la jolla ocean beach side

10 Affordable Fun Things to Do in La Jolla

Every year, over 35 million people visit San Diego, which makes it one of the top US travel destinations! While San Diego certainly has a lot to offer, many people don’t know about the gem that’s located nearby: La Jolla, California (which aptly means “the gem” in Spanish!).

Not only is it a fantastic place to visit, but it’s also one of the top places to move to in San Diego. So if you need a change of scenery, La Jolla just might be what you need!

If you’re visiting or moving to La Jolla soon, then you’ll want to know about the various things you can do there. Thankfully, there are quite a few! Read on for some wonderful things you can spend your time doing in this jewel of a city.

Go to the Beach

La Jolla weather is absolutely gorgeous; temperatures range from low 50s to upper 70s all year long! Not to mention, the city is located in Southern California, which receives plenty of sunshine too.

So one of the first things you should do is go to any La Jolla beach! One that we can recommend is La Jolla Shores, or Shores Park. It’s one of the largest beaches around, so you’re in for a treat!

Many people have beachside parties here, and there’s even a special section reserved for surfers. You can lounge by the waves lapping at your feet, go for a dip, or even sign up for snorkeling, paddle boarding, or scuba diving.

As an added bonus, there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars here. So when you’re tired from your activities and want some good grub (or drinks), you’re just a few steps away from fueling up!

Visit the La Jolla Underwater Park

This underwater park is located between Ellen Browning Scripps Park and La Jolla Shores. It spans over 6,000 acres and has some amazing sights underwater! You’ll find 2 underwater canyons, 2 artificial reefs, and a dreamy kelp forest, all of which provide food and shelter to all the marine life there.

You can simply go swimming or you can don a snorkeling mask to get a better look at all the amazing life that’s teeming in this underwater park. You can also stay above water and kayak if you’d prefer that instead. And if you’re lucky, you might spot some migrating whales in the La Jolla Canyon!

In any case, this is a protected zone and you should be aware that fishing is prohibited!

Stop by the Children’s Pool

If you don’t have kids, don’t write this destination off just yet! The Children’s Pool is named this way because in the 1930s, a sea wall was built so children could safely swim on the La Jolla beach.

However, today, you won’t find kids swimming here. Instead, you’ll see lots of harbor seals! This is because the area slowly filled up with sand, making it a fantastic place for these seals to come onto land and raise their young.

Today, a rope barrier’s been placed on the beach so they’re kept at a distance from humans. But you’ll still get a pretty close look at them. And if you go on the sea wall, you’ll get a breathtaking view of the ocean too!

You can actually hang out and go swimming in this area. But the Children’s Pool is closed to public access from December 15 until May 15 every year to allow safe harbor seal pup births. So think about having your beachside picnic elsewhere if you’re going during this period!

Go Snorkeling at La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove is just a stone’s throw away from the Children’s Pool, so make sure you visit both!

This is a rocky beach that’s beautifully clear. There’s a huge kelp forest here and lots of fish, shellfish, and sea mammals like seals and sea lions! You’ll get an up-close look at them when you don some snorkeling gear and go for a swim!

Even if you don’t go underwater, you’re sure to spot some seals and sea lions sunbathing on the rocks, especially during the summer.

Explore the UCSD Campus

While it’s technically the “University of California San Diego”, UCSD is actually located in La Jolla! If you’re considering moving to La Jolla to go to this college, then exploring the campus is a must. Even if you’re not enrolling, the university has plenty of interesting areas to see and enhance your experience in the city.

Stroll down Library Walk, where a lot of student life happens. You’ll see tables set up for various events and organizations! And every Tuesday, there’s also a farmers’ market where you can get fresh produce, food, and flowers.

Library Walk also places you right next to Price Center, where there’s a food court. You’ll find a wide variety of fast-food favorites here, such as Burger King, Starbucks, Rubio’s, Panda Express, and Jamba. You can even get some boba milk tea at Tapioca Express!

Make sure you check out the Stuart Collection, which is a collection of sculptures scattered around campus. Print a map before you go so you can make it into a fun scavenger hunt!

Go to the Birch Aquarium

The Birch Aquarium is located at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which isn’t too far from UCSD. So if you’re taking a walk around campus, this aquarium is just a short drive away, which makes it worth your time to visit!

Here, the staff strives to educate the public on the importance of conversation when it comes to the ocean and its creatures. You’ll see tons of cool marine life and experience some very educational exhibits. For example, there’ the tidal pool plaza, where you’ll get to look at 3 living tide pools!

The Birch Aquarium is fantastic for visitors of all ages, so you can bring little ones and even elderly relatives if you want!

Go Shopping at the La Jolla Market

Are you a fan of open-air farmers’ markets? Then you’ll love the La Jolla market!

Not only will you get to walk around, tasting what foods and produce the local area has to offer, but you’ll also enjoy live music from bands that play here every week. There are also tables selling handicrafts, so you just might be able to bring home some new jewelry that’s special and unique!

Eat Some Fresh Seafood

You’re in SoCal, so take advantage of this by indulging in fresh seafood! There are plenty of world-class restaurants to choose from, such as The Herringbone. You’ll be able to dine on freshly caught seafood and fresh oysters.

Even if you don’t enjoy seafood, the culinary scene is amazing in La Jolla. Their high-quality restaurants don’t just serve seafood, but also other delicious proteins cooked to perfection. Foodies won’t be disappointed here!

Stop by the La Jolla Historical Society

This is a free museum, so don’t worry about bringing out your wallet when you stop by.

The museum actually consists of 3 historical buildings in the Scripps-Gill area. One is a restored 1904 Wisteria Cottage that’s located right next to the beach. And the other two are a 1909 cottage and a 1916 carriage house.

When you take a tour around, you’ll see archival collections, cultural exhibitions (that change throughout the year!), and other exhibitions that show off San Diego’s heritage.

There are also some walking routes that are quite popular, so make sure you save some time for that too!

Go Hiking at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

For those who lead an active lifestyle, head over to the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. These bluffs aren’t difficult to walk through, and they offer a stunning view of the ocean. In fact, if you go at the right time, you’ll see dolphins and whales when they’re migrating!

If you do go hiking here, keep in mind that it’s a reserve. This means there are many protected plants and animals that call this area home.

Make sure you treat the area with respect and only bring in water. Nothing else is allowed, including food. Dogs aren’t allowed here either.

Enjoy Your Time in La Jolla

Whether you’re just visiting or you’re becoming a new resident in La Jolla, there’s no doubt that there’s plenty to do. From the beautiful beaches and restaurants to the art and museums, you’ll never be bored in The Jewel!

So we hope you enjoy your time in this city, no matter how long you’re staying. Have fun!

Planning on moving to La Jolla in the near future? Do you need help moving your belongings? Then request a free quote from us now!





    Call for a Free Quote 858-503-0003
    get a quote