We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

how to spend a day in La Jolla

Ottawa
Level Contributor
704 posts
40 reviews
Save Topic
how to spend a day in La Jolla

My husband, 15 year old son and I will be staying in Solana Beach for a week this summer (July) and I understand that our accommodation is not that far from La Jolla (about 20 minutes drive). This is a first time family trip to South California so I would appreciate any suggestions/tips for how we could spend a day in La Jolla. We are not a family of athletes exactly but we do enjoy trying new things during our holidays (i.e. snorkeling, parasailing and other outdoorsy type activities). We also enjoy window shopping and casual dining (at quality but not over-priced restaurants with a great view/ambience). Also, seeing that summer will likely be busy with tourists, would it be better to plan our trip to La Jolla for a Sunday or during the week? Thanks in advance!

La Jolla, California
Destination Expert
for La Jolla
Level Contributor
2,891 posts
206 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: how to spend a day in La Jolla

Weekends will be busier than the weekdays in summer, but it will be crowded at the beach regardless. Go early so you can find plenty of parking.

Read an earlier post here on TA, "must-see in la jolla," so you can get some ideas of what to do in La Jolla.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g32578-i334-k52073…

Parasailing at the Glider Port is pretty expensive but a lot of fun. If your family enjoys that type of thrills, I highly recommend it. http://sandiegofreeflight.com/jm170/

Kayaking and other water sports can be done at La Jolla Shores beach. LJ Shores has a wide and sandy beach with good swimming. You can swim with the (harmless) leopard sharks that are very close to shore.

There are numerous outfits that do kayaking tours. Kayaking is easy and if you are lucky and get a good guide you will learn quite a bit about the environment and animals.

If you are interested in surfing lessons or paddle boarding, a number of places at LJ Shores can help you with that.

You can snorkel at La Jolla Cove by the "village" (downtown) of La Jolla. For snorkel gear rentals you can try sandiegobikeandkayaktours.com/beach_rentals.…

The "village" is also a good place for window shopping and casual dining. You will find many restaurants with different price ranges.

Ottawa
Level Contributor
704 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: how to spend a day in La Jolla

Thanks ElleLaJolla for the ideas. You mentioned both La Jolla Shores and La Jolla Cove - can we swim (with the leopard sharks) and snorkel at both locales?

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
54,704 posts
422 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: how to spend a day in La Jolla

The leopard sharks are all around, but you can really only see them easily from the La Jolla Shore. Snorkeling around the Cove you can see California Garibaldi.

sandiegobikeandkayaktours.com/garibaldi.html

La Jolla has also become known for the seals at Children's Pool, just up the coast from the cove.

La Jolla has some expensive restaurants, but I wouldn't call most of them over-priced because they do deliver value even though they are expensive. I am talking about places like George's Modern, Nine Ten and the La Valencia Hotel. There are plenty of less expensive, family restaurants in La Jolla too like Brockton Villa, the Cottage and more.

Ottawa
Level Contributor
704 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: how to spend a day in La Jolla

Thanks - I was thinking that we'd head to the Farmer's Market on Sunday morning and then catch a Kayak and Snorkelling tour (to experience the splendour of the caves (La Jolla Cove) and the leapord sharks (La Jolla Shores). After that we'll roam around, catch lunch at the Cottage restaurant and perhaps wander around on Prospect Street. In your opinion, is this a bit too hectic/full of day? We really want to unwind on our holiday (nothing too rushed or frenzied) but at the same time, we want to make sure to catch the hot spots, and from what I've read, La Jolla can not be missed.

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
54,704 posts
422 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: how to spend a day in La Jolla

What are you doing Saturday morning? I actually think I like the Saturday Farmers Market in Little Italy just as well as the Sunday one in Hillcrest.

La Jolla, California
Destination Expert
for La Jolla
Level Contributor
2,891 posts
206 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: how to spend a day in La Jolla

I think it sounds like a great plan. Go to the farmer's market early (10-ish) and have some breakfast there, go kayaking at noon (I believe it takes about an hour but maybe they have longer tours), late lunch at the Cottage, window shopping in the village and of course walking along La Jolla Cove at sunset.

La Jolla, California
Destination Expert
for La Jolla
Level Contributor
2,891 posts
206 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: how to spend a day in La Jolla

scottca, I have found that each farmer's market has its own vibe. Little Italy's (Saturdays) is more cosmopolitan, while the one in Hillcrest (Sunday) is funky, and La Jolla's fm (Sundays) reflects its upscale population. For the original poster's purposes, the LJ market may be better because of its vicinity to the other activities they have planned.

Ottawa
Level Contributor
704 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: how to spend a day in La Jolla

We won't be rolling into town until Saturday afternoon (and leaving again, the following Saturday) so sadly Scott, we'll miss out on the Farmer's market in Little Italy. I had read that the Open Air market in La Jolla (on Sunday morning) is quite nice and it sounds like a leisurely way to begin the morning. I hadn't even heard about the one in Hillcrest. To be honest, I don't even know where that would be. Regarding the Kayak/Snorkel tours, according to the e-brochures, it's 2.5 hours (kayaking through the caves and snorkelling with the sharks). So I'm thinking that after that, we'll definitely be hungry for a late lunch at the Cottage. Thanks again for your tips and suggestions. I still have to make plans for a day in San Diego proper, but I guess I'll post and on the SD forum for that.

La Jolla, California
Destination Expert
for La Jolla
Level Contributor
2,891 posts
206 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: how to spend a day in La Jolla

Enjoy lovely La Jolla, and post a trip report afterwards. We love to get feedback.

La Jolla, California
Level Contributor
658 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: how to spend a day in La Jolla

Hi Reau,

You've gotten some great advice from other posters here, but I just want to add that Caroline's Seaside Cafe would be a great spot for breakfast or lunch in La Jolla Shores. It's on a bluff overlooking La Jolla Shores Beach and Scripps Pier. Prices are reasonable, and they offer both inside and outside dining. The best part is the 180-degree ocean view.

Elizabeth Hansen

www.LaJollaTravelInformation.com