La Jolla Real Estate: South Coastal Neighborhoods
La Jolla includes several neighborhoods that follow the coastline, both north and south of the centrally located Village. Each of these offers a unique type of beach living lifestyle. The coastal neighborhoods to the south of downtown La Jolla include Bird Rock, Lower Hermosa, Upper Hermosa and the Beach-Barber Tract, which includes WindanSea Beach.
The Bird Rock neighborhood sits at the far southern end of La Jolla bordering Pacific Beach. Its coastline consists of rocky bluffs and several large rocks offshore, thus the name. There are also walking paths along the coastline, three parks, and surfing areas. Bird Rock offers some of La Jolla's most affordable coastal homes and includes an elementary school, which attracts many young families. In recent years, several traffic roundabouts were installed along Bird Rock's main drag, La Jolla Boulevard. This has slowed down traffic and contributed to a lively business district including several shops, restaurants, many with outdoor seating, coffee houses, fitness gyms and art galleries. The community of Bird Rock is an active, tightly-knit one that enjoys several annual activities such as a Fourth of July parade and a home tour. Bird Rock is one of the most popular neighborhoods in the La Jolla real estate with home prices ranging from approximately $800,000 to several million. Many of the streets have a Midwest feel, with a variety of architectural styles and trees. Bird Rock also includes several condominiums and apartments.
Directly north of Bird Rock is Lower Hermosa which follows the coastline north to WindanSea Beach, west of La Jolla Boulevard. This quiet neighborhood includes some of La Jolla's most beautiful and exclusive homes, many built right next to the beach with incredible ocean views up and down the coastline. Lower Hermosa's main street is Camino de la Costa, also known as "The Street of Dreams." Although the area's coastline is a rocky one with cliffs, it includes several small, accessible beaches. There are approximately 260 homes in Lower Hermosa. Many are older, dating back to the 1920s, and very secluded, thus giving the neighborhood an old-world ambience. Prices range from between $2 million and $30 million. There are no businesses in Lower Hermosa, but residents are within easy walking distance to Bird Rock.
The Upper Hermosa neighborhood parallels Lower Hermosa, and is situated east of La Jolla Boulevard and north of Bird Rock. Because homes here are a few blocks from the ocean, they are generally 30% less expensive than those in the Lower Hermosa neighborhood. Home prices range from $1.5 million to $3.5 million. Like Lower Hermosa, Upper Hermosa is a quiet, family-oriented neighborhood with classic architecture and landscaping and walkable streets. Architectural styles include Cape Cod, Mediterranean and Ranch. There are no businesses in Upper Hermosa, but residents are a quick walk away from Bird Rock and a short drive to the Village.
The Beach-Barber Tract includes the coastal section of La Jolla from WindanSea Beach to the Village. It includes a few shops, restaurants and motels along La Jolla Boulevard. It gets its name from Philip Barber, an investor from New Jersey who developed the area and built his own Mediterranean-style home on the sand dunes south of the Village in 1922. The neighborhood, which straddles La Jolla Boulevard, includes an eclectic mix of homes, including older beach cottages, Spanish haciendas, super-modern remodels and a variety of apartment buildings and condominiums. Prices range from $350,000 for a one-bedroom condominium to several million dollars for larger homes. The lifestyle in this neighborhood is a casual, more beach-oriented one, attracting surfers and sunbathers to the famous WindanSea Beach with its iconic grass shack and excellent waves. American journalist Tom Wolfe popularized the beach in his 1968 book, "The Pump House Gang," describing WindanSea surfers of that time. However, the Beach-Barber Tract also includes many families who have owned homes in the neighborhood for generations and is close to La Jolla High School.