La Jolla Beaches

La Jolla Cove
La Jolla Shores
Torrey Pines
La Jolla Childrens Pool
Marine Street

La Jolla Beaches are clearly the most picturesque. Breathtaking cliffs, amazing coves, natural wildlife, and white sand beaches make La Jolla the most popular of all San Diego beaches.

La Jolla Beach Lifeguard Station. Lifeguard tower at La Jolla Beach San Diego.

La Jolla is Los Angeles' Beverly Hills and Florida's Palm Beach all rolled into one. The combination of the high end lifestyle, trendy restaurants, and perfect beaches make La Jolla world famous. On the other hand, La Jolla is an easy place to fit in during a visit and a great place to spend the day on the beach. In fact, if you only had a chance to go to one beach in San Diego, then La Jolla is the beach you need to visit.

Depending on your preference, finding the right La Jolla Beach to visit is as easy as reading the Best San Diego Insider Secrets Below.

La Jolla Beaches General Information

La Jolla Beach San Diego Frisbee at Dog Friendly Beach Park

The La Jolla Visitor Information Center phone 619-236-1212.
Winter hours of operation: Thursday - Tuesday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Summer hours: Daily, 10:00 am - 7:00 pm.

The La Jolla Visitor Information Center is located at 7966 Herschel Avenue, Suite A, at the corner of Prospect Street and Herschel Avenue. Open 6 days a week in the winter and everyday during the summer. The La Jolla Visitor Center offers friendly advice on shopping, dinging, and local La Jolla attractions. La Jolla Visitor Center can give you information about hotels, events, transportation, and maps.

San Diego La Jolla Beaches Visitor Tips

La Jolla offers plenty of options in terms of beach atmosphere for you to really enjoy your visit to La Jolla. The best idea is to probably match your interests with those of the different La Jolla Beaches below but at the same time plan on visiting a few of the different beaches because all of them are one-of-a-kind and extremely beautiful. One idea is to go snorkeling in La Jolla Cove and afterwards have a family picnic at La Jolla Shores.

LA JOLLA COVE

La Jolla Shores San Diegos Best Beach

La Jolla Cove is located near downtown La Jolla. La Jolla Cove is a paradise for divers and swimmers and offers amazing views. The small beach is nestled among breathtaking cliffs and the Pacific Ocean, a purely romantic place with scenic views that rival any honeymoon destination in the world. San Diego's premier location for diving and snorkeling due to the clearer water, La Jolla Cove is truly a paradise for water enthusiasts. Widely regarded as a must see place in San Diego, La Jolla Cove attracts tourists, local families, swimmers, divers, and individuals who are in search of the perfect location to sunbathe,unwind or read a book. Very close to downtown La Jolla where trendy cafe, fine dining, and boutique shopping is plentiful. A short walk to La Jolla Cove from downtown La Jolla is recommended as street side parking is often hard to find especially on summer weekends.

La Jolla Cove is part the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve. Year round lifeguard supervision and public restrooms and showers are available. The La Jolla Cove is for swimming and diving only so no surfboarding is allowed.  Parking on the street is metered during the weekday, on the weekend the street side parking fills up early so you may be forced to pay to park in downtown La Jolla and walk the short distance to the beach. Downtown La Jolla also has the air conditioned San Diego County Museum of Modern Art nearby which is a nice break from the beach.

La Jolla Beach San Diego picnic area

The underwater life at La Jolla Cove is an amazing site and the calm waters that define the cove makes it the best place in San Diego for  snorkeling. With snorkeling rental a block or two away on Coast Boulevard, even novices can easily give it a try. Remember, La Jolla Cove is extremely popular and is a relatively small beach, so getting to the beach early enough to find a good spot to put your towels down is always a good idea. 

La Jolla Cove Directions: 1100 Coast Boulevard.

From the North, take Interstate 5 to La Jolla Village Drive West. Turn left on Torrey Pines Road and turn right onto Prospect Street. Bear Right on Coast Boulevard and you will see signs for La Jolla Cove.

From the South, take Interstate 5 to Ardath Road which turns into Torrey Pines Road. After a little while, turn Right onto Prospect Street and bear to the right onto Coast Boulevard and you will see signs for La Jolla Cove.

LA JOLLA SHORES

La Jolla Shores is the Beverly Hills of San Diego. The real estate here is extremely expensive and the Spanish style homes blend beautiful architecture into the picturesque landscape. Palm trees and flowers are spread throughout this area and makes the one mile of beach at La Jolla Shores the cream of the crop of San Diego beaches. A popular place to picnic, La Jolla Shores mixes locals and tourists who want an upscale beach experience that is an ideal spot for walking, Frisbee, kayaking, bicycling, roller blades, swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, and surfing. The Boardwalk that extends a good portion of the beach makes La Jolla Shores a perfect place to exercise via a bicycle, roller blades, or your own two feet. Remember, this is the premier beach in San Diego and often crowded on weekends from 10 am till after 4 pm, so arrive early and get a nice spot or come late and enjoy the sunset. 

Near Downtown La Jolla's high end shopping, hotels, and fine dining, the La Jolla Shores is a great place for families and romantic getaways. Year round lifeguards, showers, and restrooms make La Jolla Shores safe and practical. A large parking lot near the lifeguard station is your best bet for parking, but space is limited especially after 10 am on summer weekends. Parking along the street is the next best alternative.

Directions to La Jolla Shores.

From the North, take Interstate 5 south and exit at La Jolla Village Drive and head west. Turn left at Torrey Pines Road till you get to La Jolla Shores Drive.

From the South, take Interstate 5 north and exit at Ardath Road. Follow it till you get to La Jolla Shores Drive and take a right, then a left at Avenida de la Playa and a right on Camino del Oro.

