La Jolla Things to Do Tips by lmkluque Top 5 Page for this destination
La Jolla Things to Do: 105 reviews and 201 photos
Consider the idea of checking out the Universtiy of California at San Diego!
This might seem like a strange, 'Must See Activity,' but one of the things many people like to do while traveling is to go where tourist usually don't. Also they like to meet people in the community. This is a great place for both requirements.
The campus is open and there is an interesting area near the bookstore, where anyone can purchase books, the typical university accessories, sweats, shorts, T-shirts, pens, folders, and much more.
Near the book store is a little cafe with outdoor seating, and just a bit further on, down the path is this, The Geisel Library. The most unusual building on the campus. The atmosphere here is very exciting and I enjoy coming just to have a coffee, but most of the time I use the library for research too.
Of course, I realize that most tourists have no interest in research, but a bit of time spent here can offer the opportunity of meeting locals as well as people from all parts of the world in a vibrant setting. Come for lunch and explore the Campus and expect that most students are willing to answer questions or just have a chat.
Address: 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla
Phone: (858) 534-2230
This photo of the west side of MCASD at La Jolla, shows a permanent work of art commissioned of Nancy Rubins. The various boats represent and acknowledge the importance of the nautical influence to the area. Later in the day, after taking this photo I saw a real live collection of boats piled along the boat ramp at Shelter Island and appreciated the relationship between real life and art.
There are two locations for MCASD, at La Jolla and in downtown San Diego at:
1001 Kettner Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92101
619 234 1001
There is no admission charge at the downtown location or at La Jolla on the third Tuesday of the month. Otherwise, General admission at La Jolla is about $10.00. Both locations are closed on Wednesdays.
Tours of MCASD at La Jolla exhibitions are conducted by trained docents; tours are free with Museum admission. They have a small bookstore and cafe at the La Jolla location, both worth a stop at.
Address: 700 Prospect Street
Directions: South of the Village area
Phone: (858) 454 3541
Athenaeum Music and Arts Library
There are lots of art galleries in La Jolla and for music lovers, a stop at the Athenaeum Music and Arts Library may be a special treat.
This is a non-profit member's library that is open to the public and offers a wide range of activities that are worth checking out. Their year-round schedule of art exhibitions, concerts, including classical, jazz, and really new music, and interesting lectures. Some of which are free.
In fact, I happened upon a free and unscheduled concert the last time I passed by the Library. A talented young man had set himself up on the steps of the entrance--it was a Sunday and the Library was closed--he played his heart out and it was quite beautiful to listen to. His instrument case was open and all who appreciated his offering dropped money into the case.
Before going to La Jolla, check out their webpage to see if a concert or exhibition is being offered at this location, it will add a nice dimension to your trip.
Address: 1008 Wall Street
Phone: (858) 454-5872
Looking North to La Jolla
La Jolla offers many beach activities from just watching the water to Skin Diving. There are at least seven named beaches stretched along La Jolla's coast line and each has a unique quality as well as specific uses. Read more detail of these beaches in the General Tips section of my La Jolla Page.
At the top of the cliff above the Cove is the downtown section of La Jolla. Prospect Street, the main drag and Girard Avenue, one of it's cross streets, are the two most visited. Beyond these two streets tourists don't venture except to find a parking spot.
There are interesting shops and restaurants on these side streets so make sure to check them out too.
If your time in La Jolla is short, exploring the Cove and this downtown section will be enough to make you want to return.
First sight of Torrey Pines Glider Port
Want something "different" to do while in La Jolla?
Go to Torrey Pines Glider Port and be prepared to be fascinated. Whether it's hang gliding, paragliding, flying scale models, or watching a sailplane flight, you will find it here. They give lessons and tours to noviciates. They do repairs and sell equipment to the aficionados, or you can just stand around and watch.
This is a rustic place and the "facilities" leave something to be desired, but this cliff, high above Black's Beach teems with excitment and wonder. After watching for a while you may decide to give it a try. Ask if the wind is right for a "tandum flight." Okay, it will cost $150.00 to $175.00 to fly with a professional and have the experience of a lifetime. No reservations are required--nor accepted. It's first come, first serve, so make your mind up early and enjoy the thrill of flight.
Address: 52800 Torrey Pines Scenic Drive
Phone: (858) 452-9858
Entering the village area of Avenida de la Playa
Avenida de la Play is a short street with several shops and restaurants, sort of a mini-village, that gives a different face to La Jolla. A casual, sporty, beach-city face.
