Shopping In La Jolla This Holiday Season

Screen Shot 2019-12-07 at 3.09.40 PMThis holiday season, skip the busy malls and do your shopping in beautiful La Jolla. From trendy fashions to sparkling jewelry, from art galleries to children’s clothing boutiques, La Jolla has something for all tastes and budgets – and meandering down our boutique-lined streets under the warm sun makes the experience all the more pleasurable. La Jolla is a great year-round shopping destination featuring unique stores and friendly vendors.

With ideal weather year round and the beautiful coastline nearby, La Jolla Village offers a wonderful setting for a day full of shopping. There are few better places to stroll through shops, get a bite to eat and take in the sights, than in La Jolla. From eclectic boutiques and antique stores, to florists and popular retailers, La Jolla shopping has it all.

Shoppers, who are seeking one-of-a-kind home décor, can browse through a variety of art galleries, antique shops or furnishing stores. The La Jolla Village is also home to world class jewelers and specialty shops featuring high-end merchandise including pianos, formal wear and chandeliers. If you are attending a special event and need the perfect gift for a friend or family member, you will find just what you need at the unique gift shops in La Jolla.

Many stores in The Village have been open for decades and are family owned, such as the local book store and hardware store. While shopping in La Jolla, check out the local clothing stores for men, women and children, including several consignment stores with designer labels. La Jolla Village offers a great alternative to crowed shopping malls in San Diego. With hundreds of stores within walking distance of the beach and local hotels, residents and visitors who are shopping in La Jolla can have a unique and enjoyable experience.

In addition to La Jolla Village, you can find more La Jolla Shopping in Bird Rock, the La Jolla Village Square and University Towne Center malls.

To learn more about La Jolla’s shopping, click HERE

The Best Coffee Spots in La Jolla

To be a successful coffee shop, you need strong coffee, good pastries and treats, and a great ambiance. If you’re looking for a place to sit down this Autumn and enjoy a cup of coffee and a great book, catch up with an old friend, or if you’re a student get some studying done, it is important to know which coffee shops are great to try in the La Jolla area.
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For a great place to catch up with friends and enjoy a quick coffee and a treat, Brick & Bell is a favorite amongst La Jolla residents. Brick & Bell’s caring staff bakes delicious scones, cookies, pastries, and everything else you can imagine. It has homemade soups and sandwiches that you can pick up for a quick bite to go and it also makes a killer chocolate mocha.
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Pannikin Coffee & Tea is not only good for breakfast as mentioned here, it is a great place to get a large coffee and knock out some studying. For the students out there, the quiet and cozy atmosphere, perfect during the winter, keeps you toasty and comfortable while providing enough space in the back tables for you to stretch out and lay out all the books you need. Post up in the corner with yours books and order a nice Chai tea. Enjoy.
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The Living Room Café has great options if you’re looking for a heartier coffee snack. Both a place for studying and catching up, the Living Room is always crowded with a variety of people. You can enjoy foods from chocolate nutella croissants to delicious sandwiches like the California and Baba Ghanooj with toasted pita. Top it all off with a cool frappe or freeze in the summer heat.
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If you want to venture down to Bird Rock, visit Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. It recently won 2012’s Roaster of the Year award for its’ awesome coffee. It has been said to be the perfect hipster hangout and spot for those who really care about the quality of the coffee they’re drinking. Bird Rock Coffee Roasters takes pride in its’ roasts, just what you want from your coffee house. If you’re a coffee connoisseur, then Bird Rock Coffee is a must.
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Although you wouldn’t expect this restaurant to be considered one of the top coffee shops, Girard Gourmet has amazing pastries making it one of the best places to pick up your morning pastry and a coffee. It has a comfortable atmosphere and the ability to sit outside, so it’s definitely a fun place to go and take your time enjoying your morning coffee outdoors. Not to mention, Girard Gourmet just won best catering! Congratulations, all!

Which coffee shop is your favorite to go to? Are there any others that we’ve missed? Tell us below in a comment.

An Interview with Dennis Wills of D.G. Wills Books

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A veritable one-of-a-kind, it’s easy to see why D.G. Wills Books is a true charm in La Jolla. What is more, in our contemporary, progressively and increasingly impersonal, digital society, the attention paid to personalization and the sheer aesthetics of text is simply inspirational and stimulating.

Dennis began advertising with the La Jolla Blue Book back in 1979 when La Jolla was yet the budding seaside beauty of a community it has grown into. Wills has a complete understanding of what it means to construct a business from the ground up, which is precisely what he set out to do and achieve on La Jolla Boulevard the same year he began advertising. Moreover, his community roots in La Jolla complement the little store’s enduring allure and charisma

The diminutive edifice began on a shoestring budget and with an idea born of love. With a couple of borrowed hammers, a rusty old saw, a few friends that believed in his vision, and a smattering of lumber, work began in 1979. Wills began to craft bookshelves from scratch with painstaking dedication and attention to detail. And with his visualization entrenched in his mind for the La Jolla community, he began to stock the store with various books he located and or stumbled upon at area garage, yard and estate sales.

