La Jolla is one of Southern California’s most interesting neighborhoods. Though widely known as the birthplace and residence of several celebrities (and, of course, for its many beautiful beaches), there are a few other interesting things you may not have heard about yet. This seaside community has a storied past, a unique history, and a personality all its own; test your knowledge with these six little known facts about La Jolla.
1. Because of its unique location, La Jolla Cove actually has its own microclimate that maintains temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees nearly 365 days a year, which is one of the reasons that sea lions have decided to call this particular cove home.
2. Although the Children’s Pool was initially built by Ellen Browning Scripps in 1913 as a safe place for children to learn how to swim, it’s a well known fact that now it’s become more of a haven for sea lions and harbor seals. Each year, the San Diego City Council closes the area during pupping season (December 15 through May 15) in order to protect the sea lions from visitors. The city of La Jolla has accumulated nearly $1 million in legal bills over the course of two decades in their attempts to satisfy La Jolla residents while simultaneously trying to protect the sea lions.
3. La Jolla is also unique in that although it is technically part of San Diego, its zip code sequence is similar to that of other suburbs – spurring the (false) belief that La Jolla is its own separate city. While it may not be as famous as the Beverly Hills 90210 district, it definitely ranks among the top (and most expensive) Southern California neighborhoods!
SEE ALSO: Myths & Secret Spots of La Jolla
4. How La Jolla got its name: The Spanish originally referred to the city as “la joya” which means “the jewel.” This is how the popular nickname “The Jewel City” came to be known around the world; some say “La Jolla” was simply a corruption of the original Spanish word. However, local Kumeyaay referred to La Jolla as the “land of holes,” which most likely refers to the city’s popular sea caves. The seven caves each have their own myths and stories behind them; legend has it that the caves were once used by pirates to smuggle goods and contraband into the area.
5. The Mount Soledad Cross has been replaced twice since its original construction in 1913, and the current cross stands 29 feet tall. Several plaques honoring veterans are found at the Mt. Soledad Cross Memorial; visitors who look closely will find Jimmy Stewart listed among the names. The controversial cross is still enmeshed in a 20-year-old legal battle on whether or not it should be removed.
6. The famous Torrey Pines golf course is a public course owned by the City of San Diego, in contrast to many other privately-owned courses used by pro golfers. This legendary course hosts the annual Farmers Insurance Open and has the popular Lodge at Torrey Pines located along the 18th fairway.
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