Exploring La Jolla Cove

San Diego La Jolla Cove

Added by Tiffany Nguyen

  • Short hike from the eastern end of La Jolla Cove heading west with great viewpoints along the way
  • La Jolla Cove is ecologically protected so you’ll find lots of marine life if you snorkel or scuba
  • Short walking distance to Sunny Jim’s Cave, the only cave in La Jolla accessible by land
  • Watch the seals hang out at Seal Rock - you can walk right up to them if you’re brave!

La Jolla Cove is one of the most photographed beaches in San Diego, located on the coast just south of Torrey Pines Natural Reserve. La Jolla Cove is also one of the best spots in San Diego for snorkeling and scuba diving. This calm cove is ecologically protected with many animals making their home here, including some bright orange garibaldi. There is parking nearby at paid lots, meters, or even free street parking if you’re lucky. Although it is a small beach, there is still a lot to explore here. Because the water is protected, no surfboards, bodyboards, or floating devices are allowed.

Start your day at the Cave Store to check out Sunny Jim’s Cave, the only land accessible cave in La Jolla. All the other caves in La Jolla are only accessible by kayak. Pay the $5 fee for adults or $3 for children 16 and under and take a short walk down the stairs to check out this unique cave. The cave was named by The Wizard of Oz author Frank Baum who noticed that the shape of the cave’s opening resembled a cartoon mascot from the 1920s for British Force Wheat Cereal.

After you’re done exploring the cave, walk out to the cliffs just outside the Cave Store to get a bird’s eye view above the cove. Scripps Pier can be seen in the distance to the northeast and the rest of La Jolla Cove awaits to the west. Look around and you’ll find yourself surrounded by seals along the cliffs at Seal Rock. The tide pools down at the beach are also not to be missed.

Pack List

  • Bathing suit
  • Towel
  • Camera
  • Sun protection
  • Water
  • Snacks
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Chillin, Diving, Photography, Swimming

Skill Level:



Year Round



Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area

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How to Get There

11 months ago

Fun places for snorkeling and relaxing!

Whenever we go here, we go snorkeling, as the water is pretty clear. There are large populations of seals which is always a sight to see. Try to go when it's less crowded in the off-season, so that your beach experience will be more relaxing!

11 months ago

about 1 year ago

Views for days

If you can rent a SUP/ kayak, this is a magical spot, if not, taking the stairs down is still a great little hike...go during the week to find better parking

about 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

Unfortunately, in recent years the smell has become worse but still a great place to visit

over 1 year ago

Added by Tiffany Nguyen

Email: tiffpenguinphoto@gmail.com

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