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“Smelly and not for Children” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Children's Pool

Children's Pool
850 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92037
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Ranked #13 of 32 Activities in La Jolla
Type: Beaches, Sports
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: It was supposed to be a children's pool, but the harbor seals took over and it's a main tourist and local attraction. Great picture spot.
San Diego, California
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Smelly and not for Children”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

This Children's Pool is no longer that. It has been over run by seals and it is smelly, in fact, it stinks! 30 years ago it was a great place for families to bring their children to swim, the sea wall protected them from the high waves, it is a shame that the seals have taken over what was once a lovely beach--I went there many times when I first moved to San Diego. Not unique and not a great tourist attraction. If you want a place to swim with children, go to La Jolla Shores--at least the seals haven't taken that beach over, yet. And it doesn't have the odor.

Visited May 2013
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374 reviews from our community

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Saint Louis, Missouri
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

This is a beautiful place not to be missed, we love how close you can get to the seals, and I love how clear and beautiful the water is here.

Visited July 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“should really be renamed”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

well, shouldn't it?? there's continual court proceedings and arguments over the uses of this "pool", which isn't a pool, and certainly NOT for children. BUT it does give the whining environmental extremists something to be constantly harping about. Never mind that there is a very long, beautiful and easily accessible beach a mile away with loads of parking and picnic areas. No, both extreme groups have to argue over this misnamed little cove that is really way too dangerous for children and most swimmers. Instead we have to pay for round the clock surveillance cameras to 'catch' the idiots trying to pester the seals beached there.
Sorry for the rant. But visitors to La Jolla should be advised that that area has wonderful ocean and shoreline views but CHILDREN and other swimmers should be accommodated at the beautiful beaches to the North.

Visited May 2013
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San Diego, California
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Protected Toilet Bowl”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

If you enjoy viewing a living toilet bowl...have fun. This place was created to be a safe place for children and families...then the seals came and the animal activists....The city will not honor the original plan/donation nor will they correct the situation. Seals have invaded the place. Don't swim here. The seals are aggressive and the water is constantly polluted due to the seal population. Shark sightings are more frequent due to the free food. A disappointment for everyone. Used to be a great place to snorkel and take your kids.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Lunas, New Mexico
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Mixed feelings about the evolution of Scripps' Children's Pool”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

Well, as someone who grew up in La Jolla in the 50s and 60s about 3 blocks from the beach in question, and who learned how to swim in 1952 at the "Casa Cove", now known as the "Children's Pool", I have very mixed feelings about its evolution to being a seal habitat today. It's not as if it was once or ever would have been a seal habitat, because the sea wall that creates the calm cove there and the beach itself were built by Ellen Browning Scripps (well-known La Jolla benefactress) in the 1930s, as a place for the children of San Diego to swim safely. It was always a wonderful family beach, clean and protected -- unless you walked out onto the sea wall, to the end, where you could be inundated by huge breakers during rough weather!
When the seals began to move in, in the 1980s, it was allowed at first as a novelty that people enjoyed watching. They tried sharing the beach for awhile, till the numbers of seals increased and it was declared toxic for humans, not to mention the fact that some seals were aggressive toward the families that still tried to enjoy the beach. So it became in fact a very unsafe place for the children and adults of San Diego to spend time at the beach and swim! Most colonies of sea lions and seals are sequestered safely (for them) off shore, on small rocky islands, so this is not a "natural" spot for a colony to be -- with hundreds of people hovering around and watching them, as well as walking in their midst sometimes.
I think it's a shame that the Casa Cove (named after the Casa de Mañana across the street) has been lost as a place for the children of La Jolla and San Diego to swim and feel safe learning to swim, and for families to enjoy, since that was the original intention of Ellen Scripps when she had the breaker wall built and the sand built up, and it served that need for about 50 years. I am an environmentalist, so I believe in protecting truly safe havens and habitats for our animal species, but this is not one.

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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