san diego california guide

La Jolla California - San Diego County

The seaside community of La Jolla is located along the coast of Southern California just fifteen minutes north of downtown San Diego on the Interstate 5 freeway. The town (a sub-community of San Diego) was once best known as a sleepy haven for successful people. Today Nobel Prize winners, many of Fortune Magazines Top 400 Wealthiest Families, famous artists and writers - and more recently - hundreds of biotech companies and their entrepreneur owners call La Jolla their home.

Over time it has evolved from being described as: “A nice place for old people and their parents” (per former resident noir novelist Raymond Chandler), into what its Visitors Center currently promotes as: “La Jolla - Shelter From The Norm.” This new aura may be well deserved as this town offers vistas of the Pacific from almost every street corner, more art galleries, upscale boutiques, romantic restaurants, coffee bars and European luxury car dealers per square block than just about anywhere this side of Cannes. Yet it still exudes the tranquility of a peaceful California beach town from a time gone by. Bring your book and beach chair.

Situated amongst coastal hills and cliffs overlooking Mission Bay to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the west – its unique micro-climate provides Mediterranean temperatures ranging from the 50’s to low sea-breezed 90’s year around. Its cliff top reserves of Torrey Pines and other lush vegetation thrive in climes tempered by seasonal cool foggy mornings. The community overlooks the sea much like similar towns one would encounter in the south of France or along the Italian coast.

la jolla coast trail - california
view of la jolla shores
la jolla cove - california
La Jolla Coast Trail
View of La Jolla Shores
La Jolla Cove California

The famous Torrey Pines Golf Course is the home of the PGA Tour Buick Invitational held each year. Held the last week in January – its purse is over 5 million dollars. La Jolla Shores beach, La Jolla Village, University of California San Diego, Jonas Salk Institute, and Scripts Institute of Oceanography with its marine life aquariums are some of the other more notable attractions and institutions to be found here.

Its beaches are legendary. The Torrey Pines Golf Course is situated atop high cliffs alongside a hang glider port that overlooks the clothes-optional Blacks Beach hundreds of feet below. All three activities combined would make for an interesting day at the beach…. The more traditional La Jolla Shores beach is broad, tranquil and a delightful place to spend the day with the family. Running a mile-long, it has the gentlest waves of any beach in San Diego. Kayakers and Scuba Divers depart from here to reach an off-shore marine preserve and mile-deep diving trench. Nearby is La Jolla Cove – a small, intimate beach for sun bathing and swimming - famous for its clear crystalline water.

The Children’s Pool and beach – a short walk south of the Cove, has been taken over by wild California sea lions who provide much amusement to visitors as they spend their days sunbathing, quarreling and fighting over beach real estate, harems and other important issues. Both of these beaches are just steps from the La Jolla Village boutique shopping district. Along the southern cliffs and oceanfront residential neighborhoods of La Jolla can be found the surfers Mecca of Windansea Beach – the site of many early surfing movies. Nearby Bird Rock – an offshore outcropping along with the nearby kelp (seaweed) beds is a much-favored area by fishermen and scuba divers for catching game fish. Minutes away are the San Diego Zoo, Mission Bay with its miles of beaches, biking trails and charming Belmont Amusement Park featuring an antique roller coaster, marinas and piers.

Real estate in La Jolla is among the most desirable in the country. With its splendid weather, upscale ambience, perfect beaches, quick access to downtown San Diego, and being less than two hours from Los Angeles – it doesn’t get much better, more exclusive, or pricey.

By David Mandich - 02 January 2008

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San Diego, California - Last Revision - 02 January 2008 - jat