Swim With Leopard Sharks

Why You Should Swim With La Jolla Leopard Sharks This Summer

Yes it’s true, La Jolla is filled with leopard sharks. No, they are not dangerous – in fact, they are pretty friendly!

The first thing you probably imagine when you hear “shark” is vicious predator. But not all sharks are threatening to humans.

In fact La Jolla’s leopard sharks are friendly and even fun to be around. La Jolla is a summer getaway for thousands of beautiful leopard sharks. They’re non-lethal to humans and a delight to the eye. They even fun to swim, kayak, or scuba dive next to.

What makes leopard sharks different?

Well for one – they’re one of La Jolla’s most prized attractions. They draw visitors from all over the world, especially during summer. Their beautiful appearance is fascinating to look at, and despite being carnivores, they never attack humans.

Biologists estimate that the sharks that come to La Jolla are 97% female. Scientists estimate that a majority of of them show up to find a mate. The ones that are pregnant claim La Jolla as home to raise their young.

The toasty San Diego climate is a great location for the developing embryos to grow up. The warm weather sets up the perfect environment for healthy development in maturing sharks. There is plenty of food and resources for them to grow and mature.

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Fun facts about leopard sharks

Andrew Nosal, a researcher at La Jolla’s Birch Aquarium says, “What the [females] are essentially doing is incubating… like [how] a mother bird sits on eggs to keep them warm.” Leopard shark mothers are pregnant for about 10 months to a year and give birth to about 15-20 babies.

They take about 10 years to reach adulthood.

The sharks themselves are quite fascinating. Despite being fierce carnivores, they are known for their timid nature when interacting with humans. In fact, they are harmless to people. Most of the time when they encounter a human in the ocean, they swim away scared. In La Jolla, there has never been a recorded injury from a leopard shark.

Although they have the word “shark” in their name, the sharks don’t attack humans unless heavily provoked. Their small mouths have about 75 to 100 tiny teeth that may appear sharp and menacing, but they’re nonlethal to humans.

Nosal, who spent years researching the sharks, cautions the public, “It’s always important to remember that these are wild animals and should not be touched or harassed in any way.” Despite being a fish, leopard sharks have one thing in common with leopards (besides their skin of course). They are both predators who hunt down their prey.

Their diet consists primarily of shrimp, clams, crab, and fish. The food they consume is similar to what you can find at some of La Jolla’s most exclusive seafood restaurants. And despite a fierce carnivorous nature, it’s the beauty of leopard sharks that’s most fascinating.

Their beautiful skin is a pleasure to the eye. Each leopard shark skin is unique to the fish with no two patterns being the same, just like human fingerprints.

Leopard sharks at La Jolla Shores are a beautiful tourist attraction you need to experience.La Jolla kayak shops offer tours to experience them up close. The tours take visitors to the leopard shark hot spots including feeding grounds and mating spots.

According to LaJollaKayak.com “[the sharks] can be seen just a few yards away from shore…” There’s just no excuse to not experience the sharks.

During the summertime from July to September, Birch Aquarium offers 2-hour leopard shark Snorkeling Adventures where they cover the abundant variety of animals that live in La Jolla’s waters. Participants must provide their own snorkeling gear.

If you don’t feel like renting, you can head straight into the water and experience them first hand. Although the fish are easily frightened and often swim away from people, they are quite fun to be around.

Nosal suggests that, “The best thing to do is to stay motionless and allow the shark to come to you.” While most people don’t feel comfortable letting a shark come to them, it’s one of the coolest experiences you will ever have.

Come experience the sharks for yourself – there’s nothing quite like it!

La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival: Experience the Cannes of Fashion Film in La Jolla!

This July, the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival returns for its ninth annual year!

Hundreds of fashion filmmakers from around the world will showcase the very best in fashion film in a truly one-of-a-kind experience; in fact, the festival is the first and only fashion film festival to be founded in North America. This year, the event will be from July 19th-21st, 2018 at various venues throughout La Jolla including The Lot and the Price Ballroom at UC San Diego.

From Hollywood to the international fashion capitals of the world, some of the top names in the industry will come together once again to attend the festival. The films that make it into the final program will represent some of the most brilliant and creative directors in filmmaking today.

Curated from the dynamic and exploding world of fashion film, these films are a glimpse of what’s trending in the minds of the world’s top fashion houses, designers, and stylists interpreted through the lens of their filmmaking counterparts.

La Jolla Fashion Film Festival 2018 Highlights

Thursday, July 19: Art Installation Night and Pre-Opening Reception 
Mingle with some of fashion’s finest artists as world renowned fashion photographer and artist Jacques Silberstein, Florence Italy based director and artist Rossano Maniscalchi, and Mexico City fashion artist and historian Antonio Contreras display their art pieces. Venue: The LOT La Jolla

Friday, July 20: Opening Night Screening Program 
After reviewing over 11,000 films, these are the best! Pick up your wrist bands at the registration table in front of the theater between 7 and 8pm. Venue: Price Center Ballroom at UCSD.

Friday, July 20: Fashion Body Art Creation Demos 
Watch as one of the world’s foremost body painters and makeup artists, Einat Dan, and world champion body painter and costume designer Birgit Mortl hold an on-going demonstration of the creative process behind the scenes! Venue: Price Center Ballroom at UCSD.

Saturday, July 21: International Fashion Film Awards
Who will go home with the most coveted award in the world of fashion film? Find out on fashion film’s most important night. Presenters are called up to the stage Academy Award style and announce the winners. Venue: Price Center Ballroom at UCSD.

SEE ALSO: Fashion Week San Diego Hosted in La Jolla

More Information

The festival is the passion project of Fred Sweet, owner and founder, who has used his model and talent agency background to embrace his belief in the importance of fashion film. His goal was to create a platform where talented directors and designers could showcase their work. While some directors are beginning to produce big budget films for brands like Chanel and Prada, many are still funding them out of their own pockets. The passion, creativity, and dedication to the medium is apparent in many of these films.

Every year, the festival chooses from over 11,000 films; separating the best of the best to create a mix of 100 films to showcase at the festival. In all, the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival offers attendees the perfect combination of cosmopolitan glamor and creative, cinematic masterpieces.

LJIFF 2018 Awards

  • Best Hairstyling
  • Best Makeup
  • Best Message
  • Best Narration
  • Best Accessories
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Sound Design
  • Best Jewelry
  • Best Costume Design
  • Best Music
  • Best Creative Concept
  • Best Visual Effects
  • Best Editing
  • Best Art Direction
  • Best Actress
  • Best Actor
  • Best Fashion
  • Best Director
  • Best Picture

To learn more about the world’s largest gathering of fashion filmmakers, visit the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival website.

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.


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 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:

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]

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 poolsalso 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.

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.



San Diego Beer Week at Torrey Pines Lodge

There is no seriously no better location for the closing event of San Diego Beer Week than the Arroyo Terrace of the Lodge at Torrey Pines right here in La Jolla! The Beer Garden will bring together the best of San Diego’s breweries and local chefs to celebrate the craft beer movement. With 28 different breweries paired with 14 chefs, the Beer Garden is a uniquely San Diego food and beer pairing event. The Beer Garden will take place on Sunday, November 12th from 12pm-3pm. Each admission includes unlimited tasters of beer and food. General admission tickets are $85.

San Diego Beer Week, which is hosted annually, is a ten-day countywide festival that puts on numerous events throughout San Diego at various venues. This year, it will be held from November 3-12, and will kick off with 17 different tastings/events on November 3rd alone! Check out the rest of the calendar and event schedule here.

Now the important part – here are all of the participating breweries and chefs at this year’s Beer Garden! Each restaurant will feature a chef plus two brewery pairings.

Carnitas’ Snack Shack (Hanis Cavin)
Societe Brewing
Killowatt Brewing

Tom Hams Lighthouse (Kyle Kovar)
Karl Strauss Brewing
Duck Foot Brewing Co.

Urban Solace (Matt Gordon)
Monkey Paw Brewing
Black Plague Brewing

Stone World Bistro & Gardens (Tom Connolly)
Stone Brewing
Novo Brazil Brewing

Grand Restaurant Group (Amy Dibiase)
Societe Brewing
Killowatt Brewing


Trust (Brad Wise)
Coronado Brewing
Thunderhawk Alements

Nine-Ten (Jason Knibb)
Pizza Port Brewing
Bear Roots Brewing

Grill at Torrey Pines (Kyle Wiegand)
AleSmith Brewing Co.
Bagby Beer Co.

CH Projects (Phillip Esteban)
North Park Beer Co.
Amplified Ale Works

Pamplemousse (Jeffrey Strauss)
Rip Current Brewing

Golden Door (Greg Frey)
Green Flash Brewing Co.
Home Brewing Co.

Terra American Bistro (Jeff Rossman)
Burning Beard Brewing Co.
San Diego Brewing Co.

University Club (Lance Repp)
Mikkeller Brewing
Resident Brewing

Leroy’s Kitchen & Lounge (Ronnie Schwandt)
Alpine Beer Co.
Benchmark Brewing

This is definitely going to be a great event, especially if you’re a fan of beer and good food! Don’t miss out on this or all the other San Diego Beer Week festivities happening in November.


“Hot Stuff”! The Donna Summer Musical Comes to the La Jolla Playhouse This November


A biopic about the life and times of America’s favorite Disco Queen, Donna Summer, is making its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse this fall. From November 7th through December 17th, “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical” will be at the Playhouse, charting Summer’s rise to international fame from her early, modest beginnings in Boston.

The musical is directed by Des McAnuff, of “Jersey Boys” fame, and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo. Here’s a look at the Playhouse’s newest musical masterpiece.

The Donna Summer Musical

Told through the dramatic lens of her final concert, “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical” showcases the complexities and conflicts the iconic singer/songwriter struggled within her meteoric rise to fame and eventual descent. Featuring a score with more than 20 of Summer’s classic hits, the musical is a moving tribute to the voice of a generation and the undisputed “Queen of Disco.”

La Jolla Playhouse Director Emeritus Des McAnuff is known for creating performances about popular music icons, such as “The Who’s Tommy” and “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.” Now, with this production, Des is joined by his “Jersey Boys” choreographer Sergio Trujillo to combine the heartfelt story of Summers’ life with the kinetic music and dance that characterized her musical career.

[From left to right: LaChanze, Storm Lever, Ariana DeBose]

A Metamorphosis

What is especially unique about the musical, however, is that three different actresses will be playing the titular role of Donna Summers. LaChanze (who won the prestigious Tony Award for her performance in 2006’s “The Color Purple”), Ariana DeBose (whose credits include “Hamilton” and “A Bronx Tale”), and Storm Lever (who recently performed in the Playhouse’s “Freaky Friday) will each play Summers at different times in her life, to really show what a metamorphosis the singer experienced through childhood, superstardom, and then as a fading pop icon.