TORREY PINES

Torrey Pines Beach combines fantastic views of natural landscapes with a wide open family beach. The nearly 5 mile long stretch of Torrey Pines State Beach is set on a backdrop of 300 foot tall sandstone cliffs. The Sandstone Cliffs have many hiking paths at the top along the bluffs. The one of a kind nature walks allow visitors to see the extremely rare Torrey Pines set amongst wildflowers, animals and birds. The hiking trails allow incredible panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean from an aerial vantage point. The Torrey Pines Beach is located at the bottom of these hiking trails. Swimming and sunbathing are the predominant activities that occur here on the beach, and combined with the hike can make a great family picnic adventure.

Torrey Pines State Beach is well furnished for visitors. Bathrooms are located by the beach and on top of the reserve. However, showers are only located down by the beach. Bicycles and dogs are not allowed on the beach or on the hiking trails and you must leave the natural landscape exactly like you found it because this is a state park.

Torrey Pines State Beach Directions. Torrey Pines Beach address is North Torrey Pines Road. From the south, take the Carmel Valley Road exit off of I-5 and head west or take the same exit and head west if you come from the north. Free Parking can be found street side on 101 just north and requires a short walk south to get to the beach. Paid parking on top of the cliffs is highly recommended because you get to enjoy the hike down to the beach.

The visitor's center at Torrey Pines State Park is a great place to start you day. Equip yourself with some information and head down the trails towards the beach. The visitor's center will give you a deeper appreciation for the rare types of plant species you are going to see. The hiking trails at Torrey Pines are some of the best on the west coast for their natural beauty and fantastic vistas of the Pacific Ocean. The parking lot at the visitor's center is where you should start your hike towards the beach, and for the hiking effort you will be rewarded with a very uncrowded and picture perfect beach day.

LA JOLLA CHILDRENS POOL

La Jolla Children's Pool known as the Casa to locals used to be a children's swimming area until marine life took over. The concrete breakwater that extends into the Pacific provided a small cove that kept the waves out and made swimming for children easy and parents stress free. However, seals and sea lions discovered those benefits and made themselves home (Casa) to the Children's Pool. These seals and sea lions enjoy basking in the sun along the shore while having an easy access to the calm ocean created by the cove. The seals and sea lions travel back and forth between the Children's Pool and their offshore reserve called Seal Rock.

La Jolla Beach in San Diego. San Diego's Best Beach La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Children's Pool gives visitors some options in how you enjoy the day. One recommendation is to picnic just north or just south of the Children's Pool at the picnic tables. Even better then that, try doing some scenic hiking. Find the trails next to Coast Boulevard which are elevated about the beach and offer wide open views of the sandstone cliffs, the beach and the Pacific Ocean. For the less motivated but still nature buffs, check out the tide pools that are located near the breakwater. The tide pools are alive with small sea creatures and can be especially seen during low tide on the western side of the sea wall.

Children's Pool is not really set up for swimming any longer as the seals have now made themselves at home and are protected by law. The walk down to the beach is very steep and there is no wheelchair access because of the sharp decline. Parking is purely done on the street as no parking lots are nearby the La Jolla Children's Pool. Street parking is only tough to find during weekends and beautiful summer days. Otherwise, park downtown and walk the short distance.

Picnic Area at San Diego's La Jolla Beach. Family Vacation La Jolla Beaches

La Jolla Children's Pool Directions: From the north take I-5 south to La Jolla Village Drive west. Turn left onto Torrey Pines Road and turn right at Prospect Street. Bear to the right onto Coast Boulevard which takes you right to the La Jolla Children's Pool. From the south, take I-5 north to Ardath Road and it will eventually turn into Torrey Pines Road. On Torrey Pines Road turn right onto Prospect Street and bear right onto Coast Boulevard.

MARINE STREET

Marine Street Beach, one of the great La Jolla Beaches but not as well known as some of the others, is best known for being a body surfing paradise. Marine Street Beach is not recommended for families because of the large waves which break close to the shoreline, but Marine Street Beach is a perfect place for boarders and body surfers who love plenty of above average size waves. You should board and body surf in groups to keep an eye on one another, the waves here occasionally injure swimmers and should not be taken lightly.

Because of the large waves, lack of bathrooms and no picnic areas, the Marine Street Beach is not family friendly. On the other hand, Marine Street Beach offers privacy because most beach goers choose one of the other La Jolla Beach locations. Marine Street Beach is often described as being one of the most scenic San Diego beaches, and with the smaller crowds Marine Street Beach feels more intimate then any other. The combination of Marine Street Beach's beautiful white sand and the tranquil sound of breaking waves makes Marine Street Beach a great place to relax either sunbathing or reading a book.

Seagulls at La Jolla Beach fighting over a bag of Cheetos

Marine Street Beach has lifeguards all summer long and on certain major weekends during the rest of the year. Marine Street Beach is without parking lots, so street parking is the only choice and like all San Diego beaches, it is always better to arrive early to find a street parking spot.

Directions to Marine Street Beach. From the north take I-5 south and exit at Genessee Avenue and turn right (west). Turn left onto Torrey Pines Road and follow this through downtown La Jolla until you get to Girard Avenue. Turn left onto Girard Avenue and right onto Pearl Street. Make a left at La Jolla Boulevard and finally a right onto Marine Street where Marine Street Beach is located. From the south, exit I-5 north at Torrey Pines Road and head west. Stay on Torrey Pines Road and follow this through downtown La Jolla until you get to Girard Avenue. Turn left onto Girard Avenue and right onto Pearl Street. Make a left at La Jolla Boulevard and finally a right onto Marine Street where Marine Street Beach is located.

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