Just 15 minutes from San Diego you’ll discover beautiful La Jolla in Southern California. This charming seaside town is a perfect day trip for families or a romantic day out. Whether you’re looking to lounge on the beach, shop, or kayak around sea caves, La Jolla has something for everyone. Downtown you’ll find fancy restaurants, art galleries, and tons of cultural activities. What’s not to love? But how do you spend a perfect day in La Jolla? Read on to find out!
When To Visit La Jolla
While Southern California is gorgeous year round, the best time to visit La Jolla is July through October. During the summer and fall months La Jolla days stay at a perfect 70℉ to 80℉, while night time temperatures are a comfortable 60℉. These months rarely see rain and are wonderfully sunny and warm.
Where To Stay
A day trip to La Jolla is the perfect way to experience this charming seaside town! That makes Arrivls Makai and Rockaway House, both located in beautiful Mission Beach, the perfect base for your La Jolla adventures. At only 18 minutes from La Jolla, you can’t beat these Arrivls vacation rentals in terms of beauty or location.
Makai Mission Beach
Makai, the Hawaiian word for “towards the sea,” is a fantastic choice for your trip to San Diego! You’ll love the 2nd floor patio and ocean view from this beachy duplex home. With its laid-back charm, thoughtful amenities, and an absolutely unbeatable location, you won’t regret staying at Makai. Makai North is a spacious one-bedroom, and Makai South is a two-bedroom. The home comfortably sleeps 8 if you rent the entire duplex. Makai offers garage parking and all of your beach essentials – towels, an umbrella, chairs, and sand toys. We look forward to hosting you soon at Makai!
The Rockaway House
This Mission Beach duplex can be rented as individual units (Rockaway North with 1 bedroom/1 bathroom, and Rockaway South with 2 bedrooms/1 bathroom) or in combination to sleep up to 8 guests. While staying at The Rockaway House you’ll be steps away from the Mission Beach boardwalk. Rockaway South – a 1930s beach cottage – is full of charm and is perfect for your next beach getaway. Upstairs, Rockaway North is thoughtfully designed and inviting. Whichever space you choose you’ll love the bright interior and the coastal boho vibes that The Rockaway House offers. The Rockaway House is located on the ocean side of Mission Boulevard, just 4 houses from the sand!
Did you know that Makai and The Rockaway House are next-door neighbors? So groups traveling with up to 16 guests can rent out both duplexes – perfect for multiple groups or families traveling together, as you’ll be close by but everyone still has their own space to relax and unwind at the end of the day.
How To Spend A Perfect Day In La Jolla
Breakfast With A View At Harry’s Coffee Shop
Coffee is always the best way to start a day of exploring and in La Jolla you can’t beat Harry’s Coffee Shop for breakfast with a view. The diner was founded in 1960 and has remained family run ever since. This coffee shop/diner has become a favorite among locals and visitors alike. One of the reasons is the menu has many of the same meals and concepts as when Harry’s opened its doors. The menu has a wide variety of classics and an impressive amount of pancake options.
Harry’s Coffee Shop | 7545 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037 | (858) 454-7381
Hit The Beach
La Jolla boasts 10 stunning beaches where you can walk off your hearty breakfast along the beautiful Southern California shoreline. La Jolla Cove is one of the most popular beaches in the area and for good reason. Not only does it have gorgeous cliffs surrounding the cove, but it’s a great destination for snorkeling, swimming, and scuba diving. La Jolla Cove is also a great place to spot sea lions. You’ll often find them sunning themselves on the rocks just off shore. There is also a cement walkway that allows you to view the sea lions without disturbing them.
La Jolla Shores is a mile long stretch of sand where you can relax and sunbathe or play some beach volleyball. The gentle waters and the constant lifeguards on duty make La Jolla Shores a great place to splash around in the water. Take in the picturesque pier as you stroll, or enjoy a picnic on the grassy area next to the beach.
Explore Sunny Jim Sea Cave
This legendary hidden gem of San Diego is located in La Jolla, and the secluded cave lures locals and travelers alike to the area. First discovered in 1902 and initially used for bootlegging, Sunny Jim Sea Cave now allows visitors to explore a sea cave from the shore. It’s accessible only through a tunnel that runs under The Cave Store. Reservations are no longer required and you can visit daily from 9 am to 4:30 pm.
Sunny Jim Sea Cave | 1325 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037 | (858) 459-0746
Go On A Kayak Adventure
La Jolla is a fantastic place to kayak thanks to the large variety of trips available. You’ll see gorgeous cliffs, adorable sea lions, and eerie sea caves on your kayak adventures. If you’re looking to explore sea caves Everyday California offers an array of kayaking tours that are perfect for everyone. Whether you want to take a family kayaking tour or a combo snorkel and kayak tour, this company offers it all. If you visit during the right time of year (December – March) Everyday California also offers a great gray whale watching tour as the whales migrate past Southern California from the Arctic to Mexico.
Everyday California | 2261 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037 | (858) 454-6195
Hunt For Murals
La Jolla is an art lover’s paradise, between the art galleries and murals downtown you really can’t go wrong. The murals of La Jolla were commissioned in 2010 to bring more creativity to the community. These massive works of art filled predetermined walls on public buildings in the downtown area. Visionaries such as Mark Bradford, Catherine Opie, and Kota Ezawa contributed to the murals project. There are two permanent mural installations by Kim MacConnel and Roy McMakin. Each mural remains up for viewing for at least two years, so walk around La Jolla to see this amazing artwork!
Explore The Tide Pools
Tide pooling is exploring the small pools created by the waves when the tide is out. You’ll get to explore the marine life left behind by the waves, which is fun for all ages. La Jolla is one of the best areas for tide pools on the San Diego coast. A great place to enjoy tide pooling is at Ellen Browning Scripps Park. You can check out the tide charts here to plan your tide pooling perfectly.
Visit Birch Aquarium
High on a bluff, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, you’ll find the Birch Aquarium. The facility is also a marine research center and is open to the public. It will enchant you with colorful sea life and the latest marine discoveries. Enjoy hands-on exhibits featuring star fish, sea cucumbers, and sea anemones. Perfect for the whole family, the aquarium is open from 9 am to 5 pm daily and allows visitors to enjoy the mystique of the ocean.
Birch Aquarium | 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037| (858) 534-3474
Dinner At George’s At Cove
If you’re looking for a variety of seafood options for dinner in La Joll head to George’s At The Cove. You’ll love the amazing views here, as the restaurant offers gorgeous coastal sights. Georges’s At The Cove is known for fine dining, beautiful rooftop seating, and epic hand crafted cocktails. It’s one of the top restaurants in San Diego and this is a great place to catch a sunset.
George’s At The Cove | 1250 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037 | (858) 454-4244
If you’re spending time in San Diego and Mission Beach check these out:
No matter what you choose to do on your day in La Jolla, it’s sure to be memorable. After a long day exploring make your way back to Mission Beach and one of Arrivls amazingly relaxing and comfortable rentals Makai or Rockaway Beach. What are you waiting for? Book that ticket to Southern California!