LaChanze will play “Diva Donna”; DeBose will be “Disco Donna,” which will shine a light on the pop star’s rise to Disco fame (and what gave way to her eventual Queen of Disco nickname); and Lever will portray “Duckling Donna,” in her early childhood years.

[Summer in a recording studio, September 1977. Wikipedia]

What to Expect

The musical is a straightforward biography, focusing solely on Summer’s journey through life. The singer was born and raised in Boston to working-class parents; she landed a role in a European production of “Hair” and began to make a name for herself working in Germany. She spent several years living, acting, and singing throughout Europe, where she met music producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. Her meteoric rise to fame happened during disco’s heyday, then drifted into limbo-land when Studio 54 and that era came to an end.

Summer became a born-again Christian in her later years, and became something of a Tragically, she died of lung cancer in 2012 at the age of 63. In her obituary in The Times, she was described as the “undisputed queen of the Seventies disco boom” who reached the status of “one of the world’s leading female singers.”

Of course, all of Summer’s biggest hits will make an appearance in the show – “Love To Love You Baby,” “Heaven Knows,” “Bad Girls” — toot, toot, yeah, toot, toot! — “Dim All the Lights,” “No More Tears,” “On the Radio” and, of course, “MacArthur Park.”

The musical premieres November 7 at La Jolla Playhouse. Tickets start at $58. For more information, visit lajollaplayhouse.org.


Boo! 5 Halloween Celebrations in La Jolla & San Diego

Halloween in La Jolla has arrived! From the spooky Haunted Aquarium to the annual Pillage the Village in downtown La Jolla, plus other events nearby in San Diego County, we’ve got you covered on all the best spots to start celebrating. All of these Halloween happenings are family-friendly and make for a great afternoon out with the family! For more information on other events happening in La Jolla, head to our Events page. You may also want to visit our Best Halloween Stores in San Diego page.

birch aquarium

Pillage the Village

Downtown La Jolla
Tuesday October 31st, 3pm-6pm

It’s almost time for the 7th annual Pillage the Village! Every year, trick-or-treaters in La Jolla walk around the Village in costume and treat the locals to a little Halloween fun. Participating merchants and businesses will have orange and black balloons visible, so you know where you’ll be able to get some goodies. A good starting point is Girard and Prospect. Work your way around downtown La Jolla until you’ve trick-or-treated everywhere!

Haunted Aquarium: Sea Monster Mash

Birch Aquarium at Scripps
October 20 & 21, 6pm-9pm

Halloween at Birch Aquarium is a great experience for the whole family. Enjoy close encounters with Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientists and search the galleries for unusual underwater creatures rarely seen at Birch Aquarium. Your kids will discover a sea of glowing sea creatures, get sticky with slime, and enjoy spooky stories, all while enjoying live music.


  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography Scientists showcasing their latest research
  • Make your own seaweed slime (and take it home!)
  • Frankensquid: Get up close and personal with a huge Humboldt Squid and learn what makes it unique
  • Experience a tiny 3-D microscope, developed by Scripps Oceanography scientists.
  • Check out spooky species, including skeleton shrimp and sea spiders
  • Costume contest – complete with a prize giveaway
  • Witness creatures that create their own light and glow in the deep, dark ocean.
  • Story time with a spooky shipwreck tale
  • Creepy crafts for all ages
  • Live music brought to you by Billy Lee and the Swamp Critters
halloween in la jolla

BOOmont Park

Belmont Park
Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in October

Head to Belmont Park as the beachfront amusement park transforms into “Boomont” Park on weekends in October! Get into the spirit of the season with a game of Zombie laser tag, ride the roller coaster, choose from tons of different crafts, stroll the pumpkin patch, trick-or-treat, and join in the costume contest at this Halloween-themed extravaganza.

Hallo-wine & Spirits Party

Hotel Del Coronado
October 28th, 7pm

The landmark Hotel Del Coronado (that’s rumored to be haunted) is throwing a rip-roaring bash that welcomes trick-or-treaters ages 4-12. You and your date will rock out like Max Dennison’s parents while your minis are treated to a special costume  party of their own that includes dinner and trick-or-treating. This event is a bit of a splurge, but it will make for a memorable event that can only take place on the island.


Balboa Park Halloween

Balboa Park
October 28, 11am-4pm

If you have younger kids who aren’t quite ready to take on Balboa Park’s Haunted Trail (which is happening throughout the whole month!), take the family to Halloween Family Day instead. More than 24 museums will have a bunch of themed activities, craft projects for kids, costume parades, and other spooky surprises. Participating museums will be offering free admission to children 12 and under (accompanied by a paying adult).

And, for an even more updated list, check out our “12 Halloween Events in San Diego” page!



Exploring La Jolla Tide Pools with Kids

“Look here, look here! Come and see this Mami!” The kids usually shout excited looking at the marine life they find at the La Jolla tide pools.

We recently visited the tide pools for the first time ever and now we are hooked! It’s so fun to go see sea creatures in their natural habitat.

Dike Rock Tide Pools

Our adventure included two La Jolla Tide Pools: Dike Rock and Hospitals Break. When you explore tide pools with kids you are probably going to discover more because kids are such experts to point out the best finds!

That said, I decided to take them to Dike Rock first which is north of Scripps Pier. I parked close to the entrance of Scripps Beach on La Jolla Shores Dr., just make sure to park where there isn’t time limit because you’ll spend a long time exploring and you don’t want to rush back! (It happened to us!!).

Once you get down to the beach you walk north until you see the rocks where the tide pools are located.

We started exploring immediately. The first creatures we saw were crabs, they were everywhere and in lots of different sizes. We even saw one that was eating! It was moving his claws one after the other to his mouth!

Another creature that you will probably see a lot are Sea Anemones, they are greenish inside and sometimes if they are curled you won’t notice them, they are brown and covered with shells on the outside.

Hospitals Break Tide Pools

The second and final stop in our tide pool exploration was Hospitals Break, it’s south of the Children’s Pool and it’s quite a big area for tide pools. The rock formations there are very unique, there are some rocks covered with what seems like a carpet of seagrass, it’s amazing.

The kids can’t stop talking about their experience at the tide pools, we are planning to come back with some friends. I recommend you to go with your kids, if you do, make sure to check out the tide charts before you go, look for a minus (-) number for the best experience!

What to bring:

  • Wearing swimming suit is best or clothes you don’t mind getting wet
  • Water shoes (not flip flops)
  • Don’t forget the Sunscreen
  • Camera

Where to go:

And here is a list of the most talked-about La Jolla Tide Pools you can visit, starting north and going south:

  • Dike Rock
  • South of La Jolla Shores Beach
  • La Jolla Cove
  • Shell Beach
  • Hospitals Break
  • Whispering Sands Beach
  • Marine Street Beach
  • Windandsea beach

Happy tide pooling in La Jolla!

The Lazy Adult’s Guide to San Diego Comic-Con International Offsite Events & Parties 2017

Photo courtesy of Nathan Rupert


Eileen Blancas, sub-culture and pop culture enthusiast, guest blogs today with an insightful and easy San Diego Comic Con 2017 off-site events guide. No badge required.
If you’ve been following my San Diego Comic Con guides throughout the years, you know my guides follow a central theme: survival and laziness. I, like you, enjoy a good time. But also like you, I don’t enjoy going through the countless event guides with terrible layouts, Facebook invites that inevitably get lost in the FB black hole, and press release after press release about some toy you’ve never heard of (#sorrynotsorry). And yet, it brings me such joy to wade through it all to provide you with the most interesting events!All events in this guide do not require a Comic Con badge, but some do have a cover. At the time of writing this, events have not yet “sold-out.” No, I cannot get you into any of the Conan events.

If you’re visiting San Diego for the first time or if you will be staying all week be sure to visit La Jolla and take in some sun and explore the Village. Not sure where to start? Check out our handy guides here.

All-Weekend Offsite Events

Petco Park Interactive Zone 100 Park Blvd.
When: Th-Sat Open-6pm, Sun Open-5pm
What: After a bit of hiatus, Petco Park Interactive Zone is back. It is the best place to go if you are badgeless and low on funds. Expect to see photo booths, VR and arcade demos from the Razer Experience Tour, food provided by Netflix’s “The Rise of Voltron,” and much more!

Netflix Experience Hilton Gaslamp, 4th Ave. and L St.
When: Th-Sat 11-8PM, Sun 11-3PM
What: With several original hit shows under their belt, and now a hit movie, “Okja,” Netflix is going in strong this year at Comic Con. Since you’re badgeless and have no hope of getting into Hall H, the Netflix Experience is your next best bet. Catch sneak peeks of upcoming originals, exclusive giveaways, and more. You will also be able to immerse yourselves into the worlds of “Stranger Things,” “Bright,” and the streets of New York with Marvel’s “The Defenders.”

FXHibition Hilton San Diego Bayfront Lawn, 1 Park Blvd.
When: Th-Sat 12–6pm, Sun 10–2pm
What: Fri Screening: 7pm–9pm, doors 6:30pm
Much like the Petco Park Interactive Zone, the Bayfront Lawn is another place to find the most bang for your $0. Immerse yourself in a mixed reality experience with FX shows like “Legion,” “American Horror Story,” “Archer,” “Atlanta” and more. Find out more on their SDCC site, FXSDCC.

Nintendo Gaming Lounge – Marriott Marquis & Marina
When: Thursday, July 20 – Sunday, July 23 (10AM-7PM on Thursday-Saturday, and 10AM-5PM on Sunday).
What: Play some of their most popular games like: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WildMario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2, Pokémon Tournament DX, Pokémon Moon, Super Mario Maker, and more. For more info click here.

Adult Swim On the Green Convention Way & 5th Ave Pier, Behind Convention Center
When: Th-Sun 1-6pm; 18+
What: The first of adults-only events, this is a TOP NOTCH offsite that everyone makes the effort to attend. Wacky carnival games, free swag, and the Meatwad Dome experience – said to be upgraded this year w/motion seats. Get a tarot card reading, befriend a motorized animal, and wait in a gigantic line! Just kidding, skip the line and register at the Adult Swim event site. Also check the site out for a schedule of signings with “Rick & Morty,” “Robot Chicken,” and “The Jellies.”

TBS “Wrecked” Marina behind Convention Center
When: Th-Sun 12-5pm; 21+
What: This is probably the most legit new event to pop up on the offsite circuit. This “floating island” will include an island bar, coconut skeeball, minigolf, palm tree climbing, and a mechanical boar – all on a barge in the SD bay! They’re even advertising that you can pee in an airplane cabin, but that’s up to you!