The dream grew quickly and the bookstore came to be a serene haven for lovers of books, intelligentsias and academics, and rankly, right down to the local who was merely seeking an unobtrusive place to sit and peruse a tome or novel away from the noise pollution life often brings.

Dennis’ undying devotion and commitment to knowledge has drawn various scholars, literary critics, myriad students, and professors from universities from around the contiguous United States. With authors such as Plato, Shakespeare, Darwin, and the Bronte sisters, Wills’ rests assured that he stocks a most inimitable selection of books in the literary world. Indeed, the old, antique and difficult to locate books one may find in his store are certainly not carried by the impersonal chain and corporate stores that pander to frivolity. Perhaps best of all is the place he maintains in the hearts of his clientele, those thousands upon thousands who have found this La Jolla niche and veritable treasure trove, and who have had occasion to interact with him on a personal and intellectual level.

We had the pleasure of speaking to Mr. Wills about his remarkable bookshop.

The genesis of D.G. Wills Books is really interesting. Did you ever imagine it would become what it is today?

Well, one is never sure when opening a business how long or to what extent it might last; but that said, I chose La Jolla specifically to be near UCSD and the Salk Institute on the premise that the educated community’s interest in scholarly books would make it more likely that we would survive for thirty-six years now;  and that good libraries from retired professors would emerge. We were lucky and honored, for example, to have acquired Nobel Laureate Francis Crick’s library.

Out of all of the literary celebrities who have spoken at D.G. Wills Books, do you have any personal favorites?

Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer and Christopher Hitchens were clearly the most entertaining and witty. Francis Crick and Freeman Dyson were the most brilliant scientists here. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins was the most entertaining poet, although Allen Ginsberg drew the largest and most chaotic crowd, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti was the funniest. Playwright Edward Albee’s appearance was like attending a graduate seminar on theater. Pulitzer Prize journalist Maureen Dowd and Jill Abramson, then Managing Editor of the “New York Times,” were a brilliant team when they appeared here together.

Some may argue that the printed word is dying due to all of these technology advancements. What keeps your passion alive for what you do?

While Kindle and other e-book options have their use, many also continue to prefer to handle the printed page. The passion ever remains as we continue to discover the wonders of knowledge and mystery contained within books.

For people who have never been to your store, what should people know before going to D.G. Wills Books?

We carry new, used and antiquarian books, mainly within academic categories, and “backlist titles” that have passed the test of time, like Shakespeare, Darwin or Isaac Newton.

Is there anything special coming up at D.G. Wills Books that you’d like to mention?

Our Thirty-Eighth Annual St. Patrick’s Day Open Reading of Irish Poetry and Prose is coming up, on 17 March 2017, from 7 P.M. until it ends.

What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring writers today?

My advice to aspiring writers is to read, read, and read; then practice, practice and practice with your revisions, constantly fine tuning.

D.G. Wills is open from Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be sure to drop in at D.G. Wills, give Dennis a whispered holler, and see for yourself why indeed you’ll want to come back time and again seeking those hard to find gems, as well as enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.

For more information on D.G. Wills Books, Click HERE

Community Spotlight Feature: La Jolla Kayak

Screen Shot 2018-08-18 at 2.07.17 PMMichael Luscomb, owner of La Jolla Kayak is a true La Jolla native. In fact, he was one of the last to be born at the old Scripps Hospital. The San Diego area is certainly no stranger to the Luscombs, either. If you’ve ever heard of Luscomb Point (the surf break), it’s named after Michael’s father, a surfer and lifeguard from Point Loma. So, you could say (in a very Ron Burgundy-esque way) they’re kind of a big deal.
So, what was the Genesis of La Jolla Kayak you ask? Well, it was a trip to Napoli that gave Michel the idea. After exploring Italy’s kayaking adventures, Michael came back to the states, bought six kayaks, and started piecing together the plans for his business out of his garage. With paper flyers and a pager in hand, Michael started marketing. In 1996, he opened the space that he’s still at today. Cut to 2018, we’re La Jolla Kayak and Hike Bike Kayak are moving about 50,000 tourists annually through their shops alone.
If you haven’t been yet, you should know that La Jolla Kayak is known as San Diego’s premier ocean kayaking and snorkeling destination. Located just a few blocks from the world famous La Jolla Shores beach, it’s no wonder why La Jolla Kayak is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Operating from the Shores since 1996, La Jolla Kayak provides tours of breathtaking cliffs, caves, and natural landscapes. Guests have the opportunity to venture out into La Jolla‘s 6,000 acre underwater reserve. This protected ecological site is renowned for its deep trenches, expansive marine life, and stunning reefs. “It’s like SeaWorld in the raw. You get to have an interactive experience with these animals, and you’re not in a confined place. You’re in the water, you’re with the water, and you’re with nature” says Luscomb.
Michael runs the business with his wife Sharon, who handles all of the background work and event coordination. He has over 90 employees, all of whom are like family. “The gratifying thing to me is to see the kids who I’ve hired grow up. They’ve gone on to be doctors, lawyers, engineers, some are in nuclear submarines. I have 6 marriages that people have met through my company. 4 out of those 6 couples have children. I’m like a dating service” Michael jokes.
There are two convenient ways of exploring this local gem. Guests can either rent individual or double kayaks and explore the sea caves on their own, or join a guided tour with a certified instructor. “It’s amazing to have people come up to me who are 60 years old and say ‘you know, that was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.’ It’s just a very rewarding experience” says Luscomb. You can also rent snorkeling gear and observe the marine life and reefs native to Southern California. “The conditions are epic right now. The leopard sharks that have not been seen yet this summer are now starting to come back.”
So what are you waiting for? Take adventure a step further in the beautiful city of La Jolla. La Jolla Kayak gives tourists and locals the opportunity for an experience of a lifetime. All kayaks are waiting for guests at the only public kayak launch on the beach. The only thing you need to worry about is getting yourself there. Experience some of the finest scenery in La Jolla with a company that is the premiere kayak and snorkeling exploration outfit in San Diego. Make a reservation to rent a kayak or snorkeling gear and get out on or in the water. Locals come in for a local rate. Give them a call at (858) 459-1114 or visit Lajollakayak.com to make a reservation.

