Explore La Jolla Cove, San Diego, California

Explore 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.

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🥈 Contributor

about 1 month ago

Tourist 101

If you're visiting San Diego La Jolla Cove is a must-stop location. You will find the classic cave views your google search showed you, as well as plenty of fresh, breathtaking views. Shop around the local spots, grab a bite to eat, and end your evening watching the sunset over the hundreds of seals snoozing on the red cliffs.

🥇Top Contributor

3 months ago


So much fun. Worth a stop. The cliffs are gorgeous. I have seen seals everytime I have been here. The water color is pretty and the town is cute!


🥇Top Contributor

3 months ago

West Coast paradise

La Jolla Cove is a surreal place. With all the pinnipeds, sea caves, old school vibe from the local shops 9one could spends days or hours here. Take a kayak and explore the cove. You’ll be glad you did.

🥇Top Contributor

4 months ago

Stellar Views!

The La Jolla cliffs are some of the prettiest shoreline in California. If you’re lucky, you’ll see seals and dolphins! The restaurants on the cliff are great places to stop for dinner after exploring down on the beach. Parking can be chaos, due to it being such a popular place.

🥈 Contributor

4 months ago

Great snorkling

You should see a ton of seals!

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