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Loved the Sunny Jim Cave!
When I looked up this attraction online, I stumbled upon pretty bad reviews that basically said the place was a tourist trap. Since they only charged $4 to get in, I wondered how much of a rip off it could be and decided to go anyways, but didn't get my hopes up too high. Perhaps that's why I was so pleasantly surprised! There's a sign near the tunnel entrance that explains you're about to walk down 144 steps through a man-made tunnel that has stood in place for over 100 years and is therefore considered very safe. But still, I doubt very much that clautrophobic people would enjoy the experience. You need to hang on to the hand railing as you go down since the ground can be slippery when wet (which it usually is). The tunnel leads to a stunning 75-million-year-old sea cave, the only one on the California coastland that can be accessed on foot. To see and hear the water rush at you while you're standing on the small, rickety wooden pier is worth the price of admission in itself!
Explore the beautiful La Jolla Cove
The Native Kumeyaay people called La Jolla "the land of hole", and today it is often referred to as "the Jewel of San Diego". Both designations have a lot to do with the beauty of La Jolla Cove, La Jolla Village's waterfront section. The cove's sea-carved cliffs and narrow beaches make it one of the most photographed spots in San Diego. Hikers will no doubt enjoy walking along the Coast Walk Trail, and it's also a good spot for birdwatchers since a huge colony of cormorants takes refuge along the cove (but do be warned: the smell is not the most pleasant!). Sea lions also are quite a common sight. Even though it's only one of San Diego's neighborhoods, the atmosphere in La Jolla is entirely different from that of the rest of the city, to the point where we completely forgot where we were for a while and felt like we'd just traveled to some new resort town by the sea. The day we spent in La Jolla truly made me feel happy we'd decided to rent a car for our trip to San Diego :o)
- Hiking and Walking
Mount Soledad Memorial
Mount Soledad rises about 250 m above sea level and as such, it can offer very nice views of the city down below - I'm saying "can", because there was quite a bit of smog when we were there, which prevented us from seeing very far. At first I thought you could hike up the mountain, but there actually is a road that goes all the way to the top. Those in bad need of a workout might want to consider riding a bike up there instead. The large white cross on top of the mountain actually is a veterans memorial. Although the use of this symbol remains controversial because of the link it establishes between government and religion, the cross has stood there since 1913.
Sun-bathing seals at La Jolla
We took an afternoon and drove to La Jolla, and we wished we had left earlier so we could have spent all day there! Watching the seals sun-tanning is amazing, and the scenery there is absolutely fantastic! I believe you can rent snorkel equipment or kayak/canoes also, but we arrived too late in the day so ran out of time.
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Hiking and Walking
- Family Travel
The Best Beach Day Ever
The Beach at La Jolla is Amazing. There are many caverns to explore and climb on. If you've never been snorkeling here's your chance. You can go out on a tour but all you really need are some goggles. Just swim out (it may be cold but, it's worth it) and look down. I had just gone to the aquarium the day before and saw some of those fish swimming right next to me. I saw lots of birds on the rocks and a few brave people jumping off them. I would not reccomend doing that though. We didn't get a chance to kayak but, would love to do soon when we go back.
- Diving and Snorkeling
La Jolla in spanish is `The Jewel'. It is located 15 minutes from downtown and has wonderful beaches and fine restaurants. You could see lots of seals resting at the children's pool too. La Jolla Cove is a pradise for swimmers, divers or snorkelers. You can also see lots of people do the kayaking too. It is the nice place to hang out for a day.
- Castles and Palaces
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Visit the small-town atmosphere of La Jolla
One of my friends got accepted into a medical position at the Scripps Clinic in La Jolla! How Lucky!
This seaside resort community is wonderful to walk around in. The charming houses are expensive – there are about 40,000 residents in this beach which is visited by tourists and college students all year round. It is the home of UCSD (University of California, San Diego), the Salk Insitute and it also has a significant number of biotechnology companies.
So, when you eat at some of the nice gourmet restaurants along Prospect Street in this small-town atmosphere, you will likely run into some preppie type people. The rugged coastline is also a nice place to walk around in, to feed the seagulls…and eventually to reach Mount Soledad, a 822-foot-(251-meter)-tall hill that lies between Interstate 5 to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west and which also has a huge Latin cross.
