Fun things to do in La Jolla

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Most Viewed Things to Do in La Jolla

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    Mount Soledad!

    by lmkluque Updated Nov 7, 2011

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    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.

    Veteran Memorial Northwest view of Coast from Mt. Soledad View of East La Jolla from Mt. Soledad The Cross on Mount Soledad
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    The Cave Store

    by lmkluque Updated Nov 7, 2011

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    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.

    Sunny Jim Cave The Cave Store
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    La Jolla Underwater Park and Ecological Reserve

    by lmkluque Updated Nov 7, 2011

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    If sunning yourself at the beach is not enough for you, check out what's going on under the water.

    At the northern edge of La Jolla begins the San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park, which includes the Marine Life Refuge, and Ecological Reserve and continues up to the Torrey Pines State Reserve.

    As early as 1929, the city of San Diego has been working in conjuction with other agencies to research and preserve the coastline, the flora and the fauna in this area.

    Scripps Canyon, La Jolla Canyon as well as a couple of artificial reefs compose part of the 6,000 acres of tide and submerged lands that has become the Underwater Park.

    Boating, fishing, swimming and diving are allowed in most parts of the Park, but there are exceptions which can be found at the website listed below.

    The main purpose of this Underwater Park is to preserve and maintain the beautiful coastline, the natural ecology and to reestablish underwater sea life, but the side effect is a fascinating place, for divers and anyone who is intrigued by the ocean, to explore.

    .

    Looking north toward the Underwater Park
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    • Kayaking
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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    La Jolla Cove - seals, birds, tidal pools, caves!

    by jumpingnorman Updated Apr 25, 2011

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    This is just a tiny beach area, tucked between sandstone cliffs, but our favorite spot in La Jolla. We love it because our twins can see a lot of seals here and many pelicans, gulls and I think those birds called cormorants (?). The marine life plentiful because the site is protected by the the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve.

    Parking may be ab it difficult during busy weekends, but a few blocks from the coast are parking areas for the public for about $5+. If u r lucky to grab a parking spot in front of the beach cliffs, you can stay there for max of 3 hours.

    This place has also been well-photographed so you will see lots of pics of it on the web. The little beach area is full of surfers, boaters, swimmers and kids going through the tidal pool, looking for hermit crabs and other little sea creatures. There is a lifeguard post overlooking the sandy beach.

    A lot of the tourists go to the tiny "caves" formed by the water and a little slippery to walk on the boulders - but enjoyable, just watch your step! haha

    Because of its extraordinary beauty, La Jolla Cove is one of the most photographed beaches in Southern California. With small surf in the summer months, the north facing La Jolla Cove is ideal for swimmers, snorkelers and scuba divers. Water visibility at the Cove can sometimes exceed 30 feet. La Jolla Cove lies within the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve, which helps to ensure that marine life remains plentiful. Fishing and removal of objects from this area is prohibited, and possession of game is unlawful.

    Jumpingson looking at La Jolla Cove, San Diego La Jolla Cove's little cave inlets, San Diego Tidal pools at La Jolla Cove (kid named Anthony)

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    Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross

    by jumpingnorman Updated Apr 25, 2011

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    I visited this cross over 20 years before, and just returned on Easter Sunday 2011. As I was driving up through the nice expensive La Jolla community, the memories came back to me. There is ample parking and we were able to park up on the hill....if full, there is extra parking a minute-walk below.

    The big white cross (I think recently restored in 2008) is just as I remembered it and once you step out of your car though, the first thing you note is the wonderful view! So you take pictures on the nice green grass and maybe even walk down on the rocky side...be careful of the cliff drop though!

    As you approach the monument, you are reminded that this a memorial made in 1954 for the veteran soldiers and those who lost their lives. It was controversial because the cross was a religious symbol being used to honour a military memory.....(state+religion). But who cares, the monument looks awesome and has been a favorite place to visit for years!