Where to Get Dad the Perfect Gift this Father’s Day

Shopping for dad this Father’s Day? Think outside the tie box, and get him something he’ll be totally stoked on. Here’s a few La Jolla Shops we recommend!

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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. Daily wetsuit and board rentals are offered on a first come, first serve basis. Stand up paddle boarding supplies and spear fishing gear are also in stock. Come see the water sports specialists at Mitch’s Surf Shop when it comes to all your water adventure needs. They also have a location in Solana Beach at 363 Highway 101 N, Solana Beach, CA 92075
 
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2014 Winner – 1st Place Best Bike Shop San Diego A List

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. They also have a large amount of bike parts and accessories as well as provide in store service and maintenance on bike items. Visit California Bicycle Tuesday through Saturday and get yourself on out on two wheels.

Check out our interview with Jason Millard HERE

Cutom Shirts of La Jolla:

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Custom Shirts of La Jolla has been serving La Jolla since 1977. The men’s and women’s shop is located on Girard Avenue and across from the Athenauem Music Arts and Library. Custom Shirts of La Jolla offers unique American and European customized clothing.
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Sports minded people need the best gear and sometimes that can be hard to find in one place. In 1983 Michael Gotfredson, or chief runner, started Road Runner Sports in a garage space in Del Mar, CA. Over the next 28 years the company grew to have distribution centers in San Diego, CA and Columbus, OH and many neighborhood retail stores throughout the country and are the world’s largest walking and running store. They are proud to be apart of your fitness and provide every item needed to enhance your fitness routine in one place. Whether you are shopping in stores or online, there are hundreds of running shoes and sneakers for men, women, and children. The latest fitness gear, trackers, nutrition bars, drinks, supplements, and men and women’s apparel can all be found here. Not to mention all in the best sporting brands including Nike, Adidas, Reebok, ASICS, and more. Get your fitness gear from the person who knows all there is to know about running and the fitness world and shop at Road Runner Sports.

Shop Small this Saturday in La Jolla

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There is another way to shop and you don’t have to rush through your family Thanksgiving dinner, or set an alarm to head to the store at 3 in the morning. It is Small Business Saturday. The day we should shop small. Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. It was founded by American Express in 2010, and it is celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, Small Business Saturday is November 24th.

Why shop local?

Well, small businesses are the ‘corner’ stores that create jobs in our communities. The local shops are what keep our communities going and whose very presence makes a neighborhood, our neighborhood.

shop smallDon’t stress about rushing through dinner, or having to get a spot in line at big retailers, shop local. When you shop at local businesses, you support the little things that make your community great. One of the benefits is, the money you spend at the local business, stays in your neighborhood.

If you will be in La Jolla you can always use the La Jolla Blue Book to shop local year long, and especially on November 24th, Small Business Saturday.

Experience One of The Most Fun La Jolla Summer Activities

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La Jolla Kayak is known as San Diego’s premier ocean kayaking and snorkeling destination. Located just a few blocks from the world famous La Jolla Shores beach, it’s no wonder why La Jolla Kayak is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Operating from the Shores since 1996, La Jolla Kayak provides tours of breathtaking cliffs, caves, and natural landscapes. Guests have the opportunity to venture out into La Jolla‘s 6,000 acre underwater reserve. This protected ecological site is renowned for its deep trenches, expansive marine life, and stunning reefs. Continue reading