Where To Start . . .
There are so many fantastic things to do in (and around) La Jolla, it’s difficult to know where to start. Beautiful beaches, adventure tours for even the most adventurous, numerous art and culture venues to keep all “culture vultures” happy and a truly world class shopping experience – not to mention the rest of the attractions just waiting to be discovered in Greater San Diego and the surrounding area.
Here are a couple of La Jolla videos to warm you up
Here Is A List Of Things To Do In La Jolla (In And Around):
La Jolla Cove (What Else Would Be First?) - definitely somewhere to visit in La Jolla, whether you’re a water baby or prefer to keep your feet strictly on “terra firma”. La Jolla Cove is the location of the world famous diving site, located within the La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Preserve. The snorkeling here really is out of this world, and after you’ve spent a few glorious hours revealing the treasures beneath the waves, don’t rush off, hang around a while and witness a spectacular sunset, then walk hand in hand under the moonlight . . . you romantic old thing you!
The Cove is beautiful. It is San Diego’s most desirable spot for swimming, picture taking, people watching, sight seeing, oohing and ahhing, diving and snorkeling. The water is calm and the Cove is ecologically protected.
You never know who might join you when you’re snorkeling at La Jolla . . . but don’t worry, most of the natives are friendly!
Children’s Pool - We will ignore the politics that are currently going between human usage and seal usage and focus on the beauty of the Children’s Pool.
Shop Downtown La Jolla - The Village of La Jolla (I know, I know, La Jolla called a village…) It is is where you can shop till you drop – or shop, take in a few drinks, perhaps “do lunch” then shop again! This 30 block shoppers paradise is located just above the beaches at La Jolla, perfect for purchasing that new bikini, accessories, jewelry, art or rummaging in some of the quaint boutiques. Downtown La Jolla is San Diego’s version of Rodeo Drive. Expensive shops, tourists, shopping diversity and just plain fun.
Birch Aquarium, Scripps - another activity definitely “not to be missed” at La Jolla. This is where you can come face to face with all the wonders of the ocean, and get real close up . . . without even getting your hair wet. There are loads of activities for young children to get them acquainted with what goes on beneath the waves. The Birch Aquarium at Scripps is actually the public exploration center for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, perched in a fantastic site overlooking the Pacific Ocean they really do have a fantastic selection of weird and wonderful creatures from the Pacific Northwest right up to the tropical warm waters of the Caribbean and Mexico.
Could you spot them all? Aren’t they amazing, truly amazing, they really are dragons!
There’s so much to do at the Birch Aquarium, La Jolla – if you time it right you might be lucky to have the opportunity to join a scheduled Full Moon Pier Walk with a guide to the Scripps Research Pier where you can find out exactly what the wildlife gets up to “after hours”. How about taking the Movie Ride and enjoying a computer generated visual adventure amongst the marine life, if you think it all sounds a little close for comfort don’t worry, it’s just the surround sound. Don’t forget to call at the Tidal Pool Discovery Center (you’ll be amazed what gets left behind at low tide) and then on to watch the divers in the Kelp Forest Tank, 70,000 gallons complete with sharks and other fish. The largest oceanographic exhibit in the United States.
Wow, some of those guys are hungry!
There is a group of swimmers who on a regular, year-round basis, swim from the La Jolla Cove or La Jolla Shores. The Cove is part of the La Jolla Ecological Preserve which is an underwater park that encompasses about 6,000 acres of ocean bottom and tidelands. This includes two canyons that are deepwater homes to our hosts: sea lions, seals, colorful jelly fish, beautiful leopard sharks, our club mascot and State fish –the bright orange garibaldi– and much more. The cove is lined with caves that are great for summertime exploring.
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego - I promised that La Jolla also has something for all you cultural types, and this certainly fits the bill. This fantastic museum has more than 3,000 works all vying for your attention whilst set against the stunning backdrop of the Pacific. It’s an art lovers paradise, but the kids will love it too.
Okay, I admit, visitors to the Museum of Contemporary Art do not shoot good videos, but I checked out loads of ‘em and this was about the best . . . you’ll just have to go to the museum in La Jolla and see for yourself.
La Jolla Playhouse – has been described as “the best kept secret in California” – but now I’m telling you all about it so it ain’t a secret no longer. La Jolla Playhouse has received more than 300 awards, including America’s Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1993. It’s a great place for both performing artists and audiences who seek a little culture from their entertainment. They are renowned for putting on first rate productions, and how about this – all of the seats have a great view . . . overall it has a warm and welcoming atmosphere and is just a great, friendly place to spend a few hours.
On the other hand there are some great videos about La Jolla Playhouse, but I supposed they’re in that type of business really aren’t they.
Bird Rock – Guess why it is called Bird Rock…
La Jolla Windansea Beach - Classic Southern California beach right of the movie Gidget. If the waves are breaking, visit here to watch some of the best surfers in San Diego County ride the surf.
La Jolla Shores – La Jolla Shores, just a mile or so from the Cove, is everything you want in a beautiful Southern California beach. Sand, lifeguards and wonderfully fit people using the beach.
Torrey Pines Glider Port - is a must for anyone who seeks their thrills above the Pacific Ocean, rather than swimming in it. It provides hang-gliding, paragliding and remote controlled gliding all year round, perching on top of a 300 foot cliff above Torrey Pines State Beach looking out over the Pacific Ocean. Okay, so we might not all have the nerve to step off the cliffs and soar, even fledgling seagulls need a little persuading sometimes, but it’s still great fun to stand by and watch (not too close to the edge mind you). Especially interesting on a breezy day.
I hear that when you’re gliding, the silence is deafening . . . you know what I mean. I bet it’s awesome, but I must admit I’ve only had the nerve to watch!
