Overview : La Jolla is the jewel of San Diego County. There are pristine beaches, tourist-friendly seals, world-class restaurants and theatre... more »
Overview : La Jolla is the jewel of San Diego County. There are pristine beaches, tourist-friendly seals, world-class restaurants and theatre... more » and great architecture. On this tour, we start at the Kayak Launch site and travel north to Scripps Pier, duck into the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, climb some (OK, a lot of) stairs, cross a beautiful bridge and find two tree swings overlooking the pier and beautiful Pacific. less «
Tips: This walk goes from sand and surf, over cement, blacktop and wooded glade so footwear needs to be easily removable or waterproof. ... more » There are about 300 stairs, though you could cheat and take three elevators (even so you'd only skip about 100 of these stairs). There are also some steep slopes and the warmest and most steep parts don't have easy bathroom access. If you choose to visit any of the three restaurants on the walk, bear this in mind. less «
I'm starting you here because the waves are smaller, the parking is on-street and there's a restaurant with a very nice ocean view. This is also the starting-off point for thousands of kayakers who will be paddling from here to La Jolla Cove and back. To hire a kayak, all you do is walk 300 paces east and inquire at any of a dozen companies who ... Moredo this.
But we're here to walk! And walk we will.
If you were to head south, you would be on the "property" of the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club but no one can own coastal beach access up to the high tide line so feel free to start your hike a few hundred yards to the south at the Marine Room.
La Jolla Beach and Tennis also has a sand dollar colony and they feed (harmless) leopard sharks for the snorkeling pleasure of their guests, I'm not making this up. These sights are free no matter what kind of looks you get.Less
This restaurant is one of very few that are right on the beach in La Jolla. One other is the Marine Room and a third is on this tour. Two are owned by the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club and all are public. This one is less pretentious and casual attire is just fine.
This is an excellent place to begin (even though it's stop number three on this tour) because it gives you the layout of the La Jolla Marine Sanctuary -- the topside of which we will be walking. There is some interesting reading, an interactive map (interactive in that you can run and play on it), and some interesting pictures of sea life -- all ... Moreof which is protected on this walk.Less
Although not the official name, local moms tend to bring their babies here, due to the proximity to bathrooms, a playground and plentiful parking. Also the waves are small and the lifeguards are near. At La Jolla Shores, the waves get bigger the farther north you go. Smallest waves belong to the rarified air of the La Jolla Beach and Tennis club.
Some of the best surfing at La Jolla Shores beach happens at green wall. You will notice that the wall is not green. It was green until the early nineties but locals still meet at Green Wall. A lot of surf schools post up at Green Wall and the video is what you can expect if you get a snarky surf instructor with a waterproof camera.
Caroline is not mentioned in the signage but maybe on the menu. Her restaurant is on the property of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and near a protected marine sanctuary. The people who run the restaurant also run the restaurant at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla,
The restaurant is only open for breakfast and lunch; it has... More one of the best views in La Jolla.Less
This is really the best surfing in La Jolla Shores. (Green Wall is better for lessons and beginners). This pier also has a camera that broadcasts video to researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and wave-hungry surfers.
I put a link to it below. See if you can draw on the sand and have your message picked up by the camera.
Just so you know, Scripps is a big name in this town and the family name is attached to the Kellogg name as well. They own property, banks and businesses and have endowed many of the buildings at the University of California.
The reserve actually goes from La Jolla Cove to Black's Beach. And it's all underwater. Literally, I mean, not... More financially. This landmark is just a portal to the reserve, which is a vast underwater canyon.
Incidentally, Black's Beach is not only the northern end of the reserve, it actually does have the best surf in La Jolla and is consistently ranked in the top 10 surf spots in the world. And it's a nude beach.
Go back towards the pier and turn right up a cement ramp to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Dive Locker.Less
There is a whole plaza of wooden and cement stairs and wood decks supporting several elevators. Either way, it's a journey up, up, up. On each level remember to look back towards the ocean to admire the view.
A note on the architecture. These buildings were built in the late 60s and early 70s before the University of California's iconic library... More surpassed what everyone could do with metal, concrete and wood. You on this journey, you will see these three elements in various combinations and at various ages. Some of the labs and buildings are old and the bridge and its supporting structures are quite new. And red. There's lots of red here and nowhere else in the Institution or the University.Less
On the map it looks like this stretch trundles downward. Even the name of the road entices you to roll Downwind but make no mistake; this is a long, hot steep climb.
If you thought the last hill was bad... This one is steeper and hotter. This is why you should take a left at Expedition and keep them in your sights. (Note to those with kids: if you make a right you're at the Birch Aquarium, which is packed with snacks and bathrooms.) At just about the top of the hill, you will see, across the street, a trail... More head that leads into a grove of eucalyptus trees (see photo). You're almost to the swings.Less
Once you cross the street (watch for cars) it's relatively easy to find the swings--both of them face the ocean.
If you look at the photo below of a driveway going nowhere, that's a clue to a quick though very steep short cut to the swings. If you find this cut curb, look across the street and you'll see a trail that leads right up ... Morea hill and, while I would never to tell you to cross a busy street and walk up a dangerously steep, slippery hill, this will cut five minutes off your tour).
To get back to where you started, you can always back-track over terrain you already traversed. You will see more than you think you will by reversing your course. If you decide to take the street back, still do re-cross the pedestrian bridge as people speed down the hill. Then, find La Jolla Shores Drive, turn right at El Paseo Grande and follow that back to La Jolla Shores.