If you’re on holiday in San Diego, a visit to La Jolla should already be on your agenda. In Spanish, La Jolla means “the jewel.” This affluent community is known for luxury homes, fine dining and upscale shopping. But its real assets are the beaches, research and education centers, museums and historical homes.
La Jolla Beaches are freely available for the enrichment of all. The coastline varies dramatically in La Jolla. At its northernmost limit, fortified by 300-foot sea cliffs, is Blacks. The Shores is a mile-long, crescent of prime sand beach favored by active beachgoers of all interests. The Cove, with its Mediterranean backdrop, is among San Diego’s most sheltered swimming spots, while the reefs southward around Windansea and Birdrock are among its most exposed.
The University of California, San Diego (including the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the San Diego Supercomputer Center) is the center of higher education in La Jolla. National University is also headquartered in La Jolla. Among the several research institutes near UCSD and in the nearby Torrey Pines Science Park are The Scripps Research Institute, the Burnham Institute (formerly called the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation) and the Salk Institute.
La Jolla is popular with shoppers, romantics and outdoor adventurers who can surf, kayak, scuba dive and bicycle here. It’s also a great foodie destination with some of San Diego’s best-rated restaurants and a good place to go just to relax. The La Jolla Playhouse is well worth a trip if you like the theater.
And if fair warning, finding gold on the beach is probably easier than finding parking in La Jolla near the beach. There are no parking meters, but streets nearest to the water do have a one hour time limit. Go a little further away for two hour parking, and be sure you observe the time limits. Parking enforcement is active here even off-season. You’ll find a few paid lots scattered around town and the ones on the edge of downtown are a little cheaper. Your best bet may be a parking lot so hidden that few people notice it.
Overall La Jolla isn’t called “the jewel” for no reason. With all its featured destinations to wonder, you are going to need a place to stay. The Shoal Beach Hotel in La Jolla is great place to sleep and relax. It is close to most of these spots that it will make your getaway easier to achieve visiting every single one.
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