I'm sure by now you know how much I love LA and California in general. Did you know how much I love the gorgeous city of San Diego too? La Jolla specifically? If I could live anywhere else in California right now, I would choose San Diego. There's something about it that makes it the perfect weekend getaway from LA to escape the bustle of the city. I love California....get it?? :)
This was the first time I took a trip to San Diego and was able to stay in La Jolla the entire trip. My mom came up to visit and we decided to stay there for a long weekend trip. I noticed that life in La Jolla is very similar to Europe and people move around calmly. It seems like all the locals are on a permanent vacation and a life of leisure. Who wouldn't be opposed to that?
The spectacular village of La Jolla sits on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean about 20 minutes from downtown San Diego. La Jolla translates to "the jewel" in Spanish and you can easily see why the Spanish settlers named it the jewel of California.
La Jolla offers coastline views, elegant restaurants, along with upscale shopping and art museums for you to enjoy.
I've rounded up the most popular things to do and places to eat at in La Jolla to help you plan out your perfect weekend. Whatever you choose to do...you won't be disappointed.
What To Do
Children's Pool La Jolla (Seals) - Going to visit the seals is one of my favorite things to do in La Jolla and is popular with many visitors. The Children's Pool sea wall was built in the 1930's for a safe swimming spot for kids. Over the years, it filled with sand and the seals took over. There is a rope to keep the seals protected from humans, but make sure you keep your distance to the animals.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve - Beautiful leisurely hike with or without kids.
Rent Bikes - We rented bikes from The Bike Revolution. Patty was so amazing and dropped off our bikes wherever we wanted to ride from in San Diego.
Water Tours at La Jolla Cove - The ocean between La Jolla Cove and La Jolla Shores is a man-made environment with four habitats, all full of sea life called the La Jolla Ecological Reserve and Underwater Park. It is named one of the top ten places in the world for snorkeling! The water here is unusually and very noticeably clear/blue for California. This means you can easily see fish, leopard sharks, sting rays, and more than any other part of California.
Some of the tour options from Everyday California are below.
Kayak and snorkeling combo tour
Guided dive tour
Surf or stand-up paddle board
Downtown La Jolla - You'll find beautiful views, great food, and shopping! Prospect Street is known for its boutiques and art galleries. It reminded me of Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles.
La Jolla Walking Trail - The entrance is located near The Cave Store on Coast Blvd. You'll find a dirt path that you can walk along the coastlines for spectacular ocean views. The half-mile trail is flat and fairly easy.
Sunny Jim Sea Cave (The Cave Store) - Head a few minutes north on Coast Blvd. to find The Cave Store. Sunny Jim’s cave is the only La Jolla cave that is accessible by land via a tunnel leading down from The Cave Store. A small admission is required to enter. It's a wet and slippery walk down a long staircase into the mouth of the cave. Once you get to the bottom, you'll see the one of a kind view and echo of the ocean.
Clam's Cave - On the way to The Cave Store you will pass Clam's Cave. One of La Jolla's seven sea caves, this cave is the only sea cave in California that you can see from land.
Roy McMakin's Favorite Color Mural - Located at 7596 Eads Avenue, a great spot for those Instagram photos!
Scripps Pier - The best spot to get those sunset pictures.
Where to Eat
Eddie V's - Delicious food and gorgeous views of the ocean coast from above. By far one of my favorite places to eat in La Jolla.
Puesto - The place to go for the best street tacos! Located in the heart of downtown, you can't go wrong with anything on the menu. The bright colors and ambiance make for a lovely restaurant during the day or evening.
Duke's - It is a Hawaiian themed restaurant (I've actually been to the one in Hawaii too) and the location is perfect for ocean views. The food is average to above average...you are definitely paying the most for the views. The Hula Pie and the unique drinks are a great bonus!
The Cottage - Perfect breakfast or brunch spot. Voted best patio dinning in La Jolla 4 years in a row.
Brockton Villa - Originally one of La Jolla's very first beach cottages located in the La Jolla Cove. Very popular spot for breakfast/brunch. We went for lunch and absolutely loved our food. I ordered the shrimp/steak wrap and berry sangria...yum!
George's at the Cove - Such a cute California modern cuisine in San Diego with gorgeous ocean views from the rooftop terrace. George's at the Cove has multiple levels overlooking the ocean. We went for brunch and had such a great time. I loved seeing the views during the day time.
Herringbone - If you are looking for good ambience and mouthwatering food then this is your spot! Herringbone is an open and airy seafood restaurant with stunning interior décor. They have $1 oysters on their Happy Hour Menu. Oyster hour is 4-6 pm Tuesdays through Sundays, and from 4 pm until close on Mondays.
Nine-Ten - Head here for a date night or a fancier place for dinner. Located inside the gorgeous Grand Colonial Hotel. We tried the lamb and cacio e pepe… phenomenal. If you are a wine-lover like me...they have the best wine list in the town!
Better Buzz - Adorable little coffee spot that always has such a long line! I tried the frozen coffee and loved it. Good spot for the typical coffee pic :)
I'll be sure to add and update this list every time I visit La Jolla! What is your favorite thing to do in the city? Tell me in the comments below!