Things to do in La Jolla

Things to do in  La Jolla

The (sea) lion sleeps tonight

Marine life meets California cool in La Jolla, a chic San Diego suburb known for its multimillion-dollar mansions perched above the rocky shores of a protected marine reserve. Travelers can enjoy a sea life encounter at the Birch Aquarium, or eschew the walls entirely at La Jolla Cove, a popular breeding site for California sea lions. For a break from beach-combing, downtown La Jolla offers an array of things to do, from upscale shopping to oceanfront dining.

Top 10 attractions in La Jolla

Windansea Beach

star-5627
With 17 miles (27 kilometers of coastline, San Diego has no shortage of beaches, but they each have their own character and attributes, making it hard for visitors to choose. Windansea Beach, located north of the city center, is one of the city’s top beaches for surfing.More

Children's Pool Beach

star-5524
As the name suggests, this stretch of sand in San Diego’s upscale La Jolla neighborhood was once a swimming spot for families, thanks to a seawall that shelters the cove. Nowadays, Children’s Pool Beach is a favorite resting and breeding ground for harbor seals and a popular wildlife-watching area.More

Sunny Jim Sea Cave

star-564
Along sunny San Diego’s La Jolla coast, there are numerous sea caves carved into cliffs rising from the ocean. What’s unique about Sunny Jim Sea Cave is that it’s the only sea cave there you can access by land in California. Walking through the man-made tunnel leads you to not only the cave itself, but also seven other natural caves carved by the force of the ocean.The cave took its name from Wizard of Oz author Frank L. Baum, who noted its resemblance to a British cartoon character called Sunny Jim. The tunnel to the cave — which once smuggled liquor during Prohibition — took two years to dig through. Once you emerge into the cave, many more years of carving are noticeable…200,000 or so, in fact! Its estimated by fossil imprints and waterlines that the cave walls have been standing for up to that length of time. The cave walls are also decorated with many different natural colors from a variety of mineral deposits.More

Ellen Browning Scripps Park

star-5115
Nestled between La Jolla and the coast, Ellen Browning Scripps Park is often called San Diego’s most photographed spot and it’s easy to see why; it’s the park is home to three sandy beaches, a wide- open lawn for picnicking, and a scenic walkway along the bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean with viewpoints for whale watching and beautiful California sunsets.More

Birch Aquarium at Scripps

star-51
Explore the depths of the sea without getting wet at San Diego’s Birch Aquarium at Scripps, and see more than 5,000 species of fish and marine life. Learn about the ocean through interactive displays, hands-on exhibits, and daily feeding demos, and observe cutting-edge research, underwater photography exhibits, and art installations.More

Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial

star-5962
In a city known for its beaches, Mount Soledad stands out as the mountain worth visiting. The highest coastal point in sunny San Diego overlooks the palm tree–lined Pacific Beach and the bluffs of Torrey Pines. The mountain is home to the the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial, which honors living and deceased veterans from the Revolutionary War to the present day. On a clear day, 360-degree views of the La Jolla shores, the bridge to Coronado Island, Mission Bay, and even the mountains of Mexico can be seen.More

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

star-53
A wild piece of the California coast just north of San Diego, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve encompasses more than 1,500 acres (607 hectares) of unspoiled beaches, hiking trails, oceanfront bluffs, Torrey pine trees, and other native vegetation. Visitors find a pristine environment treasured by local nature enthusiasts.More

Torrey Pines Golf Course

star-51
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean from La Jolla's coastal bluffs, Torrey Pines is a scenic, publicly owned golf course—and considered among the finest in the US. The course is best known as the site of the Farmers Insurance Open, which it has hosted since the 1960s, and is open to professional and amateur golfers daily throughout the year.More

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD)

star-5100
Dedicated to artwork created since 1950, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego – Downtown is one of two locations of the museum (the other is in La Jolla. The MCASD’s collection of 4,700 pieces includes a variety of mediums, from sculpture and painting to video, photography, and installations.More
#10
Salk Institute

Salk Institute

star-00
The Salk Institute is a leading medical research facility known as much for its scientific breakthroughs as its unique structure and design. Named for Dr. Jonas Salk, the creator of the polio vaccine, the building was commissioned by Salk in 1959 and designed to have a monumental feel and spiritual impact. Standing at the edge of the series of uniform buildings, one can really feel the expanse of possibility and the inspiration of the design.The architect researched monasteries worldwide to build what he referred to as an “intellectual retreat,” which it certainly seems to be today. Standing mostly in concrete and glass, its symmetry and simplicity seems the perfect blank canvas for original thought.The research undertaken here seeks to find a deeper understanding of biological processes, so that we might discover new cures to existing diseases. Through a spark in imagination and with three Nobel laureates on staff, the institute is breaking ground in immunology, genetics, and neuroscience. The structure itself and the institute both make for an inspiring visit.More

