3 Must Visit La Jolla Beaches

Cruise south along Highway 101 and the seaside community of La Jolla and its 7-mile pristine coastline and you’ll encounter 10 stunning beaches. Picking one can be difficult as each is unique in its own way. Running north to south, the beaches consist of Torrey Pines State Beach, Black’s Beach, La Jolla Shores, La Jolla Cove, Boomer Beach, Shell Beach and Seal Rock, Children’s Pool, Wipeout Beach, Marine Street Beach and Whispering Sands, and Windansea Beach. Let’s take a look at three of these amazing beaches.

La Jolla Cove

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La Jolla Cove is quite popular and is conveniently located close to the very heart of La Jolla. It is a relatively small beach, but nonetheless a perennial favorite for those who enjoy swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. One of the unique features is that the beach is protected from ocean swells since it does face north. Another feature is its great visibility, at times up to 30 feet deep. La Jolla Cove is home to an underwater marine reserve where thankfully the spoils of mankind have left marine life unharmed. In addition, and despite its calm waters, lifeguards keep a close watch on the area. Every September dating back to1916, the annual Rough Water Swim draws swimmers of all ages. Just above the Cove rests Ellen Browning Scripps Park with spacious areas for family or romantic picnics, hiking, or just feastings one’s eyes on the majestic scenery. Restrooms and showers are easy to avail of but parking is limited. La Jolla Cove is a must visit and those who take the time to drop by will not regret their stay. Be sure to bring along a camera to capture amazing views to ruminate on long after, or hey, come back frequently as the Cove is well worth repeat visits.

Torrey Pines State Beach

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Torrey Pines State Beach is La Jolla’s northernmost beach. The stunning views and sands extend approximately four miles between Del Mar, past Los Penasquitos Marsh Natural Preserve, and to the base of the sandstone cliff at Torrey Pines Mesa and the Gliderport. It is next to the well-known Torrey Pines State Reserve and is a preferred locale for visitors and local San Diegans. Ah, but how to get there? It’s easy, just enter the beach from North Torrey Pines Road or by trail from the Reserve. Torrey Pines is a quality beach for all of your outdoor activities including swimming, surfing, getting your tan on, or casting a line to catch a trophy fish. At low tide, Torrey Pines is a spectacular spot for taking a romantic stroll with that special someone. Tall cliffs line the shoreline and make for memorable views during sunsets. Atop the cliffs you’ll find the scenery to be unmatched for their sheer beauty.

So how do you access this spectacular beach? For easy entry to hiking trails, simply take the steps north of Flat Rock (also known as Bathtub Rock). There you’ll be pleased to find all of the parking space you need, since there are about 700 slots. Visitors should know in advance that since Torrey Pines State Beach is a California state reserve, both parking and access fees are required. You can get there early to snag your preferred spot because the gates open at 8 a.m. When sunset comes around its time to find other area attraction since the gates do close. General admission is mere $10, and seniors 62 and over get a slight discount at $9. If you happen to be disabled, the admission is only $5 (with a qualified Department of Parks and Recreation pass). At the north end of the beach you’ll find lifeguards, and restrooms to change in. Of course, picnic areas and the expansive parking is near the entrance on North Torrey Pines Road.

La Jolla Shores

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La Jolla Shores is a common attraction for beachgoers. It is family friendly because of its mild waves and runs approximately one mile in length. Parking is not a problem so don’t sweat it, let it. There are grassy picnic areas, swings for the kiddos, fire rings for torching up your favored meats, and volleyball if you’re so inclined. It is conveniently located near local shops and several restaurants to get your eat on. But be forewarned, during the summer months La Jolla Shores can be packed to the proverbial gills. If you’re looking to boat, sail or toss a line in the sea, these activities ares permitted on the north side of the pier. La Jolla Shores is an excellent location for scuba diving because of its mild surf. First time surfers will also find it the perfect spot for learning the ropes. Another cool feature is that there is a public kayak launch. While safety is primarily everyone’s responsibility, lifeguards are always keeping a dutiful watch on beachgoers. Of course, public restrooms and outdoor showers are available. Additionally, if you happen to venture south of the beach and north of the pier (you don’t need a compass), you’ll run smack dab into private Scripps Beach, which belongs to the La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. Get out there and enjoy your tie with family, friends and loved one at fantastic La Jolla Shores.

