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The Best Beaches in La Jolla

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by Oxford Explorer (subscribe)
I'm a Mum of two boys living in Oxfordshire, enjoying lots of fun activities and writing about them when I get a chance.
Published October 7th 2012
Discover why La Jolla is known as 'The Jewel'
Windansea beach La Jolla San Diego
Windansea Beach


San Diego has a mild and sunny climate year round and with some great beaches it is an obvious draw as a holiday destination or a wonderful place to live. This makes a perfect recipe to enjoy the outdoors and La Jolla offers lots of different beaches in a concentrated area. Here are some of my favourites.

Windansea Beach La Jolla San Diego
Crashing waves at Windansea Beach

Windansea Beach
Enjoy a sunset stroll


Windansea Beach
This beach has the perfect blend of excitement and Californian chill. The swells attract surfers and the waves crash with great satisfaction making it a great spot to sit back on the benches from street level and take it all in. You can access a small beach down various staircases along the seafront. On a hot day, why not pick up a creamy frappuccino from Cafe Vahik before sauntering down a palm tree lined street to the beach. Windansea Beach is a lovely spot to watch the sunset. On any evening you might see dog walkers ambling along, friends hanging out and chatting or a lone guitarist taking his inspiration from the sun as it sizzles into the ocean.
Windansea surfing La Jolla
Waves at Windansea attract the surfers


La Jolla Shores
This is the best beach to go to with children. With lots of parking close by, a flat park and access straight onto a wide soft sandy beach without any steps it makes life easy. On a Sunday, the park is full of atmosphere. Big groups of friends or family set up with their gazebos, BBQs and picnics. If the park and beach are not enough then there's also a really good play park with a shaded area to protect your little ones from the sun. With lifeguards on duty and no strong swells then this is an all round great family place to visit. After a visit to the beach, it's just a quick walk to Avenida De La Play with lots of snazzy restaurants including Barbarella.

La Jolla Shores beach San Diego
La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Shores beach playpark San Diego
best family beach with playpark

La Jolla Cove
A short walk from downtown La Jolla is La Jolla Cove. Just like La Jolla Shores, there is a park bordering this beach which means you can chill out without getting covered in sand. There are also plenty of showers and toilets. Access to the beach is down a steep staircase to a small cove but you will be rewarded with clear waters and lots of marine wildlife perfect for snorkelling. If you're looking for a treat after a visit here then wander back up to downtown La Jolla for a luxury ice cream bar at Bardot.
Ellen Scripps park at La Jolla Cove
Ellen Scripps park at La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove San Diego snorkelling
Water clarity makes snorkelling a popular pastime

Children's Pool
In 1931 a donation from Ellen Browning Scripps, allowed the creation of a seawall to create a safe and sheltered place for children to swim. This area then became known as the Children's Pool. The conditions created were of great appeal to seals who started to use this area to the extent that it's not suitable for humans. There is great debate about who should use this area but for now it's the seals who rule and have become a great attraction to visitors. You can walk part way out along the seawall or view from the roadside. There's lots of birdlife too. If the seals are missing on the day you visit then walk on around and just past La Jolla Cove and you're bound to find plenty there.
Children's Pool La Jolla seal San Diego
Children's Pool now home to seals

La Jolla Cove seals San Diego
If the seals aren't at the Children's pool then walk over to La Jolla Cove

That's just a snapshot of a few beaches in La Jolla but there are plenty more coves to explore.
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Why? Enjoy great beaches with a great climate
When: All year
Where: La Jolla
Cost: Free
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