La Jolla, California is a famous resort community that rests on the northern side of the city of San Diego. The city offers pleasant weather, beautiful beaches, rolling hills, and numerous attractions drawing visitors year-round. Experience a vast selection of shopping opportunities, fine dining, fascinating museums, and fun outdoor activities. Book a stay at a La Jolla vacation rental today. Here are some of the most notable points of interest in and around La Jolla.
1. Torrey Pines
Torrey Pines is the northernmost neighborhood in La Jolla. It’s the home of Torrey Pines Golf Course, the site of many memorable championship tournaments. It also hosts Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, which has miles of hiking trails where you can spot foxes, bobcats, coyotes, rabbits, and raccoons. From observation points on the sea cliffs, you can look out over the Pacific Ocean and sometimes view offshore whales. At the base of the cliffs is Torrey Pines State Beach, a popular spot for swimming, body surfing, and surfing.
2. La Jolla Shores
The family-friendly neighborhood of La Jolla Shores lies just south of Torrey Pines and north of downtown La Jolla. Its mile-long beach is great for swimming, sunbathing, and paddle boarding. It’s the only beach within the San Diego city limits with a boat launch. Just offshore are the reefs, sand flats, kelp gardens, and canyons of the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park, which is popular with snorkelers and scuba divers. The Scripps Institute of Oceanography is home to the Birch Aquarium, a fascinating attraction that focuses on the marine life of the Pacific Ocean.
3. Village of La Jolla
The Village of La Jolla is a lovely downtown area. It’s an ideal place to stroll and explore the eclectic shops, restaurants, and other businesses. Local museums include the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego-La Jolla and the Map and Atlas Museum of La Jolla. The calm waters of La Jolla Cove are great for swimming, and nearby Scripps Park has an expanse of grass for picnicking. Although the seawall at Children’s Pool originally enclosed a wave-free environment where kids could swim, hundreds of local sea lions and harbor seals have taken over the site, and you can watch them cavort from the seawall.
4. Soledad South
Soledad South is an inland neighborhood on the slopes of Mount Soledad, a high hill that gives you a terrific panoramic view of the city of San Diego, the surrounding countryside, and the vast Pacific Ocean. Mount Soledad has numerous trails and observation points that are very popular for hiking and cycling. Mount Soledad Natural Park, which surrounds Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial, has a beautiful expanse of lawn and benches where you can admire the view.
5. Lower Hermosa
Lower Hermosa is a coastal neighborhood south of the Village of La Jolla. At its north end is spectacularly beautiful Windandsea Beach with its jagged rocks and undersea reefs that create ideal surfing waves. Between Windandsea Beach and Big Rock Reef are numerous small beaches where you can have a swim. La Jolla Hermosa Park is a scenic observation point set high on a cliff that’s an ideal place to watch the magnificent Pacific Ocean sunsets.
6. Bird Rock
The relaxed, quiet neighborhood of Bird Rock is at the southern end of La Jolla. It’s known for its string of diverse restaurants along its commercial stretch on La Jolla Boulevard and for its excellent offshore surfing. At Calumet Park, which lies on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, you get a great view of the offshore rocks that gave the neighborhood its name.
7. Del Mar
The coastal town of Del Mar lies just north of La Jolla. Vacation rentals afford convenient access to two miles of sandy beaches that provide great opportunities for sunbathing and water play. Numerous trails for hiking and cycling surround Los Penasquitos Lagoon to the south and San Dieguito Lagoon to the north. The town’s attractive commercial area has unique local boutiques, galleries, and outdoor cafes and restaurants to discover.
8. Solana Beach
Head a few minutes north of La Jolla along the coastal highway to find Solana Beach. It’s Cedros Design District is full of interesting boutiques, antique shops, galleries, and cafes. Fletcher Cove Beach and Tide Beach Park are popular places for swimming, surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, and surf fishing. On its north side, San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve offers a protected area with trails for observing wildlife, including mule deer, coyotes, herons, egrets, and pelicans.
9. University City
The charming inland community of University City adjoins La Jolla to the east. The area has several attractive shopping malls that you can explore. Canyons and mesas with parks and wildlife habitats offer opportunities for hiking, cycling, and bird watching. Of special interest is Rose Canyon Open Space Park, which has trails winding through stands of oak, sycamore, and willow trees.
10. Pacific Beach
Pacific Beach, which lies directly south of La Jolla, is the first of a string of three beachside communities. Its boardwalk follows the beach all the way from North Pacific Beach to the end of Mission Beach at the mouth of Mission Bay, and it’s always full of walkers, cyclers, skate boarders, and rollerbladers. From the pier, you can cast your line for some Pacific Ocean fishing. The long sandy beach is a popular spot for sunbathing, volleyball, Frisbee throwing, and surfing.
11. Mission Beach
The wide white sand beach and boardwalk that initiates in Pacific Beach continues through Mission Beach. Additionally, at Belmont Park, which is San Diego’s only beachside amusement park, you can find a roller coaster, bumper cars, a wave house, an arcade, and many other attractions and rides. On the east side is SeaWorld San Diego, a vast theme park that features marine animal shows, an aquarium, a variety of animal habitats, and numerous rides.
12. Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach is the beachfront neighborhood south of Mission Beach. It’s historic commercial district is renowned for its antique stores, surf shops, gift shops, and restaurants. On the north side, Dog Beach provides a popular leash-free area for your pooch. Along the shore are numerous other beaches that are great for swimming, sunbathing, sand castle building, and water sports.