VICELAND Party Bus w/James Van der Beek 530 Island Avenue
When: Th–Sat 9-6PM
What: Official Party w/Diplo at Fluxx, RSVP only
I know what you’re thinking – what the hell is this flyer and what does Dawson have to do with Comic Con? Well, it looks like the VICELAND Party Bus is parking itself at SDCC to celebrate the launch of their new show starring James Van Der Beek, “What Would Diplo Do?” Yeah, I have no idea either – but it sounds a trip! The bus is fully loaded with a lounge area, snacks, drinks, music, wi-fi, swag, and even a rooftop deck. There will also be special guests stopping by throughout the week. Probably Diplo. Ask him if you can get into the exclusive party, just don’t catch any STDs.

Mr.Robot 327 4th Ave btwn J and Island
When: Th-Sat 11-7pm, Sun 11-4pm
What: While many people seem to be bummed that Mr.Robot doesn’t have a ferris wheel or panel this year, there is something better! A free meal! Alright, so I am biased. I can’t say I know much of Mr.Robot, but I can say I am a fan of free food. Head to the “E Corp’s Bank of E” for an E Corp Card. That card will give allow you to make purchases (I assume), but best of all, if you go to the “Red Wheelbarrow BBQ” next door, they will give you a free bbq meal. You’re welcome.

For more offsite events visit SDCC’s official list. Now onto the parties!

Thursday Parties

Thursday is THE day for parties. I am listing them in the order of importance, most important to backup plan.

IGN x Sony x MRC Studios: The Dark Tower Fan Party Tipsy Crow
When: 8-2am; Free; 21+
What: They list baby ribs and drinks, I don’t know if that means it is free eats and drinks, but with sponsorships like that – you best show up and find out! They’ve also got live performances as well, should be a great time! Register now on eventbrite.

Syfy x The Nerd Machine Fan Dance Party The New Children’s Museum
When: 9-12pm; Free
What: If you’re one of the many who were disappointed in the lack of a physical Nerd HQ, have no fear! There are not just one, but two fan dance parties by Syfy and Nerd HQ! Show up in your cosplay and dance with all your best friends. This is the party to just let loose at!

Rave of Thrones Omnia
When: 9:30-2am; $20; 21+
What: Kristian Nairn is back with the Rave of Thrones! If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones or dance music, this is not an event to be missed! It is, however $20 pre-sale and probably an arm and a leg the day of. Buy tickets at the Omnia website.

Bangarang Heroes and Rebels Bassmnt
When: 9-1am; $15; 21+
What: Famed for his roles as Rufio in “HOOK,” and Prince Zuko in “AVATAR: The Last Airbender,” Dante Basco is hosting a dance party at the nightclub Bassmnt. Cosplay is encouraged, egos are not – check it at the door. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased here.

Modern Times Beer Dinner w/Star Wars Spelling Bee BIGA
When: 7-11pm, $35 online $45 at the door, 21+
What: This event is probably going to be pretty dope as who doesn’t love a three course dinner, local beer pairings, and a super geeky spelling bee? Do you know how to spell Tatooine? I’ll give you a hint: I just wrote it. Buy tickets here.

Friday Parties

Ghostbusters Mass Hysteria Werewolf
When: 8am-2am; Free; all ages until 9pm
What: A beloved event by all, Ghostbusters Mass Hysteria is an all day event with panels and prizes, followed by a party for the adults! It is first come, first serve – and tons of fun. For schedule and more info, follow their FB invite page.

When: Friday, July 21  9:30 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.  Held at San Diego’s OMNIA Nightclub located in the legendary Gaslamp Quarter.
What: Tyler Posey (“Teen Wolf”), Danai Gurira (“Black Panther”), Jamie Chung (“Big Hero 6: The Series”), Warren G (Hip-hop artist), Brody Jenner (DJ), Jamie Iovine (DJ),  Aimee Garcia (“Lucifer”), Bree Turner (“Grimm”), Bryan Greenberg (“The Mindy Project”), Cassie Scerbo (“Sharknado 5: Global Swarming”), Fabio Lanzoni (Model), Ian Ziering (“Sharknado 5: Global Swarming), Katheryn Winnick (“Vikings”), Lana Parrilla (“Once Upon a Time”), Marie Avgeropoulos (“The 100”), Paul Johansson (“Van Helsing”), Robert Buckley (“iZombie”), Shohreh Aghdashloo (“The Expanse”), Tara Reid (“Sharknado 5: Global Swarming”) and more to be announced.

Pirate Con Maritime Museum of San Diego
When: 8-12pm; $40; 21+
What: I’ve heard stories about this party. Depending on who you are, this could be either good or bad. You’ve been warned! Bonus! You get a Funko toy with the purchase of your ticket! Tickets may be purchased at the Maritime Museum of San Diego website here.

Japanese Pop Culture Party: Yokai Omatsuri Japanese Friendship Garden
When: 7:30-11:30pm; $25; 18+
What: If kawaii Japanese culture is more your thing, check out the Japanese Friendship Garden at Balboa Park for activities, food, and DJs. Tickets can be purchased here.

Das Bunker Galactic Dance Party at SDCC Spin Nightclub
When: 9pm- ???; $25; 21+
What: Los Angeles’ famed Industrial Dance Club treks over to San Diego for a night of galactic fun. Spin is known to go well into 4am, so if you’re looking for an all nighter, this is your party! Buy tickets here.

Saturday Parties

Syfy x The Nerd Machine Fan Dance Party Pt. 2 The New Children’s Museum
When: 9-12pm; Free
See Thursday’s description.

horror vs scifi san diego comic con 2017

SDCC Horror Cosplay Meetup • Club Sabbat Presents Horror vs Sci-Fi
MEETUP: Location TBA; 6:30-7:30pm; Free; All Ages
AFTER PARTY: Numb3rs Nightclub 9-2am; $7; 21+
The well beloved Zombie Walk is no longer, but lives in the spirit of an all new horror meetup! In zombie fashion, the location is TBA, follow the FB account herefor more info. Following the meetup is the after party presented by Club Sabbat, come in your horror gear or switch it up to galactic babe status. Watch the tentacles! The after party is 21+, sorry horror kids.

Comic-Con Club Crawl Analog Bar
I’m not a huge fan of crawls, but I admit they can be fun – and people seem to enjoy them. Use this discount from Goldstar. This crawl is also on Friday, but don’t pay more when you can pay less. Go Saturday. More info and tickets here.

July 4th Fireworks

La Jolla Cove 4th of July Fireworks: Things to Know Before You Go


The annual fireworks show in La Jolla has been a beloved attraction for locals and visitors for more than 25 years. Each July, friends and family gather to watch the awesome display over the picturesque La Jolla Cove. The 30-minute display begins at 9pm sharp and is best viewed from Ellen Browning Scripps Park at the bottom of Coast Boulevard overlooking the La Jolla Cove.

The best places to watch the display are Ellen Browning Scripps Park, Coast Walk, and La Jolla Shores (especially Kellogg Park, where the grassy area is). Parking will be difficult and most street parking is timed to two or three hours – so do be aware of all parking signs once you arrive.

The fireworks have, sadly, been faced with their share of adversity throughout the years. In 2014, the display almost didn’t happen at all for lack of funding; a last-minute donation saved the day, and thankfully the show has gone on without a hitch ever since!

Day-of Tips:

  • Get there early! Parking will be extremely difficult all over La Jolla on the 4th, as this is an extremely popular spot. Some parking will be blocked off directly in front of the Park, but most street parking will be available. There are also a few underground garages with pay-per-hour rates along Herschel Ave. and Prospect Street.
  • Bring a blanket to sit on. If you get there early, you’ll have a chance to relax on the grass at the park while you wait. It makes for a beautiful place to watch the sunset!
  • Bring a small flashlight if you feel you might need to walk around before or during the display – it gets very dark in the area when they dim the streetlights.

After the fireworks, plan on hanging out at a restaurant or bar for a while – getting out of the village will be nearly impossible for at least an hour! For other information on activities and restaurants, visit our complete Guide to La Jolla Cove.

Feel like enjoying some dinner before the fireworks? Head to George’s at the Cove for a luxe 3-course meal.

George’s Ocean Terrace and Level2 are the perfect place to enjoy the La Jolla fireworks – their on-the-water location provides some of the best views of the 2017 fireworks show over La Jolla Cove. The cost of each table includes a 3-course dinner on July 4, 2017. Dinner begins at 6:30pm, and this year’s menu includes some incredible options including an Herbed Alaskan Halibut, Grilled Filet Mignon, and a Watermelon Salad; to name a few!

You must book a reservation in advance. Visit their website for more information.

Beaumont Avenue 4th of July Parade

The 38th Annual Beaumont Avenue 4th of July Parade is happening this year! The Bird Rock Parade Committee, led by Russell and Scott Murfey, is organizing the event. The 0.3 mile Beaumont Ave. parade route starts at 10am at the corner of Camino de la Costa and Beaumont Avenue, and ends at Mira Monte. Watch the neighborhood children in their special Independence Day attire as they walk, trike, bike, scooter, or ride on a float down the parade route.

After the parade, there will be a 4th of July celebration and party behind the La Jolla Methodist Church. There will be food, entertainment, and plenty of activities for the whole family.

This is solely volunteer-run event, and donations are always appreciated. Please visit their donations website for more information.

things to do in la jolla

Top Things to Do in La Jolla

La Jolla offers countless activities to dabble in. Whether you enjoy long walks, adventurous outdoor activities, fantastic shopping, or fine dining, you will always find what you’re looking for here in La Jolla!


From the famous fine dining of George’s at the Cove to the Brockton Villa’s award-winning french toast, you will be delighted by the incredible variety and pristine quality of La Jolla restaurants. If you’re seeking a more casual spot for a laid-back beach day, don’t worry, there are plenty of spots for grabbing a bite.

Enjoy cooking yourself? There are great local stores and the terrific La Jolla Open Aire Market (every Sunday) for picking your own produce. Learn more about the La Jolla food scene on our Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurants in La Jolla.

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth

La Jolla is known for its fine dining – and its confectionaries! There are several delicious spots to grab something sweet after dinner, from bakeries to gelaterias and ice cream shops.

  • Sugar & Scribe Bakery
  • Bobboi Natural Gelato
  • Haagen Dazs Ice Cream
  • Gelateria Frizzante

For more information on all of these, head to our dining guide!

La Jolla Beaches

The soft sand and blue waters of the Southern California seaside are highly acclaimed for a reason. Whichever beach spot you choose here, you’ll have made the right choice! From family-friendly activities to beautiful spots to lay out, each La Jolla beach definitely has its own personality.