La Jolla Caves – okay, let’s go back to where we started on this page about things to do in La Jolla, and stuff to do in the Pacific Ocean, ’cos La Jolla Caves are another place which you absolutely must visit – have to – don’t forget – won’t take no for an answer. There are seven fissures in the cliff walls which are perfect for a little exploration at low tide. Kayakers love ‘em, they’re great for snorkeling too, the perfect way to spend a few hours with the kids. Better warn ‘em to stay away from the Sea Lions though, they were there first and are not to be tampered with!
What did you think of that then? Great huh . . .
Drive to the top of Mount Soledad – This is the tallest land for miles and offers unobstructed views of La Jolla and San Diego.
Torrey Pines Golf Course – Oscar Wilde was of the firm opinion that “golf is a waste of a good walk” – but for those who don’t agree with him then there’s not one, but two championship golf courses at Torrey Pines La Jolla, California. I know it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but some people just can’t seem to manage going anywhere on vacation where they won’t be able to “tee off” or have an excuse to get their sand wedge out.
Black’s Beach (Clothing Optional) –
Surfers go to this secluded beach for the powerful waves. Others go to this beach, well, for the view…
San Diego Mormon Temple – I do believe in going from one thing to another, jumping about and trying to keep a little bit of interest alive, so now for something completely different at La Jolla – The San Diego Mormon Temple. It’s beautiful and well worth a look, even if you’re not a Mormon. It’ll take your breath away, not in a “gone too deep snorkeling” sort of way, but in a “gasp in amazement” sort of way.
I figured it would take a video to show the San Diego Mormon Temple in all it’s glory, and I was right.
San Diego Zoo is just a great place to visit. Located in Balboa Park, San Diego they’ve got literally thousands of great animals to see, including . . . dah dah dah . . . wait for it . . . GIANT PANDAS . . . in fact at San Diego Zoo they’re helping lots of species which are teetering on the brink of extinction.
Anyway, that’s all well and good, but what is there to DO there? Well, how about a trip to the “Northern Frontier” or trying to find your way through the “Lost Forest”, a spot of lunch then a trek through the “Urban Jungle” to the “Asian Passage” and “Panda Canyon”, not forgetting “Africa Rocks” (yes it does) and “Elephant Odyssey”. If that all sounds a little bit exhausting then you can always hop onto the guided tour bus which covers around 75% of the park, or take a trip in the Skyfari gondola lift if you dare, and see San Diego Zoo from an entirely new perspective!
How cute is that? On a scale of 1 through 10 it’s worth at least a 12!!
Balboa Park, San Diego – is a “must visit” place so get it close to the top of your list. Named after a Spanish maritime explorer (not Sly Stallones “Rocky”, it was definitely here first) – it’s 1,200 glorious acres (making it the largest in the nation) of arts, culture, zoos, museums, gardens, restaurants, hiking trails, biking trails plus lots, lots more. If that all sounds like a little confusing and too much to take on board – relax – the Balboa Park Visitors Centre is full of information about everything that’s going on in the park, they’ve got brochures, they’ve got maps, they’ve even got free guided tours of the park.
Catch a concert at Balboa Park if you possibly can. Swinging in the park, sounds great.
Torrey Pines State Beach and Reserve might be within the city limits of San Diego, but that doesn’t stop it from being a wild and glorious place to visit, 2000 acres of land are exactly the same as they were before, way back when San Diego was nothing but a few natives and Spanish explorers. There are miles and miles of unspoilt beaches where you can explore, photograph, hike, wander, laze, gaze and daydream. Remember, lots of people work very hard to keep it looking the way it is, so be considerate and do your bit to help preserve this beautiful, clean environment.
Did you notice how beautiful and clean it is? Good.
University of California at San Diego, La Jolla - is a world class University where extremely clever students from all over the world go to study and learn things, research stuff, live life and have fun. The UCSD is one of the worlds leading public research universities which was named 15th best among the universities of the World. That’s a pretty good achievement don’t you think, no wonder this place is packed to the rafters with high achievers!
The San Diego Wild Animal Park is now known as The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, so if somebody asks you if you’ve been to it, and you visited the Safari Park, don’t worry, you’ve been. However, if you haven’t had a trip to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (or the San Diego Wild Animal Park) then you should definitely go.
There are lots of different safari’s available around the park;
- Africa tram safari
- Cart safari – tour the Asian Savanna or the African Plains, it’s all here at San Diego Zoo Safari Park
- Cheetah safari
- Jungle ropes safari – a rope climbing adventure for little monkeys of all ages
- Behind the scenes safari – where only the keepers go (and the people on the safari)
- Flightline safari – on a zip line – say no more!
- Rolling safari – on a Segway X2, they say that they’re surprisingly easy to ride!
- Caravan safari – get up close and personal with the giraffes and the rhinos (among others)
- Roar & Snore safari – an overnight camping adventure
She looks familiar! Didn’t we see her at Balboa Park?
Legoland (Carlsbad) - okay, strictly speaking we’re not talking La Jolla here, but hey, this is such a great place to visit it’s certainly worth the extra effort! The Legoland California theme park was the first Legoland to be opened outside of Europe, and it’s an awesome place to visit. Hands up, who doesn’t have fond memories of building houses, garages, space ships, pirate ships, farm yards and racing cars (racing cars! yep, I had my own design) out of lego, in fact, I bet they had great fun building it. Legoland is a great place to visit for kids of all ages, the young, and the young at heart.
Don’t forget your swimmers for the Legoland Water Park, they’re even planning to build a Legoland hotel but that doesn’t open until 2013. Watch this space . . .