However, elegance and luxury is throbbing just under the surface. Especially take a look at the price tags!
The shops here are mainly about water sports, surfing, diving, snorkling, kayaking and swimsuits. There are a few restaurants down here worth trying out and if you have never tried some of these sports, but would like to, you can take lessons and join tours.
Less sporty and more luxurious you'll find down this way, the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, The Shores Restaurant, The Sea Lodge and my favorite, The Marine Room Restaurant.
The easiest way to get down here is from Torrey Pines Road going towards Prospect. Turn right on Calle de la Plata and follow it to the end--which is Avenida de la Playa.
Address: Avenida de la Playa
Warwicks in La Jolla
Warwicks is a significant book emporium in La Jolla. Not only does it sell books, stationary items and gifts, it offers a full calendar of events featuring Authors of the various books they sell. Some authors are famous, Colleen McCullough, Anne Rice and maybe not so famous yet, Nicolas Sparks, plus many other authors from various genres. These authors offer book signing, some will even tell you about themselves and the process that went into writing their book, which can be very interesting and entertaining. If you don't have a copy of the book being addressed, Warwicks will have them on hand waiting for your purchase.
While planning a stay in La Jolla, check the calendar of events on their webpage to see who'll be there when you are. It is a unique experience and a well spent hour or two. Be warned that if the author is very popular you may have to wait in line to get in.
Address: 7812 Girard Avenue
Directions: A block or so from Prospect Street on Girard Avenue.
Phone: (858) 454-0347
This State Reserve was set aside to protect the natural landscape of this part of California, especially protecting the rarest pine tree in the world, the Torrey Pine which grows here naturally. (The only other place it grows naturally is up near Santa Barbara.)
While visiting Torrey Pine State Reserve, you should know that it is for day use only--no camping or over night stay. (Open from 8:00 am to sunset.)
You must stay on the trails--there are miles and miles of trails. You may not take away any souvenirs--not even a pine cone. You are allowed and advised to bring drinking water, but no food can be eaten in the Reserve--You may bring food with you to eat down at the beach. Well, check out the website for all the specifics.
There are four or five trails to hike, some of which offer fantastic panaramic views. There is a Visitor Center (Open 9:00 am to sunset) and on weekends and hoildays guided tours are offered.
Just below is Torrey Pines State Beach, a great way to cool off from all that hiking up, down and around.
Address: Off Highway 101
Directions: Between Del Mar & La Jolla
Phone: (858) 755-2063
Mount Soledad stands 822 feet high and offers a 360 degree view that is awesome, especially on a clear day.
There is a great controversy raging over the cross that has been here for over fifty years. At this moment the fate of the cross is not as secure as it had been in the past and hopefully the result of the effort to save it will prevail.
The cross at Mount Soledad has been a part of the Veteran's Memorial since 1952 and the Veteran Memorial Plaques are about five years old and honor United States Veterans of war.
However, the tourist not interested in local disputes will still enjoy a trip up the hill, if only for the views. Sunrise and sunsets are fantastic from this vantage point.
Address: 6905 La Jolla Scenic Drive South
Directions: There are several ways to reach the Monument. Torrey Pines Road to Via Capri up the hill, Garnet to Mt. Soledad up the hill, La Jolla Boulevard to Nautilus Street up the hill to the far east end.
Phone: (858) 551-5226
Sunny Jim Cave
This is really a fun place to visit, especially with children. The Cave Store has had many names during the hundred plus years it's been around and it has stood the pressure of the upward mobil progress La Jolla has made.
The building is much the same as it was when built in the early 1900's on the coastal bluffs. Gustaf Schultz directed the tunnel built from the shop to the cave below and you can descend the steps for about $4.00 for you and $3.00 for your kids. They seem not to have regular hours so call to find out what time they will open on the day of your visit. It would be better to get there when tide is low.
There are seven caves and if you're not up to scuba diving into them, this is the solution. The first cave is called "Sunny Jim" by Frank Baum of Wizard of Oz fame because the shape of the cave from inside-out looked like Denslow's cartoon character Sunny Jim, the 1920's mascot for the British Force Wheat cereal products.
My photo of the cave doesn't do the image justice. Go see for yourself.
When the tide is low there is the added bonus of tidepools which can be even more exciting when you or your children discover small sea creatures caught in the pools.
Address: 1325 Cave Street
Phone: (858) 459-0746
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