  • La Jolla Shores
  • La Jolla Cove
  • Windansea Beach
  • Shell Beach
  • Children’s Pool
  • Wipeout Beach
  • Boomer Beach
  • Marine Street Beach
  • Torrey Pines Beach
  • Black’s Beach


From kayaking and snorkeling to land activities like golfing at the world renowned Torrey Pines Golf Course, you will find countless sun-soaking activities to take part in. Enjoy hiking? Get ready to the hit the trails because there are many great ones you’ll want to explore. For a more relaxing day with the family, the parks here act as the perfect spot for bringing a picnic and throwing a frisbee.

la jolla things to do


  • Hike into Sunny Jim Cave (lots of stairs, but an incredible view!)
  • Have a picnic at Ellen Browning Scripps Park
  • Take a walking tour of La Jolla’s murals
  • Visit UCSD (and check out the outdoor Stuart Collection)
  • Try stand-up paddle boarding or surfing
  • Take a Kayak Tour of the La Jolla Sea Caves
  • Go snorkeling around the Cove – and swim with the leopard sharks!
  • Watch the gliders at Torrey Pines Gliderport
  • Visit Mt. Soledad Veteran’s Memorial
  • Go whale watching
  • Take your own Architecture Tour of La Jolla (Geisel Library and the historic cottages in the Village are some of the best examples!)
  • Check out the local tide pools 
  • Watch a beautiful sunset from the shore
  • Hit the La Jolla Open Aire Market (every Sunday, 9am-1pm at 7335 Girard Ave)


  • Spend the day at the Birch Aquarium
  • Enjoy one of La Jolla’s many museums
    • Museum of Contemporary Art
    • Map & Atlas Museum
    • Athenaeum Music & Arts Library
  • Check out one of the many art galleries
    • Thumbprint Gallery
    • Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery
    • National Geographic Gallery
  • See a play at world-renowned La Jolla Playhouse
  • Visit the Salk Institute (you’ll need to schedule one of their Guided Tours)
  • Visit the La Jolla Historical Society for a bit of local history

Cruise the Coast

The main attraction of La Jolla is, of course, the ocean. Enjoying the views from land is great, but why not get close and see it from the water itself?

La Jolla offers breathtaking sunset and dinner cruises that will have all those on land envious. Learn more about the cruises offered to you at our Dinner Cruises & Sunset Cruises Page. During whale watching season, they offer special Whale Watching Cruises – a spectacular event that you don’t want to miss out on.


Whether you’re seeking the perfect ring from Cartier, a fun & fresh outfit from Francesca’s or a day of window shopping, La Jolla has the shopping escapade you have in mind. From the big brand shops in the UTC mall to local shops of Ivanhoe, shopping lovers are spoiled for choice.

  • Girard Avenue Shops
  • Shops on Ivanhoe St.
  • Westfield UTC
  • Design District on Herschel Ave.

Local Events

Annual happenings like the Christmas Parade and theater shows keep life, including the nightlife, here interesting. Check out our calendar & blog to see what is coming up! And learn more about La Jolla events at our Events Page. Here are some annual events that you can look forward to every year.

  • Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course (January)
  • La Jolla Concours d’Elegance: a world-renowned seaside car show (April)
  • Secret Garden Tour of La Jolla: explore some of La Jolla’s most beautiful gardens (May)
  • 4th of July Fireworks at La Jolla Cove (July)
  • La Jolla Rough Water Swim (September, unless cancelled)
  • La Jolla Art & Wine Festival (October)
  • La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival (December)

Comedy Shows

As we all know, laughter is the best medicine. Come get a dose of it at La Jolla’s top laugh-inducing spot, The Comedy Store, which has been around since 1977. This venues features all types of comedians, so you’re sure to find someone who will have you chuckling. Learn more about what this venue has to offer at our Comedy Store Page.


Take a Walk (or a Hike!)

There are several beautiful areas to walk through and enjoy the scenery in La Jolla.

  • Coast Walk Trail
  • Torrey Pines Trails
  • Scripps Coastal Reserve – Biodiversity Trail
  • Mt. Soledad trails
  • Fay Avenue Bike Path

For more information on hiking, head to our scenic hikes page!

Stay the Night

La Jolla hotels range from five-star extravagant experiences to historic bungalows by the sea. There are plenty of options to choose from, no matter what your style is!

  • La Jolla Shores Hotel
  • La Jolla Cove Suites
  • La Valenica
  • Grande Colonial
  • The Lodge at Torrey Pines
  • Estancia La Jolla
  • Pantai Inn
  • Empress Hotel
  • Hotel La Jolla
  • Redwood Cottages
  • Bed & Breakfast Inn at La Jolla
  • Scripps Inn

Head here for more information on all of these hotels in La Jolla.

Whether you’re staying for a day or for the week, there plenty of ways to stay busy and enjoy your time in La Jolla! What are some of your favorite things to do here? Let us know in the Facebook comments!

13 Things You Didn’t Know Existed in La Jolla


It may seem like there are no stones left unturned in La Jolla – from off-the-beaten-path attractions to the most secluded restaurants, there is a lot of information out there about even the most supposedly ‘secret’ spots in La Jolla; which is why we’ve decided to go the other route!

Here are a few La Jolla “hidden gems” you may not have seen around town – but have always been there, in plain sight!

1. World War II-era bunkers

Remnants of WWII remain scattered throughout La Jolla (and all of San Diego; especially atop Cabrillo National Monument). During the 1940s, there were several military bases scattered from the coast all the way inland. Our unique coastal position, facing towards the Pacific, granted us endless lookout spots.

During these years, the military and many local citizens were preparing for a possible Japanese invasion on our own coastline. Cement-encased bunkers were built all around Mount Soledad, where they stood for several years.

Almost all of these WWII bunkers, including some in the Muirlands, were destroyed or removed over the years, though some say there are still fragments here and there on the hill (the locations of which are still a mystery but if you leave a comment we might just reveal one of the locations!)

2. Our own “Gravity Hill”

Gravity hills are a mysterious phenomenon, mostly because of the uncertainty that surrounds them. They are said to be particular locations where the laws of gravity don’t seem to apply; in virtually eve­ry case, a gravity hill involves a short section of road (usually no more than a few hundred yards long) that appears to go uphill. But does it really?

A true gravity hill appears to go uphill, but when you park your car at the base of the incline, put the transmission in neutral, and remove the brake, you will find that your car rolls up the apparent hill. This bizarre phenomenon occurs on one road in La Jolla, West Muirlands Drive between Nautilus and Fay Street.

3. An underwater cemetery

Not many people know that San Diego influenced modern diving in a big way beginning nearly 80 years ago. Just beyond the coastline, about 100 yards out from the La Jolla Cove Bridge Club and 35 feet underwater, lies an eerie underwater memorial is unofficially known as “Tombstones.”

There are no bodies as the name implies, only several markers that are dedicated to fallen spear fishermen and members of the “Bottom Scratchers,” the first documented diving and spearfishing club in North America. Over time, markers have been placed for other fallen free divers and locals. The tradition began all the way back in the 1940s and has continued up to present day.

hidden gems la jolla

4. Two old stone bridges tucked away in the hills

Also known as the “troll bridges,” the two old stone bridges built in the hills of Mt. Soledad in the late 1920s and early 1930s have become part of La Jolla lore. Their classic, arched look is similar to that of the larger Cabrillo bridge that passes through Balboa Park, though they still remain a bit of a mystery.

You can find the bridges quite easily. Follow Exchange Place onto Soledad Road and make a right on Al Bahr Drive for the first one, and by taking Hillside to Castellana Road for the second.

[Skeletons discovered in 1976 in La Jolla that date back 9,500 years; source]


5. Buried evidence of ancient Native American villages

It turns out there are multiple archaeological sites in La Jolla, the most well-known of which is the aptly named “La Jolla Complex” in the Torrey Pines, Scripps Estates, and Spindrift areas.

La Jolla is considered a prime spot to find prehistoric Native American hunting and other artifacts because of its soft soil, which helps preserve remnants from its cliff sites. These sites have revealed a cultural cross-section of evidence, and some of the most well-preserved bits of archaeological evidence in San Diego. [source] Archaeologists have found evidence that dates back 9,500 years beneath the soil here, meaning they are among some of the oldest remains ever found in the United States.

According to archaeologist well-preserved, “there have been units in yards in parts of La Jolla where (archaeological) deposits were a good 10-feet deep.” (La Jolla Light).

Further investigation of the remains have been thwarted by legal obstacles; it’s still uncertain what will become of them in regards to preservation or study.

[Image: wikipedia]

6. The two oldest surviving examples of late-Victorian beach cottage architecture in the US

The Red Rest and the Red Roost cottages were built in 1894 and have been vacant for decades. Sadly, they have fallen into disrepair and more recently been a subject of controversy over “demolition by neglect” and the question of how best to preserve them.

The previous owner wanted to knock them down and build a resort in their place, but the request was denied. The windows have been boarded up and the land vacant ever since despite being sold in 2015 to a large apartment investment company.

The cottages are an official San Diego Historic Landmark and are revered for being some of the best examples of the bungalow-style structure that influenced a generation of architects, including our own Irving Gill. Somewhat ironically, the structures were not built by architects, but by a few skilled carpenters.

7. A secret sea cave you can walk to

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always have to kayak (or take steps down to) the La Jolla sea caves. At very, very low – preferably minus – tides, you can hike to a couple of hidden caves via a path that begins next to the Marine Room. Just work your way south, across the tide pools, to a grotto that soars to heights upwards of 50 feet.

Inside, you’ll see sandstone walls stained with a rainbow of colors; in the back, there will be a low passage leading to another, smaller grotto. Be extremely cautious when walking, and always be aware of the incoming tide! Once it gets even slightly higher, you’ll want to start heading back out.

8. A street named after the discoverer of Uranus and two of its moons

Many of the street names in La Jolla were named after famous people, and much of the downtown was named to mimic New York’s financial district: Wall Street, Exchange Place, etc.

Herschel Avenue (formerly Lincoln), however, was named after Sir William Herschel (1738-1822), a German astronomer who is credited with the discovery of Uranus and two of its moons.

In the middle of an observation in March of 1781, he realized that the celestial body he had been looking at was not a star, but a planet. Uranus was the first planet to be discovered since ancient times, and naturally, Herschel became famous practically overnight.

As a result of this discovery, George III appointed him Court Astronomer. He continued to excel in his field until his death in 1822.


[Image: source]

9. The site of the first black church in La Jolla

There was a time when an African-American community worked, lived, owned property and managed businesses in La Jolla; they contributed much of what La Jolla is today.