Top activities in La Jolla

Original La Jolla Sea Cave Kayak Tour for Two
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Original La Jolla Sea Cave Kayak Tour for Two

star-4.5
541
From
$99.00
per group
Incredible Slot Canyons to the Pacific
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Learn to Surf in La Jolla
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Learn to Surf in La Jolla

star-4.5
27
From
$99.00
Half Day Performance eBike Rental
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Beach Yoga in San Diego

Beach Yoga in San Diego

star-5
35
From
$42.00
La Jolla Segway Tour

La Jolla Segway Tour

star-4.5
14
From
$199.00
Full Day Performance eBike Rental
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
UCSD Art Tour Puzzling Adventure

UCSD Art Tour Puzzling Adventure

star-1
1
From
$34.99
per group
La Jolla Food and Drink Walking Tour - Sip, Savor & Sea
Special Offer

La Jolla Food and Drink Walking Tour - Sip, Savor & Sea

star-5
16
From
$118.75
$125.00  $6.25 savings
La Jolla Kayak and Snorkel Tour

La Jolla Kayak and Snorkel Tour

star-4.5
32
From
$119.00
per group
Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

All about La Jolla

When to visit

La Jolla is blessed with near-perfect weather year-round. When and how to visit depends on your choice of outdoor activity: getting out on the water in summer, hiking coastal trails in spring, and golfing any time of the year. Winter is not a lost cause in La Jolla, either. It’s chilly with a chance of rain, but December to February is also whale-watching season, when gray whales pass by on their migrations. They make the return trip in mid-March.

Getting around

As is the case with most beach towns, cars and bikes are the most efficient way to get around. La Jolla Village, however, lends itself to walking—among tide pools, between beach coves, and along posh shops on the waterfront. Most public transportation converges on the University of California, San Diego campus, situated just south of Torrey Pines Golf Course, with regular bus service and the San Diego Trolley system’s Blue Line leading the charge.

Traveler tips

The beach town of La Jolla exudes an earnest surfer vibe charm. But beyond the sand, there’s a worthwhile art and culture scene. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has a branch next to Wipeout Beach. Iconic Warwick’s on Girard Avenue is one of the oldest family-run bookstores in the US. And the La Jolla Playhouse puts on Tony Award-winning musicals on the campus of the University of California, San Diego.

Local Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
PST (UTC -8)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English
Attractions
10
Tours
40
Reviews
2,558
EN
7ef1b7c3-f0da-4d5d-9628-0cbaeb23f9dd
geo_hub

People Also Ask

What is La Jolla known for?

La Jolla, a coastal city in San Diego, is known for its upscale atmosphere, seaside scenery, world-renowned beaches, excellent restaurants, and boutique hotels. There are nice shopping centers and art galleries, too. More than 300 days of sunshine make it an ideal destination for sun-seeking tourists.

...More
What is so special about La Jolla?

La Jolla is a coastal city known for its well-kept beaches and history as a resort area. To appreciate the natural beauty of La Jolla, walk along the shores of Windansea Beach, explore Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave, or view sea life in the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

...More
How can I spend a day in La Jolla?

Start your day with a walk or bike ride along La Jolla’s coastline. From there, stroll through the famous La Jolla Cove and have a picnic lunch with views of the Pacific Ocean. Conclude with sunset views at La Jolla Cove.

...More
Is La Jolla worth visiting?

Yes, La Jolla is worth a visit. From beaches to restaurants to shopping, there’s plenty to do in this coastal San Diego city. Immerse yourself in culture at La Valencia Hotel or Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla. Enjoy the sunset while walking along Scripps Pier.

...More
How do you explore La Jolla?

Explore La Jolla with a leisurely hike or ride along its bike trails, which offer up views of ocean cliffs. Those looking for something more thrilling can try sea kayaking, scuba diving, or surfing, while others can stroll through one of La Jolla’s art galleries or quaint village shops.

...More
Does La Jolla have a downtown?

Yes, La Jolla has a downtown. Referred to as the village center by locals, this area houses retail stores, restaurants, cafés, and entertainment venues. It’s perfect for visitors who want to explore the city’s offerings without having to drive. La Jolla’s downtown is becoming an increasingly popular destination.

...More
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top things to do in La Jolla?
Q:
What are the top activities in La Jolla?
Q:
What are the top things to do near La Jolla?
A: