Immaculately landscaped parks, white-sand coves, upscale boutiques, and cliffs above deep, clear blue waters make it easy to understand why La Jolla translates from Spanish as “the jewel.”
La Jolla Village sits atop cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean on three sides. Girard Avenue and Prospect Streets are where you’ll find some of San Diego’s best restaurants and certainly its best boutique shopping. For a bit of old La Jolla, head to the La Jolla Historical Society and check out the vintage photos and beach memorabilia. La Jolla’s Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego gets ever-changing world-class exhibitions.
Outdoor enthusiasts will have plenty to indulge in at La Jolla. A wonderful walking path skirts the shoreline, beginning at the Children’s Pool, where a jetty protects the beach from big waves. You can watch sea lions up close as they lounge on the shore. Atop Point La Jolla, at the path’s eastern end is Ellen Browning Scripps Park, a tidy expanse of green lawns and palm trees. The area north of northeast of here is simply called “The Shores.” This is the spot where La Jolla’s cliffs meet the wide, sandy beaches north to Del Mar.
La Jolla lies 20 minutes northwest of San Diego, along Interstate 5. A bus takes you from downtown and stops at many sights en route. The surrounding area is home to the University of San Diego and several research institutes. There is plenty of shopping and restaurants in the Village, so plan on spending an afternoon here, longer if you’re staying for dinner.