The black community attended services at the large white Presbyterian Church on Draper Avenue until the mid-1920s, when they received funds to construct a new church. In 1926, the La Jolla Union Mission Church, the first African-American religious congregation, opened on Cuvier Street; the same lot where Prince Chapel by the Sea African Methodist Church stands today. It was a welcome home to black families that felt accepted in very few churches locally at the time.

10. A B&B that is comprised of several small historic cottages

Given La Jolla’s historic flair, it only seems natural that one would be able to actually stay in a place that’s more than a century old. And there is – the quaint Redwood Hollow Cottages, located a bit off the main drag farther along Prospect Street, have been there since 1915.

The property was first bought by a man named Walter Scott Lieber in 1907 when he decided to call it “Prospect View.” Over the years, the land underwent a few changes and rearrangements; but today, eleven cottages sit among its lush foliage and brick walkways – all with memorable names, including “Hemingway” and “Sea Biscuit.”

11. A self-proclaimed “Biodiversity Trail”

The Scripps Reserve, a part of UCSD’s Natural Reserve System, consists of almost 1000 acres spread between an underwater marine portion, a coastline area, and an upland cliff area known as “The Knoll” – which is where the Biodiversity Trail lies.

Tucked away amid some of the most expensive houses in La Jolla (off La Jolla Farms Rd.,) there’s a small opening in a gate with a sign that you might miss if you blink.

A short but incredibly scenic interpretive loop (in total it’s only about 0.6 miles long), the trail provides multiple posted signs along the way that inform visitors of the area’s natural history, including plant and animal life and geology. The views are some of the best in all of La Jolla – we aren’t kidding!


12. Secret Swings

Many of the famed secret swings in La Jolla have been torn down, but they always seem to reappear out of the blue at scenic locations. Our sources told us a new one has popped up just recently in the hills around Birch Aquarium! We won’t give away the exact location, but if you do find it, please be respectful so that others can find it and enjoy. Rumor has it another swing has been built down near La Jolla Coast Walk; we’ll leave it to you to find that one!

13. A block-lettered poem inscribed on an old lifeguard box by the sea

Legend has it that this box, which sits on the shores by La Jolla Cove, is a memorial to a legendary lifeguard and body surfer, David C. Freeman, who died tragically in 1994. The box was built by locals shortly after to commemorate his life, and today it contains a phone to contact lifeguards during the summer in case of emergency.

It’s unlocked only during those few months. Take a closer look, and you’ll see how beautifully the words mimic their surrounding atmosphere: “spray, waves, eelgrass, tranquility, spirit, adrenaline.”

Read downwards starting under the “E” of LIFEGUARD, and you will find the body surfer’s name spelled out in an acrostic puzzle: DAVID C FREEMAN.

How many of did you know existed?

Family Fun in La Jolla

Between the waves crashing dramatically against jagged cliffs and the intrigue of secret caves, the La Jolla shore certainly brings a level a mystery and majesty to the San Diego portfolio. So, it’s no surprise that La Jolla is a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike. From superb dining opportunities to outdoor adventures, you’ll never have a hard time filling your itinerary. If anything, you may be left scratching your noggin about how to narrow down the top things to do.

Whether you’re visiting La Jolla with small children or your about-to-fly-the-nest teenagers, you can build a dreamy itinerary. Expedia.com has partnered with La Jolla Tourism to bring you the best ways to enjoy some family fun in San Diego, no matter the makeup of your gang.

family fun in la jolla


Do you have a grommet on your hands? That’s what San Diegans call kids who surf. Your little fish can learn the ropes at the Menehune Surf School if they’ve not yet mastered riding waves or duck diving; a 4-hour kids’ surf camp is the perfect way for them to get their feet wet. They’ll revel in the success of standing on the board, and you’ll get lots of cool photos from the shore.

Once you towel off, take the gang to the Children’s Pool. The name of this landmark misleads just a bit; it was supposed to be a swimming area for kids, but over time it filled with sand and lured in seals during pupping season. You can stand on the boardwalk nearby to watch the seals from December to May. Grab a picnic lunch and head to Kellogg Park, where a play set for young kids is open to the public, and lots of green open space lets you relax near La Jolla Shores Beach.

family fun in la jolla


Teens can be difficult to please. Somewhere between being satisfied with a trip to the park and relishing a tour of a museum lies the perfect activity to let them feel as cool as they’ll never admit wanting to be. La Jolla offers a wealth of activities that fall right into this elusive niche. A spearfishing trip off the coast gives teenagers the chance to snorkel out with a spear in hand, catching dinner in dramatic fashion using their primitive tool. Back on dry land, the Torrey Pines Gliderport offers a cool excursion for older teens and adults. Take a quick lesson, and soon you’re flying off the cliff under a brightly colored canopy.

family fun in la jolla

All Ages

A family that explores together stays together, so it’s a good thing La Jolla has activities that work for an all-ages group. If you’re traveling with kids, teens, and adults alike, the outdoors are the easiest way to strike a good balance. Climb into kayaks and go on a guided sea cave tour. You’ll glide along the coast and spot marine life before paddling your way into exclusive caves only accessible by kayak. If larger vessels float your boat, get aboard a whale watching boat. Back on dry land, La Jolla day tours and afternoons at Windansea Beach will bring everyone together.

No matter how you spend your time in the Jewel of San Diego, you’ll walk away with plenty of vitamin D and stories to last a life time. How will you create your memories in La Jolla?

5 Things We Learned About La Jolla Seals From “This American Life” Podcast

Normally popularity is a good thing.

For La Jolla seals they became too popular for their own good.

The seals, found at La Jolla’s Children Pool, became a tourist attraction in 2010 and on March 11, 2016 This American Life published a podcast about them.

The podcast episode entitled, “When the Beasts Come Marching In” breaks down how marine activists and La Jolla residents engaged in a bitter struggle to see who gets access to the seals.

Activists felt like the residents harassed the seals. Residents felt like they had a right to play with the seals. Both sides became heated quickly.

Despite both sides eventually calming down, the podcast taught us a lot of useful information about La Jolla seals and sea lions.

Here’s 5 important things we learned from the This American Life Podcast.

1. Young seals are called pups.

Adult males are called bulls and adult females are called cows.

It is not exactly clear when a pup is no longer a pup but most scientists agree that adulthood starts when they are 3-4 weeks old.

2. Pupping Season Happens in Spring

During spring harbor seals nurse and raise their pups. Adults, generally females, go hunting and find food. Seals are carnivorous and feed on a variety of squid and other marine animals. Mothers only nurse their pups for about 3-4 weeks then let them fend for themselves.

For now, the harbor seal beach is closed off to the public from December 15th to May 15th. Because of the constant bickering between residents and marine activists, nobody can have access to the beach during pupping season.

Since the rule was made, there have been several attempts to override that decision, however it still stands. The bickering has also died down significantly.

3. Seal breeding grounds are called a rookery

The seals migrated to La Jolla around 2010. Since arriving they made the Children’s Pool their permanent rookery. It serves as a nice location for a breeding ground because there is plenty of food to hunt for their pups.

The rookery is about 150 wide and during 2010 became quite crowded as the seal population grew.

Tourists have easy access to the beach. This poses a big problem for marine activists because residents were often reported as harassing the seals.

The podcast mentions that angry residents called the breeding a “crookery”.

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4. La Jolla seals are NOT in danger of extinction

Despite people arguing over the seals, the podcast clarifies that the seals are not even close to extinction.

Despite mammal activists trying to defend seals, researchers discovered that the harbor seal is an animal of “least concern”. That means the seal is in the same danger of becoming endangered as a house rat or pigeon.

Even though this fact became known, it did not stop the angry fighting between residents and activists.

5. It is illegal to “flush” seals

“Flushing” a seal means scaring it back into the water. When seals are flushed (and they often are) they wiggle and stampede toward the water to escape danger. As the seals grew in popularity, they were flushed more frequently.

Local residents were constantly interacting with the seals. Activists soon became aware that the seals attracted too much attention. Brian Pease, one of the main seal activist explains in the podcast explains, “If you flush them, it’s interfering with their biological [process]… it’s just disruptive.” If residents are caught flushing the seals, there’s also a $500 fine from the National Marine Fisheries Service.

It is a violation of the Marine Mammal protection act, a law from 1972 that protects all marine mammals. Activists often video recorded residents who flushed seals and reported them.


The struggle for residents and activists still continues. After the decision to close the rookery to the public the seals are flushed less frequently. Residents can still look at the seals, but from a distance.

Although not a perfect solution, the fighting between two sides has dramatically decreased. The seals still call The Children Pool their rookery. The continue to raise their pups in peace.

Perhaps the episode title, “When The Beasts Come Marching In” describes the humans more accurately than the La Jolla seals.

Why La Jolla Doesn’t Actually Mean ‘The Jewel’


The origin of how La Jolla (pronounced as La-HOY-a) got its name and history are unclear. The coastal community is often mistakenly referred to as San Diego’s ‘Jewel’. Scholars who researched La Jolla’s origin found no concrete answer to the meaning of La Jolla or exactly where it comes from. The only thing that is certain is that “La Jolla” is not Spanish for “The Jewel”.

The coastal town is tucked away from downtown San Diego, about 30 miles north of the Mexican border. Downtown La Jolla, known for its leopard sharksgreat date spots, and amazing spas, is a popular spot for tourists. It attracts visitors from all over the world all year round.

La Jolla is an area with mixed geology. The city is known for its sandy beaches, rocky shorelines, and hilly landmarks. The exact origin of its name remains unclear although many scholars have some guesses. But first, let’s take a look at La Jolla’s history.

“Land of Holes”

The Kumeyaay, local Native Americans, owned the land until it was colonized. It is unsure how long they were in charge of the land because there are no historical records or documents. After studying artifacts that the Kumeyaay left behind, historians estimate they were there for around 3,000 years.

When natives were in charge of the land they called La Jolla “Kulaaxuuy” which translates to “land of holes”. It is uncertain where this comes from. Some people believe the name comes from the sea-level caves visible from La Jolla Shores. Others think that the land around La Jolla may have had more holes around it before settlers sold the land.

The topography of the land also suggests that because of the hills, there could have been more holes and uneven surfaces before colonization. There is uncertainty in what Kumeyaay culture was like so perhaps the land topography had great significance to the culture and lifestyle. Or perhaps the land of holes had another context to the natives, outside of physical landscape.

Despite the word “jolla” sounding Spanish, it’s not a real word. The Spanish word “joya”, which is similar in pronunciation to jolla, translates to Jewel. Historians believe that sometime in the 19th century when Spanish colonials arrived on the land, they accidentally called it joya. The name has stuck ever since.


