If you’re going to be visiting San Diego, California, chances are that one point or another you’re going to end up in La Jolla. It’s known all over for being a beautiful place with awesome things to see and do, so it’s no wonder tourists and locals alike flock to the little beach community of La Jolla whenever the sun is out (and…this is San Diego, so the sun is usually out). If you’re planning on visiting the area and would like to check this awesome town out, you might be wondering just what to do when you get there. I have a few suggestions…
Walk Down, Down, Down into a Sea Cave
There is a funky little store down near the sea cliffs called the Cave Store. It doesn’t look like much from outside, but if you’re looking for a little adventure and you’re reasonably fit, you’ll want to step inside because there are delights to be discovered within those walls. Inside the Cave Store, you’ll be able to purchase a ticket to go down into the Sunny Jim Cave. For the low price of $5 (price subject to change, but it was cheap anyway), you can buy a ticket to walk down a large number of stairs as you descend deeper and deeper into a sea cave. When you reach the bottom after quite some time, you’ll be inside an awesome cave, looking out to sea. How cool is that? This is definitely worth it, but I do warn you that there are a lot of stairs so if you have trouble with stairs at all, you might want to skip it.
Hike Torrey Pines
I’ve written about Torrey Pines before (one of my absolute favorite local hikes), so I won’t get into it too much here (click the link to read ALL about it), but you should know that this is an accessible, absolutely gorgeous area to hike, and it’s not too challenging for those of you who aren’t quite ready to take on some of the more epic hikes in the area. It’s a great workout, great views of the ocean cliffs and local flora and fauna, and just an all around awesome place to be. Check it out!
Walk by the Cove
Maybe a brisk hike down into the depths of a sea cave sounds a little bit too strenuous to you. That’s ok! There is a great pedestrian walkway that snakes along the waterfront in the La Jolla Village area. Take a stroll along craggy sea cliffs and entertain yourself by watching sea lions and seals sunning themselves on rocks and swimming around. The views are magnificent and this is an activity the whole family can do.
If you’re into snorkeling, La Jolla Cove is one of the best places in San Diego County to get your fix. Granted, it’s not going to compare with the reefs of Hawaii, Australia, and the Caribbean, but it has it’s own unique features that make it a great place to catch a glimpse of some sea life. First things first…you’re going to need a wet suit because the water is stupidly cold. Do not attempt without a wet suit unless you like tormenting yourself. You’ll also need snorkel gear and fins. If you don’t own these things, there are companies around town that will rent you equipment and wet suits or take you on a snorkel tour. If you want to venture out on your own, you’ll want to go to the main cove and jump right in. You can also swim over to the kelp beds and check those out as well. You’ll be treated to views of kelp forests and local fish like the bright orange Garibaldi. If you’re interested in reading more on the topic, this blogger does a good job of going into great detail about snorkeling the cove.
You have two options if you’re thinking about kayaking in La Jolla…you can rent a kayak and venture out on your own, or you can go on a kayak tour. The biggest difference between the two options is that the tours will allow you to kayak into the sea caves whereas individual kayakers are strictly prohibited from doing this, so take that into account when making your decision. As a local, I found it a little funny to be on a tour just down the street from my house, but I actually enjoyed it and learned a little local history and trivia from the guide along the way, and of course got to go in the sea cave (side note: I was terrified in the cave because the waves were pushing us around and there were walls made of rocks…I wanted to paddle right back out, hahaha…but my husband had a good time).
I wanted to mention this gallery because I found it to be absolutely delightful. My husband and I stumbled into this gallery while we were wandering around La Jolla on one Saturday afternoon and I’m so glad we did. The owners were super nice and chatted with us for about an hour on subjects ranging from fitness routines to our ambitions to someday travel to Africa, but amazing gallery owners aside, this place has some beautiful pieces! The gallery features art, masks, sculptures, and more from Africa and is a really unique place. For the quality of art they had, the prices were actually quite reasonable as well. That’s not to say I could afford everything in there, because I couldn’t, but if you’re a collector, this is an awesome place. Even if you’re not a collector, you should stop in and check it out because the collection is impressive. They also have some smaller gift items of high quality that I actually can afford, so I’ll be heading back there for gift giving occasions for sure!
In the interest of full disclosure, Ohana Cafe is a restaurant owned by a friend of mine. That being said, she did NOT ask me to endorse the restaurant on my blog. I’m doing that because I love this place! They serve delicious Hawaiian food and feature occasional events such as live Hawaiian music and hula dancing on occasion (I’ve been one of those hula dancers in the past…hahaha). Anyway, it’s a great little family owned place that’s not going to break the bank like a lot of the other restaurants in this upscale community, so if you like Hawaiian food and laid back vibes, check it out!
Ok, so as a San Diego local, I haven’t done the trolley tour, but if you’re a visitor, it can be a great way to get around town as well as learn more about the area. It’s a great way to get a great overview of the area if you only have a short time.
Have you been to La Jolla? What were your favorite things to see and do there?