Life IS a Picnic! Great Picnic Spots in La Jolla

picnic-areasLa Jolla has plenty of things to offer locals and visitors alike. Now that spring is upon us and summer is right around the corner, spending time outdoors in ideal San Diego weather is great for one’s health and leisure activities to get way from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Picnics are a great way to spend time with the family or that special someone in your life. La Jolla is the perfect location for picnics where unobtrusive meal times may be enjoyed on beaches or on grassy knolls. Why not whip up some of your favorite grub or shop at various La Jolla delicatessens for meals and make a trip out to one of several hotspots to enjoy an afternoon with loved ones? Let’s take a look at four of the more enticing spots in La Jolla to spend quality time with friends, family, or loved ones.

  • Shell Beach. This a fantastic location for picnickers located a tad south of La Jolla Cove. Shell Beach is an ideal spot for hunting shells, and there is even gentle wading for tots and younger kids. What makes this spot one of the better places to visit in that seals chill out a mere 10 yards from the shoreline. Be sure to bring your camera to take awesome pics or videos. To get to this recommended spot, simply shoot down Coast Boulevard past Ellen Browning Scripps Park and then look for the gazebo. There’s actually a sign for the beach as well as the stairs leading down to the sand. If you’re looking to mellow out, the ideal spots are the rocky areas away from the shore, or even the gazebo higher up that provides a panoramic view of the ocean and its surroundings. If you’re bringing along the kiddos for some fun, sun and eats, the shore is ideally your best option.
  • La Jolla Hermosa Park. This location is ideal for a picnic that even the community of La Jolla is unfamiliar with. Located in growing Bird Rock, Hermosa Park is a veritable treasure of La Jolla. It consists of a relatively small picnic area located at the intersection of Camino de la Costa and Chelsea Avenue. There is an easily accessible walking trail down to the beach. Hermosa Park is an attractive and somewhat isolated area that provides picnickers with a scenic vantage point. The park features a few picnic tables, benches, and BBQ grills that are excellent for cranking out your own food. Just bring along your goodies and charcoal and enjoy the sunset and spend a discreet, serene afternoon with loved ones.
  • Scripps Coastal Reserve. One of the more stunning locations for a picnic or a getaway. The Scripps Coastal Reserve actually begins at a trailhead on La Jolla Farms Road. The trail is about a 10-15 minute walk from the neighborhood street to the edge of the cliffs, and ends with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. There is plenty of space and certainly abundant room for pitching a blanket or beach towel on the rocks. To locate the trail, simply take La Jolla Shores Drive and make the first right onto La Jolla Farms Rd. Continue down the street a bit and look for a large vacant spot on the left hand side. There will be a faded black fence with a small opening at 9400 La Jolla Farms Road. Simply follow the trail down and chill like a villain. However, a caveat is in order: if you are sharing adult beverages, be sure to avoid the unstable cliffs for your own safety. Otherwise, enjoy!
  • Windansea Beach. This ideal picnic spot is more well-known and remains a popular spot among locals and visitors. Located at 6800 Neptune Place, this shorefront is typically less crowded than La Jolla Shores, Browning Scripps Park, or popular La Jolla Cove. There are adequate places to park oneself along the flattened rock formations on the beach. In addition, there are a few straw huts placed advantageously on the rocks near the water, thus making the location an excellent location to throw down a blanket and delight in scenic views of the beach. Better yet, for those who are concerned about potential damages to the skin from the sun’s harmful rays, there’s no sweat in finding a place to avoid those painful sunburns. The only drawbacks are the lack of public bathrooms or lifeguards, but it nevertheless makes the spot a fine location to mellow out and listen to wave’s pound against the shore while feasting on your favorite meals or snacks.