A Booming Suburb

La Jolla’s origin as an official United States city started over 150 years ago. When California became a state in 1850, the government officially made La Jolla a part of the San Diego city. After railroads were built in the 1890s, the city grew to become a booming suburb with a growing population.

Once the communities were established, the city constructed resorts and attracted visitors. The city then solidified its foundation when it planted churches, markets, and parks. The population grew from 350 residents in the early 1900s to over 46,000 today.

Art became a focal point for La Jollan residents. Many notable painters, artists, and poets have passed through and even lived in La Jolla. The most famous is Dr. Seuss, who lived in La Jolla from 1953 until he passed away. The city, despite not actually meaning “jewel” is beautiful.

It attracts visitors to gaze at its elegance and hosts amazing art galleries found all over the world. Over the years, it became one of the most affluent communities in the United States with amazing beaches, fine dining, and distinguished art galleries.

La Jolla Shores

 Today’s La Jolla

In addition, the city hosts The Salk Institute, one of the leading research institutions in the world. UC San Diego (University of California San Diego) also started in La Jolla. The campus alumni exceed over 250,000.

La Jolla’s demographics as of the 2010 census are primarily Caucasian, about 82%. Asian and Latino comprise about 17% while Native Americans, Blacks, and Pacific Islanders make up about 1%. There appears to be no members of the Kumeyaay tribe living in the city.

La Jolla doesn’t have a clear history. It’s not sure where the origin of its name actually means. The complicated history however has not stopped the city from growing and prospering. It is a beautiful city with unclear origins, however despite not meaning “The Jewel”, it continues to shine on.

7 La Jollans Who Made an Impact on the World

La Jolla is an incredible place to view nature, consume art, and go to the beach, but it’s more than just a great vacation spot! La Jolla actually has had many famous residents that made a big difference in La Jolla and in the world.

Sally Ride

Sally Ride lived in La Jolla for several years until her death in 2012. She really knocked a lot of records out of the park, as she was…

  • First LGBT+ person in space
  • Youngest person in space (at 32 years old)
  • First American woman in space
  • First woman to use the robotic arm in space!

She was also a physicist for much longer than she was an astronaut and taught at UCSD from 1989 to 2007. She was also a big advocate for making math and science more accessible and exciting for kids with Sally Ride Science. Ride was gay and never hid her relationship with her partner, but the general public only became aware after her obituary referenced her partner. She continues to be a role model for LGBT+ people in science, inspiring others to work through hostile environments.

Fun fact: Musician and MOONLIGHT star Janelle Monae has a song named after Sally Ride, where she describes escaping into outer space. Also, Ike’s Place in Hillcrest has a vegan sandwich named in her honor.

Jonas Salk

During the mid-1900s, Salk and his University of Pittsburgh laboratory researched and finally developed the polio vaccine by 1955. Jonas Salk is probably best known locally as the namesake of the gorgeous Salk Institute.

However, not as many people know he actually founded it in 1960 (the same year UCSD was founded)! There he established a biological research community that brought in researchers and projects and kicked off UCSD’s reputation for biology. In the years before his death in 1995, he worked on finding a vaccine for HIV, which scientists are still working on today.

Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler was a huge literary figure in the 20th century, mainly known as the perfecter of the then-young “hardboiled” detective fiction genre. He lived in La Jolla from 1946 until his death in 1960, during which he wrote The Long Goodbye, considered to be an American classic. Known for his characterizations of Southern California and unprecedented use of simile and metaphor like “It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window” (Farewell, My Lovely) Chandler had a huge impact on the hardboiled detective genre. Chandler continues to be an inspiration to authors of many genres, including internationally bestselling author Haruki Murakami (Kafka On the Shore).

Gregory Peck

Gregory Peck, a movie star best known for his depiction of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, played an important role in La Jolla as a co-founder of the La Jolla Playhouse in 1947. Dorothy McGuire, Mel Terrer, and Peck created the award-winning La Jolla Playhouse with the intent of supporting theatre as a platform for expression and experimentation with political, social, and moral subjects. Since then, it has brought many actors through La Jolla (including not-yet stars like Billy Crystal) and hosted many productions that later shone on Broadway. Though the La Jolla Playhouse predates UCSD, the Playhouse has made it easy for UCSD students to attend shows and broaden their perspectives with reduced prices.

Dr. E. Margaret Burbidge, professor of astronomy, at UC San Diego, was presented the “Woman of the year” award by the Muses, women’s support group of the California State Museum of science and industry, Thursday, Feb. 19, 1976 in Los Angeles. The award was presented for her outstanding research concerning the most distance objects in the universe. (AP Photo)

Margaret Burbidge

Margaret Burbidge is a major figure in contemporary astronomy whom La Jolla has been lucky enough to have researching at UCSD. She began working at UCSD as professor and researcher in 1962, and continues her research to this day. Burbidge broke down the gender barrier that excluded female astronomers from working at the Mount Wilson Observatory in 1955, after secretly working there for 10 years undercover as her husband’s assistant. She also became the first female president of the American Astronomy Society and the first female director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory. Her work makes up a good portion of the foundation for contemporary astronomy, as she helped discover nuclear reactions in stars, and worked on the spectrograph for the Hubble Telescope.

Danica McKellar

Did you know that Danica McKellar was born in La Jolla? She spent her childhood, up until she was 8, hereafter which she moved to L.A. After achieving fame playing the beloved character Winnie Foster in The Wonder Years, she became a math whiz, graduating summa cum laude from UCLA with a B.S. in Mathematics from UCLA, co-authored academic paper and has a math theorem named after her: Percolation and Gibbs states multiplicity for ferromagnetic Askin-Teller models on Z2.  Since then, she has written a series of books targeted at teens to make math more approachable for girls and offset the gender gap in math education. McKellar has also guest starred on How I Met Your Mother,The Big Bang, and was cast on the Netflix original Project Mc^2.

Mitzi Shore

The Comedy Club in San Diego actually started in South Pacific Beach, where it opened in 1976. In 1977, Mitzi Shore moved the Comedy Store to La Jolla, where she designed it as a sort of “paid vacation” for the comics who were then working at the other Comedy Club in Hollywood. The Shores spent a lot of time in La Jolla and Mitzi fully took over the Comedy Store in the Shores’ divorce in 1974. She developed the Comedy Store into a larger improv venue for touring comedians to come gain experience, and often works alongside her son (now a comedian), Pauly Shore. The Comedy Store is still very much a central part of the La Jolla entertainment and nightlife scenes.

3 Shocking Murders That Rocked La Jolla

La Jolla isn’t your typical murder scene backdrop. We may have plenty of private investigators in San Diego, but still… The cozy, sleepy, seaside town is rarely in the news for any kind of crime, let alone an act as appalling as a violent murder.

Yet if one sifts through La Jolla’s past and delves back far enough, you’ll find all kinds of scandal and intrigue. A scorned woman, a band of surfers, and a money-hungry financial guru all have their place in the Village’s history – in more ways than one. Here are three of the most scandalous murders (and murderers) that have ties to La Jolla.

[image: San Diego UT]

“Angry Betty” Broderick

The saying goes “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” and in no instance is that more true than the tale of Elisabeth ‘Betty’ Broderick. Perhaps one of the most famous murders in La Jolla history, the story of Daniel and Linda Broderick’s death in 1989 shocked the seaside community and reverberated throughout San Diego. Broderick was denied parole for a second time just this past January.

If you were living in La Jolla in the early 80s, you knew the Brodericks. They were the classic ‘social elite’ couple, and were regular guests at the parties of the La Jolla in-crowd. It wasn’t until Betty started to suspect her husband of having an affair (with his office assistant, no less) that things changed. Finally in 1985, after 16 years of marriage, Dan filed for divorce — and Betty became violent. She spray-painted the interior of the $325,000 hillside home they had shared; she rammed her car into Dan’s front door, left obscene messages on his answering machine, and defaced court documents, writing “God” where his name should have been.

Dan retaliated by having Betty arrested and briefly committed to a mental hospital after withholding thousands of dollars a month from her post-divorce support payments. He obtained a temporary restraining order to keep her out of his house.

Dan & Betty Broderick on their wedding day.

[Dan & Betty Broderick on their wedding day; source]

Things came to a head on a Sunday morning in early November, 1989 – seven months after Dan’s marriage to his new wife – Broderick found herself unable to sleep after reading a letter she had received a couple days earlier from Dan’s lawyer (allegedly it informed her that she would be subjected to contempt of court proceedings if she continued to act violently toward him). Furious, Broderick grabbed her daughter’s key and left her La Jolla Shores home, headed for Dan and Linda’s house in Hillcrest.

She snuck up the stairs as Dan and his new wife slept, and fired a .38-caliber revolver into their bedroom that she had purchased just eight months prior. Two bullets hit Linda in the head and chest, killing her instantly. One bullet hit Dan in the chest as he apparently was reaching for a phone, which reportedly Betty pulled from the wall to prevent him from calling anyone before he died. Dan was 44 and Linda was 28.

The Bird Rock Bandits

In 2008, professional surfer Emery Kauanui Jr. was beaten to death and five men from La Jolla, all in their 20s, were charged with murder. The group was known then as the Bird Rock Bandits, and Windansea Beach was their home surf break. Mr. Kauanui’s beating which took place just outside his mother’s La Jolla condominium in 2007, disturbed their neighbors; someone found him unconscious just a couple of hours later.

When the beating stopped, neighbors reported to the police, Mr. Kauanui was left lying on the concrete in a pool of blood. Police say the victim had been drinking with Eric House, 21, at the La Jolla Brew House. It was there that Mr. House may or may not have flirted with Mr. Kauanui’s girlfriend, according to the police, and there that Mr. Kauanui may have intentionally spilled a drink on Mr. House.

From left to right: Cravens, Hendricks, House, Osuna, Yanke
 From left to right: Cravens, Hendricks, House, Osuna, Yanke. [source]

According to sources, a security guard at the bar asked Kauanui to leave and that House and four others — Seth Cravens; Orlando Osuna, 23; Matthew Yanke, 21; and Henri Hendricks, 22 — later drove to Mr. Kauanui’s home, prosecutors say to retaliate against him. Four days after the fistfight, during which Kauanui’s skull was fractured in three places, he died at Scripps Memorial Hospital. It was the first homicide in La Jolla since 2002..

The men pleaded not guilty, suggesting that Mr. Kauanui’s death was an accident. However, the state Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that the evidence of Cravens’ conduct and his mental state satisfied the elements of implied malice, reversing the 2010 decision that stated Cravens’ intentions weren’t murder. He was convicted of second-degree murder and is serving twenty years in prison.