Known for it’s beautiful weather averaging 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21.4 Celsius) throughout the year, La Jolla entices visitors from neaby San Diego which is just 12 miles south of it, and Orange County which is just 40 miles north of La Jolla.
- Family Travel
Everyday is a summer day for San Diego because of the wonderful beaches they have. This beach is popular for scuba diving; it is also the only beach boat launch in San Diego. This is an ideal place to learn how to surf; you'll find many surf camps there where the students bravely ride the waves. There is also an underwater canyon off of La Jolla Shores Beach, designated as an ecological preserve, making this beach the richest of all for marine life. Bonfires and sunset watching are popular at the beach as well.
- Sailing and Boating
The Cave Store
There are many caves along the La Jolla cliffs. There's one in particular that's set up as a tourist attraction. It's actually a souvenir shop built around the cave.
It's not a big attraction, but interesting. You enter the cave which has stairs leading 100 feet down.
There are lamps set up along the hand rail to guide your way. You have to watch your step as there's a lot of moisture and the steps are slippery. You come out at the bottom of the cliff right next to the ocean.
The cost is around $4 per person to enter the cave.
La Jolla, like most of Southern California, is an area of great natural beauty with a mixture of sandy beaches and rocky shorelines good for a variety of outdoor activities. The area has a number of public beaches, parks, as well as shopping areas. The most compelling geographical highlights of La Jolla is its ocean front, where we enjoyed the alternating rugged and sandy coast line and view wild seal congregations.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Historical Travel
- Adventure Travel
The Beautiful Coast
My friend and I took an afternoon during our stay in San Diego to drive up the coast and take a look at all the cliffs in La Jolla. I really enjoyed the scenery and the one of a kind look of the landscape in the area. Without a doubt the cliffs are the biggest attraction but there are also a number of very nice parks to relax in as you take a break from your scenery gazing. The town of La Jolla is what you would expect from a wealthy San Diego suburb; the landscape is perfectly manicured and a number of shops selling art and fine clothing are present in the central business district.
Overall La Jolla was probably my favorite thing that I got to see while I was in San Diego. The natural beauty of the coast was very tranquil and the town provided a great place to grab a coffee or a bite to eat and do some shopping after the long walk up the boardwalk.
La Jolla is technically part of San Diego but to me it felt like it was more of it's own community and not part of the city. This is a wealthy section of San Diego along the coast and it's worth a visit if you are staying in San Diego for more than a day or two. By car it should take you about 15 minutes in non rush hour traffic, more if you take back roads like I did or hit rush hour traffic.
I really enjoyed my visit there, the area around La Jolla Cove is beautiful and I visited on a sunny warm Wednesday afternoon when it wasn't too crowded. The highlight was my visit to the Children's Pool which has been taken over by a herd of more than hundred harbor seals, if I had more time I would have liked to visit the La Jolla Caves and check out a bit more of the coastline.
I put a bit more information on my La Jolla page.
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
The Birch Aquarium at Scripps is a great way to spend a couple of hours. They have over 60 underwater displays showcasing everything from California marine life to the warm water tropics. They have a number of "hands on" exhibits as well including a touch pool.
They have a monthly schedule posted on their website of feeding times for various exhibits including the shark tank.
Admission: Adult, $11 and Children, $7.50
The Habor Seals of La Jolla
There are approximately 40,000 harbor seals in California waters. They can usually be observed inhabiting shallow areas where sandbars, rocks and beaches are uncovered during low tides or otherwise easily accessible. Since harbor seals do not migrate, in many areas they are present year-round and while site fidelity is displayed, harbor seals are also capable of long-distance movements. Some short movements may be associated with seasonal availability of prey and with breeding.
Located in La Jolla is a beach with hundreds of California Harbor Seals. If you visit at the right time (March I think) you can see the seas giving birth and all the baby seals learning how to swim. It was quite a magical experience.
Beautiful natural coast
Coming from the east coast, I'd never seen a coast line that look like La Jolla. It is truly unique and beautiful. There were lots of kayaks winding their way through the caves along the coast. It's a sunlovers beach, too. Lots of sunbathers and people laying in the sand. They were very interesting to watch. There are some shops along the beach areas, restaurants I think.
- Family Travel
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