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
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
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
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.