La Jolla is one of the most upscale and affluent suburbs of San Diego. It is also one of the most picturesque, set dramatically on cliffs with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. It is dominated by Mount Soledad, topped by a huge white cross that has caused some controversy over the separation of church and government. The mountain (just under 900 feet high) has views all the way to downtown San Diego and excellent cycling and hiking trails. The numerous La Jolla attractions draw millions of visitors every year.
The town boasts about seven miles of coastline, and some of the main La Jolla attractions are its beaches, which include long sandy stretches as well as rugged cliff bordered coves. There are seven main beaches in La Jolla that are known for different activities and have appeal to different people and tastes. Black's Beach is good for hiking; La Jolla Cove is a wonderful scuba diving beach; Windandsea Beach is primarily for experienced surfers; and La Jolla Shores is a long sandy beach that is excellent for families.
On the northern border of the community is Torrey Pines State Park, with large areas of wilderness and a pristine beach. Other things to do in La Jolla at Torrey Pines include golf. The prestigious course here hosts national tournaments, including the PGA Invitational and U.S. Open. There are other golf courses and country clubs in town, including the exclusive La Jolla Country Club where you must be a member or play with one.
Your La Jolla vacation is apt to reveal large congregations of sunbathing seals on the rocks, sand, and even on the town piers. Dolphins and sometimes whales can be seen off many beaches. Popular things to do in La Jolla include both sailing and whale watching. When to go for the spectacular migration of the giant marine mammals is in the autumn when they head to Baja and Cabo San Lucas in Mexico to calve, and again in the spring when they head back north to their prime fishing grounds.
La Jolla maintains its distinct small town character despite being within the city limits of San Diego, and its downtown village area is known for excellent shopping. Jewelry shops, galleries, and chic boutiques are interspersed between fine restaurants and dining spots. On Sunday mornings, there is a weekly farmers market.
Hotels La Jolla
Other La Jolla attractions in the downtown area include some very interesting architecture that is part of the area's history. Built in 1926, the historic La Valencia is one of the town's boutique luxury hotels, and it is a superb example of Mediterranean art deco construction. The four-star Grande Colonial is the oldest hotel in town, opened in 1913, and is on the register of the Historic Hotels of America.
The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has an architecturally striking branch here as well as one in downtown San Diego. Together, they represent one of the finest modern art museums in the world. Things to do in La Jolla in the downtown area include guided walks and tours sponsored by the Historical Society. If your vacations bring you here in the summer, you can enjoy Summerfest, a month long festival of classical musical and theatrical performances sponsored by the La Jolla Music Society.