Contemporary life offers few opportunities to get away and relax. But when time permits, La Jolla’s seaside community is the ideal location to get away, relax, and have a picnic with family, friends or loved ones. Make the most of your leisure time and enjoy the scenic parks and picnic areas La Jolla has to offer. Chances are that you’ll find each location a special place to return to for not only scenic views, but as quality spots to enjoy a relaxing day.

Catch Some Live Music in La Jolla

The 59th annual Grammy Awards are this Sunday. The Grammy’s are the music industry’s big night to celebrate and honor excellence in the recording arts and sciences. Begin the music festivities early this weekend by checking out some live music in La Jolla. You never know, you might go to see a future Grammy Award winner!

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Manhattan of La Jolla: Manhattan of La Jolla is an Italian steakhouse offering exquisite cuisine. Conveniently located in the heart of La Jolla village inside the Empress Hotel on Fay Avenue. Manhattan is a longstanding restaurant well-known for culinary excellence. It’s charming and laid back atmosphere make it the quintessential favorite among La Jolla locals and visitors alike. Guests are sure to experience the very best of New York City in lovely La Jolla. Manhattan of La Jolla is not only relaxed and romantic, it is celebrated for its superb wine and cocktail menu. Caesar salads are prepared at tableside, and diners are treated to award-winning steaks, eggplant parmesan, cannelloni, homemade ice cream and considerably more. In addition, Manhattan is also an exclusive destination for people who are live entertainment aficionados, as the restaurant offers live music four evening each week. Manhattan is also open for lunch from Tuesday through Friday’s from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and valet service is available.

The Med: Guests will be pleased to know that they do not have to travel all the way to the Mediterranean to savor exotic flavors and scenic ocean views while dining. The MED is a delightful seaside escape where guests may avail of foods influenced by Spain, Morocco, and southern France, all without leaving the allure of La Jolla. Expediently located in the La Valencia Hotel, the MED is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Guests may opt to dine in the main dining room, or for those who have an affinity for the pleasant outdoors and ocean views, outside on the casual patio. Come breakfast time, patrons can build their version of an omelet, feast on huevos rancheros, or eat light with The Med’s continental menu. Lunches and dinners feature a broad variety of fresh salads and delectable entrees, as well as small plates, tapas, and desserts, including cheeses, gelato, and the always delicious sorbet.

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood: Eddie V’s captivating vibe not only draws you in but embraces you comfortably close, as well as extends an invitation to be seen, or sit back and just savor fine dining. The very best of fresh seafood and mouth-watering steaks, world-class wine and prompt service experience are sure to deliver an enjoyable and memorable. Guests can also experience the spirit of live jazz artists in the V lounge. Eddie V’s can be found across the United States. And while each location is exclusive with respect to its setting, artwork and décor, they all impart a distinctive sophistication. For the curious, Eddie V’s website offers a virtual visit. Better yet, why not stop in and experience all that Eddie V’s has to offer.

710 Beach Club: At the 710 Beach Club, guests will find the entertainment they have been seeking. Enjoy great food off the grill and appealing drinks and craft beer from the full bar in San Diego, CA. The 710 Beach Club has the “Best Eats at the Beach!” The bar offers a wide selection of specials throughout the week, in addition to plenty of live music and entertainment. Happy hour specials all day until 7:10 p.m., every day! And when the lights dim, the hip club transitions into the beach area’s premier live music venue. Guests can enjoy watching people walk along the boardwalk, catch their favorite sports teams on live TV, or step outside the sports bar and night club into in the ever pleasant San Diego climate, all located on an extraordinary beach.

