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La Jolla Beach
La Jolla Beach - camping and city information. La Jolla Beach has stunning emerald blue beaches and coves with sandstone cliffs towering above the Pacific. La Jolla Shores has a wide sandy beach and gentle surf. Kayakers begin their ocean excursions here. In a very limited area, vehicles are allowed to drive on the sand to launch small vessels directly into the surf at the foot of Avenida de la Playa. Scripps Institute of Oceanography and Scripps Pier, which is not open to the public, is at the north end of this beach. La Jolla Children's Pool is a very small beach with not many children but a haven for California Sea Lions. This is a starting out point for ocean swimmers, scuba divers, and snorkelers. Water visibility can sometimes exceed 30 feet. The Cove lies within the San Diego La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve, which helps to ensure that marine life remains plentiful.
Above: We took this picture of sea lion looking onto the beach from our kayak.
We returned to La Jolla for two reasons, because Bugsy passed away and because it was Kelly's birthday. We started our long weekend trip from Las Vegas and drove to Huntington Beach were we spent the last bit of daylight walking the beach. Main Street in Huntington Beach was having a street fair thingy going on so after dinner at Coach's Mediterranean Grill we walked around to check the action. There was live music, break dancers, food kiosks, local art work, crafts, gourmet foods and produce booths lining the street. The retail shops along Main Street took advantage of the over abundance of pedestrians and all the shops had blowout sales going on.
Above: Picture taken on rocks in La Jolla.
Above: Picture taken at La Jolla Cove Park. We drove to La Jolla the next day and we are happy to report that we found parking one block from the ocean that did not have a time limit or meter. Most of the parking on the street at the beach has a two to three hour limit. We saw parking enforcement drive the streets checking, but I don't know what they check because there are no meters. Anyway we were not going to take any chances getting a ticket as our vehicle might be nondescript but it does have out-of-state plates, so it's not hard to figure how long we have been in one spot. We could've parked for free at the north end at La Jolla Shores near Scripps Pier but we wanted to walk the sidewalks along the ocean and lay around in all the pretty green grass. And we did. We walked the sidewalk for hours in both directions.
We tried a different Thai restaurant for lunch this time. It was inland by about five blocks in a cute shopping area across from Von's. They had good prices for lunch but overall not as tasty as it could've been. So after walking all day, seriously all day, we were able to clean up fairly privately. The bathrooms at La Jolla Cove have a shower/changing area so if you don't mind people changing while you are showering then great. However, the water is cold but being clean is much more important. And, weekends and weekday evenings the whole area is busy with ocean swimmers who shower after their swim. Click for more pictures and how we travel and live here for $20 a day.
Above: Picture taken along the same rock shelf as the splash picture above. This secret door leads to a stairway to a house.
Jason's thoughts - Kayaking IN the caves is overrated because unless you are going to risk your life you really can't go in too far. We got caught on the inside of one wave break kayaking around the bend and surfed it at about 25 miles an hour screaming all the way to the point when it dumped us into the freezing ocean. Fun because it was fast, furious, and totally beyond our control to stop it once it had us going which made it a memorable scary 30 seconds. Kayaking AROUND the cave area is well worth the trip. We kayaked around the rocky cliffs and saw leopard sharks, huge grassy fields of 25+ foot long undulating kelp sea beds full of beautiful fish, sea lions and seals, cool sea birds and one marine animal that was nearly as long as our kayak that I cannot get out of my head because I cannot figure out what it was. One abundant fish species was bright yellow and you could see it from above the water nearly 50 feet away. Water was clear and temp was 68 degrees so we used good snorkels and masks coupled with wet suits. Made for a really fun, inexpensive, and tiring day.
Kelly's thoughts - Definitely my absolute favorite. The clear water, the leopard sharks in knee deep water, the caves and cliffs, ocean swimmers, the grassy areas above the cliffs, and beachside sidewalks, the... I seriously could live here. Next time I want to take the nine-mile trail from Torrey Pines State Park to La Jolla, but then we would have to get back to our car so it would turn into an 18-mile hike, must think about the details a little more. I always have a next time to do list and I know that with Jason the percentage of another adventure getting checked off is highly likely.
Travel Info - Limited day parking for Rv's no longer than 24 feet within view of the ocean. You can put your kayak, dingy or even small motorboat in directly on the beach where cars can drive down on the sand to drop off the boats, then go and park for free nearby. Go early in the morning and pay careful attention to the soft sand and tide range. There is free public parking at La Jolla Shores. There is RV parking on the street on Coast Boulevard but, again, parking can be difficult. It is limited to three hours at a time, but check the signs for restriction days and times. Map location of La Jolla Beach. Click for California beaches
American Road Trips - reviews & pictures of places we visited on $20 a day - food, gas and lodging.