Nestled along the coastline north of San Diego lies the beautiful, hilly seaside town of La Jolla. Known as the one of the most affluent addresses in all of San Diego, La Jolla is the perfect place to dine, shop, and visit some of California’s most beautiful beaches.
I had heard all the rave reviews of La Jolla and was curious to see if it would meet my expectations. After landing in San Diego on a Friday afternoon in late March, we headed to our hotel in nearby Del Mar to check in and then drove straight to La Jolla. As soon as we arrived and we saw the spectacular, rugged 7-mile coastline I knew La Jolla would be wonderful. La Jolla is a place that anyone instantly falls in love with.
It was Spring Break for my children, Max and Sophia, and I was curious to see what they would think of the Pacific Ocean. They had never seen it before or experienced the feeling of the waves on their feet. After months of cold weather in Minnesota they both were desperately seeking the sun and the gentle wind on their bare arms and legs.
What makes La Jolla’s coast so spectacular is its diversity and wildlife. The oceanfront alternates from rugged hills to sandy beaches lined with flora and fauna unique to the area. The biggest highlight is the sea lions and seals who come to give birth to their young pups. It just so happens that we were there right after the pups were born and the entire Children’s Pool beach was filled with mothers and their young. We were excited to explore the coastline and of course see the seals.
The shoreline seemed to stretch forever and the aquamarine water went as far as the eye could see. The weather was about as perfect as humanly possible. A lovely, dry 78 degrees, a gentle sea breeze and a warm, inviting sun. There is no other word to describe San Diego’s climate than serene.
After exploring the view of the La Jolla caves, it was time to grab a quick bit to eat at one of La Jolla’s many restaurants in town. The kids were starving and couldn’t wait for a seven o’clock meal. We’d have to feed them something before heading back to the beachfront for an outdoor meal.
After a burger and fries for the kids and a glass of white wine for me, it was time to check out the Children’s Beach. The Children’s Beach was established in 1931 by local philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, who paid for a sea wall to be built protecting the beach and giving kids a special, safe place to play. Fortunately or unfortunately (however you look at it), sea lions and seals began using the beach for birthing and raising their young pups. Since 1992, more and more seals have settled from nearby Seal Rock Point to the Children’s Beach creating quite a controversy. Some people argue that the beach belongs to the children and the seals should go, while others believe that the seals should be protected and allowed to use their beach during pupping season. Regardless, seeing all the brand new baby seals was quite a lovely sight to see!
I loved seeing the seals in the wild as did the kids. There is something special about seeing wildlife free and where they belong. Priceless.
The sun was starting to set too soon. I wasn’t ready to leave. We got back into the car and drove to the north end of La Jolla near the beach and the surfers. Earlier I had noticed that it was filled with adorable little outdoor cafes and restaurants and I had my heart set on eating outside.
We found a nice little Italian restaurant and enjoyed a delightful meal on the patio. Since the kids had already ate, they had dessert. Oh what a wonderful night!I think I was meant to be a California girl…
40 years ago, right before I moved to Alaska, I lived in San Diego for 2 years. Seeing the seals and pups again was quite enjoyable, and I’ll bet any kid would be happy to let the seals use the beach for birthing!
I was definitely NOT a California girl!
Where do you live now? I just loved the climate of CA. So perfect!
We have lived on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska for 40 years. Now that we are retired we live in Alaska for about 6 1/2 months of the year and in Oaxaca, Mexico for the other 5 1/2. Opposite lives, each wonderful in its own way!
Alaska is one of those places that has been on my travel list for years. I would love to see it. And then to spend time in Mexico too! How wonderful. 🙂
You could come to Alaska and climb Denali!
Would love to!
Thanks for reminding me of my California days and my alma mater, Scripps College (not the Oceanography one in S.D., but the women’s college in Claremont)! I remember one spring break spent on Catalina Island with my fiance doing a couples’ retreat: we came upon a seal in the cove and snapped pictures with it. I like the idea that the Children’s Beach is set aside for children….marine children.
I have visited San Diego on many occasions and I never heard of La Jolla. It looks absolutely beautiful. I can not wait to go back to California, I am making this my first stop. Thank you for this amazing post now I have a new adventure to start planning for.
You will have to check La Jolla out as well as Del Mar on your next visit. 😃
La Jolla is a famous name to me, as that is where John Steinbeck’s character Doc (‘Sweet Thursday’) went to catch the octopi about which he wanted to write a thesis. How wonderful to see these stunning photos!
Learn something new every day! Thanks!
La Jolla is beatiful .I have been there in winter so didnt get to see the wild flowers like you did.Great pictures and post 🙂
You will have to go back in the spring!
The La Jolla trip will surely be a memorable one for your children 🙂 Great post and photographs, Nicole.
Thanks Lola Jane. 😃
Reblogged this on Nilzeitung.
One more month and we will be there, can’t wait, thank you
Wonderful lucky you! Enjoy!!!
That’s exactly what my son said, except for the gender part. “I was meant to be a California guy.” Since he was about your son’s age, he had his heart set on moving to San Diego. I’m not sure why he chose San Diego, but we flew out to visit and he was hooked. San Diego has the most perfect weather in the world. We went to La Jolla, too but we missed the seal pup season. What a treat for your kids! Our son is a CA. guy, now. He’s really worried about the water situation in CA. Did you notice any water restrictions when you were there?
Yea the water situation in CA is horrible. The govt has put watering limits into effect and I truly wonder what the future will be. I loved it there so much but it is very expensive. But really a special place.
I lived in San Diego from 2003 to 2005 but had never been to this part of the beach. My favorite spot was Torrey Pines. When was this wall constructed?
Oh my next post is on Torrey Pines! I loved it!!! The wall was built in the 1930s.
Great post! La Jolla has always been one of my favorite places to stop by in San Diego next to Del Mar. Next time you guys go back out to visit San Diego, you should definitely try out The Fish Market Seafood Restaurant on Harbor Drive. Their ahi poke and dungeness crab cioppino are top notch!
Thank you! I will keep this place in kind! Our last night we ate on the water in Del Mar and it was truly memorable.
What? In the US??? 🙂 I love seeing the photos of the seals and their pups, looking like grey rocks on the beach. Our older daughter just moved to S. California (new job) and is loving it. I’ll have to think about going to La Jolla when I go for a visit.
Yes the seals were amazing! You must go visit!
I meant to say “You’re in the US???” 🙂
What a delightful spot! Looks like some wonderful down time with the family. Max is getting so tall! I am off with my youngest for a couple college campus visits tomorrow and Saturday as his Spring Break week wraps up. You picked a great week to depart from MN!
Wow doesn’t time fly Kat?!
Love La Jolla- as you say what’s not to love. 🙂
The proximity of the seals is amazing, Nicole. Glad to see your kids having such a happy time! 🙂
Our one and only visit to La Jolla was conducted under ‘June gloom’, about which nobody had warned us, but is apparently well known in California. 🙁 I, too, know now 🙂
That is too bad because the weather was so amazingly perfect I could hardly stand it.
So interesting reading your post about an area so familiar to me (I live in San Diego). Glad you brought up the issue of the seals and the children’s pool. It has been a huge controversy over the years and still today…it seems you have a great perspective for seeing both sides of this particular issue.
Lucky you! I fell in love with San Diego! A beautiful place!
I’m so glad to hear it! I’ve been in San Diego on and off for so many years that I take it for granted. I need a regular reminder not to! 🙂
I can see you as a California girl Nicole. We love La Jolla. 🙂