The Rooftop La Jolla: The Rooftop La Jolla is an attractive, recently renovated ocean view lounge offering an energetic and entertaining ambiance with a touch of tranquility and class that everyone can enjoy. Easily found on Prospect Street in the very heart of downtown La Jolla, Rooftop is renowned for its incomparable dining, impressive live entertainment, and equally exceptional service. Whether celebrating an anniversary, a romantic evening or something special, having a business meeting, or just seeking to get out and about for an enchanting experience, Rooftop La Jolla is the ideal atmosphere for one and all.

Beaumont Eatery: Conveniently ensconced in the veritable heart of La Jolla’s venerated Bird Rock seaside community, Beaumont’s is the model central meeting locale for locals to gather for extraordinary food, hand-made cocktails, and first-rate entertainment, all  enveloped in a laid back yet contemporary ambiance. Beaumont’s came to Bird Rock in 2005, when the area was fraught with grappling businesses, numerous building foreclosures, and an unfortunate lost sense of community spirit. However, since its opening, Beaumont’s endeavors to breathe new life into the seaside locale, augmenting the development and improvement of local businesses, and depicting Bird Rock as a animated and diverse neighborhood. Owners Megan and David Heine, of Brockton Villa Restaurant in La Jolla, share a profound thirst for maintaining the surrounding seaside community and anchoring the life of Bird Rock in this truly hidden treasure.

Three Great La Jolla Galleries

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La Jolla is a seaside community nestled in some of the more beautiful surroundings of Southern California. Aside from its legendary surfing, fine dining and friendly people, La Jolla is also well known for its art and culture. Let’s take a look at four of La Jolla’s finest art galleries. We’ve listed just a few for your visiting pleasure.

The Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery: The newest and more exciting modern art interchanges continuously at the La Jolla Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery. Not only is this modern gallery attention-grabbing for those who occasion by, it is simply alluring for the art aficionado. It is rife with twisted sculpture, myriad abstract paintings as well as limited edition quality works from artists around the world. The Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery specializes in acquiring fine art and expedient and professional consulting. Here you can find experts to assist you in finding, acquiring and displaying art for your office or home, sure to spark conversation. Additionally, if you already have a piece of art that needs framing, this is your go to place for that as well. In addition to the gallery conveniently located on Ivanhoe Ave, there are two other locations, Jag Art Framing on Morena Blvd and Wall Street Art and Framing on Wall St. Both locations provide the art connoisseur with reliable, professional assistance.

R.B Stevenson Gallery: R.B. Stevenson Gallery is a contemporary art gallery highlighting California painters and altering exhibitions of national and international artists. Its expansive interior leaves visitors with plenty of room to explore and feast the eyes upon contemporary paintings on canvas, various works of mixed media, collages, and sculptures, as well as a variety of other creative art sure to capture your eye. Located on Girard Ave. in La Jolla, it is a brief 15 minutes from the airport and an absolute joy to visit.

Gallery at Lands End: The Gallery at Land’s End is a picturesque, hidden jewel of a store neatly tucked away on the North end of world famous Pacific Beach in beautiful San Diego. Visitors will revel in everything from expert custom framing to creative local art, fine handmade jewelry, as well as hand-crafted gifts sure to have you looking twice. The boutique at Gallery at Land’s End indeed has it all. For more than 40 years, the privately owned gallery has made its mark and statement in the small, tight-knit supportive community it gladly calls home. Owner Thayne Yungman, known for various works of art personally handcrafts all of the custom frames and makes it a point to stock his store with some of the more thought-provoking and unique arts and crafts he can find, all for your pleasure.