 A Millionaire Opportunity

John Watson was a prominent biotech executive whose career had catapulted him to positions in prominent companies, and eventually Ionian Technologies, where he was president and chief executive. In his professional life, Watson helped launch products for people with HIV, inflammatory diseases, and spinal cord injuries, among other ailments. He also  loved the coast (and sailing), and rented an apartment on Camino del Oro in La Jolla Shores. The self-made multimillionaire eventually retired in 2008; ironically, right before he met a man named Kent Keigwin.

Kent Keigwin’s murder motive had always been money, and his failed attempt at befriending Watson was only a ploy to do so. His plan began in early 2009 when he opened a Yahoo email account in Watson’s name. Watson notified the police when first a Citibank, and then an E-Trade bank account were all opened in his name. Nobody could identify the culprit. In April, Keigwin used the name, birth date, and address of a longtime client to buy a stun gun online. The taser was designed to shoot twin probes (which deliver a 50,000-volt shock); the jolt, unlike a law enforcement’s taser, would last 30 seconds and be extraordinarily painful.

 John Watson’s La Jolla Shores condo. [source]

On June 6, two days before his body was found, Watson left his home around 3pm. Terrifyingly, Keigwin had installed a tracking device on Watson’s car and was already following his every move. While Watson ran errands, Keigwin waited in his car, the Taser in his backpack; just three blocks from Watson’s La Jolla home. Keigwin received a notification every two minutes on his cell phone telling him the location of his prey. Keigwin then let himself into Watson’s apartment; shortly after Watson came in, Keigwin tased him in the back full-force to stun him and prevent an altercation. He then strangled him to death.

Immediately the next morning, Keigwin was online opening an account at Scottrade in Watson’s name. To complete the process, “Watson” was asked to come into a branch office. An hour later, Keigwin entered the Scottrade branch at La Jolla Village Square, carrying Watson’s Deutsche Bank statement. He introduced himself to the manager as John Watson and proceeded to request a transfer for $8.9 million to another of ‘his’ accounts.

DNA testing would later reveal Keigwin as the killer. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2012.

5 Weirdest Sea Creatures You’ll See at the Birch Aquarium

Image: Facebook

No need to travel to the bottom of the ocean: In just a few minutes’ drive, you can have a close encounter with some of the weirdest sea creatures at La Jolla’s Birch Aquarium. From killer shrimp (totally real!) to walking “fish” these unique underwater creatures will mesmerize young and old. Bonus: this trip makes for a great family-friendly activity.

Giant Pacific Octopus: Enteroctopus dofleini

Giant Pacific octopuses (top image) is a great contender for the largest octopus species weighing up to 157 pounds and measuring 11 feet long! These intimidating creatures are a deep ruby color, as you can tell from the Birch Aquarium’s female Giant Pacific octopus. Many of the suckers on her tentacles are actually lined with small hooks or hairs to help grip. We’re told that “[when she’s] moving around, it’s a sight to see to say the least.” Giant Pacific octopuses can be found around the Pacific Rim (western coast of North America and eastern coast of Asia) down to Japan.

There are three other types of giant octopuses, found around the southwestern tip of Africa, the southeastern tip of South America, and New Zealand.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Leafy Seadragon: Phycodurus Eques

The mysterious Leafy Seadragon was named after its leaf-like shape and resemblance to the mythical Chinese dragon. A close relative to Sea Horses, Sea Dragons are much larger with leaf-like appendages and when fully grown they can measure up to 18 inches. Their leaf-like appearance enables them to camouflage quite well into floating seaweed. These sea creatures are fascinating to watch as their body hardly moves.  Their movement comes from translucent fins found on the sides of their heads and dorsal fins. It’s almost as though an invisible force is helping them move, causing them to glide in slow and grace-like patterns.  [source: yankalilla.com]

Image: Roy L. Caldwell 

Mantis Shrimp (AKA “Killer Shrimp”): Dikerogammarus Villosus

In the case of the mantis shrimp, truth is stranger than fiction! This fascinating marine crustacean is a serious predator, and sports powerful claws that are used to attack and kill prey by spearing, stunning, or dismembering.

The mantis shrimp is commonly separated into two distinct categories: spearers and smashers. Spearers skewer their prey with jagged spear-like claws and eat them. Smashers punch prey with club-like claws, but this isn’t just any punch — smasher punches are so fast that vacuums of air are actually formed in the water as the punch travels to the prey. These vacuums then collapse, creating a shock that is so intense that it actually produces light and heat! Mantis shrimp are very colorful and have a shimmering psychedelic appearance that is made even weirder by their two eyes that have three pupils each.


Loggerhead Sea Turtle: Caretta caretta

Loggerhead sea turtles are the largest hard-shelled turtles in the world and have been spotted off the shores of La Jolla! Sadly, loggerhead turtles (pictured above) are becoming more and more rare. These turtles are an endangered species due to worldwide loss of nesting habitats and commercial fishing practices that accidentally trap and kill turtles. The Aquarium’s loggerhead turtle was rescued and resides here permanently after it was declared unable to safely return to the ocean. Loggerheads’ backs are host to over 100 animal species and 37 algae species, making this gal a home to many.

It’s not clear if these species affect their host turtles, but their presence does hide shell colors and may improve camouflaging ability. You can find a video of the Birch Aquarium’s loggerhead here and see her gorgeous yellow, gold and brown shell for yourself!


Flamboyant Cuttlefish: Metasepia pfefferi

The flamboyant cuttlefish, named for its bright pink, red, and yellow colors, is a poisonous variety of cuttlefish. Their toxic nature is not only conveyed through their bright colors, but a certain wiggly walk they perform across the ocean floor. The flamboyant cuttlefish is the only type of cuttlefish that can walk. Confusingly, cuttlefish are actually mollusks, not fish, and belong to the same family as octopuses and squid. The eyes of cuttlefish have a “W”-shaped pupil instead of the round one seen in humans! When cuttlefish look and focus their eyes, the lens inside the eye moves relative to the retina instead of staying in place and reshaping as it does in humans.

Del Mar Free Summer Concerts: July 2016 Lineup

The Del Mar Racetrack summer season is a beloved staple in the San Diego and Southern California regions for good reason, one being the live music. Each year, this long-established venue offers free summer concerts in San Diego’s northern city of Del Mar. (Heads up: All concert attendees must be 18+.)

Here are the free music shows in Del Mar, starting at 4 pm on designated Fridays, to get excited for July 2016. (Stay tuned for the August shows our next blog post : August 2016.)

Fitz & the Tantrums (Friday, July 29th) + Happy Hour Specials

Before his free San Diego concert begins, make sure to stop by happy hour. On Friday, July 29, from gates opening until 6 pm, signature cocktails are half off throughout the track. This includes drinks like the new Cucumber Chili and Billionaire Margaritas. (Just the thing for this wicked heat wave.) Brew lovers can purchase two 12 oz. cans of ice cold favorites like Coors Light or Tecate for only $12 all day, in the Cabana area, that is.

After the last race, get ready for: Fitz & the Tantrums at the Del Mar Racetrack. This band, which started in Los Angeles, is an American neo soul/indie pop band has grown in popularity & style since being deemed a “band to watch” by Rolling Stone in April 2011.


del mar racetrack concert fitz tantrums 2016

How the group began: Fitz created Fitz & the Tantrums from “a need to be creative and not lose my mind over a breakup.” Since then, he and his fellow bandmates have put everything on the line to become a chart-topping modern, pop combo that wows its audiences and brings an incredible zeal and energy to the stage.

Learn more about this band on their website here.

(Oh, and to get a taste of their music, watch their makes-you-want-to-dance music video:The Walker. Yes, you might recognize the song from this Supercuts commercial.)

Del Mar Racetrack’s Reggae Fest (Saturday, July 30th)

Dive into the all day Reggae Fest in Del Mar featuring amazing musicians and musical artists, such as:

del mar free concerts ziggy marley

Del Mar Reggae Fest 2016 summer free concerts san diego

Ziggy Marley (Headliner)

Son to Bob Marley. Winner of seven GRAMMY® Awards and an EMMY®. Critically-acclaimed musician of 3 decades and 16 albums. Ziggy Marley has been carrying on his family legacy through his own influential music. At his Del Mar music show this year, expect a powerful, immersive experience from this world-famous musical artist.

The Devastators

This locally-based San Diego reggae band (which features punk sounds and a variety of instruments) has won several awards, receives regular airplay on a variety of San Diego radio air stations and, at Longboard in Pacific Beach, used to perform three sets each and every Sunday and became such a staple that they were Southern California’s longest running live reggae residency.

Hear some of The Devastators’ latest tunes here.

 DJ Carlos Culture

Rock out the day party leading up to the main headliner with DJ Carlos Culture. Listen to some of his latest beats here.

 Ginger Roots and the Protectors

The day activities will also host Ginger Roots and the Protectors, a local San Diego band with a distinctive style perfect for summer. Learn more about this local group and hear some of their music here.

Other San Diego Summer Concerts 2016

Learn about more live music shows in San Diego this summer, such as the Del Mar free concerts 2016.

la jolla summer concert free la jolal cove 4

La Jolla Concerts By the Sea 2016 – Free San Diego Concerts this Summer

Imagine this: It’s Sunday afternoon. You’re lounging on a grassy lawn, overlooking the ocean and soaking in incredible live music.


Welcome to La Jolla Concerts by the Sea, a series of summer concerts in San Diego, in its north coastal town of La Jolla. These San Diego summer concerts have been offering live music, great for all ages, since 1984. So bring the family. Tote your friends. As the genres range from big band and swing to rock-n-roll and country western, there’s something for everyone.

When & Where

Between July and September 2016, these concerts happen certain Sundays from 2 to 4 pm.
These outdoor summer concerts are hosted at Ellen Browning Scripps Park at La Jolla Cove, which looks out across the beautiful La Jolla Coveand breathtaking Pacific Ocean.

Food & Beverages

At these La Jolla summer concerts, support the very event you’re attending by purchasing a tasty snack. Pick from selections like Haagen Dazs ice creams, popsicles, candy, soda and more.

For heartier food, Bullseye Kettle Corn will be selling hot dogs, lemonade, kettle corn and more. Part of these profits go back into the La Jolla Summer Concerts by the Sea, as well.

 la jolla summer concert free la jolal cove 3

Calendar: Who is Playing at La Jolla Summer Concerts 2016?

The La Jolla summer concerts will be hosting a variety of talented, critically-acclaimed musical groups and band. (For example, Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash, performing August 28th – was granted permission from the man himself, Johnny Cash, to use this band name.)

From late July through early September here are the groups, and their genres, to look forward to:


Aug. 7 THE KINGS OF 88 (Piano / Rock)


Aug. 21 HOT PURSUIT BAND (Classic Rock & Variety Hits)


Sept. 4 THE HEROES (Rock & Roll)

la jolla summer concert free la jolal cove 1

How to Support the La Jolla Free Summer Concerts

In addition to purchasing snacks at the event, each concert will host raffles – all the proceeds from purchasing raffle tickets goes back into funding for the concerts.

