Tucked between sandstone cliffs and Scripps Park, the La Jolla Cove Beach north of San Diego is one of the most photographed locations in Southern California. Though too small to accommodate large crowds, the clear, deep water visibility make it a popular destination for swimmers, divers, and snorkelers alike, as they explore the wonders of the Pacific Ocean. (Lifeguard stations are staffed daily all year.) Note that there are several small beaches along the rocky coast in this area - all walking distance apart. The greater San Diego County coastal region is loaded with other options worth driving to.
Part of an ecological preserve, the beach is surrounded by rocks that trap water at high tide. When the water retreats, many tide pools are left offering a unique view of small ocean life.
Above the cove, the adjacent Scripps Park has restrooms, showers, picnic areas and an ocean side boardwalk perfect for a long stroll or just to watch the occasional porpoise family swimming by.
Within walking distance from the La Jolla Cove is the Sunny Jim Cave, the only land accessible sea cave on the California coast. Without getting wet, visitors can descend inside the cave itself, via a steep 145 steps through a 100+ year old, man-made tunnel. The tunnel is small and not recommended for anyone with health problems or claustrophobia. Access to the staircase is available through the Cave Store. There is a small fee.
There are no public parking lots at La Jolla Cove or in the adjacent Scripps Park. Though street parking is available, it's limited and restricted to a three-hour maximum during weekdays. Visitors can find parking in nearby, downtown La Jolla and walk back. A short walk from public parking, please note that access to the cove, beach, and park will involve a step walk down from the main streets.
Fine dining, boutique shops, and art galleries, await visitors to this seaside community. Though there are few hotel options in La Jolla Village, its proximity to San Diego makes it a convenient destination. For a weekend getaway, the non-smoking Hotel Parisi is just off of Prospect Street. A premier zen retreat combining a Feng Shui design with ocean and downtown La Jolla views.
Downtown La Jolla has an array of restaurants to accommodate almost any craving. One of the most popular establishments is George’s at the Cove which boasts not one, but three separate eateries: Small and elegant, the main restaurant on the lower level has excellent service and a lovely ocean view. Upstairs, the more casual outdoor restaurant Ocean Terrace, ensures the unobstructed, impressive view with a glass wall separating visitors from the Pacific. And finally, in-between, is George's Bar which offers both inside and outside dining. All three restaurants specialize in seasonal menus with fresh produce from nearby Chino Farms and steaks from Niman Ranch.
The address for La Jolla Cove is 1100 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, California. If traveling south on the Interstate 5 freeway, take the La Jolla Village Drive exit and turn right. Travel westbound to Torrey Pines Road and turn left. Travelers northbound on the I-5 freeway will exit at La Jolla Parkway, which turns into Torrey Pines Road. Continue on Torrey Pines Road to the intersection at Prospect Street and turn right. Follow the designated signs, making sure to bear right to drive down Coast Boulevard.