardo Lights: Tierrasanta

The Belardo Lights display has a beautiful story behind it. Started by the father of two boys, both diagnosed with autism, who wanted to create a special Christmas tradition that they could look forward to and work on together each year. Every year since 2006, he and his sons have worked to create the display entirely from scratch, and this year they’ve upped the ante even further with new light displays.

November 25th – December 27th; 6pm-10pm. 5306 Belardo Drive, San Diego. 

Christmas Park: Clairemont

More than 30 homes are lit up with holiday lights in an area of Clairemont that’s been dubbed “Christmas Park.” The circular street’s colorful display has been going strong since 1977 and continues to delight both locals and out-of-towners alike.

December 1st – December 25th. Lana Drive & Jamar Drive (off Mt. Abernathy), San Diego.

Jingle Bell Hill: El Cajon

Tucked away in El Cajon, you’ll find nearly 80 homes lit up with all kinds of festive holiday themes (some get super creative here, as well; we’ve seen Nightmare Before Christmas references, among others!). The display has grown significantly in recent years, lending it its nickname; it used to be called simply the “Pepper Drive Lights.”

December 7th – December 26th; Mon-Thurs 6pm-9pm, Fri-Sun 6pm-10pm. Solomon Ave & Pegeen Place/Pepper Drive plus surrounding areas. 

1838 El Pico Drive: El Cajon

This Christmas light installation is a seriously longstanding local tradition – it’s now going on its 53rd year decorating the 20-foot star that stands 100 feet above El Cajon valley. Visitors will also see a 55-foot long automated train and extensive automated yard decorations.

December 15 – 31st; dusk-10pm. 1838 El Pico Drive, off Hacienda Drive, El Cajon.

Merry-tage Court: Scripps Ranch

This display is definitely pop culture oriented, with nods to Star Wars, Minions, Cars, and more. The entire street gets creative and lights up, so don’t miss this one if you’re in the area!

December 1st – December 31st; 5:30pm-9:30pm. Stonebridge Pkwy. & Merritage Court, San Diego. 

Christmas Card Lane: Rancho Peñasquitos

This is one of the liveliest light displays in the County. Each year, residents decorate their yards with plywood greetings depicting cartoon characters or Christmas themes. The display was actually started in 1982 by Rancho Peñasquito resident Alana Hastings as a way to share the holiday spirit of the tight-knit community with others in the city. Originally, only about 15 families participated; now, there are more than 200 – and several have even been known to hand out some hot chocolate!

December 9 – 31; dusk-10pm. Ovieto Street, off Black Mountain Road, 92129. 

Knob Hill: San Marcos

Now in its 30th year, this awesome holiday light display in North County features more than 100,000 lights, themed displays, and more. Each year the area attracts  more than 130,000 visitors! It will start to get crowded near Christmas Day, so try to get in a visit early. Bring the little ones anytime during the week of Christmas, as even Santa will pay a visit.

November 23 – December 30; 5pm-9pm. 1639 Knob Hill. Off Nordahl Rd. Between Tam O’ Shanter Dr. & Augusta Dr., San Marcos.

Candy Cane Lane: Poway

Entire cul-de-sacs are lit up in Poway, with more than 100 homes decorating for the holiday season. Parking can be tricky here, so it’s usually best to park a few blocks away and walk through the displays on your own little Christmas light tour.

December 10 – 24; 6pm-9pm. Hickory Court, Hickory Street, Butterwood Court, and Rockrose Court in Poway. 

Holiday Magic: Carmel Mountain Ranch

More than 85 homes will be decorated in “Holiday Magic” this Christmas season in Fairway Village! This is an easy one to walk, as it’s just one street.

December 16 – January 1; 5:30pm-10:30pm. East and west sides of Stoney Gate Place, 92128.

Starlight Circle: Santee

This cozy little Santee neighborhood lights up more than 65 homes every year during the holidays. Decorations vary each year, but all of the homes always participate and it’s definitely worth seeing!

December 1 – 31st; dusk-10pm. Along Tomel Court, off Magnolia St. in Santee. 

Also in Santee: 

9435 Saint Andrews Drive (full Gingerbread house complete with more than 10,000 lights! Through January 1st; dusk-10pm).

Tinsel Town: Lakeside

Each year, more than 20 houses are lit up in Lakeside with festive lights and front-yard decorations. This neighborhood definitely goes all out for the Christmas season!

December 5th – 25th; 5:30pm-9pm. 10248 Paseo Palmas Dr., Lakeside. 

Other Light Displays

If you’re looking for Christmas lights that aren’t in residential neighborhoods, here are a few places around the County to go:

Jungle Bells: San Diego ZooEnjoy the Zoo in holiday mode until January 1st, 9am-8pm every day, complete with a holiday light display, animal experiences, costumed characters, and live music. Head over to Balboa Park after for more holiday cheer!

Global Winter Wonderland: SDCCU Stadium (Qualcomm). Featuring holiday displays and celebrating cultures from around the world with thousands of lights, decorations, a full carnival, entertainment, this is a San Diego Event this winter that you won’t want to miss! Admission is $19 for children and $22 for adults.

Christmas Celebration at SeaWorld San Diego. This year, SeaWorld is totally decked out with more than a million lights plus a 40-foot Christmas tree with an animated light show. Don’t forget to check out Rudolph’s Christmastown and the new O Wondrous Night, a living nativity performed every night. Through January 6th.

 

 

Celebrate the Season at the Annual La Jolla Holiday Open House

Kick Off the Holiday Season in La Jolla

Get into the holiday spirit at the annual La Jolla Holiday Open House, a 30 year tradition, on Sunday, November 19th from 10am-5:30pm! The event is a great opportunity for guests to buy the best holiday décor and gifts while experiencing the magic of the season with some of Girard Avenue’s finest merchants. Participating shops include Adelaide’s, Bendls, Meanley & Son Ace Hardware, Muttropolis, Cos Bar, Geppetto’s Toys, Warwick’s, Girard Gourmet, and more! 

The Open House will take place along the 7700 and 7800 blocks of Girard Avenue right in the downtown Village of La Jolla.

Shop For A Cause

The Holiday Open House is more than just a shopping event. It’s also a great opportunity to do something positive for the community as a whole. Participating merchants will be donating 10% of all their sales to local charities, including the San Diego Humane Society.

Guests will also be treated to great refreshments and food while enjoying live music performances. Other activities include book signings, exciting product demonstrations, and plenty of kid-friendly happenings.

Special Happenings

10am – 4pm: Strolling Carolers & Elf appearances (in front of all participating merchants)
10:30am – Noon: Meet Santa at Geppetto’s.
11am – 11:30am: Country Day/Madrigal singing performance at Adelaide’s.
12:15pm – 1:15pm: Read with Santa at Warwick’s. Also enjoy complimentary refreshments and free raffle drawings.
1:30pm – 3pm: Meet Santa at Adelaide’s.

The La Jolla Holiday Open House takes place on Sunday, November 19th from 10am – 4pm. Participating shops will be located on the 7700 and 7800 blocks of Girard Avenue in the downtown Village of La Jolla – just look for the green and gold balloons.