To donate directly or become an official friend of the concerts, please head here.

For More Budget-Friendly & Free Activities in La Jolla

Find more low-cost and free activities in La Jolla to enjoy at our Guide to a Budget Friendly Day in La Jolla.

la jolla summer concert free la jolal cove 2


Dolphin Sightings in La Jolla

Dolphin Pods off the San Diego Coast

The beaches of Southern California are full of awe-inducing aquatic wildlife. From smaller creatures like Garibaldi fish you’d see at Birch Aquarium to much larger ones…like dolphins!

Burnz Eye View captured this beautiful pod of dolphins near La Jolla, off the San Diego Coast using their high-tech quadcopter. We thank them for filming this and sharing it with the virtual world.

Want to Meet Dolphins Yourself?

Dolphins are incredible creatures, and many folks would probably like a closer look. Head out on the water and find yourselves eye-to-eye with them by going kayaking or snorkeling. If you’re new to these activities, you may be unsure if you’re heading to the right spots. La Jolla is home to multiple guides who are very experienced in leading people through kayaking and other tours. Tours truly are a great way to see the sea with ease and confidence. (Plus, they provide all the equipment, which is great for all of us who don’t regularly purchase scuba diving gear!)

See them up close…On Dry Land

If you prefer to stay on dry land, no problem. You can see these beautiful creatures up close at nearby the Sea World Aquatic Park. Simply head into the main entrance, turn left and walk until you hear their squeaking laughter! At Dolphin Encounter, they don’t simply look pretty either. They are trained to swim up close to guests and let you pet their playful heads.

Not Enough?

If you’re love the coast and are interested in other ocean activities, check out our Ocean Page to learn more. Keep calm and swim on!



Del Mar’s Gourmet Food Truck Festival: The Full Review

Del Mar’s Gourmet Food Truck Festival: The Full Review

I arrived at the Del Mar Racetrack and, quite literally, followed my nose to the Gourmet Food Truck Festival.

The 5th annual festival, held Saturday, August 15th, hosted over 40 gourmet food trucks from the surrounding San Diego and Los Angeles area. There were many food trucks I’d heard of before, but not yet had the chance to try.


When we think food trucks and fair food, images of deep fryers often come to mind. I love french fries as much as the next person, but I was pleasantly surprised to encounter trucks that also offered options that were cool, refreshing and (can you believe it?) healthy.

Fresh Fish at Sun & Seafood

My first stop was Sun & Seafood, where I got to try the shrimp taco and fish ceviche tostada. Both were delicious but, because it was so hot, the cold and refreshing ceviche was the item that really hit the spot.

The Currywurst Truck

My 2 fellow festival goers opted for German food at the Currywurst Truck. This food truck was especially perfect for my friend who is vegetarian because Currywurst serves a vegetarian-friendly “bratwurst” that can satisfy the cravings of any non-meat eater. (Proof of how good it was? It had vanished from her plate before we even sat down.) They, of course, have plenty of very real meat options, as well.

Juice Wave SD

Continuing my own theme of light and cold, we headed to Juice Wave. This juice truck offers several types of organic and healthy juices, smoothies and acai bowls. Overcome by options, I asked the girl taking orders for her opinion. She recommended “The Hangover” and couldn’t have picked better.

Coconut water. Carrot. Celery. Ginger. Green apple. I didn’t drink the night before, but that didn’t make me appreciate this nutrient-packed drink any less. Speaking of coconut water, Juice Wave even had full on coconuts packed with coconut water and meat. Island paradise, right here in Del Mar.

Juice Wave is definitely a spot I’ll be returning to, most likely at their newly opened Mission Beach location.




Top Spots for Dogs in La Jolla (and Dog Owners!)

Top Spots for Dogs in La Jolla

Been to the same Southern California dog park many times and want to go somewhere new? There are many great places for La Jolla dog owners. From dog-friendly hikes to dog-friendly La Jolla restaurants, we want to share the top spots to go with pet dogs in La Jolla.



Uptown Woofs

After an afternoon of hiking or just day-to-day life, do you find your pup dirty and in need of dog grooming? Take your dog to be cleaned at one of La Jolla’s dog grooming salons.

With a 5 star review on Yelp, we recommend La Jolla’s Uptown Woofs. Why? It has a great reputation for good reason. From doggie baths and haircuts to dog nail grinding and trimming, Uptown Woofs is family-owned business that puts true thought and care into every dog that comes in. (They’re even known to cut trickier Labradoodle coats to perfection!)

To make newcomers feel extra welcoming, the Uptown Woofs staff often provides a welcome present of a toy and dog treats. Now that’s service!

La Jolla Shores Beach

After 6 pm year-round and after 4 pm in winter, La Jolla Shores Beach is dog-friendly. At these times, take your pup for bonding and play time! If he or she likes to play fetch, feel free to bring a frisbee or ball toy.

A Dog-Friendly La Jolla Restaurant

If you love going to restaurants for dinner and enjoy spending time with your dog, there’s no need to compromise. There are many great, dog-friendly La Jolla restaurants. Several La Jolla venues even have doggie food menus!

To learn more, check out the Best Dog Friendly Restaurants in La Jolla and Pet Friendly Hotels in San Diego.

8 Things You Don’t Know About La Jolla

There’s a lot you may already know about the Jewel (such as how magical the La Jolla brunches are), but we’ve been discovering some facts that’ll surprise most readers. Test your La Jolla knowledge by checking out these fun facts, which cover everything from weather to clothes-optional beaches.

1. When combined with San Diego, the La Jolla Playhouse and SD have sent more shows to Broadway than any other city in America, even compared to NYC!

2. We joke that Southern California is always 70 degrees and sunny. La Jolla takes its perfect weather reputation quite seriously; in summer, the average temperature here is exactly 70 degrees.

3. La Jolla, starting around 2008, became the community with the highest home price average in the entire country.

4. We all know about Black’s Beach; not many cities have a segment of shoreline deemed “clothes optional!” However, did you know Black’s Beach was actually the very first legal beach in the USA?

5. UC San Diego was originally called UC La Jolla, apparently the location-based name was far too sensical!

6. In its earlier years, 1894 to be specific, La Jolla was deemed an art colony. (With all breathtaking galleries and festivals, the history makes sense).

7. There was once a rumor that there was a collection of “munchkin sized” houses up in the hills of La Jolla. Turns out, it’s an optical illusion. Looking from Mt. Soledad at a certain angle, certain homes look undeniably small.

8. Heard of the La Jolla Railway? If not, it’s probably because it doesn’t exist anymore. Back in the 1890s, when La Jolla was known as the resort area, a railway connected this seaside town to San Diego and Pacific Beach, allowing people to more easily access it.


Summer Lovin’: Top Summer Date Ideas for La Jolla

Sunsets on warm nights. Long walks on the beach. The summer season in California is nothing short of romantic. The atmosphere is already there; it just takes a little more to create the perfect date. Check out our top ideas, itinerary already included, for the perfect summer dates in La Jolla.

1. Drive-in Style

Put a unique spin on the typical “dinner and movie” date by going to an outdoor film screening. During summer, there are many movies being shown at parks and other venues throughout the San Diego and La Jolla area. Go out to a local La Jolla restaurant before and then, with each of your favorite snacks in hand, head to the film.

Learn more about which one(s) you’ll want to see at our Summer Movie Guide 2015: La Jolla and San Diego.

2. Dive in head first

Whether you’ve been together for years or are on date #3, an adventure together under the sea makes for an extra-memorable date. Explore beneath the ocean snorkeling or scuba diving.

3. Test Your Teamwork

See how well you work together in a fun, it-takes-two experience. Rent a tandem bicycle and combine forces to maintain balance as you cycle along the ocean or test your mutual arm strength kayaking in a double-kayak. (If you’re looking for a flatter area to tandem bicycle, head slightly south to the bordering Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego. There you can pedal on the flat, beachside boardwalk.)

4. Get Artsy

Release your inner Picasso together by exploring La Jolla’s world of art. This summer, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego is hosting a fantastic event on Thursdays (May 28 – end of August) called Shore Thing. At 5 pm on these Thursdays, get excited to arrive to DJs spinning great music while you walk through exhibits and BYOP (bring your own picnic). And, hold up, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere right? Oh yes, that’s right – here, so enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail from the cash bar!

For more ideas, learn more about the complete, full-day Ultimate Art Lovers’ Date in La Jolla.

5. Sunset Challenge

Host your own sunset competition with a 2 judges panel by visiting the different look out spots around La Jolla on different nights, from La Jolla Cove to Mount Soledad. At each spot, snap a few pictures and, at summer’s end, compare to find which one each of you like best.

Looking for more date ideas? Find out about The Perfect Romantic Date in La Jolla: How to Plan It.

Cinco De Mayo in La Jolla

Cinco de Mayo in La Jolla:

The fifth of May has come to be known as Cinco de Mayo in many places besides its country of origin, Mexico. When the Mexican army beat the French army in a battle on May 5, 1862, it was very unexpected. They celebrated their win victoriously, and this celebration became tradition. Join in by visiting local restaurants and festivals sporting Mexican cuisine, drinks and more!


For wickedly good margaritas:


From as early as 10 am to late at night, come to Jose’s for magnificent margaritas and killer cuisine. Because this spot has become so well known in the community, the restaurant usually rents out an extra parking lot and has live music to really kick the party up!

For fantastic cuisine:

Alfonso’s of La Jolla

Alfonso’s of La Jolla has all type of Casa Specialties like Steak Ranchero, Pescado Veracruzano, Puerto Nuevo Lobster Tail and Tamales Del Norte…plus all the other classic staples like quesadilla and burritos.

And don’t worry about lack of beverages, there are several margarita options here.

For catering your own party:


Bring the party to you and host your own Cinco de Mayo Bonanza. With all the decorating and party details, we suggest letting Porkyland take care of the catering. This restaurant makes amazing food such as enchiladas and carnitas. Best of all? They can deliver it straight to your house.

For Ages 21 – 39:

All Hallows Catholic Church

The All Hallows Catholic Church is hosting a sweet Mexican dinner along with coronas and margaritas all Hallows style for only $15! (As its for a younger adult demographic, must be between the ages of 21 and 39 to attend).

For a Full Blown Festival:

Old Town

Head to Old Town in nearby San Diego for their annual Cinco de Mayo Festival. With 3 stages of live music, 10 restaurants offering discounted specials and historical demonstration and performances, you’ll get the full Cinco de Mayo experience.