    The cross is actually 824-ft (251 m) tall hill and I did get there easily through GPS. However, it is really accessible through Interstate 5 (won't go to street specifics here), but it is exactly at 6905 La Jolla Scenic Dr S (between Soledad Park Rd & Via Capri) La Jolla, CA 92037

    JumpingSON holding Stanley by the Mt Soledad Cross View from La Jolla's Mt Soledad Cross, San Diego Jumpingtwins enjoying Mt Soledad views from cross Jumpingwife taking picture, Mt Soledad, La Jolla

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  • Lensmeister's Profile Photo

    Seals - au naturale

    by Lensmeister Updated Apr 4, 2011

    Walk along the little pier and you can look back along to the beach and watch the seals. Or you can sit on the sand behind the line and watch them laying in the sand or swiming about in the small cove.

    Seals are there only in the right season.

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  • GuthrieColin's Profile Photo

    Neurosciences institute

    by GuthrieColin Written May 10, 2010

    The Neurosciences Institute has a similar history to the Salk Institute. It is a non-profit scientific research facility. This facility is however focused on activities of the brain. The buildings on the current site were designed by husband and wife architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien and was completed in 1995.
    The intent was to create a "Scientific Monastery where creative study of the brain could be conducted" and with that in mind the architects set out creating several buildings focused around a central courtyard. In that courtyard water features, bamboo and several unique passageways allow the visitor to explore the area. The textures of the materials used in the building are quite unique as well. In parts Texas Fossil stone was used, which has impressions of fossilized seashells.

    Courtyard View one of the many spaces that the courtyard opens to Water Feature and louvered wall Texas Fossil Stone Courtyard again
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    Salk Institute

    by GuthrieColin Written May 9, 2010

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    The Salk Institute, completed in 1965, is considered by most architectural critics as an absolute masterpiece. It is located 300 feet in elevation above the ocean on a bluff. This position has created its signature view down the Travertine Marble courtyard with the narrow stream of water seemingly flowing directly off into the distance.
    Architect Louis I. Kahn was commissioned for the project by Jonas Salk and asked to "Create a facility worthy of a visit by Pablo Picasso." Beyond the imported Travertine Marble courtyard the structure was built of cast in place pozzolonic concrete which ties back to Ancient Rome. The concrete is noticeable for it's smooth texture and visible construction method.
    In most concrete structures the forms are removed and the area where the form ties were used are filled and the entire surface is also refinished. In this structure the form ties are celebrated by installing lead plugs. The overall aura of the site is quite grandeous and the building was designated a historical landmark in 1991.
    Guided Architectural tours are available but must be scheduled in advance.

    Typical Courtyard View Second Level interstitial spaces Pools and Offices Eucalyptus and Orange Grove Looking Back into the Offices
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  • bren1125's Profile Photo

    Aquarium

    by bren1125 Updated Mar 1, 2010

    A small aquarium located in the hills of La Jolla.

    Ineractive setting for children and adults. Friendly and available staff.

    Adult, 18-59 years $11.00, Youth (3-17 yrs,) $7.50, 2 yrs. and under Free

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Children's Pool

    by Dabs Updated Jul 31, 2009

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    July 2009 update-there's been a recent flurry of legal activity, the current status is that the city of San Diego's court-ordered plan to disperse seals from Children's Pool beach in La Jolla is on hold until at least October 2009

    The Children's Pool was created by building a seawall to form a protected cove for children to swim in but at some point harbor seals began using the beach to to rest, reproduce and molt (hauling out). Humans and seals coexisted there for awhile until it was determined the bacteria level wasn't safe for humans and now the area exists as a natural spot for people to view harbor seals.

    I understand that there are pro-seal factions and anti-seal factions among the La Jolla/San Diego population but personally I am glad the seals, at least for the time being, seem to have won the battle. It's one of the coolest things I've ever seen, watching seals in a natural habitat, sunning themselves on the rocks, frolicking in the water, watching the seals exert what seems to be a phenomonal amount of energy just to move a couple of feet, watching the babies lift their flippers in surprise every time a wave rolls up on the beach.