Historically speaking, Vicki Ford and her husband Jay launched the Gallery at Land’s End as a custom framing shop and art gallery in 1973. What originally was a small business ran out of an old homey bungalow in Pacific Beach, art gallery has blossomed into a cherished community favorite featuring locally-fashioned crafts, jewelry, and art. The charming diminutive shop is rife with a colorful history as well as heart. Having had but two owners since opening, those involved with the gallery have seen and helped it through in excess of 40 years of adaptation, evolution, and various ups and downs. Current owner, Thayne Yungman, was once a faithful employee of Vicki until 2008, when he made a no-brainer decision to purchase the iconic business. Since then, Thayne has been working to increase the local profile and artistic image of Gallery at Land’s End.

Go Play Outside!: Outdoor Activities to do in La Jolla

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Well, Punxsutawney Phil has made his prediction… looks like we’re in for an extended winter. But let’s be real, this doesn’t really impact us- this is California, bro!

So let’s get ready to bust out the bikes and the beach toys and get some sunshine!

We’ve put together a list of some great outdoor activities you can do in La Jolla:

Under the Sea Looking for some excitement and a glimpse of undersea life? Or perhaps you’re seeking to add to your sea life experience, head on over to the seaside community of La Jolla for an underwater close-up peek at what lurks underneath the mysterious Pacific by snorkeling or scuba diving. One of the more popular haunts of La Jolla consists of snorkeling with leopard sharks mere yards off shore at La Jolla Cove or La Jolla Shores. For the record, and to allay any apprehension, the sharks are absolutely harmless. From June through September, veritable thousands of leopard sharks make their way into La Jolla Cove for their mating season, providing you with an enjoyable underwater experience. Bring along your GoPro to capture fantastic photos and videos!

Go Kayaking Kayaking is not all about shooting white water rapids. Better yet, you don’t have to be an experienced professional to paddle along in tranquil waters. Whether you’re seeking a rental or seek a fully guided tour, embarking on a tour through the seven caves by kayak in La Jolla is an assured adventure. Replete with spectacular, photo perfect scenery, along with remarkable marine life, La Jolla offers plenty of memorable moments when exploring the world famous seven caves. Only one of the caves is accessible by land, so for the ultimate water adventure, only a kayak will suffice.

Where to go: La Jolla Kayak offers kayak rentals in La Jolla starting at $23, as well as guided La Jolla kayaking tours that start at $39. or more information about kayaking La Jolla, call La Jolla Kayak at (858) 459-1114 or visit their web site at www.lajollakayak.com.

Surfs Up! One of the first things that typically comes to mind when the words “San Diego” are uttered is surfing. Surfing in La Jolla is particularly distinct given that the seaside community is home to some of California’s most admired surfing spots, including Windansea Beach and world renowned Black’s Beach. If you already have a modicum of experience on a board, feel free to paddle out into the surf, join the line-up, and wait for a spectacular wave. On the other hand, if you’re a first-timer and want to learn the ropes, be sure to drop by one of the many surf shops!

Where to go: Mitch’s Surf Shop has been offering hand shaped surf boards with the most style and innovation since 1967. Their La Jolla shop is located on Pearl Street, minutes away from the Windansea surf break. Here, customers can find long or short boards in all desired name brands as well as clothing and fins

Ride a Bike With the incredible weather and the amazing biking trails, who wouldn’t want to go for a bike ride? One ride you won’t want to pass up is the chance to take in the inspiring views from atop 822 foot tall Mt. Soledad and the subsequent ride downhill to the impressive La Jolla Shores. If you are seeking a more stimulating experience, be sure to join one of the longer bike routes where you and your friends or loved ones can partake in abundant San Diego sights, all in a single sunny day.

Where to go: California Bicycle is located on La Jolla Blvd. right off of Pearl Street. The family owned company has been serving La Jolla since 1977. The last three decades have been spent not only providing great customer service, but filling every customer’s bike-related needs. Whether you are looking for a beach cruiser to explore gorgeous beach areas in La Jolla, road bikes to amp up fitness routines, Mountain bikes for some off roading in the mountains or hiking trails, or beginners bikes for children and adults, California Bicycle has everything in stock.