    Humans must keep their distance, you can either watch from the seawall or from the walkway along the road or from the beach at a distance. You can't, nor should you want to, interact or touch the seals.

    Children's Pool Harbor seals Harbor seal Harbor seals Children's Pool

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  • jumpingwithnorman's Profile Photo

    Beach Fun

    by jumpingwithnorman Written Jul 16, 2009

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    Hanging out at any of the beaches is the top San Diego thing to do. Dress in layers as temps at the beaches tend to be a bit lower than the regular temp. Wind is a big factor also. But it does make for wonderful waves. A favorite local beach is Wind&Sea in La Jolla. Limited beachfront parking but there's lots of street parking around. Just be respectful of the neighborghood.

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  • acebruin's Profile Photo

    Birch Aquarium at Scripps

    by acebruin Written Feb 20, 2009

    This place is a smaller Sea World. It's not as large as the Monterey Aquarium. But it's definitely worth a visit. Especially when it's raining. You can easily spend 2-3 hours here. The parking is free for 3 hrs. The admission fees are $11 for adults and $7.50 for kids.

    Kids love it here! They get to see a plethora of fishes. The kelp tank is huge! Sharks, eels, butterfly fishes are just some of the marine animals you encounter here. And who can forget the seadragons! Those creatures are beautiful! There's also a nursery section of the aquarium. It's neat to see how small these fishes are!

    You can learn a thing or two about green house effects. And there are some pictures of glaciers around the world, before and after pictures. It's amazing to see how much ice has been melting. And if you want to see how it feels to be on TV or as a news anchor person, there's a section in the aquarium where you can read from a teleprompter and be on the news! You can watch yourself after you record on the little TV. Very cool!

    Did I mention the view is gorgeous??!

    The view from the terrace What a colorful fish! Lionfish Can you spot the fish? Dragonfish
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  • jbmarinkovich's Profile Photo

    La Jolla Kayaking adventure

    by jbmarinkovich Written May 5, 2008

    I recently took a kayak tour in La Jolla, CA. The sun was out, the water was nice, and the fish and marine life were out. I took a guided tour with La Jolla Bike and Kayak and had a blast.

    They started out with some paddle instruction (i didn't know what I was doing) and explained how to successfully kayak past the surf. We were in a group, so once we got to the boat launch area on the beach we started to paddle out one by one.

    Once we reached the Sea Caves our tour guide hopped out of his kayak and took us inside each of the caves. The guide held our kayak steady so that we didn't flip over, or bump into the rocks. It was pretty cool, but the really cool part was when we got out of the cave.

    There were sea lions everywhere. I saw tons of yellow fish (forgot what they were called), Leopard Sharks, and I just had a blast.

    Give these guys a try: La Jolla Bike and Kayak

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    Mount Soledad

    by Dabs Written May 4, 2008

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    I was following the directions for the 59 Mile Scenic Drive and Mount Soledad was one of the stops, it's La Jolla's highest point and has a good view over San Diego if you have a clear day. It was a bit overcast and hazy when I arrived but I could still see the coastline and downtown San Diego although my pictures didn't come out very clear.

    There is plenty of parking to stop and take a look around and a cross memorial to our country's veterans near the parking area.

    Apparently I just missed some landslides in the area, you might have a look at the attached website to make sure that the area is open to visitors.

    View of the coast View of downtown Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial

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    La Jolla Cove

    by Dabs Written May 4, 2008

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    Heading north from the Children's Pool, there is a nice walking path that runs along the ocean to La Jolla Cove with beautiful views along the way. I had other things planned for the afternoon so I turned around when I got to the edge of the Cove, if you have more time you might head down to the beach where my guidebook says you can snorkel or head into the La Jolla Caves for a little underground exploration, there is a small admission charge to go in.

    La Jolla La Jolla Cove La Jolla

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La Jolla Things to Do

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Things to do in La Jolla fall into three basic categories.  Luxury, Science/Education and Water Sports.   On and around Prospect Street, you'll find world-class dinning, shopping...

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